The start of summer tends to signify a few things, like cookouts or spending the weekend at the beach. But it also means the season of music festivals is upon us. You might be into a smooth jazz fest where you stay seated the entire night, or maybe you prefer an energy-packed day at Afropunk bouncing from stage to stage and supporting local vendors. In addition to scoring your tickets and rounding up the crew, you have to take into account what you plan to wear to the music festivals, especially when it comes to your shoes.

Seeing your favorite artists perform can feel amazing, but anyone who’s ever attended a music festival knows it can be draining. The wrong choice of shoes can leave you feeling miserable and having blisters and sore soles as a reminder of your day. 

So the right pair of sneakers truly makes or breaks your music festival experience. This might be the day to leave the open-toe sandals at home and opt for close-toed sneakers that offer optimal support all around. The right kicks are functional (i.e. padded insoles!) but still make major fashion waves with fun elements like bold colors, prints, and more.

Dolce Vita Zina Color Block Sneakers

You might be used to color blocking your clothes, but you can absolutely do the same with your sneaker game as well. Dolce Vita’s Zina sneakers get top marks for styles that come in a range of combinations, like white and black leather, gold and calf hair, and so much more. This is a great shoe to make a colorful statement without having to worry about doing the color blocking yourself, it’s already done for you. In addition to being cute, customers love the sneakers for their lightweight comfort and slightly padded footbed. 

Toms Resident Eco Slip On Sneakers

Toms have a reputation for being super casual and having fairly simple designs. And that’s a great thing for the person who wants to rock a pair of sneakers from a charitable, reliable brand. You can be assured they’ll stand the test of time and pretty much coordinate with any outfit you can think of. You can easily wear these through the summer festival season. In addition to the outer sole that offers superior traction, the insole is removable and easily washable. The pull tab at the heel makes these shoes easy to slip into, but the slight cuff means they won’t easily slip off. There’s also a sustainability aspect to the sneakers as they’re made with materials like recycled rubber, upcycled cotton scraps, and even wood pulp.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12

Color to the max is the name of the game with these New Balance sneakers. With hues like infinity blue, lemonade, cosmic pineapple, and neon dragonfly, it’ll be hard for anyone to miss you when wearing these. The great thing with a shoe like this is you can keep the rest of your look pretty subdued and let the sneakers do the talking or just go all out with head-to-toe color. Depending on the colorway you choose, the sneakers come in a range of widths, from narrow to extra wide. The cushion provides great support, which is key if you’ll be walking or standing, and the upper knit design offers support or extra stretch where necessary.

Free People Chapmin Espadrille Sneaker

Is it a sneaker or an espadrille? It’s both! And in typical Free People fashion, this espadrille sneaker has the perfect boho vibes for a casual but chic outing. The shoe has a slightly athletic look, but the large colorful ribbon lace and jute platform takes it to another stylish level. Also, for shorter folks who might want a bit of a boost to see over the crowd or anyone who just appreciates a bit of height, the 3-inch platform sole is high enough without being too clunky.

Adidas Stan Smith Golf Shoes

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to keep it simple and a bit refined. The classic look and feel of Stan Smith sneakers never goes out of style. That versatility makes them great for everyday wear for a low-key festival. There’s really no wrong way to wear these, and the simplicity of the gray is a nice departure from the classic white sneakers. Also, the hints of the colorful pattern on the sole are the best stylish accent without being too in-your-face. 

Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneakers

A name like Dr. Scholl’s might make you think of some type of clunky orthopedic shoe for someone with bad feet. But if you know you’ll be pounding the pavement at a packed festival or concert and you need a shoe that won’t leave you limping or blistered, then you might want to give these slip-on sneakers from Dr. Scholl’s a try. They have a classic slip-on style, but it’s the lightweight design and interior that might just be your feet’s saving grace. The brand’s “Built-in Energy Wave” is meant to provide cushioned comfort that lasts all day long. Choose from a range of neutrals like black, gray, or white, or try this leopard print.

Vans SK8-Hi Sneakers

Vans don’t just have to be for the skater crowd, but for anyone who appreciates a chill, laid-back, and effortless look. The SK8-Hi sneakers, a high-top style, are a departure from the usual slip-ons that the brand is typically known for. The sneakers lace up to the ankle and create a slimmer profile that looks great with everything from baggy cargo shorts to a mini skirt. In addition to a sole that provides great grip, the padded collar around the ankle is sure to feel so much better than sneakers that cause blisters on the back of your heels after hours of walking.

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