Beaded Sandals: Ethnic Yet Elegant Footwear

Beaded sandals are women’s shoes studded with beads, often arranged in beautiful and elaborate designs on the straps or even around the heel. A beaded sandal is typically very vibrant and eye-catching and can be worn for both formal and informal events, depending on the types of designs on the shoes and the quality of the beads used. This kind of footwear has become very trendy and popular in recent years as beads have become widely used in both Indian and western fashion.

In fact the whole trend of using beads to decorate not just shoes but also clutches, bags, clothes and jewelry is inspired by ethnic fashion where they have been used for centuries. Thus women’s beaded sandals are a very indo western fashion item and come in a wide variety of colors and designs, influenced by both cultures.

Variety of options

Golden Beaded Sandals

Ladies beaded sandals can be of many different types. Flat sandals and beach sandals come with no heel and are more comfortable. These typically are made of materials like wood, rubber, plastic, jute and canvas, sometimes with a coating of some softer material for comfort. One can also find heel styles like kitten heels, stilettos, pumps, peep-toes or wedges. Since these are meant for more formal occasions, or as evening wear, they are made of more luxurious materials like patent leather or covered with soft fabrics like velvet, silk, satin.

Beaded sandals from India have a distinctive style, marked by elaborate designs, ethnic motifs and bright, multi-colored hues. The most authentic styles are crafted by artisans who are familiar with complicated techniques of crafting ethnic sandals. These are most often made of wood and leather, either real of faux, with large straps, either in the v-shape or in the toe-ring design. Each sandal will be adorned with unique swirling patterns, and by opting for different colored beads in various sizes they can even manage to create depictions of birds, flowers, fruits and leaves.

Western style beaded sandals come with more subtle designs, often combined with other patterns of stones or ruffles. Alternatively, the beads are simply scattered across a broad ramp or strap in a contrasting color, to resemble stars in the night sky.

Style tips

The beauty of beaded sandals is that they add a fabulous vibrancy to any outfit. At the same time, they are very versatile and can be matched up with different outfits and worn for different occasions. They can be glamorous or simple, ethnic or modern: it all depends on the style of the sandal. For instance, silver beaded sandals, though glamorous and suitable for evening wear, are also very elegant and chic.

They will match beautifully with a silver zari work lehenga choli, salwar kameez or sari as well as western evening outfits like black evening gowns or silver dresses. Black beaded sandals also look good with evening wear western outfits. Typically, they come with black beads designs mingled with sparkling faux diamonds and crystals, which gives a very dazzling and attractive touch to the shoe. Obviously they won’t look very good with colorful or casual ethnic outfits but they can be used to accessorize evening wear or contemporary sarees in black, grey or red.

With ethnic wear, the most in-demand shoes are the gold beaded sandals. The most ornate are gold from top to heel, wrapped in a gauzy, shimmering material and studded with golden beads wrought into detailed designs. These are must-haves for fancy occasions like weddings, especially with heavy gold zari work sarees, Kanchipuram sarees or net sarees.

An interesting alternative, particularly for those who have a more vibrant wardrobe and exuberant fashion style, are the turquoise beaded sandals. For some reason this is the most loved shade for a beaded sandal, especially in summer and spring. Turquoise beads are often combined with bronze or silver settings, as well as dramatic black or copper soles. These funky combinations make these shoes perfect for spicing up a dull outfit; alternatively, they also match well with multi-colored or brightly patterned tights, tunics, dresses or leggings.

The most versatile shoe options would be the elegant white beaded sandals, which will go with pretty much any type of outfit. They are often studded with pearl like beads as well as large milky crystals, which make them the perfect shoe choice with pearl necklace sets.

Flat beaded sandals are very trendy right now, especially the ones that come studded with ethnic, tribal inspired designs or combined with fringes. Such indo western footwear pairs very well with casual indo western or ethnic outfits like kurtas, palazzo pants, tunic dresses, Indian skirts etc. The plastic beaded sandals would be perfect beach wear accessories to go with colorful sarongs. Comfortable and bright, they can be paired up with shorts, shirts and necklaces in matching colors.