With the seemingly never-ending winter now at an end, our thoughts turn to warm weather and sandals.
A discerning cyclist always considers fashion as well as function, and luckily, one can bike in just about any shoe – heels to sneakers. Picking shoes for your spring and summer wardrobe shouldn’t mean bike shoes versus office or casual shoes. This spring, there are several shoe trends that lend themselves well to fashionable biking. Flat footwear, normally neglected by designers, has come into its own with menswear-inspired styles leading the pack. Chanel’s Spring 2015 ankle strap loafer is to die for; the ankle strap keeps the shoe firmly on your foot, and the low block heel gives just enough height while the stylish men’s dress loafer look makes this flat shoe extremely dressy. This shoe will no doubt be copied by everyone, so there should be a version in everyone’s price range.
Other menswear styles appearing everywhere this spring are oxfords, even some with contrasting kilties. The Inglewood nude and gold pair from Finery London are romantic with a playful detachable kiltie, while the Oscar de la Renta Amber Kilty Oxford or Rebecca Minkoff Holis Oxfords, both in black, might be more your speed. If you aren’t in love with the kiltie idea, check out the Cole Haan Gramercy Oxford in a soft pale pink for a lovely everyday spring shoe. Oxfords are the perfect stylish shoe for biking because they are practical on and off the bike, stay firmly on your feet, and yet can be blank canvases for shoes as wild or as conservative as you like.
Irish fashion designer Orla Kiely has paired up with classic shoe brand Clarks to create a fun, spring-like collection of shoes that should appeal to just about anyone. The Orla Betty has a sturdy block heel, ankle strap, and colorful flower on the square toe that would be adorable with a full skirt on a Pashley or Gazelle. The Orla Bobbie T-strap flat has a playful, childlike look that would pair well with this spring’s culottes and white ankle socks.
Even the casual sneaker has been given the designer touch, with skater shoes in pink glitter by Givenchy and sneakers in gold and flowers by Rene Caovilla , and espadrilles given all sorts of makeovers. Jimmy Choo, famous for his towering heels, made a studded gold pair with an ankle strap, and Kenzo gave colorful espadrilles fierce tigers embroidered on the toes.
Gladiator sandals appear to be the summer shoe to have, and are also conveniently bike-friendly. Laced up to the knee with heel heights that range from flat to a reasonable wedge, these sandals could be the perfect weekend sandal. The Stuart Weitzman Gladiator Sandal is a gold classic that will inspire a range of options, so you should be able to find them in whatever color, height and heel to make your summer perfect.
As you start your shopping list, just keep in mind a few things – tassel ties and long laces could get caught in the chain or gear rings unless you tuck them away carefully, while narrow stiletto heels might prove to be a bit too fragile if you catch them on the pedal awkwardly. Shoes with a super slick sole might slide right off the pedal at an inconvenient time. Giant platform wedges might best be left to fashion photo shots, because it’s hard to feel any control with so much between you and the pedal. Besides, adding several inches to the length of your leg will throw off your bike fit too much, and make it uncomfortable to pedal properly. But these considerations should be no different than picking shoes for your other daily needs – as every discerning cyclist knows, it’s just a matter of planning ahead. Happy shopping!
You can read more from Elizabeth on her blog, tinlizzieridesagain