For better or for worse, the naked sandal is back.
Though it’s impossible to isolate the exact moment, over the past three months I started to notice my daydreams infiltrated by a very specific style of shoe: three or four thin, puffy horizontal straps encircling the foot atop a block heel. Imagine a pair of shoes Posh Spice might have paired with her little Gucci dress circa 1997.
It’s basically impossible to characterize this style of barely-there sandals as anything other that ‘strappy sandal’ – a term that sounds archaic and dated, as if it’s been stored away in Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe closet undisturbed for so long it has acquired a thick layer of dust. The strappy sandal, or ‘naked shoe’ if you’re so inclined, is so impractical it could only have been conjured up during the relative economic prosperity of the Clinton years, when Carolyn Bessette Kennedy paired them with a tuxedo shirt and a black maxi skirt and Kate Moss wore them with a sheer slip dress.
And yet, despite being indiscreet and inherently absurd, the strappy sandal has emerged to claim the title of sandal of the summer. Like Kelly Clarkson in the first season of American Idol, they’ve emerged as a clear frontrunner in this imaginary contest.
My newfound desire to obtain a pair of shoes that exposes the majority of my foot unnerves me. Why? Because I have yet to fully reevaluate my long-held belief that feet are gross, both mine and everyone else’s. I, for one, believe that covering up one’s feet displays a basic respect for your peers. If we’re all going to live in relative harmony as a society, we should agree to some basic ground rules like 1) always pick up your dog’s poop and 2) never expose your feet.
But seeing as I’m seemingly alone in this foot-related prudery, it seems like it might just be time for me to suck it up, grab a packet of Baby Foot, that chemical exfoliator that forces your feet to mold like a reptile, and expose away.
This trend is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re ready to take the shoe-less plunge, here are some excellent options.