Thanks to its tensile strength, a coil of rope has proven its fundamental value in a ton of areas, like ensuring safety in rock climbing, docking boats—and tying up lace-up sandals. By its very utilitarian nature, only something as practical as rope could aesthetically give anything this certain no-nonsense, resourceful attitude. So when taken to the runway in heel and sandal form (see: Isabel Marant’s spring 2016 collection, above), the effect is urban nomadic cool combined with adventurous tomboy.
And now that hiking boots, fleece pullovers, and other outdoors-y apparel are gearing up to become the top trends of the fall, there’s no time like the present to embrace your love of the Great American Outdoors (even if you’re secretly an indoor girl—we won’t tell) with a range of rope sandals that either nod to all things nautical (with classic coils) or to mountaineering (with dynamic rope). Anchor a breezy cotton voile number with black rope lace-ups or pick up on the utilitarian theme and style a pair with another classic textile—denim. Either way, swap your leather gladiators and level-up your sandal game with one made from rope.