The 10 Best Fisherman Sandals of 2023 That Will Reel in Compliments

The most practical sandal of the summer.

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Best Fisherman Sandals

InStyle / Kristin Kempa

Anyone looking for a little extra support and comfort from their summer footwear should point their attention to the humble fisherman sandal. They are stylish, versatile, and practical enough to wear for hours, and you'll never leave vacation with blisters as your main souvenir. Not only do they have a timeless look, but they are breathable, have comfortable soles, and thanks to the caged design, you often don't even have to paint your toes.

Today's fishermen range from Coastal Grandmother chic to grungy Y2K. To find the best styles for your closet, we interviewed celebrity stylists, fellow editors, and fashion bloggers and even tried a few pairs out ourselves. Below are the sandals that stood out with their designs, quality materials, and comfort level. Whether you're fishing for compliments or practical footwear, you'll love these sandals.

Best Overall

Vagabond Eyra Sandals

Vagabond Eyra Sandals


What We Love: With an extreme platform, these sandals offer a great contrast against sweet summer styles.

What We Don’t Love: The soles don’t have traction.

Look at designers like Prada and Ganni, and it’s clear that sky-high platforms are back in full force from the early 2000s. With Vagabond’s version, you get the same style for a fraction of the cost. After kindly receiving a sample from the brand, we have to say they are our new favorite sandals of the summer. we love the contrast of mixing sleek pieces with these chunky sandals. Made from cow leather, the straps are sturdy enough, yet the sole remains lightweight even with the additional padding, so they don’t drag you down or leave you with blisters. They do lack a bit of traction, however, so if the floor is slippery in any way, we struggle to take our usual steps a little.

Price at time of publish: $175

Materials: Leather | Colors: Black, white | Heel Height: 2 inches

Best Splurge

The Row Crepe Sole Fisherman Sandal

The Row Crepe Sole Fisherman Sandal


What We Love: The sleek design makes it easy to pair with just about anything.

What We Don’t Love: The slim sole could hurt arched feet after some time.

As the queen of minimalism, whose “Summer Collection'' consists of mostly black and white garments (and some sprinkles of muted greens and blues), The Row offers the perfect fisherman sandal. With a flat sole, supportive back strap, and three bands covering the top of the foot, the sandal is a no-frills design that focuses more on material and silhouette. You’re given a well-constructed, sturdy, and minimalist fisherman sandal that’s made entirely in Italy using leather for the upper and rubber for the sole fit for everyday use. The lack of platform keeps the shoe sleek and easy to pair with just about anything as well. That does however mean that there isn’t any cushioning for your footbed, and if you have a sensitive foot arch, might experience some strains after some time.

Price at time of publish: $1,050

Materials: Leather, rubber | Colors: 2 | Heel Height: 1 centimeter

Best Budget

Dream Pairs Fisherman Gladiator Sandal

Dream Pairs Fisherman Gladiator Sandal


What We Love: They’re surprisingly comfortable, thanks to the cushioned footbed.

What We Don’t Love: If you have narrow feet, these can feel a little too wide on you.

We know what you’re thinking: a budget sandal that looks expensive with leather straps and buckles couldn’t possibly be comfortable. But they actually are. The footbed has some cushioning to it, and the straps don’t cause any blistering. (Basically, it’s really a miracle that it retails for less than $30.) There’s a tiny 0.98-inch block heel, which is just tall enough to follow the natural curve of your foot, instead of providing any serious height. The shoe is on the wider side, however, so if you have narrow feet you might find yourself swimming in it a little. We recommend adjusting the buckle strap to fit snuggly.

Price at time of publish: $27

Materials: Faux leather | Colors: 5 | Heel Height: 0.98 inches

Best Heeled

Frēda Salvador Marisa Heeled Fisherman

Marisa Heeled Fisherman

Frēda Salvador

What We Love: Each shoe is handmade in Spain.

What We Don’t Love: You might therefore find slight variations with each shoe.

If you’re someone who loves any excuse to wear heels, then these three-inch block-heeled Fishermans should be on your radar. As a less chunky alternative to the traditional style, the shoes feature six slim straps across the toe and a thin adjustable buckle strap around the ankle. They’re equal parts elevated and casual, giving you the opportunity to wear them with jeans and a dress all the same. Handmade in Spain using a mix of Italian calf leather and Spanish leather, the shoes not only feel comfortable, but will look better with time and mold to your feet. That does mean that there will be slight variations in each shoe, and what you get might not look 100 percent like the photo. However, know your pair will be one of a kind.

