Until last year, the only sandals that really mattered to me were strappy or heeled. But with the popularity of The Row’s ultra-chic Ginza thong sandals last season, my tastes slowly began to broaden. In addition to cushy flip-flops, I’m adding another style to my list of go-to sandals this summer: the gorpy slides. If you’re having trouble envisioning just what I mean, think Birkenstock’s classic Arizona sandals. For years Birkenstocks were generally shoes you’d only spot on art teachers or people who camp on a regular basis, but in a turn of events, the silhouette has become one of the major trends defining the year. And perhaps the biggest signal that the style has been fully embraced into the fashion fold is Birkenstock’s recent high-profile collaborations with designers like Rick Owens, Proenza Schouler, and Manolo Blahnik. But the buzz over gorpy slides doesn’t only exist on the internet. It has translated into real life too. All of my fashion friends have recently bought into the trend. It’s one of those things that are cool in an unconventional or “ugly” way, but once you get it, you can’t shake the idea.
With the industry’s stamp of approval and everyone I know suddenly wearing them, it’s fair to say that I’ve been properly influenced. As we speak I have dozens of tabs open, shopping to find the pair to kick off my membership into the ugly-sandal club. To see the pairs currently in my cart, keep scrolling below—you’ll probably join the fandom too.