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Trade Your Flip-Flops for Chic, Comfy Summer Footwear

Summer shoes like flats wedges thongs and espadrilles are an alternative to flip flopsBy Amy E. Goodman
Author of Wear This, Toss That!

This time of year, nothing feels better than a pair of flip-flops. But unless you’re a lifeguard, rarely do these summer staples translate to the work place. Here’s a list of my go-to casual alternatives, from cute flats to trendy platforms.

Wedges: If there’s a celebratory shoe this season, the wedge is it. Designers have embraced a medium to low heel, refreshing news for those of us who teeter on stilettos, as platforms offer greater stability plus height.
–Look for streamlined classic styles in neutral hues like Seychelles’ Eye to Eye ($110, www.piperlime.com).
–Messeca, Cecilia ($119, www.piperlime.com)
–If your workplace is more creative and has a dress code to match, it’s impossible to resist the grommets, buckle and delicious caramel hue of the Ash wedge, Lucy ($200, www.piperlime.com).

Thongs: Can you wear thong sandals to work? This shoe parallels the flip-flop with its breezy, barely-there look, but can be dressier when constructed with leather and fancy hardware. It depends on the rules of your workplace—some thong slingbacks (with a heel strap) might work—but most should save this sexy little number for the weekend.
–Lucky Brand, Caryl ($53, www.zappos.com)
–Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Alexa ($59, www.zappos.com)

Peep Toes: I rarely meet a peep-toe pair I don’t love, and because of their versatility they can go from work to play—from crisp suits straight to strappy dresses for a night on the town. Skip the sheer stockings: it’s best to go bare.

Flats: Think these cute staples fall… flat? I beg you to consider the incredible diversity of this model, from embellished to peep-toe, then report back. Play with trends like bows, patterns, and cutout detailing. If you avoid flip-flops because you dislike exposing your toesies, a closed flat can be your best warm-weather alternative.
–Born, Lovely Flat ($84.95, www.nordstrom.com)
–Report, Burna Flat ($49.95, www.nordstrom.com)
–All Black, Perforated Bow Flat ($118.95, www.nordstrom.com)
–All Black, More Puzzle Flat ($109.95, www.nordstrom.com)

Snakeskin. Simply put, this style encompasses all styles from the aforementioned wedges to flats, adding instant sophistication and summer compatibility.
Christian Siriano for Payless Kimono Flat ($34.99, payless.com)

Espadrilles. Don’t write off this style thinking it’s limited to just spaghetti-strap sundresses. A modern espadrille, such as tweed juxtaposed against a roped wedge heel, is an example of opposites attracting. This can lighten up the look of a traditional suit ensemble with just the right hint of summer.
–Charles by Charles David, Ruckus ($135, www.piperlime.com)

Clogs. Don’t set foot into the workplace with these: They’re too clunky and noisy a shoe, and one that doesn’t particularly showcase the glory of your foot, either.

Tell Us: What are your favorite summer shoes?

For more of Amy’s style tips, like Wear This, Toss That! on Facebook or follow Amy on Twitter.

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