Women's footwear styles and trends have a lot to do with specific regions and also the women living in those places. As far as footwear inspiration goes, every major city has its own strengths and trends. New York is ideal for indie designers; London is cool and quirky; Milan is known for its luxe leather offerings, and Paris is pretty much over-the-top always. Still, there are some trends that tie these cities together. Let's take a look at the women's sandal styles in 2020. Some of these may be a lot more popular during specific periods of the year. For instance, the open-toe designs would be a lot more commonplace during the warmer months. Comfort would also be prioritized this season, with platforms and flats making a big comeback.

The following is a low-down on the women's sandal types that would be trending in 2020.


Gladiator sandals have been around since ages; they are strappy footwear with a T-bar flowing down their fronts. The design draws massive inspiration from the shoe that the Romans wore. A primary reason these sandals have been relevant for so long and trendy every season is the way they seamlessly marry style and comfort.
These sandals are great to wear during vacations and complement typical holiday outfits such as maxi dresses. They also go well with office wear or tailored trousers if you would like your feet to feel free and open during summer. A floral skirt or denim shorts also look great with gladiator sandals. If you are wearing gladiators, make sure they are the highlight feature of your entire look. They shouldn't get overpowered by any other accessory you might wear. If the sandals are not standing out or grabbing attention, then you're not wearing them right.
Usually made of either brown or black leather, the additional straps on these gladiators are not just a design element but also provide your feet extra support, which makes them ideal for walking long distances. The straps could climb as high as just below your knee or could stop at the ankle level. All gladiator sandals are not made the same. Therefore, make sure the pair you buy supports your feet well. A cushioning sole, proper fitting, and adjustable straps are things you must consider. Ideal gladiator sandal materials are leather, neoprene, memory foam, cork, etc.
Arch support is an essential factor, too, because improper support could mean your arches getting strained. It's recommended you look for gladiators that have a contoured arch so that they offer some level of cushioning to your arches. Also, the level of traction and stability the pair provides is essential. If the gladiators you purchased lack either of these two attributes, you might end up injuring your feet wearing them.

Flip Flops

Even women who cannot care any less about their footwear assemblage would invariably have a pair of flip flops in their shoe collection. The discreet look and functionality of flip flops make them so very ubiquitous. The simple and straightforward design makes it easy to put them on. Flip flops are also referred to as toe-post sandals. Flip flops are perfect to be worn in the garden, around the pool, or at the beach.
Flip flops work great at the beach since you could take them off easily and let your feet come in direct contact with the sand. Moreover, any sand stuck to flip flops can be quickly and easily washed away at the end of your beach escapades. Flip flops are one among the classic sandal styles that you can pair with a bikini and shorts for the beach look.
Flip flops are usually made of synthetic materials, making them waterproof and which explains why they are so beach- and pool-friendly. If you would like to wear flip flops in a not so casual and laidback environment such as the beach, make sure the strap is a bit more substantial in terms of thickness or width. There are very few women's sandals that complement shorts or a sundress as useful and as effortlessly as a pair of flip flops.


Slingbacks have undergone a renaissance of sorts in the last few years, emerging as one among the most popular women's footwear styles. Major credit for this resurgence goes to the different fashion houses that have revived the custom. Typically, a slingback has a small kitten heel and a strap that traverses behind your ankle or heel. Unlike an ankle-strap, slingback straps do not entirely encircle your ankle.
Slingbacks usually come in a range of styles. They can be casual or dressy; have distinguishable heels or have none whatsoever; heel types could be thin like the ones that come with stilettos, or thick like wedges; they could be either open-toe or closed. A slingback strap is typically adjusted through an elastic segment or a buckle, letting you slip your feet in without having to manually adjust the buckle or strap, while still keeping your feet in the sandals reasonably securely. The clasp could be made of plastic, metal, or even stone.
If you're considering rocking a pair of slingbacks, make sure you pair the footwear with laid-back, modern outfits so that they don't look "grandmotherly" – which is, unfortunately, the image that has been created for slingbacks over the years. A bold pair of slingbacks would also go well with evening cocktail dresses.


Also called slide sandals, sliders are traditionally not viewed as "cool" or "trendy." However, the fashion and women's footwear industries have this tendency to add a unique twist to an otherwise mundane item and make it look cool all of a sudden. Sliders have been receiving such attention and love in the recent past.
Sliders are taking flip-flops' simplicity and adding some design elements to the mix. You may come across "gladiator" sliders, platform sliders, embellished ones, furry sliders, etc. These different designs may look unique, but they still belong to the family of "sliders". A pair of simple sliders are ideal casualwear for the feet. The statement pieces, on the other hand, could be teamed up with summery dresses and playsuits for some chic styling.
Casual sliders usually have a massaging footbed, an adjustable strap for convenience, and a lightweight midsole. The strap helps with securing your foot to the sandal. These casual sandals are ideal for soothing aching and tired feet. Sliders can be dressed down or dressed up and can be paired with pretty much everything from chic leather minis to boyfriend jeans.


