Step out in style for the summer

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Book that pedicure. Whether you want to channel a Seventies vibe with towering wedges or hit the ground running in gladiator flats, you’re going to need some pretty neat feet if you want to do the new shoe trends justice.

Book that pedicure. Whether you want to channel a Seventies vibe with towering wedges or hit the ground running in gladiator flats, you’re going to need some pretty neat feet if you want to do the new shoe trends justice.

After the clumpy boots and black tights of winter, all those strappy sandals and peep-toes demand a bit of foot pampering homework.

Says Brix Smith-Start, TV stylist and ambassador for Scholl. “A little foot pampering goes a long way. When you put a fun nail colour on your toes it really lifts your spirit - it’s like fashion Prozac!”

Here’s the lowdown on the heels of the moment...

Bright On

Super flat or sky-high, step into jewel-bright sandals to flaunt your summer glow.

Mix ‘n’ match clothing was all over the spring/summer ’11 catwalks at Diane Von Furstenberg, Gucci and Jil Sander. If you haven’t worked colour blocking into your wardrobe yet, dip into the trend via your toes.

“Break the rules and clash your nail colour with your shoes using a contrasting bright shade,” Smith-Start suggests. “The brighter the better.”

You don’t have to be overly courageous with colour to break out the brights either: “If you wear a beautiful little black dress, put a red shoe with it and that’s it!

People often ask me, ‘How can I wear black to a wedding?’ Just accessorise it with colour,” says Smith-Start. “The bright shoes, the handbag, the lipstick, the jewellery – that just brings it all together.”

Clog Capers

Chanel’s reincarnation of the humble wooden sole last year brought clogs back into vogue.

Thankfully, this summer, the heavy closed-toe mules that left people hobbling in the street have been become much more bunion-friendly.

“Clogs have made a massive comeback, worn by the likes of Alexa Chung,” Smith-Start explains.

“Look for styles with a mini heel to make them a bit more elegant.”

Heel maven Sarah Jessica Parker recently replaced her trademark Manolo Blahnik stilettos with a very walkable pair of Swedish Hasbeens clogs.

Other modern clog brands with wooden soles worth investing in include Sanita and Maguba.

If you prefer the old school-style, give them a 2011 twist: “Wear yours in an unexpected colour, like silver, if you’re going for the classic closed-toe clogs,” Smith-Start advises.

“It all gets a bit too ‘granola’ rustic if you go for the natural ones.”

Wedge Walk

Towering wedges are in the style spotlight once more as fashion focuses on the Seventies trend.

Revive that retro vibe in cork or raffia for daytime bohemia or go for corsage adornments or glitzy leathers, for Studio 54 glamour.

“This season’s wedges hit on the Seventies trend but, although they’re high, they can be really light and comfortable,” Smith-Start reassures.

“Make sure you assess the weight so they don’t pound your feet as you’re strutting the pavements.”

If you get the wobbles with wedges, check out their little sister this season - the ‘flatform’.

A hybrid of platforms and flat shoes, these new-wave wedges were spotted on spring/summer 11 runways.

Boasting all the height of platforms without the pain, what they lack in elegance they make up for in the comfort factor.

Gladitor Glory

There’s no Greek tragedy with this style of sandal – the gladiator keeps being reinvented every summer.

“The gladiator is still in style but has been updated,” Smith-Start says.

“It’s so simple, it’s become a classic sandal.”

From ultra-feminine simple styles to opulent embellished pairs, this versatile summer shoe staple can turn its heel to any trend whether it’s tribal, brights or metallics.

“If you want more coverage, Gladiator bootie sandals are in.

“Or if you’ve got a good pedicure to show off, there are even jelly gladiators,” says Smith-Start.

“The gladiator shape makes jellies look more grown-up. Go for a bright shade or, for extra glamour, a metallic.”

Most gladiators are flats but if you prefer added height, look for mini-wedge versions in luxe gold or silver, that will take you from day to night in one effortless stride.