Birkenstocks are everywhere, and rightly so, but if you want a pair of black sandals that aren’t Birkenstocks these are the best to shop now.
They used to be our guilty secret; the comfy and practical sandal that we could wear all day and never gave us blisters but that were considered seriously uncool. But then the street style stars decided that dad accessories were cool – really cool, actually. And, as one, we realised that actually a Birkenstock would go with everything in our wardrobes, and so they started appearing out of the shadows. Now, the Birkenstock has found designer pals and fashion acceptance. It started with Valentino, and now Rick Owens and Il Dolce Far Niente have collaborated with the sandal brand, too.
But have we now reached peak Birkenstock? Every second person has a pair of black Birkenstocks. Even at Stylist HQ it has been noted that in meetings the majority of those attending are wearing these black sandals (along with a white t-shirt and a floral midi skirt).
It’s time to remember that there are other black sandals out there. Some really great black sandals. Which means that, even if you love your Birkenstocks so much that you’ve worn them to death (like we have), there’s no need to replace them with the same sandal.
The fashion team are lusting after Prada’s leather buckle sandals and Office’s triple buckle chunky sandal, similar to the simple chunky style of the Birkenstock and equally as chic. If a slightly lighter sandal is more your thing, Australian brand A.Emery have you covered with their strappy Finnley style, as do H&M (at a slightly lower price point) with their simple toe thong sandal.
What to wear with the black sandal is not a tricky conundrum, because they go with everything. A floaty midi dress, loose fit trousers and a tee, city shorts and a tank, all look chic when paired with a black sandal.
Here are the 17 pairs to buy now if you want to have slightly different footwear to the person next to you on your commute next week.
Prada Buckle-detailed Leather Sandals
Prada Buckle-detailed Leather Sandals at Net-a-Porter.com, £555
H&M Leather Sandals
H&M Leather Sandals, £24.99
The Row Bare Black Leather Sandals
The Row Bare Black Leather Sandals, £700
Carvela Kandy Leather Sandals
Carvela Kandy Leather Sandals at Selfridges.com, £59
Suicoke Textured Strap Sandals
Suicoke Textured Strap Sandals at Farfetch.com, £251
Rosetta Getty Flat Crossover Sandal
Rosetta Getty Flat Crossover Sandal, £385
Zara Minimal Flat Sandals
Zara Minimal Flat Sandals, £29.99
Office Strappy Cleated Sandals
Office Strappy Cleated Sandals, £49
A. Emery The Finnley Sandal
A. Emery The Finnley Sandal, £85
Gianvito Rossi Ankle-strap Flatform Sandals
Gianvito Rossi Ankle-strap Flatform Sandals at Matchesfashion.com, £455
Fitlop Heda Sandal
Fitlop Heda Sandal, £85
Ganni Dual Strap Flat Sandals
Ganni Dual Strap Flat Sandals, £220
Arket Slide Sandals
Arket Slide Sandals, £69
By Walid Felix 19th-century Beaded Sandals
By Walid Felix 19th-century Beaded Sandals at Matchesfashion.com, £478
Schuh Black Motivate Sandals
Schuh Black Motivate Sandals, £22.99
Cecilie Bahnsen Aurelia Sandals
Cecilie Bahnsen Aurelia Sandals, £360
ATP Atelier Allai Black Flat Sandals
ATP Atelier Allai Black Flat Sandals, £180
Opening image courtesy of Getty.
All other images courtesy of the brands.