forget the gladiator—here’s our sandal of the summer.

by rebecca willa davis

It seems like just yesterday the gladiator sandal emerged as the summer shoe victor--everywhere we looked, there was the stripy flat. But this summer, we think another style is about to supersede it as the It Sandal: the fisherman sandal.

What exactly makes a sandal a fisherman sandal (and not, say, a gladiator)? Here are our rules: They have a strip running down the center from ankle to toe, with interwoven pieces of fabric (leather, or otherwise) coming off the center. If they look a bit like jelly sandals, that's because jellies were based off of the classic fisherman style back in 1946. Why call them fisherman? No one seems to know--and there have been examples of these cut throughout history--but if we had to put money on it, we'd guess that the gaps would allow water to flow out, while the sturdy sole makes it a bit easier to work on the docks.

Now, you may have worn some variation of it when you were a kid (or, alternately, your parents may have), but the pairs we've been loving aren't all classics; though you can get old-school style leather fisherman sandals, you can also get them with wedges, big rubber soles, wooden platforms, and even bows. (There's also a pair designed by Agyness Deyn, which means that they're It Girl-approved.)

So, are you ready to go fish?

Topshop Aladin Gladiator Boots - $144

Madewell The Andie Sandal - $148

Opening Ceremony Grunge Fisherman Sandals - $405

Dolce Vita Bermuda Sandal - $89.99

Marais USA Woven Heel Sandals - $140

Dr. Martens Aggy Interlace Sandal - $150

F-Troupe Bow Gold Strap Flat Sandals - $207.81

Eastland Juniper Fisherman Sandal - $150