A few weeks back marked the Summer Solstice, ushering in the height of sandal season and the time of year my ears are assaulted by the constant slap slap slap of the dreaded Flip Flop. This parade of shoddy, spongy sandals will intensify over the 4th of July.
Can I please get some Independence from this fashion menace?
Since I posted about my distaste for this evil excuse for footwear here, I’ll spare you more of my rants.
I think I’ve found a great, affordable, stylish and comfortable option: The Avarca Sandal.
The Avarca sandal was born hundreds of years ago in Menorca, a small island in the Spanish Mediterranean, as practical shoes to protect farmers’ feet from the rough terrain. Initially, the Avarca was no more than bits of leather wrapped around the foot, but soon evolved as the resourceful Menorcans started using recycled tires for soles. In recent years the heavy tire has been replaced with soles that are made to imitate the look of tire but are more comfortable to wear.
Today, Avarcas are made all over this Mediterranean island, and have been embraced throughout Europe, as well as with a few U.S. taste-makers, as the perfect summer sandal.
As often happens in the world of fashion, savvy high-end boutique retailers started carrying high-end versions: La Garconne and Maryam Nassir Zadeh both carry the more upscale Riudavets brand, which still retails for the relatively low price of $112. Creatures of Comfort carries Ishvara Albarcas, retailing for a more hefty $150. Thankfully, you can find them all over the net for as low as $35 from sites like Urban Outfitters and Piper Lime.
My favorites are the Pons Avarcas from AvarcasUSA, which retail for $75. They are simple, well-made and come in a variety of fun colors and materials, including the glitter version above and animal prints below. They also carry metallics and wedge heels, along with kids and men’s versions and sizes. I must note that while I’m not a fan of sandals on any man, these aren’t bad.
Whichever brand you choose, they all stay true to the classic silhouette, which I happen to love: the big flap of leather covering the upper foot, perfect hint of “peep toe”, and the sling-back. Classic, classy, comfortable, and cool, they work with shorts, skirts, pants or any manner of summer garb. They let the foot breathe and me breathe a sigh of relief to be spared another flip-flopped foot.
So do yourself, and me, a favor and try these on for size. You will be the hit of any 4th of July party, or anywhere else you go this summer, even if it’s just your own backyard. xo