There are still a few months left in summer for you to put on some chunky sandals and get with the trend. Like a variation on the dad sneakers trend for summer, thick-soled velcro sandals are everywhere this season. We saw them all over the spring/ summer runways, in all kinds of colors and designs.
We love these dad sandals for their practicality: they allow the foot to breathe on hot days, but their thick soles and ankle-hugging straps give wonderful support and protection to the foot. These are high-fashion sandals that you can wear for hours on end and in every terrain without having to worry about the wellbeing of your feet.
We’ve selected the 17 best chunky sandals you can buy this season from the hottest designers. We followed that up with a buying guide to help you determine which dad sandals will be best for you, and then we’ve given some styling tips to help you wear the sandals you choose all summer long!
The Rise of Ugly Chunky Sandals: Contents
- 17 Best Ugly Chunky Sandals for Women
- How to Choose the Right Dad Sandals for You?
- How to Wear Chunky Sandals and Look Cool?
Also considered perfect summer travel shoes, these chunky sandals for women are comfy, easy-going and stylish, so make sure you pick at least a pair!
1. Yellow PVC Chunky Sandals
You can trust Prada to offer sandals that manage to combine a few trends while looking stylish and practical. These thick-soled dad sandals have a sportier look, with yellow, see-through PVC upper straps and chunky white rubber soles. The thick soles and well-wrapped straps mean that your feet get maximum support and protection, so you can wear these comfortably all day long. Order them from Net-a-Porter!
2. Sneaker-Style Dad Sandals
Like negative-space sneakers, these Chloe chunky sandals allow for breathability with a supportive design that really looks like running shoes. The thick sole is made of brown rubber, while the upper parts are a mixture of nylon and suede in white, yellow, and baby blue. These chunky sandals will hold the foot perfectly and allow for very active wear. They are available at Forward.
3. Bandana Chunky Sandals
These dad sandals kind of remind me of when bandanas were a really popular all-around accessory in the ’90s. The bandanas wrapped around the straps here made for a colorful design that’ll go particularly well with ‘90s mom jeans and a style that combines boho and grunge. They have a flat black leather sole that is better suited for shorter days. Find them at Shopbop!
4. Satin and Leather Chunky Sandals
This is a high-fashion take on chunky sandals from Marni that is simultaneously a little disjointed but also more elegant than many other takes on this summery footwear. The thick sole is made of classy black leather, with berry-red satin straps heightening the elegance of the design. The off-kilter element comes in the form of a champaign leather buckle over the foot. You might be able to get away with these in more professional settings, even! You can buy them from My Theresa.
5. Satin and Rubber Chunky Sandals
Fresh, funky, and elegant – these chunky sandals showcase the Miu Miu brand perfectly. The chunky white sole gives quite a bit of height and a sporty vibe that is countered by the oh-so-elegant satin straps that wrap around the ankle with a crystal buckle embellishment. We think this mixture of sporty and classy would be best to show off at a beach-side club. They are sold online at Net-a-Porter.
6. Platform Velcro Sandals
Not in the mood to feel short this summer? These platform sandals will add 2.75 inches to your height! Despite being quite high, the design is totally sporty with patterned rubber for the sole and a mixture of black canvas and light glitter weave for the straps. A cushioned patch at the heel will prevent blistering or rubbing and will keep you feeling comfortable all day long. Get them at Shopbop!
7. Rockstud Flat Red Sandals
These are a Valentino take on Rockstuds that is as far from spiky pointed toe heels as can be. These deep red slip-on dad sandals are comfortable and easy – perfect for a summer vacation. They are made entirely of durable leather, with a flat sole and thicker straps for medium-support. Order them from Farfetch!
8. T-Rex Velcro Sandals
These chunky sandals are Fendi’s interpretation of the sneaker-meets-sandal design. The upper part is made entirely of leather, with a very strappy, foot-hugging design known as the T-rex cage upper. There is a padded cushion at the back of the heels that is truly taken from a classic sneaker design. The rubber platform will boost you up by three inches without hurting your calves. They are available at My Theresa.
9. Off-White Espadrille Sandals
If your style is anything but sporty, don’t worry, there are chunky sandals out there for you. The espadrille-style sole of these dad sandals gives them a rustic, Mediterranean feel that will work well with a more boho or elegant wardrobe. On the upper part, the off-white sandals have a strap that goes between the toes as well as around the ankle, for all over support with minimal foot coverage. Find them at Net-a-Porter!
10. Lilac Suede Sandals
This is another take on chunky sandals that stays away from sporty design elements. These Isabel Marant sandals are made with a solid leather sole and pretty lilac suede upper. The thick strap that supports the ankle is embellished with flat metal buttons that add shine to the down-to-earth design. You can buy them from Forward.
11. Athletic Chunky Sandals
These baby pink sandals are the platonic ideal of what the chunky sandals trend is. The upper is made of chunky sneaker-style velcro straps, and the rubber sole is as athletic as can be. Despite that, the colors are soft and girlish in a way that if anything, makes the bulk of these sandals stand out more. Get them at Nordstrom!
12. Black Buckle Sandals
If your aesthetic leans a little towards darker then these Rick Owens chunky sandals will surely please you. They have his renowned industrial touch, in the form of black straps overlaid with big buckles. The sole, however, is pure summer, made of sneaker-style rubber and a proper arch. They are sold online at Farfetch.
13. Patent Platform Sandals
Yet another dad sandal option for the gothy types! These black sandals are definitively not sporty; instead, they are made of patent black leather with buckled straps, and a thick, straight platform. There are tons of ways to style them, but we think wearing them out with a slinky LBD would be the most fetching. Order these from Net-a-Porter!
