The Summer Shoe Hunt

Design:  Laura Messersmith  | Images:  Vans ,  J. Crew ,  Sperry

Design: Laura Messersmith | Images: Vans, J. Crew, Sperry

Every season, whether we’re leading into the crisp days of fall or the golden days of summer, I go on a shoe hunt. Usually I have something specific in mind; it might be for the perfect pair of brown riding boots, an streamlined black ballet flat, or in this case a summery slip-on. So, lately I've been cluttering up my Pinterest feed with options I think might work.

The pursuit of the slip-on is a little more conceptual than my usual hunts – this time I’m looking more for a set of qualities, rather than for a specific style. In my mind the perfect summer slip on would be:

1. Casual, but stylish.

2. Comfortable like a sneaker, but with the ease of a flip flop.

3. Something I can throw on at a moment’s notice for a quick trip to the bodega or plan to wear all day with no underlying worry that I might regret the decision later when my toes are pinched beyond tolerance.

None of these requirements seems especially outlandish or excessive, right? But, mix in the fact that my feet have very high standards and the challenge becomes a little more, well, challenging.

Because my feet are finicky and high maintenance – like a pop-diva with a 14 page tour rider – the shoe hunting process leads to a rotating cast of boxes from all manner of online shoe emporiums. Thank goodness for free shipping or I might singlehandedly be keeping UPS in business.

After much research – ie. skimming through pages and pages of options – I’ve narrowed the choices down to my top three slip-on candidates: canvas skateboarding kicks, espadrilles, and boat shoes (which were later inexplicably vetoed by Mike).

After trying on several of each and factoring the opinions of husbands and friends, I’ve decided on the Vans in washed coral. They check the box on wear-ability, are super comfortable, definitely ‘go’ with my causal summer wardrobe of capris, shorts, and now thanks to the whims of Fashion – Tom Sawyer styled jeans. Extra bonus: Vans is making them in lots of fun colors and patterns – because if I’m not going with a neutral I may as well draw as much attention to my shoes as possible, right?

What are your thoughts on summer shoes? Do you have a go-to style or favorite pair that never let you down?