*Last Updated: July 2024

The 5 Best Gladiator Sandals | Plus Instagram Style Pics

In this post, we compiled a list of the five most stunning gladiator sandals on the market today. Along with some amazing Instagram looks!

Are you looking to conjure up the visions and styles of Greek goddesses as well as the Roman Empire?

If yes, just go for a pair of gladiator sandals.

It may have started as the most basic type of footwear but these days it is considered a marker of fashion, status, sex, and rank.


A Gorgeous Strappy Example



While never out of fashion, these gladiator shoes are once again experiencing a renaissance these days.

What’s more? Gladiator sandals not only let you feel the power and strength of Greek goddesses but they also allow you to flaunt the original bohemian style in a slightly modified version.

Comparing Them

Bestseller No. 1
katliu Womens Gladiator Sandals Strap Sandal Two Ankle Buckle Open Toe Summer Flat Zipper Gladiator Sandal Black 11
  • Katliu gladiator sandals featured faux leather upper with perfect sewing and soft hand, hidden elastic on back strap for flexible fit
SaleBestseller No. 3
Trary Women's Sandal, Comfortable Gladiator Sandals Ankle Strap Flats Sandalias Para Mujer Beach Sandals Wide Width Open Toe Cross Strappy Sandals for Women Dressy Summer
  • Ultimate Comfort, Effortless Style: Our women's sandals feature soft PU leather, breathable insoles, and a non-slip sole for a blissful foot feel. With multiple snug-fitting straps and adjustable buckles, these sandals ensure a perfect fit. Say goodbye to discomfort and hello to effortless summer style!
Bestseller No. 4
Tassel Sandals for Women, Retro Bohemian Gladiator Fringe Casual Shoes Flat Clip Toe Ankle Boots Beach Sandals T-Strap Roman Open-Toe Sandals
  • 【Comfortable】The casual sandals are made of high quality artificial leather which are soft and comfortable on the skin. Non-slip lines on the sole makes it difficult for your feet to slip out. It can’t burden your feet and can be carried around without taking up too much space.

Buying Guide

Put simply, gladiator sandals, inspired by the sand and heat of the gladiatorial arena (Source), are the ideal combination of functionality and style which is great for the beach, walking or work. While the interpretation of the ancient style has something for everyone, there are some things that you should keep in mind when buying your favorite pair.

  • Proper Fit For Comfort: First of all, if you are thinking of wearing gladiator sandals for any length of time, look for a pair that supports your feet comfortably and keeps secure. A properly fitted, cushioning sole and adjustable straps to keep them secure are things you need to consider.
  • Cushioning: Remember that a low heel with a thicker sole would offer the maximum shock absorption for your feet. Hence, look for materials which not only cushion the feet but also are adequately solid to provide good support. Ideal materials include leather, memory foam, neoprene, cork etc.
  • Arch Support: Arch support is another important factor because when improperly supported, your arches can become strained. Ideally, you should look for a pair with a contoured arch to provide more support to the arches. It is also important how much stability and traction the pair will offer because a lack of any of these can lead to various short- or long-term injuries.

Style History



Gladiator sandals can be considered as a flat sandal with numbers of cross straps keeping the sole to the feet, with one strap around the ankle.

These have existed since ancient times when Greek and Roman gladiators wore them through battle. Even though this footwear has existed since the old times it seems that it has not been in the fashion landscape until the last century.

The full gladiator style began popping up in the 1960s. Gladiator sandals remained in fashion throughout the ‘70s until their popularity declined in the ‘80s.

The most recent resurgence of the strap-on sandals can be marked in the early 2000s. Calvin Klein (Source) accessorized almost every outfit in his Spring/Summer 2002 collection with them.

The collection set an example for the footwear style – these gladiator sandals were made from satin, linen or leather, bringing elegance to its look and softness.

Throughout the decade, other designers followed suit, creating their own takes on these, adding details like metallic finishes, heels, zippers, bright colors etc.

The style continues to change and grow, with present-day versions typically consisting of gladiator-inspired straps or laces with a heel. Gladiator sandals are going strong steadily and likely to stay in fashion a few more seasons at the very minimum.



How To Wear Gladiator Sandals

The edgy, tough, and ancient-inspired gladiator sandals are back in trends and here are some tips on how to wear them perfectly.

Though some think that it is quite difficult to style these sandals with casual clothes, in reality, they are just perfect for an awesome street style. If you do have long and beautiful legs, go for knee-length sandals.

If you are a petite person, you should look for near the ankle styles. When it comes to the straps’ width: if you have thicker legs, it is recommended to choose thin straps while wide strapped ones are perfect for those having slender legs.

Gladiator sandals are the focal point of any outfit, hence choosing the right color and style is important.

A neutral color can be a great all-rounder and suits almost any outfit.

Though the possibilities are endless in the context of what to wear with gladiator sandals, outfits like pencil skirts, mini dress, denim shorts, slim-fit trousers, maxi gown etc look absolutely stunning.

Here are some brilliant ways to wear these sandals.

How To Tie Them

Some gladiator sandals come with long straps that you need to tie around the legs. Basically, there are two ways to do it properly.

You can tie them just under the knees or around the ankles.

