Closed-Toe Shoes For Spring And Summer - une femme d'un certain âge

Style Hunt: Closed-Toe Shoes For Warmer Days

Casual outfit with jeans, navy jacket, croc-effect bag, and mustard yellow slingbacks. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One of the pleasures of warmer weather is being able to pull out the sandals and feel the sun on my toes. But perhaps your workplace doesn’t allow open-toed shoes, or you feel more comfortable with a more enclosed toe box.

Jacket | Necklace | Tee | Bag | Jeans | Shoes

Closed-Toe Shoes For Spring And Summer

I’ve rounded up styles that provide coverage, but still allow for some air flow, and won’t overpower your summer clothes. For this lineup, I’ve selected flat or low-heeled styles, and shoes with some sort of back. (I’ll cover mules in another post.)


Everlane slingback flats in coral suede. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Slingbacks have been on-trend for the last few seasons, and can be a workplace-friendly alternative to mules. I have these in black, and find them very comfortable. Plus, that strap is quite secure. This light coral suede adds a pop of subtle color. And it’s currently marked down!

Frye Kenzie slingback in mustard yellow. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Mustard yellow is a surprisingly versatile color for footwear, and this style is very well reviewed for both looks and comfort.

Naturalizer Kerrie metallic slingbacks. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m a fan of metallic footwear for versatility. This style has toe that’s less pointed (but still graceful) and is also offered in wide widths.

Vaneli cap-toe slingback. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This one has the classic look of You-Know-Who’s, at a fraction of the price. Also offered in multiple widths.


Always a classic, an espadrille-style shoe evokes sunny Mediterranean beaches. Yes, if you’re planning a visit to Spain or the Côte d’Azur, you should wait and buy them there. But for the rest of us, here are some fun options.

Toni Pons espadrille slingback in blue suede. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Wear this open-back style with everything from jeans to your favorite summer dress. That tiny bit of lift in the heel may be more comfortable for some than a flat. (Just a note, reviewers say sizing is inconsistent, so you may need to try multiple sizes to get the right fit.)

Andre Assous espadrille in tan suede with scalloped edge. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve heard very good things about Andre Assous espadrilles, and again, like the idea of just a little lift in the heel.

Sam Edelman Khloe espadrille flat in snake print. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Snake print is on trend this season, and adds a little edge to a classic espadrille style.

Travel Shoes For Spring


A d’Orsay style keeps heels and toes covered, but still allows for plenty of air flow.

L'Amour des Pieds Yemina d'Orsay flat in red. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

These get high marks for comfort. Red will perk up any outfit!

Pikolinos Caleta d'Orsay with ankle strap. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

An ankle strap provides a little extra stability. This “Brandy” color is a good Spring/Summer neutral.

Matisse Constellation embellished d'Orsay. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The high vamp on this style will also provide more stability, while the perforated leather will still provide plenty of air flow. The star embellishments are a fun touch!

Loafers And Flats

L'Amour des Pieds Clemence perforated loafer. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Perforated leather styles offer the best of both worlds: coverage and breathability. There’s enough cushioning in this loafer to make it a travel wardrobe contender too.

Clarks perforated espadrille flat red. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

These are from Clarks, so you know they’ll be comfortable. Also offered in Wide widths.

ECCO perforated flats metallic finish. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I had to include at least one metallic pair 😉 but these are also available in Rose and black.

Spring It On: More Closed-Toe Options

Stay in touch.

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  1. Brenda
    April 8, 2019 / 4:22 am

    Love this post…. and love the red D’Orsay flat. The link takes me to a different shoe. Who makes the shoe? I would love to take a closer look. Thanks much –

  2. April 8, 2019 / 4:26 am

    Thank you for this post, Susan. At this point in the season, my feet aren’t ready for public view. Even after a pedicure and some pampering, they still don’t “show” well in open-toed shoes/sandals. You’ve given us some fresh choices here. For many women of a certain age, finding comfortable — yet stylish — footwear can be a challenge, especially in warmer months when we can’t hide our feet in comfy boots. If you have problem feet, like I do, your choices are limited. Thanks for acknowledging that not everyone can wear revealing, strappy shoes. Once again, what makes us feel comfortable is important.

  3. Lynn
    April 8, 2019 / 5:00 am

    Hi. The link to the red D’orsay shoes takes me to the previous snakeskin looking pair. Can you provide the brand and source for the red shoes? Thanks.

    • Susan B
      April 8, 2019 / 6:27 am

      Hi Lynn, thanks! Here’s a link to the red d’Orsay flats and I’ve updated in the post.

  4. Cathy
    April 8, 2019 / 6:07 am

    I have the Eileen Fisher espadrilles with the elastic straps (shown in pink in the photos). The problem for me was the very flat foot bed did not provide any support so I added an arch support insert from Dr. Scholl’s and that solved the problem. I think I will be adding these inserts to more of my shoes.

