Sponsored by Nordstrom and ShopStyle Collective
Tan slides (from comfort shoe brands — obvi!) are my go-to easy shoe for summer. Easy to slip on as you’re walking out of the house, easy to slip off when you’re walking back in, and the absolute easiest shoe to wear with all the easy summer outfits (style-wise).
Tan Slides: A Summer Sandal Must-Have
Tan slides (or really any shade of brown) work with pretty much everything in my closet — without much thought required (this no-thought-required aspect always gets a “woohoo!” shout out from me). And in the personal comfort shoe selection next to my front door…tan slides absolutely get the most wear every single summer.
I wear tan slides with colorful summer midi dresses, long black maxis, my go-to jumpsuits, all washes of denim, and if you do catch me wearing shorts (reserved pretty much only for The Mom Edit team short posts where I rant about how much I hate wearing shorts), I’ll absolutely be wearing tan slides with those as well.
Birkenstocks, Kork-Ease & Born: A Comfort Sandal Comparison
In addition to loving the easy works-with-everything shoe quality in a pair of summer shoes, I’m also a big fan of sandals that are comfortable. Big fan is actually an understatement…comfort and walkability is absolutely essential for my day-to-day. And that’s where this tan slide sandal thing gets a bit trickier.
What meets the requirements of a comfortable sandal for some feet does not necessarily meet the requirements for a comfortable sandal for all feet. I’ve found that it really depends on your foot shape, how much arch support your feet prefer, how much walking you do, how heavy or lightweight you like your sandals, how sensitive your skin is to different materials…this is clearly complex stuff that I LOVE to dive into.
My Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle Sandals have been one of my most-worn summer slides for several years now. I know Birkenstocks aren’t for everyone’s feet (or style preference), though. Sometimes even I am looking for something other than Birkenstocks, so I took a look this year at some VERY similar styles from other beloved comfort shoe brands.
*Quick Note: If you REALLY can’t keep ANY slides on your feet…ever…no matter what the brand (I know there are some of you out there) I’m obsessed with Shana’s comfortable tan slingback sandals. Just as easy style-wise to throw on with everything, but that slingback keeps them in place. Note that they have a nice cushiony footbed and a bit of arch support, but not as much support as the tan slides that I tried below.
These Birkenstock Madrid sandals are absolutely fabulous. My top pick for flat comfortable tan buckled slides (for my picky feet). I love everything about these sandals. I’ve worn the Birkenstock Madrids in several colors for years, but the tan with the gold buckle is my most worn. The tan/brown is on the darker richer side and the bright gold metal makes these sandals pop in the best way. This colorway sells out every year, but they’re restocked at Nordstrom (for now, anyway!)
In terms of comfort, Birkenstocks have a contoured firm footbed that my feet ADORE. Just the right amount of medium arch support so that I can walk comfortably for miles on the city pavement without any issues. I love that they are a flat-looking sandal, but still provide a decent amount of arch support. Many flat comfort shoe sandals are soft and cushiony, but don’t provide enough arch support for my feet when standing and walking long periods of time.
For sizing, I size down in almost all Birkenstocks. The first year I bought these, I got my regular size and the top wore a blister on my foot the first few times I wore them as the leather was breaking in. I then bought a size smaller that fit the length of my foot better and had no issues with a breaking-in period. The buckle also makes the fit adjustable which is really nice.
The leather on these tan Birkenstocks is on the stiffer side and has a more substantial last-forever feel to it. The leather does soften with wear and as you can see, mine don’t look BRAND new after tons and tons and tons of wear, but they weather really nicely and absolutely have a prominent place in my forever closet. If you like the look of the big buckle, but have a hard time keeping this style of slide on your feet, try the Arizona Big Buckle instead.
Kork-Ease is on fire this summer with their comfort shoe sandal styles. SO good! I’ve been coveting Shana’s slingbacks, I’ve been wearing these amazing clogs on repeat, and I am in love with these new slide sandals as well.
The Tutsi Buckle Slide is a great slide if you’re looking for a softer, more cushiony footbed than the Birkenstocks, a little more height (they have a 1-inch heel), and prefer a lightweight sandal. They have a light to medium amount of arch support and are on the narrower side (compared to the Borns and the Birkenstocks). The leather is also a bit softer on my foot than the Borns and the Birkenstocks.
Although the “brown” color I’m wearing is very pretty, I also have the black and they’re fantastic! The combination of the black slide with the cork-colored tan buckle works really well. Sometimes black sandals feel too harsh, but the tan buckle softens the look perfectly, and makes these black sandals easier to wear with a range of lighter summer colors.
These Kork-Ease fit me true to size, and the buckle is adjustable for a better fit. They have a narrower fit than the Birks and Borns, but when I loosen the buckle my wide-ish foot is still very happy in them.
I was drawn to the Born Sloan Slide because of the look of the 1.5 inch platform and the cool rattan detailing on some of the colorways. I’m 5’2 and although I often wear flat sandals (i.e. Birkenstocks), I absolutely like to have some sandals with a bit of height in the rotation.
I was not disappointed at all in the look of the Sloans. Great colorways (including my favorite tan distressed featured above) and the 1.5-inch platform gives them a great look with tons of casual outfits.
Additionally, they have a nice cushioned foam footbed and a medium amount of arch support. My feet were SO super happy the first time I slipped my feet into them. They have a completely different feel from the Birkenstocks and the Kork-Ease. They’re much heavier and feel more like a clog when you’re walking, which is just fine for me…I’m a huge fan of the feel of clogs.
Note that the leather is also thicker than the Kork-Ease. The top strap (like the Birkenstocks) may take a bit for your feet to get used to. My feet LOVED them around the house, standing on the playground, and on shorter slower walks, but I had some pain on the top of my foot (where the leather overlaps under the buckle) the first time I walked in them several miles at once.
The Borns fit my foot TTS and also have an adjustable buckle to tighten or loosen for a more customized fit. They are on the wider side (similar to the Birkenstocks), so if you’re looking for something narrower, the Kork-Ease would be a better choice.
More Cute & Comfortable Tan Slides For Summer
A great big thank you to Nordstrom and ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post. Nordstrom carries every single one of my favorite comfort shoe brands…woohoo, Nordstrom! And I get so excited about any opportunity to share my love of comfortable shoes with you guys. As most of you know, Nordstrom also makes one-stop-shopping super easy with their convenient returns, order online and pickup in-store/curbside options, and great customer service. Makes it SO much more enjoyable when trying to find that perfect summer comfort shoe. Thank you also to all our TME readers …your time and support are SO appreciated.
photo credits: Redfield Photography