Learn what the lingo means and find the right shoe for you.

By Maddy Sims

With summer still in full swing, footwear options are limitless. Don’t get us wrong, we love shoes, but all of the different kinds of sandals can be confusing. Avoid unnecessary stress at the store by studying up on these three common sandal options: wedges, platforms, and flatforms.

Wedges have traditionally been a summer staple and for good reason. Their bottoms extend from front to back with a raised heel, so that it serves as both the sole and the heel. They give you the lift of your favorite pair of pumps, with added support and stability for outdoor terrain. Platform shoes also have a raised heel, but the difference is that they have a thick sole as well. Rather than have a flat surface under the ball of the foot, platforms offer an extra boost in front. They come in wedge or heel styles, but we love the wedge style for the warmer weather. Flatforms—the shoe you’ve been seeing everywhere this summer—have a level platform that covers the entire foot. It gives you a completely even lift and adds a retro twist to any outfit.

Still unsure about which one is right for you? We picked our favorite version of each style so that you can get the one you like the most—or all three.

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