The Best Summer Flats for Staying Stylish in the Heat

There's an option for everyone.

Summer Flats Brother Vellies Tyla Sandals

@brothervellies/Unsplash

As someone from Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, I've spent a lot of time in the heat and consider myself to be a summer shoe expert. Warm weather can be amazing as long as you’re dressed comfortably, and a key part of this is wearing the right shoes. Like most things in life, what the "right shoes" entails varies from person to person, but luckily there's just as many options out there as personal style aesthetics.

When it comes to what defines the right shoes for summer, I'm a firm believer that flatforms are equivalent to a more traditional flat (and dare I say, superior). You get all the perks of a standard flat—they're comfortable, casual, and come in many styles—but you also get that little height boost, which always makes me feel powerful. All that said, whichever you prefer is up to you. Ahead, we've compiled a list of 31 summer flats, as well as how to wear them.

Teva Original Universal Tie-Dye
Teva Original Universal Tie Dye $50
Shop

Nothing says easy summer style quite like a pair of Tevas. They're perfect for all-day wear and made from recyclable synthetic and plant-based materials. These sandals come in an array of colors, including a pastel tie-dye that would look angelic with an easy-fit oversized cotton dress (Merlette and Et Tigre make some of the best, in my opinion).

Charles & Keith Yellow Puffy Flatform Slide Sandals
Charles & Keith Yellow Puffy Flatform Slide Sandals $53
Shop

This won’t be the last flatform on this summer flats roundup, but I added this pair to my shopping cart in record time. If you’ve never worn a puffy sandal, I don’t know that you’re actually living life to the fullest—the soft padding is that nice. These come in three colors, but I think we can all agree that pale yellow is the winner, as the understated hue makes sunny summer style a breeze. I would pair these dreamy slides with wide leg trousers and a loose button-down for the ultimate comfort. 

Last Matter Loafers
Last Matter Loafers $280
Shop

This may not be the first silhouette that comes to mind, but hear me out: chunky white loafers for summer. I’m a huge fan of contrasting a flowing piece (like a silk slip midi dress) with shoes that look like toy trucks, and this pair from Last Studio is extra special thanks to the pink trim in a crisp white hue. 

Reformation Blossom Terry Thong Flat Sandal
Reformation Blossom Terry Thong Flat Sandal $58
Shop

Terry is functional at the pool or beach, but it also makes a great fabric for all sorts of sweaty, humid summer days. These classic thong flat sandals feature a deadstock terry cloth material in three bright shades, taking them to the next level. I would wear these to the beach with my hijab and coordinating seaside attire, but they would look great with any sundress or vacation-ready outfit that fits your style.

Urban Outfitters Sally Square-Toe Loafer
Urban Outfitters Sally Square-Toe Loafer $59
Shop

Picture this: A perfectly worn-in vintage T-shirt, light wash denim, and these faux-leather loafers. If closed-toe shoes don't sound like great summer flats for the heat, slip on a pair of no-show socks or whatever liner your heart desires.

SourceUnknown Flat Quilted Sandals
SourceUnknown Flat Quilted Sandals $68
Shop

During summer 2020 I got my hands on these quilted toe strap sandals in a gorgeous matcha green, and within a month the style was sold out everywhere. A year later, they’re back in stock and better than ever in three new shades. My favorite has to be Blue Frost, a pastel blue (hot tip: if your feet are prone to excess redness, just wear blue shoes to tone it down). I recommend completely leaning into the color and wearing these on with a full monochromatic look.

Simonett Velcro Strap Sandals
Simonett Velcro Strap Sandals $85 $60
Shop

I saw these white summer sandals while shopping at the Simonett boutique in Miami, and the minute I put them on my feet I knew I had to buy them and change into them right then and there. To say these feel like you're walking on clouds would be an understatement: The straps are fully padded on the inside for comfort that I would call a hug for your feet. I’ve styled them in so many ways, but one of my favorite ways to wear these is with something less casual, like an oversized black blazer and a pair of ultra-slim, slit-hem pants.