14. PVC-Strap Velcro Sandals
These sporty sandals are made with trendy clear PVC in a design that shows off a lot of the foot. The straps themselves are connected with yellow, triangular links that also make for a funky embellishment. The tri-part sole has a see-through bottom and white top, with a sporty red strap running through the center. Oh, and did we mention they smell like bubblegum? These chunky sandals are available at Shopbop.
15. Lace-Up Chunky Sandals
Forget the velcro, these sneaker-inspired chunky sandals have laces to keep them closed. It’s a darker take on athletic sandals, courtesy of the one and only Marc Jacobs. You could definitely get active in these, but they also look good with a partying outfit. A quick word of advice, though – they are on the heavier side of things. Pick them up from My Theresa!
16. Stark White Velcro Sandals
Keeping these chunky sandals clean will be a serious challenge, but it might be worthwhile, since they are so striking. Both the rubber platform and fabric upper are a stark white color that is extremely on trend for the summer. The design is quite athletic, with thick straps keeping a good hold over the foot. Get them at Shopbop!
17. Sporty Platform Sandals
These chunky sandals are both sporty and high-fashion with a super high rubber sole and rich burgundy leather upper. Definitely not for the faint of heart, these will add height without stressing your feet. Despite their chunky look, these dad sandals are quite minimalist and elegant, also coming in a sleek black color you can wear with most of your outfits. Get them at Moda Operandi!
I suspect that if you’re brave enough to try chunky sandals, you already have a pair in mind! However, in case you don’t, I have some purchasing tips. Even if you do, there are a few things you should keep in mind!
If you’d like a pair of sandals in which you can spend all day walking and exploring, there are a few design elements that are important to look out for. You want the upper part of the sandal to be supportive, with a back strap or a strap that wraps around the ankle. Slip-on dad sandals, no matter how comfy, are not designed to hold the foot for long so eventually, your feet will be in pain from having to grip them.
You also want to avoid overly chunky platforms. While they can certainly be comfortable and look awesome for short walks or long periods spent standing in one place, they will eventually take their toll if you intend to do a lot of walking. Keep in mind that you might have to try the sandals on before you’ll know exactly how bulky they are since some textured rubber soles are surprisingly light.
Speaking of, the shape of the sole definitely matters! The tread soles that have become so popular this season are awesome for protecting the foot and for providing arch support. Flatter soles, on the other hand, are not going to support or conform to your foot as well so they are best reserved for less strenuous occasions.
Lastly, let’s talk about style. Summer’s chunky sandals can be split into two main style categories: the athletic, chunky sneaker-inspired ones and the more elegant or rustic ones usually made of leather or suede. I would normally suggest you choose a pair that will go with your day-to-day style, but this is not a normal item.
If you’re nervous then do choose a pair of sandals that’ll conform to your usual look, but remember that the great thing about dad sandals is that they’re meant to slightly clash a bit with your outfit. Don’t be afraid to shop outside your comfort zone!
The wonderful thing about the chunky sandals trend is that it’s all about the contradictions of fashion. Outfits worn with dad sandals look stylish specifically because of the weird mismatch! This is why chunky sandals might be the season’s perfect ‘so ugly it’s cute’ accessory – an accessory that should inspire you to think outside the box with your wardrobe and to get truly creative.
That being said, it’s okay if you’d like some direction before taking the plunge! We have some advice.
• A good pedicure is very important if you’re going to be wearing statement chunky sandals that show off your foot or toes. You don’t have to get extravagant, but do make sure that your feet are well moisturized and that your toenails are nicely shaped and polished. You can do yourself at home or consider it a good excuse to pamper yourself at the salon.
• Pretty much all footwear items look good with a pair of vintage jeans, and the same applies to velcro sandals. This is the easiest casual pairing that is guaranteed to make you look very fashion-forward.
• By wearing your chunky sandals with flowy summer dresses and skirts you can really start dabbling in the mismatched look that is so trendy this summer. Don’t worry too much about color matching, since that’s not the point at all! Just pick your favorite midi to maxi dress and rock it with those chunky sandals. Long, button-down linen dresses are especially popular these days, and their silhouette with the chunky sandals is a trendy one.
• I’m putting culottes and A-line skirts together here because they have the same silhouette, though the former is a newly trending item while the latter is a staple that will never go out of style. Both culottes and A-line skirts look great with chunky sandals because the platform makes up for shortening effect of just-below-the-knee hems, but the outfit as a whole remains fairly breezy, comfy, and casual.
• One easy way of wearing sneaker-style chunky sandals is with athletic outfits. I’m not talking about saggy sweatpants here, but about leggings or bicycle shorts. The chunky sandals can be particularly great for balancing out your silhouette when you wear a larger T-shirt or sweatshirt with tights.
• While most of my focus has been on longer lengths, there is actually no reason not to wear short dresses and skirts with your dad sandals! In fact, there are quite a few chunky sandals on our list that would work beautifully with tight, short silhouettes for a night out. The overall effect would be urban-chic, youthful, and very sexy.
• Velcro sneakers are the kind of statement shoe that can really bridge any differences in an outfit. It can be secret to making a classier bottom go with a casual top or vice versa! The easiest example is wearing a T-shirt tucked in a pair of dressy pants or a frilly skirt. The combo would normally be too jarring, but a pair of chunky sneakers somehow ties everything together.
• We give you permission to wear your chunky sandals with socks for that ultimate dad sandal look. The easiest combination is a pair of athletic socks with sneaker-style sandals, but you can also try for a more grandma-chic look by wearing thick wool socks with a pair of plainer sandals. We warn you, though, you’ll have to resist the urge to crack bad puns.
Photos via @flamcis, @venswifestyle, @natashattodd, @monikh, @leoniehanne