There’s a new kind of footwear worth checking out this spring — sporty sandals that offer a rare combination of style and comfort. You might find them a little strange at first glance. A three-way combo between Teva sandals, Birkenstocks and Adidas Pool Slides, they tread a fine line between cool and clunky. Yet the new breed of sporty sandals can be undeniably chic — after all, the trend began in Milan, on the runways of Prada and Marni. The key is to wear them as part of a contemporary ensemble, with wide-legged cropped pants or a full midi dress. Whatever you do, don’t mix these sandals with active sportswear.
When you shop for this season’s sporty sandals, look for a pair with thick soles (such as track soles), a molded foot bed (à la Birkenstocks) and wide straps (often in metallic or holographic leather, which gives them a futuristic look). Here are some examples. MARNI: A gold bow adds a feminine touch to the designer’s heavy-duty black leather sandals, which helped set the trend. RIVER ISLAND: These silver sandals combine great styling with an affordable price. DR. MARTENS: The Aggy Sandal, developed in collaboration with English model and “It girl” Agyness Deyn, stands out as an edgy alternative, with extra-chunky soles. DOLCE VITA: If you’re not ready to go whole hog, consider these color-block sandals, which are stylishly toned down. —Lola Ehrlich and John Birmingham