Versatile, comfortable, and chic, espadrilles are the everywhere shoes you need this summer.
Everyone’s favorite summer leisure-time shoe, the espadrille, was actually first worn in the Middle Ages in Catalonia. Because they were made from espardenya grass (from which the French derived the word espadrilles), found in the Mediterranean, they were considered peasant footwear. The upper was usually made of canvas, because it was cheap, and they had laces to keep them attached to the feet.
Fast-forward some 600 years later, and this peasant footwear is now a quintessential summer shoe — comfortable, easy-to-wear, and made of materials that allow your feet to breathe with more coverage than a sandal. Generally, if it has a sole made or decorated with rope (usually jute), you’re looking at espadrilles, but modern styles vary.
Espadrille wedges, for example, give the appearance of leaner legs without having to endure the pain of balancing in stiletto heels. Another popular style is the flat, closed-toe espadrille, perfect for a day of sailing (as they’re similar to boat shoes) or just walking around exploring. And while most of them still come with a canvas upper, designers are also experimenting with fabrics like leather and suede to give this traditionally casual shoe a more formal look.
Here, we round up the chicest espadrilles that will help you vacation in style (and comfort) this summer.