The only 5 pairs of shoes you need to see you through spring and summer

Birkenstock street style
Birkenstocks can be dressed up or down Credit: Getty

If you’re anything like me it can be easy to get carried away with shoe purchases, tempted by the glitz and glam of a fancy kitten heel. I’m certainly guilty of owning a few pairs that rarely come out the box.

As we all know, smart shopping is about investing in quality, well-made fashion, rather than throwaway pieces that don’t last longer than one season. So if you’re unsure about which shoes to invest in, we’ve narrowed it down to the only five pairs you need this summer... 

The easy espadrille 

Canvas and jute espadrilles, £85, Castaner

Espadrilles will always be a summer staple, and thankfully it’s acceptable to wear them to all summer events. Forget stilettos that sink into the grass, or strappy sandals that pinch your toes, a simple wedge espadrille is the perfect footwear for any summer gathering. Castaner is the go-to brand, making espadrilles since 1927, and creating the first ever wedge design in 1970 with Yves Saint Laurent. This bright red shade transforms an otherwise understated shoe into a bold statement; they're great to wear with dresses, jumpsuits, or jeans. They are the comfiest heels you will own.

The comfy trainers 

Canvas trainers, £65, Stepney Workers Club

If you don’t already know about Stepney Workers Club, they’re the trainers everyone will be wearing this summer. Much like cult brand Veja, Stepney Workers Club make quality unisex trainers that you can wear with anything, a true everyday staple. They come in a variety of colours, but this simple cotton canvas design is perfectly versatile for the summer months. Pair with pale wash jeans and a t-shirt for a dressed down look, or with a loose midi dress for those picnics in the park.

 The new flip flop

Leather sandals, £235, ATP 

The platform flip flop is the new summer sandal that every influencer is wearing on social media. Thankfully it’s a much chicer style than the 90s stacked foam versions, and undoubtedly easier to walk in. ATP’s sleek design is made from vegetable tanned leather and cut with a square toe. Smart enough to wear with a dress and comfy enough to keep on all day, these shoes are definitely on my wishlist.

 The ballet flat

  Leather shoes, £157, Aeyde

Ballet pumps have slowly crept back into fashion lately, with brands like Bottega Veneta and Miu Miu bringing them to our attention, but this year they are definitely the ‘It’ shoe to buy. Perhaps they’ve become so popular as a rebellion to the maximalist trend which has dominated of late.

Aeyde’s soft leather ballet pumps with a subtle square toe are a much cooler update on the 2004 schoolgirl style. The buttery yellow shade is a warmer alternative to cream and will sit nicely with most colours in your wardrobe. Pair with a linen jumpsuit or an oversized bermuda short for an understated summer look.

The everyday sandal

 Leather sandals, £125, Birkenstock

Surely everyone needs to own a pair of Birkenstocks? Men, women and kids - there’s a style and colourway for everyone. Birkenstocks have been a staple in many people’s wardrobes for decades, they are created with a shock absorbing footbed made from cork and latex which relieves pressure on your feet.

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In Birkenstock's own words, ‘they make you feel like you’re standing on sand’, and who doesn’t want to feel like they’re on beach 24/7? They may seem steep in price for a casual sandal, but they last for years and only get more comfortable as you wear them in. Ideal for round the house, gardening or pairing with your favourite summer dress, they are definitely a wise investment.

If you fancy splashing out and opting for more of a statement style, Birkenstock have collaborated with a wide range of luxury designers from Valentino and Rick Owens, to their latest with Proenza Schouler.

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