Wedges or wedge sandals are summer staples that could be worn throughout the year. Wedges are quite widespread and will increase in popularity during 2020 as they can be effortlessly dressed up and dressed down. For instance, an elegant pair of wedges would complement your outfit for a friend's summer wedding. Wedges are comfortable enough for office use too.
Unlike stilettos, these would not sink into the grass. They are, in fact, for ladies who fancy the extra height a stiletto offers but find their narrow heels uncomfortable. For a subtler look, go for a wedge of one to two inches. A four-inch wedge heel is ideal if you want to make a style statement. Thanks to their design, even the four-inch or higher wedges feel comfortable. Just make sure the extremely high-heel wedges are projected the way they should be. In other words, they should be your outfit's focal point.
Wedges are available in different materials. If you want a summery look and feel, look for a pair that has a jute or cork heel and some brown leather details. The couple should go well with dark and light blue denim. You may even combine the pair with a quintessential summer outfit. Look for a wedge that's not made using jute or cork if you are going to dress it up or wear one to a formal event.

Dress Sandals

Dress sandals are imperative for any fancy or lavish soirees or evening parties you may be hosting or attending this 2020 summer. These sandals blend the shape and class of high heels with the breathable summery sandals, resulting in a killer overall look. They go well with your evening outfits, particularly with dresses. Unlike high-heel shoes, these dress sandals would not make your legs look too long. Also, dress sandals complement wide-legged trousers pretty well, offering a streamlined appearance.

Embellished Flat Sandals

Embellished flat sandals are beautiful sandals ideal for a warm-weather, far-flung vacation. However, they could be just as handy at home during summer. Simply swap your closed-toe pumps with an embellished sandal, and you will be okay. The flat sandals, as the name indicates, don't have heels. If you want embellished sandals that add an inch or two to your height, you've got quite a few options. Embellished flat sandals are ideal for date nights, outdoor weddings, and graduation parties, and they would feel just as unique domestically as they would do abroad. The embellishments could be in the form of faux pearls, scarf wraps at the ankle area, paillettes, etc.

Peep Toe Sandal

A peep-toe sandal or shoe is a variant of the open toe sandals available for women. Unlike the other sandals in the family, peep-toe sandals have a reasonably small cut out or opening at the front, which makes only the first toe visible. The remaining four toes are invariably covered. Women's sandal styles, such as slingbacks, pumps, and booties, usually sport the peep-toe design.
Despite being classified as "dress shoes," peep-toe sandals are quite versatile in their way. They could be worn to your workplace or when you're partying with your friends at a club. During winter, wear them with opaque tights to go with your outfit or add some zing to an otherwise neutral ensemble.
Peep-toes have been around for decades and were particularly popular during the 1940s. By the 1960s, they were nowhere to be found. Then during the 1970s and 1980s, peep-toe sandals made a comeback only to go downhill again during the mid-1990s. Peep-toe sandals have re-emerged again in recent times. They are expected to be in the trend in 2020 and for at least a few more years after that.


At times referred to as slide sandal or clog, mules are incredibly comfortable summer footwear for women. But just because they are healthy, it doesn't mean they aren't stylish. They are easy to wear and carry and could even be flat or like loafers. They can be cute additions to pretty much any outfit, thanks to their accentuated toes and miniature height. You can pair them with flowing summer dresses to skinny jeans to almost anything.
Mules have been around since forever. They underwent a revival during the 90s, and have remained sought after since then, particularly during summers. This footwear style comes in a range of designs – from wild and funky to the plainest stuff. Not to mention, they serve as solid transition shoes. The design is backless, with the heel height ranging from high to flat. Generally, a heeled, closed-toe design is referred to as a clog. Open-toe, flat styles are called slide sandals.
Mules usually come with either two thinner straps or one thick strap. The two-strap models could be buckled. There are also styles wherein the two straps could be crossing over one another. Often, the straps are leather, but you get synthetic strap options too. As mules use only belts to secure your foot, they are effortless to put on and take off.

if you're buying a new pair of sandals in 2020, make sure you buy a pair based on your actual requirements and not based on what's in trend. If you walk a lot, make sure you purchase something that's light and has a comfortable and grippy sole. If you'd like to feel the breeze in your feet and want a sense of security at the same time, flip flops will not cut it. During your shopping, keep in mine If your feet are wider than average to get the appropriate fit. In the end, it's all about striking the right balance between style and comfort. If you prioritize style over comfort, you may end up wearing the "stylish" pair of sandals only once or twice. Regardless, you must give your feet love and pampering because they are precious.

January 04, 2020 — Tessy Edomwandagbon

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