From Cork to Raffia: 5 Materials to Step Up Your Summer Shoe Game

You know that feeling when the season changes and all your shoes suddenly feel wrong? Chalk it up to what they’re made of. Summer is officially here, and you should be switching to lighter, warm weather–friendly materials. Here’s what to wear and where to wear it.


Mesh: Striking that just-right balance between casual and chic, metallic mesh offers a fun take on the standard lunch-date go-to, the ballet flat. That just-slip-on-and-go style (with extra breathability) is quintessentially summer.

Cork: Completely neutral, cork pairs well with everything once temps start to rise. In a chunky-heeled sandal, it complements tailored shifts in the workplace. And in thong-sandal form, it’s more than patio-ready for all those summer BBQs.

Woven leather: Pick a light brown hue and you’re suddenly channeling hayfields and freshly grown crops. Ground airy summer dresses with a wedge and prepare to attend every last garden, beach, and roof-deck party, sans fear of sinking into the grass, sand, or gaps (it’s happened to the best of us).

Raffia trim: Say hello to your casual weekend shoe. You get all the comfort of a leather flat with the added bonus of a summery espadrille-style raffia trim.

Braided twine: Attending a wedding on the Vineyard (or any other beachside locale)? Accessorize with a woven twine bootie. In addition to feeling super lightweight, anything remotely nautical and ropey is always chic come summer.

Which material is missing from your shoe collection? Our Stuart Weitzman Boutique opens Wednesday, June 26, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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