The best designer shoe dupes of the summer

As longtime readers know, I love shoes, and I am frequently willing to splurge on a really unique pair, like my Chloe Susanna boots or Herm├Ęs Oasis sandals. Life is too short—and our feet are too precious—to wear cheap shoes. That said, designer prices have gotten really out of control in the last few years, and I've become very choosy on what's worth the investment or not. Case in point: the Sam Edelman Michaela flats I'm wearing in this post (they were a fraction of the price of a pair of the Alaia studded flats that inspired them), which I love. There have been several pairs that have caught my eye recently, and while they may be worth the sky-high prices in the long run, several felt way too trendy (and way too marked up) for me to commit fully. Thankfully, I found some great dupes. Here are three of my favorite shoe dupes at the moment, just in time for summer. 

Aerosoles Cosmos sandal (dupe for Prada crisscross platform sandal

This is the designer pair that's probably most worth the investment; Prada has been making a variation of this shoe for years, and while platforms may come and go, this one is pretty classic, all things considered. It's also currently $1,220. For that amount of money, you could buy almost all 15 colors of the Aerosoles Cosmos sandal. True, it doesn't have the flashy logo at the heel, but the range of fun shades more than make up for it. As a bonus, these are considered what we in the industry call "comfort shoes," which is pretty obvious but, in layman's terms, means they're specifically engineered to be extra supportive. I wore these in Vegas and was dancing in them until 3 a.m. with no achy feet whatsoever. I am strongly considering buying another pair in black. One thing to note: these run rather large, so I recommend going down at least half a size. I am almost always an 8.5 but ordered these in an 8, and they're still a bit roomy width-wise. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Zimmermann Lexi dress | Loewe Puzzle bagAerosoles Cosmos sandal

Jeffrey Campbell Jellz flat (dupe for The Row Mara flat

The Row has built a very strong business doing classics with a twist, ultra-luxury version. So I was slightly puzzled when they decided to put their spin on the plastic jelly shoes of my youth but not at all surprised when they immediately sold out in spite of costing $890. The Mara is kind of so ugly it's cool (the same could be said of, again, the jelly shoes of my youth), but even if I could get my hands on a pair, there's no way I'd spend nearly a grand on plastic shoes. Thankfully Jeffrey Campbell who, god bless him, has been making knockoffs for as long as I've been blogging (and possibly even before that) came to the rescue. The Jellz does not have quite as high of a vamp or a leather sole like The Row's version, and the plastic is more opaque and flat, but for $50, you can't really complain. They're surprisingly comfortable, but I would not recommend wearing them walking around, say, a city with lots of schmutz on the sidewalk, as the sole is pretty flimsy. But for a day at the pool, they're a shoo-in. (See what I did there?) I sized down to an 8 in these. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Boohoo shirtdress (similar here) | Jeffrey Campbell Jellz flat

Wild Fable Elsa Mary Jane flat (dupe for Khaite Marcy flat

When Khaite came out with their Marcy flat a year or so ago, they reminded me of the plastic mesh slippers I bought in Chinatown in my 20s and wore into the ground. So of course they took off and have been knocked off by everyone and their mother, including Jeffrey Campbell and Loeffler Randall, both of which are closer to the version I bought, with a strap across the instep. Considering most of this shoe is synthetic, there was no way I was going to spend more than $50 for a pair, which is why I was delighted to find the Elsa Mary Jane on a recent Target run. It has a buckle, which makes it even nicer than the Jeffrey Campbell version, if you ask me, and the sole is well padded with memory foam. They are also surprisingly comfortable; I am contemplating bringing them to Italy this summer. I definitely recommend going down half a size on these; I am wearing an 8, which feels just right. Note: these are frequently sold out on Target's website, but you can set a back-in-stock email reminder or, if you're feeling extra lucky, keep checking your local store for returns. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Quince chore jacket | Aerie tee | Zimmermann skirtLoewe Puzzle bag | Wild Fable Elsa Mary Jane flat


Gail Is This Mutton? said...

Love the Aerosoles Cosmos! Beautiful in gold. Thanks for linking at Is This Mutton

Laura B said...

These are all gorgeous! I especially like the Aerosoles and the Target flats.

ALLIE NYC said...

These look great. Love finding quality and inspired dupes. Love this!

Allie of said...

I love the gold sandals, the heel is just the right height. Thanks for linking!

Emma xxx

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

Oh those Aerosoles are grorgeous! Love that maxi skirt you are wearing too, very pretty!

cheap assignments said...

The Elsa Mary Jane from Target offers style and comfort with a padded memory foam sole and a budget-friendly price under $50. It resembles higher-end versions but includes a buckle for added elegance. Recommended for those planning a comfortable and stylish choice for summer, especially in Italy.