Price at time of publish: $375

Materials: Calf leather, leather | Colors: 2 | Heel Height: 3 inches

Best Jelly

Melissa Possession Sandal

Melissa Possession Sandal


What We Love: The jelly design adds a whimsical pop of color and is surprisingly low-maintenance.

What We Don’t Love: Small rocks tend to get stuck in the bottom treads.

Any child of the ‘90s probably remembers wearing jelly shoes all summer long. And now, the trend is back in all its glory with the help of celebrities like Blake Lively. Even though it is fairly polarizing, fashion blogger Sarah Tan loves that the shoe brings her back to her childhood. Melissa, the maker of the original jelly shoe, now even offers a sparkly version of the nostalgic sandal. “Because of their material, it's actually pretty hard to get them dirty, and if you do, they wash off pretty easily,” says Tan.

She does note that little rocks can get stuck in the bottom of the sole but you can easily remove them. “Also, they're super breathable and are just easy to slip on and go — I've been wearing mine for walks around town lately and have no blisters or complaints.” Fashion blogger Valerie Salazar can attest to the shoe’s comfort. Even after hours on her feet as a healthcare interpreter, the vegan, recyclable plastic still feels comfortable. Plus it smells like bubblegum. We’re not kidding.

Price at time of publish: $69

Materials: Vegan plastic | Colors: 7 | Heel Height: 1 inch

Best Clog

Korks Whitney Platform Sandal

Korks Whitney Platform Sandal


What We Love: The breathable and foamed cork footbed will feel comfortable for all day wear.

What We Don’t Love: They run a little large, and don’t offer half sizes.

A cross between a clog and fisherman, this sandal from Korks checks off two trends in one. The slingback lets you clomp around without worrying about your foot slipping out. Your feet are supported by a breathable and foamed cork footbed, and a synthetic vegan leather upper. As a result, they can feel comfortable enough for all day wear. That is, if you don’t mind the high heel boosting you 3.25 inches higher into the sky. They do run a little large, however, so it might serve you well to size down (or order two and return one) because the brand does not offer half sizes. Once on, you’ll have a blast prancing around while channeling your inner Sarah Jessica Parker.

Price at time of publish: $55

Materials: Synthetic upper, vegan leather | Colors: 2 | Heel Height: 3.25 inches

Most Comfortable

Teva Dorado Sandal

Teva Dorado Sandal


What We Love: They’re weather-friendly.

What We Don’t Love: There is less toe support.

Okay, so it’s not exactly a traditional fisherman sandal, but these Teva Dorado Sandals provide infinitely more comfort than the other options. So much so that you can go trekking in the mountains with them. While it doesn’t have the classic toe support that Fisherman’s typically provide, it still has four straps across the top of your foot, and a supportive ankle strap. The rubber sole is weather-friendly, and the textile upper is quick-drying and lightweight. It might not be the shoe for special occasions, but it’s certainly the one your feet will desire the most if all-day wear is expected.

Price at time of publish: $36

Materials: Rubber, recycled plastics | Colors: 3 | Heel Height: 1 centimeter

Best Platform

Dr. Martens Women's Vegan Blaire Cambridge Fisherman Sandal

Dr. Martens Women's Vegan Blaire Cambridge Fisherman Sandal


What We Love: They’re very lightweight and comfortable.

What We Don’t Love: They run a little large.

While everyone loves the classic Dr. Martens boots, we have to say these Fisherman sandals are a great summer alternative. It comes with the same rugged aesthetic, but is much more breathable and hot-weather-approved. The fully vegan shoe has an eye-catching zig zag sole that's intended to be slip-resistant. But don’t let the chunky appearance fool you, the shoe is as lightweight as it is comfortable. It does run a little large, however, so size down for a perfect fit.

Price at time of publish: $100

Materials: Vegan leather | Colors: 11 | Heel Height: 1.5 inches

Best Designer

Prada Logo Fisherman Sandal

Prada Logo Fisherman Sandal


What We Love: The 1.5-inch heel gives you a nice little boost without feeling tiresome.

What We Don’t Love: The sleek material might be difficult to keep scratch free.

Yes, Prada’s loafers deserve a spot in your closet, but may we introduce you to their just-as-chic fisherman sandals? The summer shoe boasts Prada’s logo front and center, surrounded by a synthetic upper, leather lining, and rubber sole. It has a sleek finish to it (which might be difficult to keep scratch-free, FYI), offering a different aesthetic from all the other options listed here. The 1.5-inch heel is also short enough to remain comfortable throughout the day, too. Pair it with a white dress to complete the iconic Prada look.

