Why the naked sandal is taking the season by storm

strappy sandals
(Image credit: Rex)

The strappy heel; the nude shoe; the barely-there sandal: whatever you choose to call it, the one thing everyone agrees on is that it is the shoe trend of SS19.

The Row and By Far pioneered the movement last summer, and it soon trickled down to the high-street (hello, Zara, Topshop and Mango). This year, other big-name designers have followed suit too, with Prada, Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney all offering their take on the minimalist style. I’m also very excited about Staud’s first foray into footwear, which features an excellent take on the trend.

So, let’s talk key features: the straps should be so thin that even you’re fooled into thinking you’re barefoot at first glance, and the palette decidedly neutral (think white/nude/black or, if you’re feeling daring, soft metallic and pastel tones). The overall aesthetic to aim for here is elegant – unless, of course, you’re planning to follow the fashion crowd and pair your naked sandal with a jazzy pair of socks to add edge – perfect if you just can’t wait for warmer climes.

The best bit? Part Rachel, circa season 6 of Friends, part Carrie Bradshaw, these heels are inherently sexy and incredibly versatile. Whether you’re styling them with a straight-leg jean, oversized shirt and hourglass blazer, or a satin midi dress, there’s no look they won’t work with, which is exactly why Net-A-Porter is stocking up for the year. Global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz says, ‘We knew the barely-there sandal was having a serious comeback when we saw its prominence at the September fashion shows. We backed the trend heavily for AW18, selling out of numerous styles.’

If that’s not proof that they’re this season’s best in shoe, I don’t know what is. With that in mind, shop my edit of naked sandals below now before they get snapped up…

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.