Take pity on the “naked sandal”. Before coronavirus struck, these dainty, strappy heels – made famous by Bottega Veneta – were a fixture in every fashion magazine, and a common sight on the manicured feet of practically every social media influencer on Instagram.
Three months and a pandemic later, very few of us require naked heels. Or any kind of heels. Or even, really, footwear.
Thanks to the global lockdown, shoes have become one of the hardest-hit categories in retail. But as we inch back to normality, with many of us considering a return to the office (or some combination of WFH and commuting to work) it’s time to consider what to wear on our feet now that we actually have to leave the house.
So, this week, shopping editor Tara Morris has pulled together seven shoes – ranging from straight-out slippers to slipper-esque silhouettes– which we’ve photographed and which I have (selflessly) tried and tested for comfort and cosiness not to mention suitability for stepping foot outside.
These luxe velvet slippers from Mara & Mine are a modern take on the smoking slipper.
What might not be visible from these photos is that the upper soles are padded, making them exceptionally comfortable (and decadent-feeling).
There are few things more cosy (or more decadent) than velvet… though, if you’re sensitive to the cold, the backless silhouette could be problematic.
Indoor-outdoor versatility: 10/10
“You could wear these anywhere,” says Tara. “Out to dinner, out to lunch. The rich tones mean they’ll always look elevated and they’re super easy to wear with jeans.”
Bassike Padded Double Strap Sandal, $595
Made from quilted suede, these Bassike sandals have a more luxe feel than most of the other hiking sandal-type shoes available at the moment. “They have that fashion feel,” says Tara, who would pair them with a boilersuit (like mine from Assembly), a fluted skirt or denim jeans.
Very comfortable. Flat, easy to wear. (TBH I’ll probably buy these when it’s warmer. I really loved them.)
The suede fabric has a lovely cosy aesthetic – and would be perfect for anyone living in one of the warmer states. But if you’re sensitive to cold like me, the bare toes are a deal-breaker in winter. (Having said that, Tara reckons you could wear these with a lightweight grey rib knit sock.)
Indoor-outdoor versatility 10/10
Great for indoors, and can be dressed up (to an extent) and down.
Wearing these slides is a little like having two blue Angora bunny rabbits affixed to your feet. Soft, warm and extremely bonkers.
These are extremely comfortable. Obviously. Although it’s worth pointing out that the upper soles are not made of blue fluffiness, just the tops of the shoe.
Have you seen these slippers?
Tara and I are at odds on this one, as I would never wear these out of the house while she insists it could be pulled off with a monochrome outfit or simple jeans and a crisp white shirt.
Hello perfect work and WFH shoes.
The term ‘butter-soft leather’ could have been invented for these flats.
Look, at least they cover your whole foot.
Indoor-outdoor versatility: 10/10
Although these are easy to wear at home, they are also a chic option for the office. “The gold buckle really elevates it,” says Tara.
Remember The Row’s shearling teddy slides from a few seasons ago? These are the accessible Australian incarnation. And they have the fashion seal of approval; we first came across these when Bassike’s creative director Deborah Sams told us she wore them while working from home.
Not only are these fluffy on the top, but the sole itself is also padded and fluffy. Like walking on a pink cloud.
They may be toeless and backless, but there’s no danger of feeling chilly in these.
Indoor-outdoor versatility: 3/10
These are technically slippers and therefore regrettably not the shoes to wear for your back-to-the-office debut.
Bassike Gathered Leather Flat, $595 (coming soon – black version here)
Meet the ballet shoe 2.0 – chic, easy to wear and comfortable.
Very comfy. Would wear.
Tara describes these as a “fashion forward high-rise ballet flat” and it’s true that they offer full foot coverage, making them as cosy as you’re likely to get without socks or fluffiness.
Wear these with black trousers, jeans – just about anything really, as the python-esque colour way will bring a polish to whatever you choose.
Leo shoe by Roam, $133, The ICONIC
Are these slippers? Slides? The answer is: both!
These slides have the sturdiness of Birkenstocks with the fluffiness of slippers.
These are the kind of shoes that will add interest to even the plainest of outfits, says Tara. “They’re kind of sports luxe,” she says, pointing to the blue racing stripe along the sole. “They’d look very cool with a pair of jeans. They’re the perfect weekend shoe.”