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How to Get Away With Sandals at Work

Topics: Work Culture

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer, even in the dreariest and coldest reaches this side of the equator, and you’re feeling like you can finally ditch the heavy boots and give your feet some breathing room. So how can you let your tootsies out in the open without getting the stink eye at work? There are some factors to keep in mind before you roll up with your beach favorites on your feet, but thankfully, most workplaces are relaxed enough these days to allow for some sandal wearing (even Emily Post says so).


(Photo Credit: via Pexels)

Sorry, Flip-Flops Are Out

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Unless you work from home, there really isn’t an employer out there that will OK plastic flip-flops for their workers. Besides making you an audible target every time you walk down the hallways (flip, flop, flip, flop), these sandals have a way of becoming dirty pretty easily, especially if they’re last summer’s flops. Some fashionistas might say if they’re designer brand, they’re OK to sport to work, but HR won’t care when you get busted.

Keep It All Polished

A designer label might not give you a pass, but keeping your shoe materials on the finer end can help you pull off a possibly more casual look at your workplace. Try for leather (or vegan leather), not nylon or plastic, when it comes to summer shoes. Strappy sandals (heeled or flat) can come off as professional if you put some thought into it, and treat them like a work shoe, not a party sandal (in other words, try to not break out your old prom shoes for work, just because they’re strappy and it’s summer). If you’re daring to bare your toes, take care of them. Now’s a good time to get that relaxing pedicure.

If toes aren’t the appropriate thing at your workplace, ladies can go for a slingback shoe or some funky espadrilles and still feel summery.

This Applies to Dudes, Too … Dude

Breaking out your man-dals because the weather is above 50 degrees might be a sign of summer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should rock the strappy shoes to work come Monday. Try summer shoes of the closed-toe variety, like some sweet boat shoes or canvas sneakers if your dress code allows.

When in Doubt, Don’t

If you’re getting ready for work and you look at your shoes and have to wonder if something is work-appropriate, chances are it probably isn’t. If your shoes have gotten a little bit on the funky side (and we don’t mean the good kind of funky), you should probably toss them, not make your cube neighbors wonder what died on your feet. If you even pause a moment, take a pass.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your go-to summer work shoe? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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