Last year, a colleague with an “in” in the designer shoe world tipped me off that puffy textured sandals, woven textures and braided straps were going to be hot for spring/summer. I blink and whoa — sure enough, they’ve been flooding the “new arrivals” category in my favorite online shops for a couple of years now.
This is one shoe trend I’m actually excited has stuck around — and now is a perfect time to grab some favorites on sale for the rest of the summer, right into fall, and hopefully a few warm-weather trips throughout the year.
Unlike some shoe trends which focus on heel height or heel style, braided or puffy textured sandals are for everyone. They can be high-heeled, they can be completely flat. They can be worn with whatever’s already in your closet, they’re comfortable, and best of all, they fit every size. Yay for democratic shoe trends!
Updated for 2023
Favorite puffy, textured, braided sandals on-trend right now
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Seychelles Belissima Slide Sandals | $99 on sale, Nordstrom
(Note 2023 style slightly evolved from what’s shown above)
While you’ll see that the puffy braided sandal trend goes from super comfy to high-heeled and swanky, let’s start with one comfy option I’m loving: these are so practical, beautifully shaped, and by all accounts, extremely comfy.
Open Edit Lucca Slide Sandal | $39.95, Nordstrom
Ready for a steal? This style reminds me so much of the Vince Camuto braided slide sandals I bought last year and still wear only wow — the price on these is incredible. If you can’t choose between two, maybe consider getting both? Just a thought. No pressure.
Related: TKEES make your feet feel pretty too
Cougar Prato Slide Sandal | $80, Nordstrom
Are you someone who prefers the sporty look but you want to be a little more stylish than Nike slides? Are you the type who wears “track pants” instead of sweat? This new for 2023 slide sandal is amazing — and I tracked down that red patent version there too. They’re so hot they sold out of Nieman’s in no time.
These right here are the shoes that started my obsession. Because thanks to that generous friend I mentioned up top, I am the proud owner of these gorgeous–and remarkably comfy–heels in the beautiful “Cream Stella” color. A.K.A. the most perfect cream-and-coffee color for spring and summer and even into fall. What you can’t quite see from the photo is a subtle croc-emboss detail on the heel. I love them so much, I went back and bought another pair in black this year during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.
Cannot recommend them enough, if you want a heel that doesn’t make you want to sit down after 10 minutes on your feet.
Dolce Vita Braided Ronin Sandals | $79 on sale, Dolce Vita
If you like the style of the Paily heels above but prefer a lower heel, check out these Ronin sandals. The proportions make them a little chunkier, a little more casual, a little more day-to-night. Plus I appreciate that much of the shoe is made from recycled leathers.
Steve Madden Twinkled Sandal | $33-39 on sale, Amazon
These were one of the first high-heeled pair of puffy textured sandals that drew me in. So elegant, right? Nice evolution from a braid to something a little more pillowy, like your toes wrapped in a favorite cashmere scarf. And pretty nice price — they look like Jimmy Choos to me. Plus, now 33% off from the original price and still in style.
Marc Fisher Dakina Braided Stiletto Sandal | $170, Zappos
If you really want a wow in the trendy shoe department for spring summer and heading into September, don’t sleep on these braided puffy stilettos from Marc Fisher. It’s like a foot quilt! Find them in a beautiful beige for 2023, plus white or a snazzy silver. (Sadly, not on sale.)
Marc Fisher Olgalia Slide Sandal | $36-48, Nordstrom Rack
Some of the newer sandal trends incorporate more innovative puffy textures than mere braids. These sandals from Marc Fisher look like sliding your feet into a cloud. Or possibly a blobfish. Actually I think it’s a lot cooler to call them your blobfish sandals so let’s just go with that and you can credit me on Instagram when you show them off. Happy to find them so affordably at The Rack.
Staud Frankie Ruched Slide Sandal | $325, Nordstrom
Let’s go out with a splurge, shall we? If you go all in on your shoe wardrobe, these heels from Staud are brand spanking new, so hot, with a heel that’s not unreasonably tall. They’ll look gorgeous through summer and take you beautifully into the early days of fall. That ruched leather is so elegant and subtle. Just like you, right?