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The Perfect Pair: Summer Sandals and Nail Polish Picks

Butter London polish at Nordstrom

Image courtesy of butter London

Nothing quite ties a spring-into-summer outfit together as a pretty pedicure to go with your sandals. When you’re polished up and stepping out in new shoes, you feel unstoppable—until you run into a street sign or a coworker because you were busy admiring your feet.

To inspire your shoe gazing, we’re featuring the season’s hottest sandal styles matched with equally exciting polish shades. But watch out: these combos are distracting.

Vince Camuto Krysta platform sandal

Butter London Dearie Me!


Try a platform plus a berry shade.

Add a retro kick to your summer dressing. The platform heel has emerged as one of the most exciting silhouettes of the season. Feminine but no-nonense, it’s a practical and uplifting shoe for those days and nights when you’ll be on the go but need to look lovely. Vince Camuto’s Krysta platform provides a feminine base for any outfit.

Add a juicy hue to the tips of your toes to play up the glamour of the sandal. Butter LONDON’s Dearie Me! was just the thing to pump up the throwback loveliness of this pretty pair.

platform sandals | butter LONDON polish

Ivanka Trump Klover sandal and Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude sandal

perfectpair_dior_polishRock the block-heel sandal with a bright toe.

This sophisticated silhouette will be taking summer by storm. Its overwhelming popularity resides, no doubt, in the ability to pair equally well with dresses, shorts and pants. Modern and feminine, the block heel offers a comfortable and clean polish to an outfit. In the chambray Ivanka Trump or suede Stuart Weitzman designs, you’ll find your go-to shoe.

We like both styles best with a pretty coral or peach polish. Apply Dior’s Milly lacquer with either shoe for a cheery and fresh finish.

block-heel sandals | Dior polish

Birkenstock Essentials Arizona Slide and Deborah Lippman Love Story polish

Slide on an easy sandal with a pretty neutral.

Laid-back looks pair great with a simple slide. Especially appropriate for summer days spent at the beach, a barbecue or an outdoor market, this shoe will be your favorite pair to wear with simple sundresses and shorts.

Adding a nice neutral shade to your toenails will keep the slide as dressed up as this casual shoe should be. Deborah Lippmann’s rosy Love Story polish looks great with this white Birkenstock Essentials Arizona sandal.

 slide sandals | Deborah Lippmann polish 

Vince Camuto Janil sandal

Essie Sole Mate polishLet color out of the cage. 

The strappy sandal trend continues to evolve in elaborate and interesting ways. Weaving on the vamp of the shoe has introduced increasingly unique patterns and textures. For instance, the Vince Camuto Janil sandal has braiding traversing the cage.

An unconventional color best suits this bold style. With brown suede versions (a common combo) we like a plum hue like essie’s Sole Mate. For black cage sandals, red tones like essie’s A-List complement the dramatic cage.

cage sandals | essie polish

Free People Leigh Hill sandal and Jin Soon Cantata polish

Try a wrap sandal with an earthy metallic.

Wrap sandals have really hit their stride. This season we’re seeing the style in a number of heights, from flat lace-ups that circle the ankle to high-heel ones that approach the knee. Essentially the style is a bit bohemian, but modern interpretations include stiletto and gladiator varieties that go beyond hippie-chick chic. But the Free People Leigh Hill sandal above brings it back to basics.

Pair these styles with an edgy mineral color like this JINsoon Cantata nail lacquer. Whether the sandal is flat or has a heel, choose something that doesn’t compete with the drama of the wraparound strap but won’t be overwhelmed by it either.

 lace-up sandals | JINsoon polish

Give your wedge an edge.

Wedge sandals are a comfortable staple in most warm-weather wardrobes. These chunky soled shoes contribute to effortless style. Flattering the legs while providing solid footing, wedge sandals appeal to all our dressing objectives. This Halogen Clarette wedge is a favorite among Nordstrom shoppers for its modern style and smart construction.

To play up the wedge’s cool edge, we like a chill blue or green shade like Ciaté Crème Paint Pot in Pepperminty. Something less traditional than the usual reds or pinks emphasizes the shoe’s contemporary silhouette.

wedge sandalsCiaté polish

—Britt Olson