Summer shoes are one thing I don’t like to splurge on anymore. Maybe it’s the cobblestones or my not-so-graceful walk, but my strappy sandals are always a tattered mess after I’ve worn them in Charleston all summer.
That’s why I aim for the $20-$30 range when I’m shopping for seasonal shoes. It’s a challenge, yes, and maybe it’s not for everyone. But if you like to look fashionable and you don’t care about the big names or Italian leather, then this guide to shoe shopping is for you.
Here are the best summer shoes I found around town and on the web for $30 or less:
Versona Accessories in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre has a great selection of budget shoes. Manager Mary Desaussure likes Versona’s brand of rhinestone sandals that are $18.
“They’re so cute. I already bought a pair for myself,” she said. “We have so many pairs of sandals, and almost all of them are under $30.”
Sandals aren’t all they carry. Versona had plenty of dress shoes and flats to choose from, too. I found pairs of colorful striped flats by Bamboo for $16, which I immediately fell in love with. Bamboo is one of my favorite brands because they’re well-made and reasonably priced.
To see more styles by Bamboo, check out Tillys.com. They carry several styles of sandals priced $15-$25. I love the Laguna sandal for $20. It’s a subdued gladiator style that seems like it would go with any outfit.
If you’re looking for basic thong sandals, Payless has some by American Eagle for $20 in blue, black, white or tan. With their buy-one, get-one-half-off deal, you can get two pairs in different colors for $30.
Another style that seems to be pretty popular this year is a sandal with an ankle strap and a thick strap across the toes. I know it sounds minimal, but they’re actually very comfortable. Piperlime.com has a pair called Debby-1 by Pierre Dumas for $29. I love the bold teal and orange pair, but they come in black and brown as well.
The Faux Leather Cross Front Sandal at Old Navy is a similar pair that features a small wedge heel for a little more height. Find them at the Tanger Outlet store in North Charleston on sale for $23.
Another low-wedge sandal I like is the Lily sandal by Covington at Sears. The gladiator-style features braided straps on the top and a zip-up ankle. They’re dressy enough for work, they’re comfortable and they’re on sale for $20.
I try to stay away from high heels, so I go for platforms or wedges when I want a little more height. Charlotte Russe always seems to have good deals on expensive-looking wedges. The Strappy Cork Wedge Sandal is $15 when you buy online. If you buy the full-priced pair for $32.50 in stores, you can get a second pair of any shoes for $12.50.
When you go shoe shopping this summer, just remember that strappy sandals and low-cut flats are not built to last. If they wear out quickly, which I’ve found to be true for even the high-end brands, you’ll be a little less bummed if you didn’t pay too much for them.
Reach Abigail Darlington at firstname.lastname@example.org. See local daily deals at charleston savvyshopper.com.