Summer is a great time to have a bit of fun with your shoes, but it can be a challenge to keep it professional while trying to keep cool. Slingbacks are a good compromise between coverage, safety (many workplaces require a heel strap of some kind to ensure shoes stay on feet) and professionalism.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best summer sandal for work.

1. Consider your heel height and toe exposure. The most professional shoe is still considered to be closed toe with a heel that is no more than 2.5″ high. However, it depends on your personal comfort as well as the industry in which you work. On the top row of examples, we’ve got three choices of low-heeled slingbacks with a bit of personality. Keeping the toe closed gives a nod to the conservative nature of pumps, but the open back keeps your feet summery. For more casual workplaces, a flat sandal can work very well, with again, a little coverage. It’s a bit weird that we still consider heels to be more professional than flats (see our Facebook post on ‘Why Men Stopped Wearing High Heels’) , but the perception exists, so you can choose to work it or not, whatever works for you. For the fashion forward among you, a slightly higher heel with a bit of sass or a more casual espadrille wedge can punch up your summer office clothing choices.

2. Consider your colour choices. From a neutral that works with your palette to a bright shoe that draws the eye, it depends on the effect you want to create. Colour is going to give you a more casual effect and a fun shoe can be a conversation starter, but it can also be a distraction. If you don’t want people to focus on your feet, try a more neutral choice.

3. Consider the coverage of the shoe. Generally speaking, more covered is more professional, while more strappy is considered more casual. Very bare looks are better left for the beach, particularly if the rest of your ensemble is office ready. The mismatch between shoe and outfit choice is a frequent one seen on the downtown streets as the weather heats up; it’s worth taking a second look to see if the level of formality of your shoe matches the level of formality of your outfit.

Still not sure what sandal will work for your office this summer? We can help. Enjoy the sunshine!