With summer coming to an end, it can be difficult to know when to make the transition from open-toed shoes like sandals to closed-toe shoes and boots for fall and winter. Here are some tips on when you should put away your sandals for the season.
Factors To Consider
There are a few key factors to take into account when deciding when to stop wearing sandals:
Weather And Temperature
Once temperatures start dropping into the 60s Fahrenheit, it's generally time to retire your sandals. Cooler weather calls for closed-toe shoes that will keep your feet warmer. If temperatures are still in the 70s or 80s during the day, you may still be able to wear sandals, but once highs are only in the 60s, sandal season is over.
Calendar And Season
Most people stop wearing sandals sometime in September or October as autumn begins. Of course, the exact timing depends on where you live and what the weather is like in your region each year. In tropical climates, sandals may be worn year-round. For those in four-season climates, Labor Day weekend is often considered the unofficial end of sandal season.
Pay attention to low temperatures too. Even if daytime highs are still warm enough for sandals, once evenings start dipping into the 50s or below, it's best to switch to close-toed shoes. Cool evening temperatures mean your feet need more coverage.
Rain And Precipitation
Sandals should not be worn in rain, so as rainy season approaches in fall it's time to retire your summer footwear. The exact timing depends on your local climate patterns.
Activities And Events
Consider the activities you have coming up. Outdoor evening events may require more coverage for your feet. As fall holidays and festivities arise, closed-toe shoes may be more appropriate and comfortable.
When To Stop Wearing Different Sandal Styles
Not all sandals are created equal when it comes to weather appropriateness. Here are some guidelines for different types of sandals:
Flip flops are the least weather-appropriate sandal. They offer minimal support and no toe coverage. Retire flip flops once temperatures are consistently in the 70s or below or evenings are cool.
Flat sandals with simple straps can be worn in warmer weather but lack versatility. Once low temps are in the 60s, it's time to save these for next summer.
Sandals with chunky soles or straps offer more foot coverage and support. These can extend your sandal season into fall if daytime highs are still 70+ degrees.
Fancier sandal styles mainly reserved for dining out, parties, or special occasions can be put away earlier if your calendar no longer includes many warm-weather evening events.
Hiking Or Sport Sandals
Hiking/sport sandals are quite versatile and can be worn with pants or shorts in cooler weather. You can likely wear these into early fall depending on your activities.
- Gradually transition closed-toed shoes into your wardrobe as weather cools. Start by mixing in loafers, ankle boots, etc.
- Have a pair of socks handy. If a late heatwave occurs, you can quickly make sandals fall-appropriate again by adding socks.
- Consider pedicures. When it's time to show your bare toes again next spring, you'll want them to look polished.
- Store sandals properly to preserve and protect them between seasons.
- Don't force it too long. It's better to embrace the seasons and wear comfortable, weather-appropriate shoes.
- Judge by your comfort level. If your feet are cold in sandals, it's time for closed-toed shoes.
What temperature is too cold for sandals?
Once the high temperature is below 70 Fahrenheit, sandal weather is probably over. Evening lows in the 50s also signal it's time for close-toed shoes.
Can I still wear sandals in early fall?
It depends on where you live and the weather. If daytime highs are still in the 70s or low 80s, you may be able to still wear sandals in early September or October. Pay attention to low temps at night too.
Should I wear socks with sandals as it gets colder?
Yes, adding socks can extend your sandal wear into cooler weather. This works best with sportier sandal styles, not flimsy flip flops.
What shoes should I switch to for fall?
Ankle boots, loafers, sneakers, and other shoes with toe coverage are great fall options. Leather boots also help keep feet dry in wet weather.
Should sandals be put away before winter?
Sandals are not ideal footwear for winter weather. The lack of coverage, traction, and insulation make them impractical once cold weather hits. Retire all sandals by late fall.
Deciding when to stop wearing sandals can vary depending on your local climate, seasonal weather patterns, and personal comfort. Pay attention to forecasted high and low temperatures, precipitation, and calendar events.
For most people in four-season climates, sandal season ends sometime in September or October as cooler weather settles in. Listen to your own comfort level too. If your feet are constantly cold in sandals, it's a sign to make the seasonal transition to closed-toe shoes for fall and winter.