We feel it in our gut. This will be the spring/summer (who can even differentiate between seasons anymore?) of the wedge.
Our peers in the fashion world agree. Roughly two months ago, Leandra Medine posited that in six months (so four months from now) everyone would be wearing wedges. “This is still conjecture, which is why I couldn’t find very many good examples of wedges that are up and out for the taking,” she wrote. “If you’re wondering how I landed here, I don’t actually know. It’s just a feeling that I have. Possibly a feeling borne out of the pervasiveness of cone heels, or maybe just a gut instinct that wants me to tell you that where you might lack comfort in your kitten heel, you will make up for it in this wedge.”
As if to second this statement, two weeks ago, social media/style wunderkind Reese Blutstein took to Instagram to show off one of her many new sandal acquisitions, a pair of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s eternally sold out Olympia wedges in Gen-Z yellow (fitting). (Side note: We, like Blutstein, are also stanning over Nicole Saldana’s line of square-toed, personality-heeled sandals. Another discussion for another time, but do yourself a favor and check ‘em out.)
While Medine didn’t pinpoint an exact reason why her spidey sense was pointing her in the direction of wedges, we have some more solid theories. As Medine noted, it (“it” being the rise of the wedge) does seem a natural progression of the kitten and block heel trend. Functional (i.e. shoes that allow for walking) fashun shoes are having a Moment (see: the grandpa sneaker trend). We’re living in a time of go! go! go! and we need shoes (and bags) that can keep up with our insane pace. And wedge shoes (which have lately taken the form of minimalist mules) are exactly that — comfortable, supportive, versatile and easy to slip on, and simultaneously stylish and curve- and height-adding.
On top of that, you’ve got the return of all things 2000s — Juicy Couture, Frankenstein denim, Paris Hilton. There’s even conjecture that the Spice Girls, the literal poster girls for sky-high wedges (and their close cousin the platform) may be reuniting. Suffice it to say, your middle school footwear of choice is long overdue for another go.
Depending on your sartorial sensibilities, you might choose to embrace the kitsch in wedged espadrilles or thong slip-ons. Or you might prefer a more contemporary style, something with a lower heel and mule-like appearance, something in a bold color like the aforementioned sunny yellow.
Whatever your aesthetic, remember this: the beauty of wedge shoes is that they can be easily dressed up or down, and work just as well with flouncy skirts as they do with rocker denim. Just make sure your hemline hits above the ankle — give your statement footwear its due.
Shop 20 of our current favorite wedges in the slideshow below. (And let the fact that we easily located a ton of good examples serve as proof that Medine’s crystal ball is in fine working order.)
Generous Peep Toe Wedges, $120 at Shopbop
Fun but not tacky. (Plus they'll look fab with your summer whites.)
Floral Strappy Wedges, $595 at Farfetch
A patchwork floral-print sandal is a surprisingly good match for a graying band tee and beat-up black jeans.
Sofia Wedge, $375 at LOQ
From indie darling LOQ, a sleek, unconventionally strapped wedge that'll work just as well with skirts and dresses as it will your favorite pair of jeans.
Miami Wedge, $135 at Bernardo
Put your pedi on full display. (Note: these look best on a tan leg.)
Casa Wedge in Sloe, $365 at Garmentory
We like these with a sheer, ladylike sock...but beware of slippage.
Floral Wedges, $59.90 at Zara
PVC flowers aren't for everyone, but if you're into their kitschiness (i.e. you enjoy dressing up like Valley of the Dolls extra), then these'll be your new go-to pool party shoe.
Ruffle Wedge Sandals, $311 at Farfetch
Wear these with a flirty blouse and Adidas basketball shorts that hit just above the knee. If you're bored to death of athleisure (it was bound to happen eventually) any stripey, summery combo will do.
Janissah Open Toe Mules, $89 at Nine West
Nine West has made huge design strides over the past few years. These sleek, inexpensive mules — in five(!) colors — are a cute budget option.
Babouche Slide in Fuschia Ginger, $325 at Need Supply
Isn't it nice when the colorblocking's done for you?
Amalfi Coast Wedge, $148 at Free People
Normally, espadrilles don't really read "elegant," but these do, thanks to their chic, un-busy design. They've also got just the right amount of heel: they're comfy enough for exploring and glamorous enough to work as a day-to-night shoe, straw be damned.
Tilly Wedge Slide, $350 at Loeffler Randall
A sophisticated silhouette, but the colorful all-over striping keeps 'em cheery — and cheeky.
Henlee Sandals in Red, $90 at Dolce Vita
They'll add a pop of color to any outfit (make sure your hemline hits above the ankle), and yes, the tie actually stays in place.
Castaigne Kidskin Slide, $289 at Trademark
Behold, the wedge that started it all (well, one of them, anyway). Trademark makes quite a few covetable, close-toed styles.
Denim Cross Strap Wedges, $80 at Topshop
A fun, sexy style, plus dark denim goes with everything.
Somewhere Sport Sandal, $275 at Marc Jacobs
For the sneakerhead who can't wait for summer to be over.
Costa Sandal in White, $265 at Lisa Says Gah
A walking-friendly heel coupled with an on-trend square toe and an arty, textured band? Yes, please.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Olympia Wedge in Amber Patent, $443 at Maryam Nassir Zadeh
“It is so feminine and delicate in design, and yet when wearing it, it doesn’t feel precious. It’s substantial and comfortable and your feet can breathe in the summer,” says Zadeh of her best-selling wedge. Per the much-worshipped footwear designer, pair these with laid-back separates and summery dresses.
Charles & Keith
Low Wedge Mules, $39 at Charles & Keith
Fushia and millennial pink and safety orange — these have all the color trends covered.
Frida Clog on Mid Wedge in Midnight, $285 at No.6 Store
Add some edge with funky socks or embrace the cool Brooklyn mom (think Michelle Williams, Jemima Kirke, Maggie Gyllenhaal) vibes and go bare.
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