A slingback shoe is a type of women’s shoe, usually a sandal, that has an open back with a strap around the heel. All of the back of the foot is exposed except for a very small area. These shoes are reminiscent of a slingshot since the strap pulls back into almost a v-shape to conform to the shape of the foot.
To insure slingbacks fit tightly on the foot, most have either a buckle or an elastic band on the heel strap. This also helps the wearer to slide her feet into them more easily. It is difficult to put these shoes on without unbuckling them or pulling the elastic band back.
While once considered to be strictly for summer wear, the slingback shoe is now popular at both casual and formal occasions year-round. Companies make them with a variety of materials, including suede, patent leather, canvas, satin and even corduroy. While the slingback shoe can be a style in and of itself, these shoes are available as peep toes, espadrilles, booties, stilettos, flats and several other shoe varieties. It is not considered fashionable to wear a slingback shoe with socks.