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Gladiator Sandals: Timeless style and new imagining

Every summer for the past few years there is the same sandal announcement.

Gladiator sandals are all the rage!

The new gladiator sandal
Thanks. Good to know that the ones I had last year I can still wear. Because I know we’re all worried about how in style our sandals are.

The summer of 2013 doesn’t appear to be any different, in that the strappy, buckled, stand-by can still be worn with your maxi dress (also still in style), but when you look for the gladiator sandal on the runways, red carpet and in the fashion magazines, it’s become a little more…aggressive.

Once happy with their two or three ankle straps, the new form of gladiator sandal looks like something Xena would rock in some teenager’s wet dream. The new imagining have stiletto heels and lace or buckle all the way up to the knee.

Then there are also the flat ones that make you look like you may actually be an extra for the movie Gladiator 2. And I mean that in the worst way possible. 

If you have calf fat or cankles, don’t even bother looking at these. Hell, if you have muscular calves don’t bother looking at these.

Jennifer Connelley rocks these
Balenciaga gladiator heels. 
While I love the look, I can only imagine that the buckles around my overly-developed man-calves would make them look even larger (assuming they buckled at all).

Instead you have to have the legs of a Grecian goddess (or Heidi Klum) to pull off this look. It also goes without saying that these dominatrix gladiator sandals also have to be worn with a dress that is cut all the way to your nether regions, or is flowy and has a slit up to your belly-button.

Underwear is necessary, and yet potentially difficult.

There’s also the added frustration of getting these things on and off. I have a hard enough time with one buckle on a pair of heels. Especially after a couple cocktails. I’m pretty sure I slept with my shoes on more than once in my early 20s. With buckles all the way to the knee, forget it. I would probably just leave them on until I had to shower or someone took them off me.

Don't go flat and tall. Ick.
Still they are undeniably amazing, and I would love to own a pair, even if I never wear them (which I probably wouldn’t because my conservative corporate day job probably frowns upon knee high gladiator heels).

So I’ll stick with my wedge gladiator sandals that got me through a summer of street fests, a vacation to New Orleans and various other adventures. And if this summer doesn’t kill them, chances are pretty good that they’ll be in style again next summer as well.