Best Summer Shoes For Women

May 17, 2023

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With summer comes ample opportunities to explore the great outdoors, pack our bags for summer vacation and book up our social calendars with weddings, showers and plenty of time with friends and family. And with those aforementioned outings – you can make them more enjoyable with the right shoe for your outfit.  

My shoe philosophy is always to go for equal parts stylish and comfortable. This post is all about rounding up summer inspired shoes that you can wear for a variety of different outdoor activities during the warm weather in summer while also ensuring you have a collection that works for an endless amount of summer outfits.

It’s also important to remember that when it comes to shoes – you often get what you pay for. I invest in shoes because I wear the same pairs over and over again and I want them to hold up to lots of wear and be comfortable. I’d rather summer footwear I pay more for the quality at the onset and can wear for season after season after season vs. a cheap shoe that I’ll have to retire after three month’s of wear.

Best Summer Shoes For Women

Hermes Oran Sandal

The Go-with Everything Summer Sandal

Everyone needs a sandal that they can throw on and go. A timeless slide sandal will be easily dressed up or dressed down and I find investing in quality leather slide sandals is always worthwhile. I find my Hermes Oran sandals to be that sandal and I love how the shoe molds to your foot over time.

If you’re not ready for an investment sandal, I recommend this pair and this pair that will fit the bill without breaking the bank. (As an aside, I find Talbots shoes to be so well made and so well priced! The pairs I’ve owned are super comfortable and hold up well).

J.Crew Sweater Blazer on Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

The Go-with Everything Sneaker

My Common Projects Achilles sleek white sneakers are my most worn shoe of summer. I pair them with dresses, with skirts, with jeans and with denim shorts and in the years of wearing them, they’ve held up so well with constant mileage put on them.

If you’re looking for an affordable pair that’ll go with everything, I recommend these Madewell sneakers, these Sezane Jack sneakers, the Margaux sneaker or the Veja sneakers seen below. 

I am truly never without these shoes when I travel for summer trips in particular. I think they are the best travel sneaker. I keep them looking new by regularly cleaning them with a magic eraser. It helps clean up my favorite white sneaker in a snap every time!

Related:How to Dress for Paris in the Summer

Celine Mini Belt Bag I wit & whimsy

Meghan Donovan I wit & whimsy I Central Park

Espadrille Wedges

My espadrille wedges are some of my most worn summer shoes. They go with pretty much everything – jeans, dresses, shorts, skirts – I reach for them time and time again because they are as comfortable as they are chic. Espadrilles have been around for centuries and are timeless classic shoes for a reason! 

I have a neutral ivory pair that gets the most wear (more affordable version here) and I also own a pair in black as well. f you tend to wear a lot of colors and prints, I’d recommend buying a pair in a bright pop of color for an extra fun personality statement. This brand is my favorite. They feel like walking on clouds!

J.Crew Gingham Jumpsuit I wit & whimsy

Not a fan of wedges? Opt for a flat espadrille instead. Wearing a pair with the classic ankle-tie also elongates your leg. I like this timeless pair. And if you’d prefer to forgo the ankle wrap detail, this Soludos pair is classic and just $75.

Summer Shirt Dress

Sporty Sneakers

My Golden Goose sneakers are my go-to sporty sneakers all year round and especially during summer. I reach for them so often because they are so comfortable and add the right amount of edge to more feminine dresses, tailored dresses like shirt dresses and I love wearing them with lighter colored jeans and with my favorite denim cut offs

Styling a Linen Button Down Shirt


Summer staples, my Converse all star sneakers are always in rotation as another sporty sneaker option to pair with dresses and denim.

And did you know you can customize a pair down to every detail!? I love that you can make any color combo your heart desires!

Summer Gingham Jumpsuit I wit & whimsy

Strappy Flat Sandals

I’m not a personal fan of wearing flip flops or thong sandals with my outfits – I leave those for beach and pool wear only as I find them too casual. Instead, I opt for strappy flat sandals. They appear more put together and just look more stylish in my opinion. More colors here.

Strappy Sandal Spring outfit

Strappy Low Heeled Sandal

Prefer a heel? I like this pair and this pair of strappy block heeled sandals. Shown above: wearing this pair.

Gordes Guide I wit & whimsy

Off the shoulder linen dress on Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy

The Dressed Up Flat Sandal

I love sandals that have special details like ruffles, bowls or pearls to make a flat sandal a bit more dressy. You get comfort without sacrificing feeling too dressed down. Loeffler Randall is my go-to for sandals that feel extra special.

Another great idea for a dressed up sandal? Gold leather sandals! I love this pair – the braided detail really makes it dressy!

Linen Dress on Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy


Kitten heel slingbacks are a go-to for me because they are nearly season-less. You can wear them all spring summer and well into Fall. I wear my Chanel slingbacks constantly and in the summer they pair perfectly with breezy dresses.

Here and here are more affordable alternatives to the Chanel style seen above.

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy wears the Reformation Persimmon Dress

Block Heel Ankle Strap Sandals

When it comes to summer’s dressier occasions, I always reach for my strappy block sandals with ankle straps from Stuart Weitzman in tan and black suede.

I have a similar pair in black, too that I always reach for during summer wedding season to pair with little black dresses. They are more comfortable for long periods of wear than a stiletto and yet look just as dressy. 

The ankle strap also helps elongate the leg!

Another similar style with a lower heel I like are those by Sarah Flint seen here:

Sarah Flint Perfect Sandal

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy wears a Reformation dress perfect for date night

If you’d like a more decorative block strappy sandal, I recommend the Margaux City Sandal or the Sarah Flint Perfect Block Sandal which both feature beautiful detailing like cross straps or feminine leather strap details. If you need a low heel block sandal, I recommend Sarah Flint’s Perfect Block Sandal in 30mm. I find all of Sarah Flint’s shoes to be super comfortable! 

Bash Paris Jacket

Ballet Flats

Ballet flats are another season-less shoe that you’ll get so much wear out of. I love having pairs in a variety of neutrals like the Chanel two-tone ballet flats but I also think a pair in a summery color like pale pink is a great option.

Margaux makes some of my favorite ballet flats and they come in a wide assortment of colors.

Related: Ballet Flats Outfit Ideas

They are the perfect option when you want to wear a closed toe shoe during warmer months and I think ballet flats look great with summer dresses and also I love the juxtaposition of them paired with denim cut offs or more casual distressed jeans.


While Birkenstock Arizona sandals aren’t usually my style, I keep them around as they are a great throw-on-and-go errand shoe. They’re comfortable and go with everything so in the summer months, you’ll often find my pair sitting in my foyer for days I’m running errands in the neighborhood.

Flip Flops

For beach and pool days in the summer, there’s nothing better than the old flip flop standby. Tkees makes my favorite comfy pairs.

Toe Wrap Sandal

An elegant take on the flat sandal. Seen above: this pair.

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I hope you love the options to choose from that I shared here! Do you have a style that you’d add to the list? I’d love to hear about it! I also recommend ordering more than one size when you pick out a shoe to purchase – it’ll ensure you can test two sizes to find the perfect fit.

Want to make your shoes last longer? Have a cobbler add protective rubber soles to them! I’ve been doing this for years and it makes all my investment shoes last years and years despite loads of wear.

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Best shoes for Summer | wit & whimsy

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  1. Joy H says:

    Great list… all my favorites! I absolutely agree that investment pieces look better and make more sense, and I find I buy less overall so budget-wise I’m not spending as much more as one would think. Have you seen the Vince version of Birkenstocks? I’m not a Birks girl either, but I have to admit the Vince caught my eye…

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