  5. Mary C
    April 8, 2019 / 6:11 am

    I have very small feet so have been wearing slingbacks with a buckle strap for awhile now (I guess before they were fashionable). My experience is two-fold: a buckle strap is really helpful to get a good fit, so I avoid anything that doesn’t have that; and the other is to watch the angle/width of the back strap–very often it will slip down, or worse, rub or cut into the back of the heel. But they are my go-to summer shoes because I don’t have to worry about the state of my toes!

  6. Jill
    April 8, 2019 / 6:53 am

    Very good article and I love the choices. Thank you.

  7. Margie
    April 8, 2019 / 8:00 am

    I second the comments from Cindy L. Not everyone wants to show their toesies or has nice enough toesies for others to see! I am so tired of looking at toes on people who should never wear open toed shoes in offices/restaurants, stores, etc…not everyone gets a pedicure and ugh! The only really nice looking and cute toes are baby toes!

    Thanks Susan for offering options for those of us who want more coverage.

  8. Alexandra Martella
    April 8, 2019 / 9:13 am

    Love the necklace ~ how long is it? Do you have a picture wearing it?

  9. Janet L Witthuhn
    April 8, 2019 / 9:16 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is just the post I’ve been waiting for!!

  10. Rondi
    April 8, 2019 / 9:42 am

    I love your featured outfit. Simple and just begging for cute shoes! Adore the shoes but I believe I clicked on every single shoe and only 1 is available in multiple widths and 2 in wide width. So my dilemma continues. Trying to find similar shoes in a narrow width so that I won’t take a step and leave my cute shoe behind! There must not be enough of us needing choice of widths so the shoe manufacturers do not accommodate.

  11. Kathryn Gillett
    April 8, 2019 / 10:50 am

    This is my uniform! I love the simplicity of this outfit.
    In fact, dear Susan, I order the Naturalizer slingbacks in black minutes ago.
    I think a spritz of a fresh, springy perfume and red lips and you would be fabulously ready for a casual day.
    Well done! I really like how you have been commenting on basics lately. Even basics need a refresh from time to time.

  12. Lisa Bruzzese
    April 8, 2019 / 11:10 am

    Hi Susan,
    Great post for those of us who are metatarsal(y) challenged! Have you ever tried Tieks? My DIL and daughters swear by them. They aren’t for me as I need more arch support than they offer but they come in lots of cheery colors.

    • Susan B
      April 8, 2019 / 1:33 pm

      I did try them a couple of years ago, and they were cute, but not for me. They were too snug over the top of my toes; the edge of the vamp rubbed.

  13. Angela in NZ
    April 8, 2019 / 1:19 pm

    I have always avoided slingbacks as without a foot covering my little toes would be rubbed raw. Even some sandals can have the same effect. Any ideas if there’s a way to overcome it?

    • Susan B
      April 8, 2019 / 1:31 pm

      Angela, I don’t know if this will help, but I find that shoes with a soft leather or nubuck lining don’t tend to create the friction that causes blisters. But it really depends on the fit of the shoe.

    • April 16, 2019 / 5:30 am

      @Angela: Suggest you try a pair of skin-coloured “half toe no show socks” which look like the regular no-show liners but only the front half. Made specifically for mules and sling backs.

  14. Josie
    April 8, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    Love this post as well. For the person looking for narrow widths, Trotters has some nice low heeled sling backs with cap toes you might like. Nordstrom’s carries them and maybe Zappo’s

    • Rondi
      April 8, 2019 / 5:52 pm

      Thank you! I will check them out.

  15. April 8, 2019 / 3:21 pm

    I love those Toni Pons espadrilles – in red, of course! I’ll try to find them here as I’m not very easy to fit.

  16. Elizabeth
    April 9, 2019 / 7:20 am

    Susan, a wonderful outfit! I call it “ grab and go” dressing. Every piece in the clothing photo at top can be found in my wardrobe, even mustard coloured shoes & booties. Love every pair of shoes here.

  17. Pat
    April 9, 2019 / 7:56 pm

    Thank you so much for this post….

  18. Leslie
    April 9, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    The Clemence loafer is very comfortable and walkable. I have this in grey and don’t think it is frumpy or old looking. Highly recommend, great arch support, plus the punch outs keep a suede shoe cool and very wearable in spring and fall. Spring is difficult if one doesn’t want to expose winterized toes. This is a good post for the season.

  19. Duchesse
    April 16, 2019 / 5:26 am

    For me, a closed shoe in summer needs to be a summer shoe- defined as? Well, not one I would wear in winter, so perforation, cut outs or a summery colour. Great choices here, I especially like the perforated slip-ons and the snake print espadrilles.

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