I swear, fisherman sandals are still the It shoe for summer

Blame The Row

fisherman sandals
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It all started, as most trends do these days, with The Row. The label, founded by sisters Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, first launched fisherman sandals in 2019, and like with many other of their styles, they became an overnight cult item. It's still one of their best-selling styles to this day.

Far from being a fad, the classic sandals have become a summer wardrobe staple, treading the balance between formal and casual footwear perfectly.

But first, a history lesson. As their name suggests, they were used by fishermen and laborers, typically of the Mediterranean regions, centuries ago. Their cage-like design, made of sturdy materials like leather, not only protected their toes from the elements, but were breathable in the hot climate and dried quickly when soaked.

fisherman sandals

(Image credit: Instagram/Brittany Bathgate/Neelam Ahooja)

Over the last few years, they've seen many iterations (jelly flats for kids, woven dad sandals), but they only really became cool in 2019.

Of course, The Row weren't the only ones to create lust-worthy styles: Prada, Celine, Max Mara and JW Anderson have all doubled down on the trend, as well as countless high-street labels.

They are the perfect in-between choice of footwear, more breathable than ballet pumps, and dressier than flip flops. Incredibly versatile too.

I've seen chunky caged sandals styled with sheer skirts and tank tops, or men's shirts and shorts. More minimal fisherman sandals lend themselves to slip dresses and linen suits, or simply jeans and a white t-shirt.

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Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.