Summer wedding season has always tangoed with the high potential for an alfresco setup. Beachside and patio nuptials relegated to the Sunbelt and more tropical locales during the fall, winter, and early spring are now fair game for all hopeful “I do” sayers. So if you’re heading to a wedding in June, July, August, or the fair-weathered month of September, you’ve got to be ready to rumble with uneven ground — and we mean this literally, no ambiguity to the couple getting married. Comfortable wedding guest shoes are always a nice-to-have but become a strategic part of your overall look if you anticipate walking, standing, or dancing on gravel, grass, or sand.
Comfortable heels may not even be part of the ensemble equation if your invitation promises a picnic in the park or a bonfire by the sea because kitten heels or other styles of slim, low-heeled dress shoes could render a walk to your seat as arduous as a Tough Mudder obstacle course. So, this list of chunky summer platforms, lug soles, flats, and other comfort shoe brand options sticks to suggestions that give you the best chance of pleasantly partying outside. You can always go barefoot if you can withstand some sole scalding or dirt between your toes, but if you want a functional sandal to complete your wedding guest look, one of the 18 pairs ahead could be your ticket to summer wedding outfit bliss.
These platform sandals, which come in festive colorways, have a substantial lift and a disco vibe that would look as great with a cocktail dress as a pair of flared jeans.
These chunky lug soles will ensure that you’ll stay firmly planted, no matter how uneven the ground may be.
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Brother Vellies Togo Knotted Slides, $395 $118
This pair of eye-catching flat slides from the luxury slow fashion brand Brother Vellies features a trendy puffy knotted design and rubber soles for traction. It’s an airy option for a casual outdoor affair.
Leveling up — not in height but in stay-on power — is a pair of high-shine strappy flats with extra sparkle that can match a more formal dress code or snazz up a casual look.
If you’re the type of person who absolutely cannot do any sort of heels (we feel you), these certified-comfy, supple-leather ballet flats from Maguire are going to be a huge relief for your feet.
Let it be known: Kitten heels are a secret MVP when it comes to wedding guest footwear. These mules from luxury accessories brand Mansur Gavriel feature a low lift that makes for easy all-night wear.
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Naturalizer Vanessa Sandal, $99.95
Naturalizer shoes feature a cushy contoured footbed to keep feet feeling comfortable all night long. This pair is one of the daintier shoe styles from the brand and boast both height and elegance.
EYTYS x SSENSE Olympia Heels, $575 $161
A statement platform, a treaded rubber outsole, a baby blue hue — what’s not to love about these SSENSE exclusive heels? Plus, they are on super sale, which is a major win.
Qonetic Ankle Strap Espadrilles, $47.99
These ankle-strap espadrilles tout a high-quality thermoplastic rubber outsole and “comfort latex mattress insole” for what we’d imagine might be the best night’s sleep your feet ever had — or at the very least some extra padded softness in your step.
The 15-millimeter platform and 75-millimeter heel ensure some nice lift without the painful arch, and the hunky, chunky silhouette will help you move across uneven patio pavers with some stomp and shimmer.
Aerosoles Canie Mules, $145
Aerosoles, known for, well, airy soles, applies its signature diamond flex sole — designed to disperse friction and provide better grip and comfort — to this crepe rubber-heeled platform mule with a soft leather metallic upper.
Sam Edelman Loraine Loafer, $149.95
Quite possibly the most practical shoes on this list? This best-selling, top-rated, comes-in-dozens-of-colors Sam Edelman Loraine loafer. By choosing a classic loafer, you’re gainfully forfeiting any hazards of heels, exposed toes, and digging straps.
Alohas Goldie Sandals, $138
When it comes to shoes to wear to a wedding, opting for a chunky block heel is always a better bet than a stiletto.
The reviews on this top-selling pair of Madewell sandals say it all. “Pedestrian-friendly,” “super comfy and easy to wear,” “strong straps to withstand an all-day walk,” “shocked how comfortable they are,” and the jewel of public and word-of-mouth reviews, “I’ve been telling my friends to buy it and I got another pair!” They feature a lug sole, responsibly sourced leather, and Madewell’s Cloudlift padding. They also come in a few half sizes for that just-right fit.
Aeyde Aline Silver Nappa, $375
How festive are these square-toe Mary Janes? (If silver isn’t exactly your hue, there are plenty more colorways to choose from!) Plus, the brand crafted these block heels to mold perfectly to the foot.
These stompers have an adjustable strap and a flat, padded sole that feature a subtle contrast of dark green. It’s a fun shoe that will obliterate any worry about grassy paths or keeping up dance stamina at the after-party.
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Cole Haan Zerogrand Sandals II, $150 $114.95
Cole Haan’s trademarked GRANDFØAM footbed sports superior comfort and flexibility for ultimate foot happiness. While it is a sportier look, the all-black-everything style is sleek enough to shimmy into a cocktail affair fairly incognito.
These cute summer sandals are so low-heeled, they could be considered honorary flats. And what is more comfortable to wear on your feet than a pair that keeps you close to the ground?
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