Modern gladiator sandals are influenced by styles worn in ancient Rome. Gladiators were valiant warriors and wore sandals similar to the styles seen today during their competitions. Originally made of leather, this footwear is now available in many colors and materials and can be paired with casual and formal outfits. Understanding how to select gladiator sandals suited for your body type and outfit will help you to look your best in this style.
Pair knee-high gladiator sandals with a simple black or white dress, allowing the sandals to take center stage. Use neutral tones such as black, white or brown so as not to overpower your look. Avoid wearing knee-high gladiator sandals if you have thick ankles or short legs, as this strappy look will accentuate these features. Fasten a color-coordinated or matching belt around your waist.
Combine mid-calf gladiator sandals with capris or a miniskirt, especially if you have very slender ankles. Try metallic colors, such as gold or silver, to add a dressy flare to your gladiator sandals, or don a heeled version for a more formal event and to accentuate your calf muscles. Look for gladiator sandals with a zipper in the back to allow you to slip them on and off easily, especially if you are wearing them through security checkpoints during travel.
Increase the versatility of your gladiator sandals by selecting the low-profile version with only three to four straps on each side. If you have slender legs, wear sandals with a thin center bisecting strap; choose a wider strap if you have thick legs and ankles. Pick skin-tone colored sandals for the most flattering, subtle appearance or eye-popping colors such as teal or purple to make a fashion statement.
Pair heeled gladiators with a pair of skinny jeans to increase your height, or wear flat, low-profile gladiators with a maxi dress or long skirt. Show off your adventurous side by combining your metallic, heeled gladiators with a cocktail dress for a beachfront wedding. Adopt the laissez-faire look often modeled by celebrities by wearing sandals of a bright color not seen elsewhere in your outfit, or appear sophisticated in a patterned dress and solid-color, matching gladiators.
References and ResourcesThe Chic Fashionista: Gladiator Sandals
Style Observer: How to Wear Gladiator Sandals
Roman Colusseum Info: Gladiator Sandals