April 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM ET
Saying goodbye to socks for the season never felt so good. This year, spring shoes appear heavily influenced by the ghosts of footwear trends past. Nothing new here. We are used to seeing what feels like endless reinterpretations of prior generations' style, but since wearing a 5” platform is not always realistic (and rarely comfortable), we highlighted the best practical and playful spring shoe buys:
Havaianas x Mara Hoffman Ananda Slim, $44, singer22.com
Havaianas first gained attention with their rubber flip flops in the '70s. This year they’ve collaborated with New York designer Mara Hoffman for a limited edition of fun printed sandals, complete with star and moon charms.
Navy Wedge sandal, $95, soludos.com
Put some spring in your step with classic navy and white-striped, beaded espadrilles. A wedge that gives height without hurting your feet.
Boat Moc, $52.95, minnetonkamoccasin.com
Classic boat moccasins are a little bit preppy and a lot comfortable. These classic shoes aren’t going to be dated anytime soon.
Taylor Swift’s Champion Dottie, $55, keds.com
I wouldn’t normally advise an adult to take fashion tips from Taylor Swift, but these kicks are too sweet to pass up. At least for the weekend.
Nancy Chunky wooden sandals, $70, topshop
White cracked leather straps on a 3” block heel segues most any look between day and night.
Birkenstock Arizona Birka Flor, $89.95, zappos.com
A trend described by Vogue as “pretty ugly”, designer Celine brought back the essentially extinct look in spring 2013 and everyone from Givenchy to Sam Edelman has jumped on board with their own interpretation. I say go for the original Birkenstock at a fraction of the price. (Note: Please don’t pair them with socks.)
Dolce Vita Flame sandals, $99, dolcevita.com
Studs give a little bit of edge on an easy flat that just happens to go with everything from shorts to a long dress.
Congo sandal, $68, splendid.com
Criss cross color-blocked sandals in soft leather are dressy without being too flashy.
Rivieras Monte Cristi Blanc woven raffia slip-ons, $85, netaporter.com
A sneaker never looked so good — Riviera rafia style is preppy perfection.
Ulirari, $45, aldoshoes.com
Aldo’s romantic slip-ons — reminiscent of both Audrey Hepburn and house slippers — have timeless ease written all over them.
Kyle python textured peep-toe pump, $89, calvinklein.com
Not ready to go full sandal? No problem. Calvin Klein has a transitional pump that lets toes peek out in a classic black, guilt-free vegan leather.