Don’t shoot the messenger.
Gladiator sandals are one of those things that never really seems to completely disappear from fashion. There’s always a pair or two available come warmer weather, for the folks who want to buy them. But they aren’t always on trend, per se. The last time I remember gladiators being a capital-T Thing was around the late aughts, surely a trickle-down effect from Nicolas Ghesquière‘s Spring 2008 collection for Balenciaga.
Well, by the time that the Valentino Spring 2022 collection hit the runway at Paris Fashion Week, I was forced to ask myself: Is the gladiator sandal making a big comeback? There they were, a pair of Rockstud sandals that laced all the way up the calves.
Generally speaking, where Pierpaolo Piccioli goes, brands follow, from other high fashion houses down to the high street. But even prior to his latest show for Valentino, we saw iterations of gladiator sandals at Altuzarra (embellished with coins), Dior (a combination of a boot and a gladiator), Roger Vivier (capped with the brand’s signature buckle), Etro (perched on puffy flatforms) and Alberta Ferretti (in neon), just to name a few.
As someone in possession of large calves, this is a trend I have always just let pass me by, at least when it comes to the tall iterations of the gladiator. (Though, I can’t lie: I definitely owned a pair of wedge gladiators that I wore into the ground immediately post-college.) But if you’re into this Romanesque look, you’re in luck.
Check out how the gladiator sandal is mounting its comeback on the Spring 2022 runways in the gallery, below.
And shop some gladiator sandals currently on the market in the gallery, below.
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