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I never thought I'd wear Crocs—until I tried these sandals

The brand is so much more than the clunky clogs.

I never thought I'd wear Crocs—until I tried these sandals Credit: Crocs / Reviewed / Patrice J. Williams

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I absolutely hate Crocs. Well, I thought I did. I always associated the brand with those clunky clogs that so many people love or love to hate. I get it. They’re comfortable and come in pretty much every color or pattern imaginable. But the clunky (and somewhat ugly) design just never suited my style, no matter how comfortable they might be. I was okay with never being a Crocs girl, even if thousands upon thousands of reviewers praise the shoe on Amazon.

But my tune changed five years ago. I was stopped dead in my tracks during a press preview for Crocs’ upcoming collections. Though I write about fashion for a living, I never really knew Crocs actually had options other than those dang clogs and the Jibbitz charms—and that any of them could be considered fashionable.

Featured in the collection, was the stunning Isabella T-Strap Sandal that I could not stop staring at. When a publicist asked if I’d like to receive a pair, I immediately said yes, and have been wearing this black pair ever since.

These cute, comfortable Crocs sandals have more than 800 reviews and a near perfect 5-star rating on the site. They’re described as “more refined, more feminine, more fun” and 92 percent of reviewers would recommend the product to a friend, with comfort being a key highlight. After rocking these sandals for a few years, I can say I agree.

Crocs sandals are the comfiest summer footwear

Crocs Sandals Summer
Credit: Crocs / Reviewed / Patrice J. Williams

Pairing the affordable sandals with my favorite vintage jumpsuit.

Though I instantly loved the strappy look of the sandals, one of my initial concerns was the rubber t-strap. I worried it would feel too tight and cause discomfort or irritation between my toes. Luckily, that hasn’t been the case—I have never experienced any strap tugging and I do a lot of walking.

I don’t know if the little “bumps” or ridges on the footbed aid in the comfort, but the Croslite foam cushioning (also featured in the classic clogs) feels like walking on clouds. The sandal is quite thin, but the cushion creates the perfect barrier so I don’t feel every pebble or stone on the pavement.

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Anyone who’s ever worn heels or sandals that are slightly too loose or made of leather know what’s coming when you start to break-in the shoe: Your foot starts to rub against the material of the shoe and you head straight towards blister-ville. Crocs don’t come in half sizes, so I sized down to an eight, instead of my usual 8.5 shoe size. Thankfully the fit was perfect, though many reviews suggest ordering up if you’re in between sizes. I still feel like a nine would have been a tad too large for me, and I haven’t had any blisters while wearing these sandals.

The Crocs Isabella Sandal is perfect for traveling

Crocs Sandals Traveling
Credit: Reviewed / Patrice J. Williams

Perfect, comfortable footwear for exploring the street art in Aruba.

Comfort has been the main reason I love the Isabella sandals, but they also make the perfect travel shoe. In 2019, I was traveling for work about a third of the year and every single warm, humid destination I went to, this Isabellas came right along with me, helping me walk many miles pain-free while exploring.

The TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material has some flexibility so the shoe easily fits in a stuffed suitcase. But the one thing I truly loved, especially while traveling, is the versatility. I’ve worn the sandals at the pool, on the beach, and even paired with a vintage jumpsuit at a swanky restaurant. Though it’s still a causal sandal, it has a slightly more elevated look and works for so many occasions.

I was initially worried that the dark plastic would feel hot underneath my foot, but even when worn under the 90-plus degree Aruban sun, it wasn’t a problem. The only annoying thing is the t-strap leaves behind a funky tan line.

Is the Isabella T-Strap Sandal worth it?

Crocs Sandals Colors
Credit: Crocs

The Isabella sandal comes in a few colors, including bronze and cantaloupe.

Though the Isabella comes in a few colors, bronze, barely pink, and cantaloupe, the black pair I own goes with everything, which is really important when traveling light, or if you want a versatile shoe. The Isabella sandal is also available in a style with more straps called the Isabella Strappy Sandal, if that’s more your style.

However, the one issue I had was with the durability of t-strap. The plastic has held up for years, but recently when I pulled the heel of the shoe over my ankle a little too hard, it created a small tear. It unfortunatley left a slight rip in one of the straps. But thankfully, they're still wearable and the tear isn't too noticeable unless I look closely. This shouldn’t happen under normal circumstances and I chalk it up to tugging on them with some major force (I was rushing to hop in an Uber). But it’s something to keep in mind when wearing them.

The Isabella T-Strap Sandal is comfortable, stylish, and extremely affordable. I can’t exactly count how many times I’ve worn the sandals over the years, but at less than $40 a pair, it’s been a great cost per wear ratio. If you’re looking for a sensible sandal that’s great for travel and powerwalks, I highly recommend investing in a pair for yourself.

Get the Isabella T-Strap Sandal at Crocs for $35.99

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