Shop-Pêche Mora
Shop-Pêche Mora $89
Shop

Do not sleep on Shop-Pêche’s curated selection of shoes, especially these vegan leather fisherman sandals, available in cream and black. Although the cream does feel more seasonally appropriate, I would personally go with the black and style them similarly to how the model wears them on the site, with a pair of white socks and a '90s-inspired button-down dress (think Phoebe from the episode of Friends when she grabs Rachel and Monica by the ear).

Vagabond Shoemakers Erin Sandals
Vagabond Shoemakers Erin Sandals $90
Shop

If you prefer something a bit more minimalist but still want that quintessential '90s vibe, these summer flats are for you. Smooth black leather sandals would honestly look great with any outfit—I can definitely see myself sliding into these while running errands in sweatpants, then switching it up for a dinner date with a long black skirt and a Jean Paul Gaultier-esque sheer top. 

Birkenstock Boston Suede Sandals
Birkenstock Boston Suede Sandals $113
Shop

I think about these Birkenstock sandals more than any human who doesn’t even own them should. I think it was around last year that I saw Emma Chamberlain in them, and they are truly such effortlessly cool shoes. Pair these with bootcut denim and a bodysuit for a cozy summer look. 

Alohas Whiz Black Mule
Alohas Whiz Black Mule $134 $114
Shop

Chunky summer flats with an open back? Say less. I'm such a sucker for a square toe, and Alohas reduces its environmental impact by only producing shoes on demand to avoid overproduction and waste—a really admirable strategy.

Kkerelé Mai Slip-On Shoes
Kkerelé Mai Slip-On Shoes $130
Shop

I'm so obsessed with Kkerelé. All of the brand's shoes are handmade in Lagos, Nigeria on demand, and you'll find some of the most unique styles you'll ever come across. I love these leather-wrapped chunky sole slip-on shoes, and I think they would look so good with a floral dress on a Sunday afternoon at the farmer's market. 

Alohas Overcast Stone Beige Ivory
Alohas Overcast Stone Beige Ivory $146 $124
Shop

I just can’t get enough of Alohas. The eco-conscious brand truly has my heart, as do these elevated flip-flops in a color palette that would look so good with any sort of neutral outfit—I would 100% wear these with an all-black look. 

Nicole Saldana Lou Sandals
Nicole Saldana Lou Sandals $325 $165
Shop

Nicole Saldana never misses, so it’s not surprising that the brand has perfected the chunky summer flat sandal—I’m a huge fan of the contrast stitching. Strap these on for a day of walking with an airy dress.

Almanaque OP Slide
Almanaque OP Slide $175
Shop

Checker print is a classic, and you can’t tell me otherwise. These slides also come in a timeless black and white, but the spice rose feels a little more summer-ready. If there were ever a time to experiment with color and print, summer is definitely the season for it. 

Zou Xou Pileta Sport Slide
Zou Xou Pileta Sport Slide $195
Shop

As soon as I saw these slides, I started thinking of ways to wear them, which is always a good sign. I find that summer slides are the most versatile style-wise, in addition to the most practical. Wear them with Levi’s ribcage jeans and a crop top, whether layered with a button-down or alone.

AM:PM Thandie T-Strap Flat Shoe
AM:PM Thandie T-Strap Flat Shoe $199
Shop

These color block sandals by AM:PM are the kind of summer flats that you can wear with literally anything and still look like you put thought into your look. With a chunky rubber sole made for traction and comfort, it’s unlikely that you'll come across a pair of sandals quite like these.

Eytys Capri Sandals
Eytys Capri Sandals $220
Shop

These sandals are giving me goth summer energy in the best way possible. Style them with black tapered pants and a cropped cardigan for an unexpected summer look.

St. Agni Oliver Thong-Strap Sandals
St. Agni Oliver Thong-Strap Sandals $228
Shop

Chocolate brown, square-toe thong sandals—need I say more? I want to wear these with a silk midi skirt immediately.

