Are Gladiator Sandals Worth The Hype?

There is nothing novice about gladiator sandals. Like Birkenstocks, they’ve been around since ancient Jerusalem and experienced a resurgence in popularity around 2010. I owned a pair around then, purchased at the leading trend regurgitator Zara, and wore them only twice.

I bought them with the intention of befriending the trend and adding a little ebullience to my summer footwear, but as is evidenced by their lack of wear, they weren’t for me. For starters, the pair in question was more like boots and consequently suffocating in conjunction with the 80-degree, 100%-humidity heat. But they also weren’t flattering, cutting across my legs in weird places and leaving imprints on my skin.

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I didn’t think the trend would resurface, mainly because so many people seemed to share similar feelings about the shoe, but also because they got so much ridicule. Yet, if I learned anything from last summer’s Birkenstock renaissance, it’s that trends come back no matter what people may think of them.

So here I — or maybe we? — are again, faced with an ostracized shoe brought back into the trend pool, and like a bee drawn to a sandwich left in the open, I want a piece of it. I’d like to think that I learned my lesson first time around, that this shoe in all of its lace-up glory is not for me. But is it possible that I just didn’t style them right? Perhaps this is a shoe that should only be worn with certain pieces. For example, they may be unflattering on my legs when paired with short shorts — whaddup, cankles! —but what about a pair of cropped denim? Or a midi skirt? Or culottes!

When we’re talking trend pieces, is it okay to cash in even when the wearability is minute? Discuss below, and click ahead for some shoppable options.