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Fashion beat: A guide to summer sandal styles

This summer's sandals are a sort of hodgepodge from the past few years' selections. You'll see gladiators, flip-flops, and stilettos; flats, high-heels and wedges. You'll even see gladiator wedges, or gladiator stilettos, or wedges with holes through the heels. There is no stopping the possibilities in this season's shoes.

Gladiators - flat, stiletto or wedge - have become popular. They "lace" up your legs for that Audrey-Hepburn-in-Roman Holiday look. Be careful if your legs are on the shorter side as these sandals can make you look even shorter. Opt for high-heeled gladiators to make your legs look longer.

There is a strange trend in sandals that seems to combine a bootie with a sandal. From the ankle up it looks like a boot, but below the ankle it looks like a sandal. It's an interesting trend - definitely for any fashionista out there.

There is no limit to the materials used in shoes this summer. Leather, suede, patent leather, cork, wood, rope, jewels and bedazzlement are all easily found. Cork or wooden heels, or heels wrapped in rope, are popular on wedge heels. Jewels and "bedazzlement" have also become a popular statement.

The most popular colors for sandals are metallics, neutrals, bright/bold colors, and animal prints. Some sandals even have a multitude of fabrics and colors. Clear plastic with leopard print, and red patent leather is an example.

Holes have been making an appearance in everything from 80's-style ripped jeans to wedge-heeled sandals. Some summer shoes have holes at the toes (peep toes), holes in the material, and even holes in cork heels. Holes in the heels are generally seen in a wedge heel. The hole just goes straight through the shoe, and leaves enough of the sole/heel so the shoe won't break. Don't underestimate the comfort or stability of this style. They are no more uncomfortable or hard to walk in than a wedge heel without a hole.

Rinni Clark is a fashion student at Cazenovia College.

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