Nuevo Culture

The Classic Fisherman Sandal Is the Perfect Spring-to-Summer Shoe

“Whatever it is you wear,” Diana Vreeland said in the 1975 style guide Cheap Chic, “I think shoes are terribly important.” As we venture outside—taking in the year’s seemingly shocking number of tulips; meeting friends at restaurants for overdue dinners; ambling along streets because, well, for the first time in a very long time we, simply put, can—the late Vogue editor’s adage rings truer than ever. As for what footwear rises to the occasion of the strange, exhilarating moment in which we now find ourselves? Enter the fisherman sandal, which is making a bid as the shoe of the season, thanks to everyone from Lower East Side creatives (more than one wore the practical-chic style to artist Cassi Namoda’s opening at François Ghebaly this past weekend) to influencers, such as Blanca Miró Scrimieri, who regularly takes to Instagram to show off a block-heeled iteration.

TyLynn Nguyen wears The Row’s fisherman sandals year-round.

Photo: Courtesy of TyLynn Nguyen

“They add a level of nonchalance to any outfit,” says designer and tastemaker TyLynn Nguyen, who, for the past few years, has been partial to The Row’s black chunky-and-buckled take. Plus, in a boon to our ever-changing climes, she happily notes that silk socks (she opts for ribbed sets from Charvet) make the caged sandal suitable for any time of year. “They have a trans-seasonal quality,” agrees Emme Parsons, who introduced a smooth chocolate calfskin version—which she dubbed the Ernest, in a nod to the Hemingway novel The Old Man and the Sea—to her carefully considered lineup of slides and sling-backs last fall. (Though the name might imply the shoe is best worn on sandy shores, the enclosed toe and a plentitude of straps make them fit for the pavement too.)

Sophie Buhai wearing Italian fisherman sandals passed down to her from her grandmother.

Photo: Courtesy of Sophie Buhai

Sophie Buhai, beloved for her timeless bijoux and barrettes, is quick to point out that though fisherman sandals are having a moment, they are, in fact, a classic. “You can’t place the era,” she muses, adding that she was introduced to the unisex shoe by her father, who picked up his first pair while traveling through Spain in the ’70s; in the early aughts, after inheriting a braided leather set from her late grandmother (which she keeps in rotation to this day thanks to a visit to the cobbler every few years), the enduring design became one of Buhai’s own style signatures, along with blazers, crisp button-ups, black pants, and dark wash denim. “I like a sensible yet chic shoe. I also like a feminine shoe that flatters the foot,” she explains. “These are both of those things.”

Below, the best fisherman sandals from Gabriela Hearst, Marni, and more to shop now.

Gabriela Hearst Lynn leather sandals



Emme Parsons Ernest sandals



The Row fisherman woven sporty sandals



Church's Kelsey leather sandals



Hereu Pesca interlocking panel buckle strap leather sandals



Loq Arlo sandals in sand



Zara low heel leather fisherman sandals



Jeffrey Campbell Landen sandals



Marrni fisherman crystal-embellished canvas sandals



K Jacques Picte sandals



Duckfeet Ringkøbing leather sandals



Anthropologie fisherman sport sandals



Staud Brady mock croc fisherman sandals