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Teva and other modern 'ugly' summer sandals endure as fashionable footwear

SOCKS APPEAL -- Teva's Original Universal sandal for

SOCKS APPEAL -- Teva's Original Universal sandal for men and women, with quick-dry straps and comfy foam footbeds, can be worn without socks or (yes) with; $50 at Richard York of Patchogue; REI, Carle Place; select Famous Footwear and DSW stores and Credit: Teva

Everybody knows the sound of Velcro straps being pulled apart — and it might be the sound of the summer, thanks to the season's hot shoe craze: the old throwback, ever-reliable hiking sandal with adjustable straps.

Tevas and other shoes designed to be worn on trails in places like Sunken Meadow State Park or the Muttontown Preserve might not seem trendy, but the look has been popping up more and more in places such rugged durability isn't terribly necessary — on the street, on Instagram feeds and tarted up in designer collections from Prada (with platforms) to Gucci (chunky crystals) to Area (sparkly fringe).

“The ugly shoe trend is continuing to grow in popularity,” says Jill Oralevich, divisional merchandising manager at Lester's, which has a store in Greenvale. “Fashionistas of all kinds seem to be gravitating toward them.”

The sandals themselves look great on women with a maxi dress, or a skirt and tank top combo for a more laid-back look, suggests John Juergensen,  a stylist at Macy’s Roosevelt Field.

We’ve seen these so-ugly-they’re-cute type shoes before — from "Dad" sneakers to Ugg boots to crocs — but what’s unique about this trend is that it’s raising a prickly question that could be more divisive than politics: To sock or not to sock?

“Socks with sandals is both a great transition into cooler fall weather and a standout fashion statement,” says Josh Weichhand, creative director at Chaco, a popular brand favored by hikers. Other pro-sock wearers include soccer star David Beckham, rapper Tyler the Creator along with style-focused celebrities Kendall Jenner and Lauren Conrad.

But personal comfort trumps trend, Juergensen points out — you should wear the look the way you like it best.


Tevas and the like not quite your style? Then slip into these additional new summer staples.

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