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Strapping sandals



Now, I’m supposed to be finding suitable bridesmaid shoes — something that I’ll be able to sport in the sand, on a vintage trolley and wherever else my best friend/bride needs me to be — but what fun is that when there are such great spring sandals and flats to be had? Yeah, that’s right: No fun at all.

So what’s out there right now? Lots of neutrals, lots of platform, strappy sandals and lots of flats. Also jellies, although I remember expressly telling everyone I have nothing but bad, blistery memories of them from the ’80s.

Let’s start with the neutrals. I went to three local shoe stores, and neutrals ruled at all of them. The beiges and sands are still big, but there are also interesting takes on the neutral, with grays and dusty pinks showing up. One of my favorites was a patent loafer by Miu Miu at Balliets (5801 N.W. Grand; 848-7811) in that great dusty pink and topped with an oversized patent bow — very preppy cool.

At Heirloom Shoe (4415 N. Western; 605-0356), new spring lines from Chie Mahara, Kork-Ease and 8020 mix lovely flats and ’70s-approved wedges and chunky sandals. One of the coolest is from Kork-Ease, the first line to make all-cork shoes (yes, all cork — even the upper). These shoes definitely pack a retro punch (without looking too costume-y), so go check them out to satisfy your hippie side.

For something a little more laidback, I really loved the easy flat sandals that can be dressed up or down by lines like Cocobelle and Lexx Moda. My favorite in the always-adorable shop, however, has got to be the ’30s-style Oxford lace-up flats by Luxury Rebel. They’re done in a soft tan and will be so, so cool with springs’ dresses and skirts.

I also loved the Oxford flats by JC at Shoe Gypsy (6434 Avondale Drive; 608-0931). These are done in a lovely gray suede and feature subtle punched leather details.

For big, bold sandals, check out the chunky heels by Seychelles and Nicole. Both boast thick leather straps and a serious platform or wedge heel. Of course, Shoe Gypsy is stocking a ton of new Toms for spring in lots of cool patterns. Don’t forget to check out the guys shoes while you’re there.

Back at Balliets, the profusion of purple, pink and white tulips get you in the spring shopping mood before you even enter. Inside, shoe colors pop amid the neutrals, like a sparkly gold ballet flat from Jimmy Choo or a seriously amazing strappy platform sandal by Miu Miu in patent coral.

Ballliets also has a new line from Leifsdottir, a clothing line that is making its first foray into shoes. The line has a boho feel with lots of tan and brown leather flats, wedges and heeled sandals, but take a look at the attention to detail, like tiny gold grommets on tassels and a muted gold zipper up the back of a heel. So cool.

Now all I have to do is convince my friend her bridesmaids should totally be wearing Oxford flats or cork wedges and I’ll be set.

photo Emily Cook and Ryan Walker show off the new spring collection at Shoe Gypsy in Nichols Hills Plaza.

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