Mansur Gavriel Square Toe Ballerina
Mansur Gavriel Square Toe Ballerina $395 $275
Shop

Mansur Gavriel is singlehandedly bringing back ballet flats, a feat that seemed impossible even just a few years ago. The square toe beautifully complements this iconic silhouette. The best part? The leather and matching lining are breathable, which is essential in a summer flat.

Chelsea Paris Roe Sandals
Chelsea Paris Roe Sandals $295
Shop

These elegant summer flat sandals would be completely appropriate for an outdoor summer wedding, especially when paired with an effortlessly chic wrap dress. 

ATP Atelier Pacci Leather Sandals
ATP Atelier Pacci Leather Sandals $345
Shop

Strong on both comfort and style, these gorgeous leather sandals would pair seamlessly with a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg trousers and a button-down.  

Osoi Tozle Flatform Sandals
Osoi Tozle Flatform Sandals $357
Shop

I may be a little biased because I own these, and they are slowly but surely becoming the only shoes I wear. These sandals feel like you’re walking on a summer flatform cloud, and the leather strap is the softest thing I think I have ever felt. I recently went on a weekend trip with these as the only shoes I packed, and I had zero regrets.

Brother Vellies Greg Shoe
Brother Vellies Greg Shoe $395
Shop

No roundup of shoes would be complete without Brother Vellies. Handmade with calf suede, the Greg shoe is the ideal pair for transitioning from summer to fall. These would look great with so many outfits, but I’m picturing a rib-knit skirt and lightweight cardigan with tons of silver jewelry.

Re/Done '70s Classic Clogs
Re/Done '70s Classic Clogs $415
Shop

I've been on the hunt fora pair of clogs for months now, and these might just be the ones. I love anything inspired by the '70s, and Re/Done truly knows how to capture that era without looking costume-y. I feel like I would have no choice but to pair these with the brand's bootcut jeans, and I'm not mad about it at all. 

The Attico Two-Tone Leather Slides
The Attico Two-Tone Leather Slides $475
Shop

The Attico has been consistently winning me over in the shoe department recently, and these two-tone leather slides are no exception. The hot pink strap contrasts perfectly with the black and green sole, and the style looks comfortable enough to wear while exploring on vacation. 

Maison Margiela Transparent Tabi Oxfords
Maison Margiela Transparent Tabi Oxfords $840 $412
Shop

I recently got my first Maison Margiela Tabi shoes, and I'm now convinced that everyone needs a pair. I love these transparent Tabi oxfords because they combine my two favorite things, fashion and childhood nostalgia. I can’t think of anything these wouldn’t look good with.

By Far Lilo Quilted Sandals
By Far Lilo Quilted Sandals $633
Shop

These instant classics come in a few different hues, but I’m gravitating toward the cappuccino beige. Dress them down with your favorite denim and a bright top; I have a vintage blouse from the '60s that would look totally groovy. 

Burberry Black T-Bar Loafers
Burberry T-Bar Loafers $680
Shop

These kind of remind me of my elementary school uniform shoes, which I loved then and still do. The croc-embossed T-bar loafers have unique cutouts at the toe, which create so many fun styling options. Channel your inner Wednesday Addams by styling them with a black, long-sleeved dress (white collar shirt underneath optional) and a pair of black tights for an unexpectedly emo summer look. 

Adidas Yeezy Yeezy Bone Slides
Adidas Yeezy Yeezy Bone Slides $725
Shop

These are definitely controversial as far as footwear goes, but I really like them and think they look like marshmallow shoes—I just know they’re next level comfortable. Wear these summer flats for all your day-to-day errands with some biker shorts or leggings and an oversized shirt. They're also a great option for a beach getaway. 

Peter Do Square-Toe Slip-On Slides
Peter Do Square-Toe Slip-On Slides $1,745
Shop

If you really want to treat yourself to something extra special this summer, look no further. Peter Do is one of my favorite brands at the moment, and this pair of square-toe slides with silver-tone hardware can only be described as wearable art. Wear these shoes with a slouchy suit in the evening for an effortlessly cool look, or pair with denim and a white T-shirt for a casual-yet-stylish daytime outfit. 

Related Stories