Freya Drohan is an Irish fashion and lifestyle writer based in New York. Here, she guides us into the world of the ‘ugly’ tourist sandal — and how to make it work for SS19.
Perhaps the only thing more divisive than the so-called ‘tourist sandal’ trend, is actually calling it ugly: but I guess a fashion phenomenon like this is nothing if not self-deprecating.
The sudden prevalence of chunky sneakers definitely ignited a “WHAT ARE THOSE” response from the uninitiated, but the shoe trend inspired by Raf Simons’ redesign of the Adidas Ozweego (back in 2013) and popularised by the Balenciaga Triple S (since 2017) remains as prevalent right now as the minimalist Stan Smiths that dominated before it.
With so many copycat offerings available and orthopaedic-looking soles coming at us on every street, it’s bound to cause those who initially sought out the trend to differentiate themselves. Enter: the tourist sandal — a burgeoning micro-trend that shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon.
If you’re inclined to follow a certain aesthetic on Instagram, you may have noticed the likes of Alexa Chung, Emily Weiss (founder of Glossier) and emerging style star Monikh nonchalantly rocking their black, velcro-strap Chanel footbeds for a while now. So too has the new-season Prada rubber sole equivalent skyrocketed in popularity, as spotted on tastemakers like Lucy Williams.
Birkenstocks, and even Crocs, have had surprising, non-ironic comebacks in recent years, and now the humble Teva is enjoying a resurgence. The OG multi-purposeful sport sandal, invented in Arizona in the mid-1980s, or at least the idea of it, has been utilised in collections at Louis Vuitton, Marni, Anna Sui, Tome, AREA and Sandy Liang.
In the mood to keep your podiatrist happy? Look no further than this functional-meets-fashionable footwear trend. Whether you’re in the mood to spend or save; go supersize or simple with the soles; there are a multitude of ways to work this trend into your spring summer wardrobe.