5 Reasons To Wear Wedges

The humble wedge shoe has been around since 1935, when Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo designed the orthopaedic wedge; followed by the wedge heel in 1936. 2016 sees its return to our closets and here are 5 reasons why you should consider wearing wedges….

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The first wedges didn’t have a distinct heel and had cellophane straps. Salvatore Ferragamo used cork and wood when creating his shoe because in 1936 there was a leather and rubber shortage. Cork was more popular than wood because it is lighter and the cork sole was also sturdy and durable. Cork heels and soles are still popular today as they are hard wearing and are hard to scuff. The shoes never look scruffy and look presentable, whatever the occasion.

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During World War 2, wedges grew in popularity in the USA. Wedges offered height and easier walk in than skinny heels. During the war, wedge heels got up to 5″ high and were often worn with jackets that sported shoulder pads adding to the illusion of height. A fashion we saw repeated in the 1980s with power dressing – shoulder pads, wedges and big hair! Wearing a heel that you can walk in goes with this year’s Summer fashion of floaty palazzo trousers, culottes – although the shoulder pads haven’t appeared!

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In the 1970s both men and women wore platform wedges – in outrageous designs. Once again it was the illusion of height that made the shoes popular. Wedges help to give the illusion of longer legs and give a slimming effect body silhouette.

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Wedges provide stability. Like the stiletto heel, weight distribution in the wedge heel is still primarily on the balls of the feet and toes. The higher the heel, the more weight the wearer carries on the front of the foot. However, with the soles in 2016 being stacked too, the weight is distributed more evenly – making the shoe easier to walk in, especially when encountering uneven surfaces or grass. If you are a bride, walking down the aisle in wedges, may give you the height and confidence you need!

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Wedges come in a variety of heel heights and encompass all age groups. In the 1990s wedge sneakers made an appearance, being the preferred footwear of the iconic girl band of the day, the Spice Girls. Designers like Natacha Marro have created “heel-less” shoes which work along the same principal as traditional wedges. Lower heeled espadrilles wedges are ideal for holidays; as well as boot companies such as Fly London making the most of a lower wedge for their range of biker style boots.

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Ah, the humble wedge. Make sure you have a pair or two in your shoe closet (or 6 like me!) – they’ll be your best friends this year.

Linda x

Photos by Linda Hobden.

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30 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Wear Wedges”

  1. Oh I remember I had a fabulous pair of wedges in the 70s Linda! I don’t think I have a pair at the moment so maybe I should change that. Thanks for taking us on a trip through time and it shows that wedges have certainly lasted the distance.

    1. I was amazed at how many wedges I actually owned Sue – all the shoes featured on the post came from my own wardrobe 😊

    1. I know what you mean Lori – however, I do manage to get away with higher heels when they are wedges rather than stilettos! 🙂

  2. Wedges definitely sound safer than stilettos. I love the way you bring the history of an accessory into your blog posts, Linda. You make fashion even more interesting than it already is!

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Molly. I do love to delve into the history and the science behind fashion & textiles, when I can 😊

    1. I was a tomboy with short hair, trainers & a peak cap being my clothes of choice (apart from at school when I had to wear school uniform) until I was 16, discovered boys, leather coats, music, make up & shoes! Never looked back. I’m still not one for frills or baby pink though 😜

  3. I’ve never really worn wedges, but not for any particular reason – I just haven’t! I wear flats since the kids. I used to wear big heels – always chunky platforms. I don’t do narrow stiletto heels, as the chunky ones are easier to walk in – I think wedges are practical that way too.

  4. I haven’t rocked any sort of heel in years. I’m 5’10 and have always been a bit self-conscious about adding more height, especially when I always end up hurting by the end of the day. Perhaps I’ll give wedges a try, though!

    1. I’m short so adding extra height is always a bonus for me, but I find it easier to walk confidently in wedges than stiletto heels 🙂

  5. I love wedges. LOVE THEM. I love looking at them, and I love fantasizing about being the type of person that could wear them. I roll my ankle in them all the time…but it’s so nice to look at these great styles and enviously gaze at them on other feet!!!

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