Best Foot Forward: The Best Summer Shoes of 2019 (For All Occasions and Preferences)

What staple summer shoes should you have in your wardrobe? We walk you through some of 2019's best styles, perfect for all occasions and preferences.

Ever since humans decided they were done stepping on rocks 40,000 years ago, shoes have been one of the foremost tools in mankind's fashion arsenal. Since then, they've evolved from simple tools to what some folks consider a genuine art form. 

While you might not be in the latter camp, if you've arrived at this article then you at least have a healthy appreciation for quality footwear. You're also probably aware that shoes are a seasonal affair. What works in December won't be ideal for July.

But knowing that is only half the battle. Staying on top of seasonal shoe trends is hard work without a little guidance. That's where we come in. 

If you need a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to picking out your summer shoes, we've got you covered.

1. Leather Slides

As ancient inventions go, the shoe has had a consistent form for most of its life. When the first caveperson cobblers were throwing together the earliest shoes, most of them resembled either moccasins or sandals. In 2019, sandals are just as viable a footwear option as they were 40,000 years ago.

More specifically, leather slides are the versatile and stylish go-to this summer. In fact, they should be your go-to every summer. As fickle as shoe trends are, the classic leather slide is an unkillable and permanent fixture in the warm-weather shoe game.

The reasons for this are two-fold. For one thing, they go with almost everything. Whether you're looking for a dressed down look with some jeans or pairing them with a sundress, leather slides get the job done.

The second reason is that they're comfortable and convenient. In the summertime, the last thing you want is to feel weighed down by your wardrobe. Leather slides let your feet breath while still accenting your outfit. 

Keep both a tan and white pair in your closet to ensure you've got shoes that go with everything.

2. Wide-Strap Sandals

If you want an example of that fickleness we mentioned earlier, look no further than the world's ongoing love/hate relationship with wide-strap sandals.

Throughout the years, these classic shoes have experienced both streaks of popularity and periods of banishment. Luckily, they're back in this summer. And for good reason! Despite their occasional falls from grace, they are a great and timeless shoe.

This summer, black is the color de jour. More eye-catching than slides, they make for a perfect pop of panache when you're looking to throw a little extra oomph in your outfit.

Like slides, they're also practical and versatile, but even more so. You won't have to worry about these flying off your feet if you need to pick up the pace. Plus, they're supremely comfortable.

You can pair them with almost anything, but using them to top off a sporty look is our favorite way to wear them. Seeing these at the end of some wide-legged track pants makes our hearts happy.

3. White Sneakers

Speaking of sporty looks, we'd be remiss if we didn't include white sneakers on this list. More specifically, low top canvas sneakers are a one-size-fits-all cheat code to hack your summer wardrobe. 

As you may have noticed, "goes with everything" is one of our favorite features in a shoe. White sneakers are no exception. True, it may not be ideal for dressing up, but for nearly every other occasion, it's damn near the perfect shoe.

And if you want to talk about practical, look no further. A simple sneaker is arguably the most functional shoe of all time. They're easy to slide on, built to last, great for various weather conditions, and offer optimal comfort. 

Going for a sporty look? A white sneaker is perfect. Looking for carefree beach vibes? White sneakers have got you covered. Basically anything else? They work there, too.

Even dresses are made better with a pair of white plimsolls. If you've never done it before, try throwing on a pair of sneakers with your cutest sundress. You might be surprised at how much you like it.

4. Slingback Block Heels

Last but not least, heels have earned their well-deserved place among the footwear canon. In this case, slingback block heels are the shoes in the spotlight.

Elegant and classic, slingback heels do what the other shoes on this list can't—absolutely murder in a formal setting. As much as we love the other shoes on this list, heels are the only ones that work just as well for the office as they do for date night.

For better or worse, there are still certain workplace fashion standards that refuse to go away. If you're tethered to a more traditional and formal workplace dress code, slingback heels are an awesome way to meet that standard while still looking stylish and feeling comfortable.

Their open-back nature means that your foot will still be able to breathe, which is crucial during the hottest months of the year. On the other hand, the closed toe lets your boss know you mean business.

They're also perfect if you're looking to get dressed up for a night out. Whether you're hitting the opera or getting dolled up for that special someone, slingback block heels are a timeless classic that will get the job done.

Stock Your Closet with These Summer Shoes

The most important part of any seasonal wardrobe is preparedness. Summer shoes are no exception. Keep a pair of each of these on hand and you're sure to be both stunning and comfortable in any situation.

Missing a couple of these? Never fear. Fill the gaps in your footwear lineup right here.

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