Must-Buy: Gladiator Sandals Under $100

If you're going to buy a new pair of shoes this spring, make it one of these.


Leopard, laces and POM-POMS. | Photo of Waltzing Matilda sandals by Nell Hoving.

Though recent years have seen the gladiator sandal creep up to the knee (see: Kourtney Kardashian, who’s famous for corseting her poor calves in uncomfortable-looking lace-ups), the best iteration is the most basic: a still-elaborate lacing of the foot that ends with a simple knot at the ankle.

One of my favorite pairs of gladiator sandals comes from Waltzing Matilda, a Wayne-based leather-goods company that strips the Roman sandal to its utilitarian essentials—butterscotch Horween leather, hand-tacked golden nails, a loopy crisscross of laces. They are at once primitive and beautiful, perfect for the urban hippie or the pavement-pounding glamazon warrior. And at $178, they’re not totally wallet-breaking either! (Buy them here, or visit the adorable Wayne boutique, which nabbed a spot on our 50 Best Shops list!) 

Luckily, it’s not impossible to find lace-ups that ring in under the $100 mark. Here are six worthy options to consider right now. I promise: You won’t miss those boring rubber thong sandals at all.

Time to shop! (clockwise from top left): Loeffler Randall sandals, $75 at AmazonKlare sandals, $79.95 at Steve MaddenPom-pom sandals, $67 at EtsyFranco Sarto sandals, $88.95 at Shoes.comAlize flats, $70 at AldoSilver Roman sandals, $59.90 at Zara.