When it comes to wrapping the straps around the legs, you may wrap it one and a half times or only once around the leg. The ‘X’ of those straps should be around your calf muscle to prevent falling them down.

Make a knot just below the knees to finish it off. If you want to tie the sandals around the ankle, all the straps should be below your calves. Wrap one strap counterclockwise and the other one clockwise around the ankle until you are left with enough strap to make a knot.

You can watch this video to get a clearing understanding of the processes.

DIY Gladiator Sandals From Flip Flops

Are you looking to upgrade your summer wardrobe with things you have around your house? If yes, you can start with turning a pair of flip flops into gladiator sandals by yourself. Supplies you would need to do this include a pair of flip flops, elastic or t-shirt yarn, embellishments, hot glue, and shoe clips.

  1. First, pull the actual straps out of the flip flops and just discard them.
  2. Then cut three pieces of elastic or t-shirt yarn to around twice as long as you would require to loop from one ankle to the end of the other ankle.
  3. Thread the loose end of the elastic through any of the side ankle holes of the sandal, beginning from underneath.
  4. Pull through until the knot is wedged into the present hole, using glue if necessary. Now, braid the strings until you get the length required to wrap to your foot’s front and back to the other ankle.
  5. Thread the end of the braid via the hole and finish it with a knot. For the area of the sandal which goes between the toes, you can cut a couple of inches wide piece of your t-shirt string to use. Thread the string via the toe hole and loop it around the braided cord. Tie those two strings together using an overhand knot.
  6. Now you need to prepare the string which you would braid to wrap around the ankles. Determine the approximate length and cut one string double that length and another one four times that length.
  7. Thread the long string through one of the braid’s loops and weave the shorter piece through the braid’s another loop.
  8. Once your gladiator sandals are fully braided, embellishments can be added if you would like to.
  9. If the process seems like a little uphill one, you can watch this video to learn a relatively easier method.

Men’s Gladiator Sandals

While gladiator sandals are giving a new definition and look to this type of footwear, many people think that they are for women only.

However, in reality, men can also wear these sandals and flaunt the aggressive and stylish look.

Usually, gladiator sandals made of leather are mainly preferred by males and these are perfect for chill outs and parties.

These sandals look great when worn with short pants and offer you a great grip while walking. See this video to get a feel of how it looks when worn by men.

Embellished Designs

SaleBestseller No. 1
ZhuLinFeng Women'S Rhinestone Gladiator Sandals Flat Wedding Sandals Gem Pearl Sparkling Bridal Bridesmaid Sandals Blue Bohemian Sandals Size 9
  • [Characteristics of sandals]: Flat sandals are inlaid with sparkling artificial gemstones and blue rhinestones. The classic bohemian style, comfortable and non-slip sole, flat heel design makes the shoes light and comfortable.

Embellished gladiator sandals are ideal for those want to shimmer in the sunshine. If you dare to be bold, just do some online research and you would find jeweled and embellished pieces that would help you stand out of the crowd. Some stores also sell pieces that are hand-sewn and come with top quality crystals. Both short and knee-high styles are available that you can pair with any of favorite skirt or dress.

Etsy Options

Below, we found some good Etsy options:

Etsy SandalURL
Gladiator sandals, Greek sandals, Choose scarf laces from 20 colors and leather footbed from 6 colors "ATHENA"https://www.etsy.com/listing/180758192/gladiator-sandals-greek-sandals
Leather gladiator sandals/ Lace up sandals/ Womens sandals/ Beach shoes/ Ancient Greek sandals/ Spartan sandals/ Genuine leather sandalshttps://www.etsy.com/listing/219877262/leather-gladiator-sandals-lace-up
Lace Up Gladiator Sandals. Black soles with Black laces. Eco-friendly and vegan.https://www.etsy.com/listing/228697856/lace-up-gladiator-sandals-black-soles
Bohemian women sandals. Ideal women shoes for summer! Made with genuine leather. Slip resistant sole. Designed to lasthttps://www.etsy.com/listing/277832958/bohemian-women-sandals-ideal-women-shoes
White Pearls Sandals, Leather Sandals, Wedding Shoes, Wedding Sandals, Handmade Sandals, Barefoot Sandals, Made From Genuine Leather.https://www.etsy.com/listing/286966525/white-pearls-sandals-leather-sandals
ZOE sandals, Ancient Greek leather sandals, Lace up sandals, Gold sandals, Gladiator sandals, Women sandals, Thong sandals, handmade sandalshttps://www.etsy.com/listing/385274474/zoe-sandals-ancient-greek-leather

Gladiator Sandals Reviews

Many may put these sandals in a similar category of comfort-first Crocs and flip-flops, and think they are all boring, tan, and flat.

However, gladiator sandals reviews say something completely different.

According to some of them, it is a great combination of style and comfort, and ideal for anyone who wears these all-day. Features like leather lining, adjustable buckle closure, cushioned footbed, padded insole, leather outsole, etc. have received excellent preferences.

After going through the reviews, it can be said that this style keeps coming back for an obvious reason and that is it works.

While there are lots of variations can be found, they can work for any age and any style. And all of these sandals have that strappy, sexy thing going on. In gladiator sandals, you always feel and look like you are in complete control.

Regardless of whether you are plus-sized or petite, there is surely a pair of these sandals which will work for you to a great extent.

The Top 5 Team

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