This year’s defining aesthetics can, for the most part, be split into two categories. First, there are looks that celebrate extravagance and sartorial showmanship — picture micro-mini skirts and trailing-fabric bustles. On the flip side? A bevy of comfort-forward items that put practicality first. (Track pants, for instance, emerged this spring as effortless, elastic-waistband alternatives to “real” trousers.) However, there is one uniquely buzzy option that sits at the intersection of both drama and wearability: the flatform sandals trend.
Prevalent throughout Spring/Summer 2022’s runways from the likes of Coperni, Chloé, and Sacai, this season’s crop of lofty yet level shoes dually prioritize stylish impact and comfort. Furthermore, the flatforms of summer 2022 expand beyond the chunky-sole, elastic-band pairs of the ‘90s and early aughts. In fact, this season’s slew of offerings have a little something for everyone.
Over email, Vagabond’s Co-Founder, Marie Nilsson Peterzén, dubs flatform sandals as “the ultimate summer style.”
“They’re suitable for all ages, styles, and occasions,” she elaborates. “And, of course, there’s the fact that a flatform sandal is comfortable yet stylish.” In her option, flatform sandals are surprisingly wearable and possess a certain je ne sais quoi. They have a quality, she says, that allows them to “bring an effortless coolness to any outfit.” Her theory is that because the shoes are gravity-defying, architectural feats, they pack more of a statement punch than, say, a coquettish kitten heel or hair-thin, teetering stiletto heel.
According to WGSN TrendCurve+, a forecasting tool that combines machine learning and analytics to track the trajectory of particular styles, the current buzz for flatform footwear is merely just the beginning of something bigger.
“Flatform sandals are a Rising Star trend in the US, forecast to reach 4.5% share of sandals in 2023, having more than doubled during 2021,” the agency shares with TZR. And TrendCurve+’s data predicts the shoe to be a dominating, front-running style, eclipsing other pairs in its ascent. “The [flatform sandal trend] looks to be taking shares away from chunky and wedge soles, while heeled platform sandals are a growing trend in general.”
In other words: You’ll want to get comfortable with lofty statement soles because summer 2022 is only seeing the early stages of the trend.
If you’re ready to try flatform sandals yourself, scroll ahead to discover seven TZR-approved spins on the style.
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For those not fully enthused by the flashy early-aughts aesthetic often associated with flatform sandals, a neutral pair might better speak to your taste. St. Agni’s Founder and Designer Lara Fells, invites you to consider her brand’s Marie Woven Flatforms. “They are a versatile style, envisioned for both the beach and the street, depending on how they are [styled],” she says. “We love the textural element of woven leather and its ability to make a subtle statement.”
Indeed, minimalism is baked into the DNA of St. Agni. “We have a great appreciation for the ’90s and Y2K fashion,” Fells continues. “However, our style leans more toward the refined, elevated elements of this era.”
Kick It Poolside
“On a casual beach day, [try] a platform pool slide,” recommends Vagabond’s Peterzén. Given that your day will be spent kicking back to relax (perhaps with a piña colada or daiquiri in hand?), the flatform sandal you choose should be effortless and uncomplicated — consider Rag & Bone’s hot pink rubber sandals, which will make you feel as if you’re walking amongst the clouds. Bonus: The lightweight sandals won’t overload your carry-all tote bag, leaving ample room for that beach read you’ve been excited to dive into.
“For a few seasons now, the flatform sandal has been an important part of [Vagabond’s] Spring/Summer collections,” says Peterzén. She admits, however, she’s personally partial to the Swedish brand’s strappy Courtney pair, shouting out the shoe as ideal for a night out partying with your closest friends. “These I would wear with a midi-dress,” she says.
A luxurious pair of flatform thong sandals have the same nonchalance vibe of your standard flip-flop while exuding sophistication due to their sleek material. Team them with a far-from-basic white tank top, breezy trousers, and sunset-hued sunnies for a flawless weekend outfit.
Have a vacation on the docket you’re beginning to sartorially prep for? You’ll want to include a pair of athletic flatforms in your suitcase. “A sport sandal with a hook-and-loop fastening ensures a perfect fit for long city walks,” explains Peterzén. As the Vagabond co-founder describes, the straps provide easy adjustability, and the sturdy base provides stability and ease that’s ideal for a day spent exploring.
Vagabond’s Peterzén also hones in on trendy fisherman sandals, categorizing the multi-strap sandal as an infallible shoe to invite into your summer workwear rotation. “The fisherman sandal at the office is ideal for adding some extra coolness to any outfit,” she expresses. For an outfit simultaneously laidback and put-together, anchor butter-colored trousers and a breezy wrap blouse with espadrille-sole platforms.
Lean into a grunge attitude via a hefty, rubber-sole pair of creeper flatforms. Keeping with the edgy mood, finish the outfit with a statement leather blazer (a forever staple amongst the fashion set) and a black handbag.