These five brands put a modern spin on classic Greek sandals
The craftsmanship inherent in a classic pair of leather Greek sandals is simple. A combination of quality and simplicity has given Greek sandals something of a cult following in recent years. Ask any Greek who lives outside the country what they want you to bring them back from Greece and they’re likely to say, “those sandals I found last year in Plaka! I wore mine every day last summer… and they’re so perfect that I want the exact same ones.”
Sound familiar? Perhaps, for Greeks in Greece, the sandals are much less of a novelty, but for any visitor, they’re a must-have.
With the growing popularity of the simple style – typically a leather sole, featuring a few basic straps whose aesthetic is at once utilitarian and somehow, a bit sexy – many designers have begun to put an updated spin on the summer staple. While Greek sandals can be found just about everywhere in Greece where tourism exists, these particular brands are putting their own spin on the ubiquitous item.
Co-founded by two women from Karpathos, the story of Kalliniki is deeply rooted in the island’s history and Greek women’s dress.
The brand aims to combine the conventional design of Greek sandals with new design techniques. Designed to be worn from morning to night, their aesthetic is minimal and sleek. Past campaigns have drawn from historic influences, including ancient Greek geometry.
Find Kalliniki on Instagram @kallinikisandals
Made on the island of Crete, Olimpo’s sandals effortlessly echo the styles of ancient Greece while adding modern elements of design in both the lines and colors.
The brand draws inspiration from timeless goddesses, linking Greek culture to the rest of the ancient world. Each name is derived from the feeling that arises from the aesthetic. We love their playful yet reverent evocation of the goddess.
Find OLIMPO on Instagram @olimpo_sandals
Featuring high-quality VIBRAM soles, these espadrilles are as functional as they are fun to look at. Based on the island of Tinos, ESIOT looks to Greek history for its inspiration, and each summer collection has a different Greek destination as its muse.
Their take on the Greek sandal is a bit unconventional, combining elements of the gladiator, creeper, and espadrille in their handmade creations.
Find ESIOT on Instagram @esiot
KYMA takes the traditional, simple style and elevates the both the quality and elegance factor. Stocked all over the world, these sandals are well-known with good reason.
KYMA sandals are distinguishable not only by the quality but also for having a trademark “blue sole.” (think Louboutin meets Greek summer).
Find them on Instagram @kymasandals
A bit more playful and colorful than many other brands, the aptly named Sandalaki takes chances with its spin on the classic Greek sandal. You’re likely to find tassels and animal prints in their designs, which are wide-ranging.
The brand also creates beach-ready hats and bags.
Find Sandalaki on Instagram @sandalaki
Look for more beautiful summer items made in Greece? Read up on these designers who channel Greek history in their craft.
OR find yourself the perfect beach towel for an equally perfect Greek beach.
We’d love to hear about your favorite Greek sandal makers and brands! Do you prefer more up to date interpretations or simpler designs found on the streets? Let us know in the comments!