Fisherman sandals are a style of casual footwear which can be worn by men and women. They are also a very ancient form of footwear, with illustrations and writings suggesting that variations on this style of sandals have been worn in numerous cultures for century. The connection to fish and fishing is unclear, but it may be related to the open design, which would allow water to drain away from the foot, rather than pooling in the shoe. The design probably would also have been comfortable to wear around the house after a long fishing trip.
The soles of fisherman sandals are usually thick and comfortable. A center strap runs from the toe up the foot, and connects to the sole at intervals with side straps. These straps are usually not designed to be adjustable. The sandal is kept on the foot with a loop along the back of the ankle, which is sometimes adjustable with the help of Velcro® or a buckle. The open design keeps the foot cool and ventilated, but also protected, because of the well placed straps.
The majority of fisherman sandals are made from leather, although synthetic materials are used as well. The traditional and classic colors are brown or black, but many variations are also available. Both men's and women's versions are available, along with small fisherman sandals for children. Leather versions should be cared for with leather conditioners to keep them supple, and may benefit from waterproofing to prevent damage to the leather.
The shoes are usually worn casually, and would not be considered appropriate for formal events. In many countries, fisherman sandals are equivalent to sneakers or tennis shoes. Special designs intended for hiking and walking are also available. Hiking sandals tend to be more sturdy, and have especially supportive soles and straps. They are comfortable for long walking trips, whether hiking a mountain or shopping in a city.
Numerous shoe shops carry fisherman sandals, allowing you to try them on before you buy. You may want to consider whether or not you will be wearing socks with the shoes, as leather can be chafing. Fisherman sandals can also be ordered through online retailers, although you may not achieve the perfect fit this way. In either case, be sure to purchase shoes which fit well and support your feet, so that you will feel comfortable no matter how long you have been wearing them.