this thing's incredible

The $15 Summer Sandals That People Have Confused for Margiela

Are those Margiela? No, they’re Dream Pairs. Photo: Courtesy of Fiorella Valdesolo

I tend to think that New York is a place where you (unless you are a person who is shepherded from one destination to another via private coach and, ergo, whose feet rarely touch the ground) cannot be too precious about your shoes. Because they will, inevitably, take a beating. Yes, we do more walking here than in most cities, but there’s also the exposure to distinctly New York elements like unidentifiable subway sludge and also, especially in the summer months when garbage contents are liquefied by the heat, warm sidewalk sludge.

So, my requirements for the ideal New York summer shoe have always been formulated with these factors in mind. They shall be, above all, deeply comfortable; able to securely carry me on the spontaneous flights of fancy that tend to happen more in the summer and so often require solid walking support. They shall be made of a forgiving material to handle the humidity-stoked ebb and flow of my foot size. They shall be easy to slip on and require little of me in the way of effort, a rule I added when pregnant last year and bending to reach my feet became a near-impossible feat (see Amy Schumer’s recent Instagram sock post if you have no idea what I’m talking about). And their price tag shall remain firmly in the two-digit range because they may likely run their course after just a few months of very repetitive wear.

Last year, thanks to the eagle eyes of one of my dearest friends whose Amazon navigating abilities are truly unsurpassed, I happened upon a pair that fit all my criteria (they’re one of the best-reviewed on the site, too). That they also have them in the stark white color I favor, and elicited questions of whether they’re Margiela or Demeulemeester, makes their price tag (a cool $14.99) that much more remarkable. Search Dream Pairs on Amazon and you’ll find that many of their best-selling styles are pretty unremarkable: there are jewel-encrusted lamé gladiator sandals, style name, Spparkly (that’s right: two “p’s”); a deeply sensible low-heeled black pump; an equally sensible flexible ballerina flat.

Don’t be dissuaded. Just do as I did and beeline for the Greek Platform Wedge Flat Sandal (which, it should be noted, weirdly encompasses a number of different styles and is sort of a misnomer for all of them, as they’re not really a platform or a wedge or Greek for that matter). I like to order my Dream Pairs in pairs: Should one meet an untimely end I always have another at the ready.

Photo: Courtesy of Fiorella Valdesolo

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The $15 Summer Sandals That Get Confused for Margiela