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Fisherman sandals are the ‘ugly shoe’ of the summer

By Megan Bedford

Fisherman Sandals - The Row (1)
By now, we shouldn't be surprised about fashion claiming a once-maligned style and turning it into the season's most-wanted trend.

It happened with that nature-dweller and backpacker’s fave – the velcro Teva sandal – back in 2013, when versions from Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga and the like propelled the style into the trend limelight.

It happened too, with chunky white sneakers beloved by middle-aged dads everywhere.

It took Birkenstock from crunchy ‘hippie’ sandals to being a global brand worth billions, and on the feet of people everywhere from young to old, kids to fashion elitists.

This season it’s happening with the return of the humble leather jandal, thanks to celebs all copping  The Row’s Ginza platform thongs.

But there’s another sandal style to also be on the lookout for right now – the elevation of the fisherman sandal to covetable status as another shoe of the summer.

In fact, fashion enthusiasts have been wearing them for a while now, but its popularity is catching on fast, as evidenced by the abundance of them landing in stores. Hard to place their original provenance, much like previously-popular gladiator sandals, the style has existed for a very long time.

It’s debatable whether the fisherman sandal can really be called an ugly shoe. Some say its chunky practicality (those thick soles and wide straps are sturdy as can be) and history, given its name, classify it as such.


Best Fisherman sandals 2023

Top: Aere; Marni Bottom: The Row; Aje

Others say it has clean lines and an understated nature that make it perfect for wearing with similarly minimalist ‘quiet luxury’ outfits.  It also helps add a slightly tougher edge to dresses or floaty summer shorts. Plenty of those enamoured with a slightly more preppy style have upped the ugly-cool ante by wearing them with white or grey socks underneath. Robust enough to wear daily, and comfortable enough to walk in for miles, we can see why so many are singing its praises.

If you’re keen on the caged fisherman sandal style, which is certainly easy to wear when the weather is piping hot, take your pick from our edit to shop now. Like the best hot-right-now trends, there are options from high-end to accessibly-priced options so you can take your pick on how long you think they might remain in your wardrobe.

Best fisherman sandals 2023 2 (1)

Top: La Tribe; Kowtow Bottom: Prada; Hereu

Image (top): The Row at Net-a-Porter


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