Can You Wear Sandals to a Funeral?

Funerals are already a difficult occasion, and the last thing you want to worry about is your outfit. It is a time for friends and family to come together to grieve, not to get distracted by guests’ choice in apparel. Wearing appropriate footwear is important, as you don't want to seem disrespectful. This may make you wonder, can you wear sandals to a funeral?

The venue ultimately determine whether it is appropriate to wear sandals to a funeral. Open-toed shoes are typically not allowed in places of worship, but if the funeral is held outside in a warmer climate, it is more likely that many attendants will be wearing sandals.

Can You Wear Sandals to a Funeral?

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There are many caveats to consider when choosing footwear for a funeral. Below we will dissect some different specific scenarios, along with links to products that are appropriate. 

Is it Appropriate to Wear Any Open Toe Shoes to a Funeral?

If you have the option to choose between open or close toe shoes to a funeral, it is recommended to wear closed-toed shoes. However, there are some times when it may be alright to wear open toe shoes. If you are close enough to the family, you might ask how casual the funeral will be.

If the funeral is casual enough to wear open toe shoes, you also have to evaluate the venue. It may not be beneficial to wear open toe shoes if the internment is not in a landscaped graveyard. In  a rural setting, it may not be a good idea to wear them. When deciding on whether or not to wear open toe shoes, I encourage you to research the burial site ahead of time.

Below are two alternatives to open-toed shoes that are still casual, but appropriate for a formal funeral.

Fashion Loafers

Buy these Fashion Loafers at Amazon here, perfect to hike through the forest to the internment site.

Suede ballet flats

These suede ballet flats, also available in black, are a dressier option that are not open toe shoes. Buy them at Amazon here.

Can You Wear Dress Sandals to a Funeral?

If the funeral allows for a more casual outfit, or if you do not own a pair of appropriate close toe shoes, dress sandals are the perfect way to wear sandals in a formal setting. They provide an elevated look while still being comfortable and casual. 

The most important thing to keep in mind with dress sandals is to make sure they are comfortable, and especially not too tall. There is a lot of standing and walking at funerals, so be wary of how your feet will feel at the end of a few hours. I recommend a small heel, or wedges if you choose to wear dressy sandals. Below are some dressy sandals that are appropriate for a funeral:

Dressy open toe sandals

These comfortable dressy open toe sandals with a slight heel can be bought at Amazon here.

fashion stilettos

(Also available in black) fashion stilettos are perfect for a more formal funeral and can be bought on Amazon here.

What Footwear to Wear to a Funeral in the Summer?

Sandals are acceptable at summer funerals, especially if there is an internment planned outside. Most attendants will be wearing breathable shoes. The only shoes that is absolutely not acceptable are flip-flops. Flip-flops are too casual and often loud. Here are some breathable, summer sandal options:

Breathable black flats

Elastic, breathable black flats are perfect for a summer funeral in a warmer climate. Find them here on Amazon.

Ankle-strap flats

These ankle-strap flats will stay on your feet in the sweaty summer sun. Buy them here on Amazon.

Can You Wear Sandals to a Wake?

You can wear sandals to a wake, but it is not recommended. It definitely depends on whether it is an open or closed casket. If the wake is closed-casket and in someone’s home, sandals are acceptable. In fact, they might be a better option than heels, in order to respect the person’s home. If the wake is open-casket, especially if at a funeral home, it is not be appropriate to wear sandals. The deceased will most likely be dressed in their best clothes, and you should follow suit. 

Do My Shoes Have to be Black?

No, your shoes at a funeral do not have to be black. As seen above, not all the recommended shoes are black. Any dark colors such as navy, brown, or grey are completely acceptable funeral shoes. As long as your shoes are not distracting, they can be any color. Most of the shoes above have other color alternatives, but here are some more non-black options.

Beige flat shoes

Beige is a great neutral color that goes with everything. They can be bought on Amazon here.

Light pink sandals

Even pink is an acceptable color, as long as it is not bright pink. Find them on Amazon here.

Funerals Are For Grieving, Not For Experimenting With Fashion

Sandals are acceptable if the venue and climate allow for it. When deciding what to wear for a funeral, it is better to err towards conservative options. Choose a footwear that is practical and not flashy, so you can focus  your energy on grieving and supporting those who need your love.

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