Price at time of publish: $850

Materials: Synthetic upper, leather, rubber | Colors: 1 | Heel Height: 1.5 inches

Best Colored

Anthropologie Fisherman Sport Sandal

Fisherman Sport Sandal


What We Love: Some of the color options provided can’t be found anywhere else.

What We Don’t Love: They might be a little too warm for the summer.

While black and white match everything, they’re not nearly as fun as these floral, gold, or metallic pink options. Especially when the weather is warmer, dressing in pops of color can match the vibrant energy of the season. The tops of these Fishermans are tightly woven together, which provides a little more support on the foot but can also be a bit warm in the summer. The sole is also on the thicker side, lifting you a whole inch off the ground. The little ripples in them give them good traction against the ground, too. So for your next summer event, outdoor grill, or trip to the beach house, opt for these hard-to-miss Fishermans for a more lively look.

Price at time of publish: $125

Materials: Polyurethane | Colors: 7 | Heel Height: 1 inch

What to Keep in Mind


You can’t go wrong with black, but shades like brown and white might look more appropriate for summer. Vagabond Eyra Fisherman Platform Sandal offers a beautiful cream color that’s more seasonal as well. Twin fashion bloggers May Mel prefer tan sandals, like the Dream Pairs Fisherman Gladiator Sandal, because it “matches” their skin tone, yet don’t think you could go wrong with any muted tones. If you keep your clothes neutral, colorful jelly sandals add some life to your basics. We adore the Melissa Posse Slingback Sandals and Anthropologie Fisherman Sport Sandal options for providing more variety where color is concerned.


Though many fisherman sandals are flat, chunky soles are having a Y2K moment and are extra-flattering. Specializing in curvy fashion, May Mel says heeled fishermans are great for lengthening the legs and balancing out your proportions. The Frēda Salvador Marisa Heeled Fisherman has that classic “high-heel” appeal, but for a more everyday option, block heels like the Prada Logo Fisherman Sandal or the Korks Whitney Platform Sandal might be a better fit.


As Bechtold puts it, leather fisherman sandals are very evocative, giving off Italian Riviera vacation vibes. Options like the Frēda Salvador Marisa Heeled Fisherman and the Vagabond Eyra Fisherman Platform Sandal will simply last you a lifetime, thanks to their quality leather. The material is durable and breathable too, so you can wear it for hours on end without fear of sweaty feet or a strap breaking off. But if you want a vegan alternative, many brands (including Dr. Martens) offer faux leather that looks like the real thing. Otherwise, go back in time with a jelly pair like the Melissa Posse Slingback Sandals.

Your Questions, Answered

What do I wear with fisherman sandals?

We are constantly reaching for our fisherman sandals since they are both stylish and practical, and suit a variety of aesthetics. “I like to treat sturdier versions of the fisherman sandal like a summer loafer with menswear: clean, coordinated, classic, with a bit over oversizing to beat the heat,” says Bechtold. “Right now I'm pairing them with a slouchy suit or suit trousers from The Frankie Shop, a simple ribbed tank, and a low bun.”

While Bechtold embraces the menswear side of the sandal, we like to juxtapose ours with flirty dresses and rompers in the summer. Not only is the contrast visually interesting, but the bulkiness of the sandals balance out our hips in form-fitting styles, as May Mel points out.

Can I wear socks with fisherman sandals?

Rules are meant to be broken, and one rule to throw out the window is that you can’t wear socks with sandals. According to Bechtold and Tan, socks are the best way to transition the sandals to colder weather.

"The best tip for matching socks and sandals is to go for contrast,” says Tan. “Girly sandals get a sporty edge when you add socks, and plain sandals instantly look livelier with a fun-patterned sock. If you're wearing a heavier sandal, I'd go for a delicate sheer sock.”

What’s the difference between gladiator and fisherman sandals?

With all the styles of sandals, it can be difficult to keep them straight. While gladiators and fisherman can look quite similar, the main difference is that fisherman sandals fasten below the ankles while gladiators go above, according to Bechtold.

Why Shop With Us

Emily Cieslak is an assistant commerce editor at InStyle and has worked on all sides of the fashion industry, from buying to styling. After purchasing her first pair of fisherman sandals during the pandemic, she fell in love with the practical yet chic style. She tested four of this season's hottest fisherman sandals to see if they are worth adding to her collection. To get expert advice on how to style the sandal, she interviewed celebrity stylist Margaret Williamson Bechtold. She also asked fashion bloggers Saffy DixonSarah TanValerie Salazar, and May Mel how they style their favorite pairs.

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