Sponsored by Zappos.

I feel like the picture at the top of this post sums up summer for me. I haven't had a pedicure in at least two months. The sun is absurdly bright and everything's a bit over-exposed. There are rogue blades of dry grass popping up out of the cracks in the cement around my swimming pool. But I have my summer shoes and I'm ready to take on the world!

Woman holding summer shoes by the pool

If you've followed the blog for awhile, you probably know that my fashion sensibilities are a funny hybrid of minimalism and self-indulgence. I don't have a ton of stuff, but I never hesitate to treat myself to carefully-chosen, quality items that can fill a need and make my life easier. I keep my outfits relatively simple, pairing durable basics and easy slip-over dresses with accessories that I love. I make a point to comb through our family's old gear once per season and upgrade our selection with versatile new shoes, bags and other essentials. You may remember me expressing my love of Zappos in our post about spring shoes. The brand caters to my selective nature with fast-and-free shipping, a 365-day return policy and tons of sorting options so we can find just what we need. So naturally, that's where I turned when it was time to pick out summer shoes!

Must-Have Qualities for Summer Shoes

Running errands in summer shoes

When I was picking out my new summer shoes for the upcoming season, I had a few requirements. Comfort is first-and-foremost. I love Naot shoes because their footbed is the anatomical type that replicates your own foot's contours. There are a few brands I know of that do this, but Naot does it in a fashion-forward way that's the most sleek and stylish I've seen. That's probably why they've made a strong name for themselves in the travel community.

Summer shoes by the pool

That brings me to my second requirement: I need shoes that are cute enough to go with a dress for long days running errands or working at a conference, but casual enough to wear to the pool or beach. Our family travels half the time, and I don't have room in my suitcase to pack a beach shoe plus a dress shoe, a walking shoe and more. Nope. I typically travel with a pair of tennis shoes and a single other pair that's expected to handle any task I throw at it – from meetings to mom life. Again, Naot has a TON of options that fit the bill!

Naot metallic Dorith shoes

I'm totally obsessed with Naot's new Dorith style because it has that on-trend gladiator look that can easily be dressed up or down. I picked out a cool metallic style which, again, is all the rage right now and works well for my purposes because it goes with absolutely everything. I've even paired these with some leggings and a loose shirt for a brisk walk through the city, and then threw a blazer over that for a meeting without missing a beat! I especially love that they have a velcro closure, because my feet tend to swell on a hot day or after a long flight and I get frustrated when I have to readjust buckles that require me to thread or lace things. Velcro is so much easier.

Wrangling the kids in the mall

Beyond the fact that they look cute and they overcome the annoyance of readjusting, these ones were my perfect pick because they keep up. That's really what it all boils down to in the end, isn't it? Especially for moms. We need shoes that can handle a brisk chase after our sneaker-clad kiddos and can then stroll from the boardwalk to the boardroom without looking out of place.

With so much to accomplish, for me it's important to be mindful about my fashion choices. So I can spend less time fussing and primping, and more time enjoying the season.

Have you found that perfect pair of summer shoes yet?