Wearing a quality pair of sandals is a great way to keep your feet cool during hot summer days while still maintaining your sense of style. Sandals are the ideal footwear for outdoor events such as backyard barbecues, trips to the beach, and festivals, and there is also an increase in the number of sandals in the street as well as more formal settings such as places of work- but how appropriate are they to wear in church? Read on to find out if you should wear your favorite pair of sandals to the next church service you plan to attend.
Can you wear sandals in church? Depending on the church you attend, wearing sandals to places of worship is generally considered to be acceptable as long as they are appropriate. Just like your workplace, the church is considered to be a formal environment where flashier sandal options may be frowned upon.
For example, a pair of gladiator sandals that run the length of your leg is hardly appropriate for a church service. On the other hand, dress sandals are a bit more conservative, making them a great choice for a day in church. You might also want to consider the color of the sandals that you wear – nude or muted colors such as black, white, or grey are generally more appropriate than overly bright colors that may draw too much attention. You will also need sandals that are comfortable and provide adequate arch support especially if you expect to spend a lot of time on your feet.
Although the dress code in most churches today is much more casual, there is still some debate over whether sandals are the appropriate footwear. All the same, different sandal designs vary in terms of appropriateness, with many of the more conservative ones being more acceptable in formal settings such as churches and workplaces. Here is what you need to know about the types of sandals you can wear to work.
Considerations for wearing sandals to church
1. The design
Sandals come in a wide variety of designs, with some of them being more casual than others. Here are some of the most common ones you might come across:
Slide sandals – Slide sandals, sometimes referred to as slip-ons, are a type of footwear that are worn casually. They can be worn by both men and women, and they are also quite versatile, allowing you to pair them with anything from a chic leather mini to boyfriend jeans. They come in a wide variety of designs, and these are some of the most common you will find:
- Crossed leather slides – These are sandals that feature a leather cross band upper. They are great for a backyard barbeque or a poolside party, and they are great when paired with line pants or khaki shorts. However, they are simply too casual to be worn to formal settings such as churches.
- Striped beach slides – Striped beach slides are sandals which are made from a rubber-like material, and despite being comfortable, they are limited to being worn at home.
- Furry slides – Furry slides are a type of sandals that are mostly associated with being worn within the house, although more people are wearing them in casual settings as well. They might be too casual for some churches, but when paired with the right outfit, you might be able to get away with them.
Wedges – Wedge sandals are a summer favorite that you can wear all year round. They feature a joined sole and heel and are typically made of one material- often Perspex, wood, or cork. They are versatile, allowing you to dress them up and down with ease. Unlike with stilettos, you don’t have to worry about sinking into the grass with wedges. They are also great for wearing to church especially when you pair them with a flowy dress.
Slingbacks – These sandals have experienced a resurge in popularity in the recent past and managed to become one of the most sought-after styles of sandals today. They feature a low kitten heel and are generally acceptable when worn in formal settings such as the church or your workplace. Consider pairing them with a cocktail dress for an elegant look.
Dress sandals – Dress sandals typically feature a heel that is low and manageable to walk in. For a day in church, you can wear them with a dress, but they also go really well with wide-legged trousers, giving you a streamlined look.
Mules – Mules come in two varieties: heeled and flats. Flat mules are best reserved for casual settings, while heeled mules are great for virtually any setting, including going to church. For a muted yet elegant look, opt to pair them with wide leg palazzo pants as well as skirts and dresses.
Peep toe sandals – Peep toe sandals in most cases are heeled, which makes them quite practical for a day in church when paired with an elegant dress.
Birkenstocks – Love them or hate them, Birkenstocks are one of the more enduring sandal designs that have made a comeback more than once. Currently, they are yet to be integrated into church attire, but who knows where fashion is headed!
Lace-up sandals – Whether you go for a pair that is lace up to the thigh or tasseled at the ankle, there is no doubt that lace up sandals are on trend. They can be paired with a wide variety of outfits, including dresses, skirts, and pants. For a day in church, you may be better off going for a pair that doesn’t go beyond your ankle.
Closed toe sandals – Closed toe sandals cover your toes and prevent them from potentially being trodden on. They are generally conservative, which makes them perfect for church.
Flat sandals – There are different types of flat sandal with different levels of acceptance in formal settings. A pair that is simple yet elegant can be worn to church as well as a casual office, whereas a bare sandal is often too casual.
Gladiator sandals – Gladiator sandals typically feature multiple straps that run across the foot in a manner that is reminiscent of Roman gladiators, hence the name. Although they are very stylish, they might be deemed as too showy when worn to church, so you will want to steer clear of them.
T-strap sandals – T-strap sandals are renowned for their flattering cut as well as their illusorily elongating abilities, which makes them perfect to pair with a Grecian summer maxi dress as well as your favorite shorts. For a church service, you might want to stick with the maxi dress.
2. The color
Finding the right sandals to go with your outfit for going to church can depend on the color of the sandals.
Muted colors and nude tones – Muted colors are the ideal color choice for sandals that are worn to church. Consider a simple ash grey, tan, or taupe sandal that are versatile enough to pair with just about any outfit. Nude and neutral tones are great for making your legs seem longer than they actually are. Black sandals can be paired with almost any outfit, but you will want to avoid earth tones. Brown is great to pair with shades of brown, tan, beige, and darker earth tones, while white sandals are ideal for light neutrals and pastels.
Bright colors – Although brightly colored sandals are great for virtually any casual setting, they can draw too much attention when worn to church. Therefore, you will want to avoid bright yellow, orange, red, neon green, or any other color that may be perceived as being too loud.
3. The comfort
The comfort of the shoe you plan to wear to church is paramount, especially if you are going to spend a lot of time on your feet. Here are some factors regarding comfort to take into consideration.
Arch support – Arch support is essential in alleviating pain as well as preventing your arches from collapsing and consequent foot conditions. As a result, you want to go for sandals that have adequate arch support. if you have low arches, look for sandals that are categorized as “motion control” since they give the inside of your foot the added stability it needs to keep the arch from collapsing. If you have high arches, consider going for “cushioning” sandals – these sandals have a curved shape so as to encourage your foot to roll inward.
Heel height – Another important consideration when it comes to the comfort of your sandals is the height of the heel. Six-inch heel sandals are not only inappropriate for a day in church but are also very uncomfortable. Kitten heels or low block heels are considered to be fitting for such formal settings.
Although the dress code in churches is not as restrictive as it used to be, they are still considered to be formal settings. As a result, if you opt to wear sandals, they should not be too casual or flashy so as to be respectful of the environment. All in all, by basing your sandal selection on the design, color, and comfort, you might just find a pair in your closet which is deemed as acceptable when worn to church.