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Searching for the new gladiator: explorations in sandal shopping

March 31, 2010 |  9:37 am

As much as I love the ubiquitous gladiator sandals that have been the rage for a couple of years now, I'm also pining to move on -- to find spring footwear that's equally chic, but feels new. In my quest for flat city sandals (my footwear of choice for spring/summer) I stumbled upon these fetching alternatives:

Tstrap

The Simple T-strap

I'm loving the handmade look of these leather T-strap sandals from Frye. Short on hardware, but rich in ethnic-feeling details, they look they were picked up on the side of the road in India or Mexico. Perfect-o.

The '80s Open Flat

For dressier looks, I'm digging these white leather open flats from Seychelles. With their wide straps and braided detailing, they look like something Belinda Carlisle might have rocked in her Go-Gos heyday. 

Cage The Caged Sandal

Half shoe, half gladiator, the caged flat isn't for the meek -- but it definitely makes a bold, artsy impression when worn with skirts, walking shorts and pants. I love these leopard-printed ones from Opening Ceremony, which manage to be dainty, despite all the material used to encase your lovely feet. 

Thong The Thong

Thong sandals never go out of style -- and therefore, can be a bit boring. But not these rainbow-bright sandals from Paul Smith. Bold-but-minimal, they push the look into daring territory. Ideal for the beach, outdoor festivals and even pushing a cart at Trader Joe's. 

-- Emili Vesilind

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Photo credits, from top: Zappos.com, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Zappos.com.

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