Wedge Issue

posted in: Shoes, Style | 44

Wedges have been known to divide the masses.

When I was a junior in high school in the early 1970’s, I went out shopping with girlfriends one afternoon and came home with a pair of red gingham fabric platform wedge sandals. I thought they were the cutest shoes ever. My mother, not so much. “Omigod, where did you get those awful CARMEN MIRANDA SHOES?!?” (She was definitely in the “footwear should be sleek and elegant” camp.)

I’ve never been able to wear those vertiginous stilettos that seem to teeter across every street style blog and red carpet these days, but now that I’ve consigned even my 3″ heels to Bad Boy status (at least for every day wear) and we’re past Boot Season, I’ve been giving wedge sandals another look. Unlike flats or more streamlined sandals, they have some visual heft to balance out dresses, fuller skirts and wide-leg trousers. And they can add a bit of height without pain.  

I’m looking for something that isn’t too steep or too clunky, and appropriate for Business Casual office wear. Under consideration:

Stuart Weitzman “Excise”

A very attractive shoe, and comfortable too, with a 2¼ net heel height. And on sale right now.

Stuart Weitzman “Jean”

I like this subtle metallic, which would also look great with jeans. The cork is very on-trend now. Both styles above are available in Wide widths from zappos.com.

Cole Haan Air Camila 

For those who like a snakeskin print, these are fun and also on sale. (I like the blue better, though both are on the casual side.)

Sofft Morocco

If I were specifically looking something in red, I’d definitely be trying these. I’ve had good luck with Sofft sandals in the past, very comfortable.

Softspots “Lebeau” 

Gentle heel, a cute bow and available in multiple colors including this season’s on-trend orange. Just not enough oomph for me, though.

J.Crew “Marci”

Probably a bit more heel than I want, but what a great color!

Edited to add: See Wendy B’s silver Prada wedges here.

Where do you stand on the Wedge Issue?  Yea or Nay?
~

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44 Responses

  1. ExecutiveKnitter
    | Reply

    For me there are wedges and there is platform wedges. Wedges look nice and appropriate for my style/age. Wedges seem more stable than heels and I can wear higher and longer.

    I recently bought a pair of platforms (flatforms I am told is the new name) and they are going back. Talked into it by the sales person – I can’t make them work with my clothes. Tried with everything – dresses, shorts, capris, skinny jeans – even under long boot cut/bell jeans they just look odd and clunky.

  2. Northmoon
    | Reply

    I too divide the style between wedge heel and platform sole. A good wedge heel can be more stable than stilettos and be sleek enough for office wear. A platform, especially in cork is pretty young and casual, not really office wear. I have one pair of cork platforms, very high, that I wear with jeans when I’m in the mood to be fun and funky.

    That said your black Stuart Weitzman numbers look like they would be lovely for business casual – height plus style. Not so much the cork, however on trend they say it is. Also the rope soles read as very casual not office to me.

  3. Pam @ over50feeling40
    | Reply

    Wedges really are a more comfortable alternative to heels. I love the red ones for fun and the top black one for the office! I have two pair of wedges but still wear flats for work. I miss heels, but probably will not go back there again.

  4. Susan G
    | Reply

    I like the look of a rope-embellished wedge under wider jeans, or with a flowy summer skirt, but I won’t wear them. I clomp along in wedges — I just can’t walk gracefully in their non-flexible soles. And I really dislike platforms. Too clunky looking.

  5. Duchesse
    | Reply

    Only wear 1 to 1 1/2 in or “baby” wedge, much as I admire these higher ones. And have gown to really like not having to maintain different length pants for various shoes. The Cole Haan ones are so summery with their rope wedges, and their Ari technology is divine.

  6. Kristien62
    | Reply

    I bought two pair of Ralph Lauren rope-bottom wedges this year, one black and one silver shantung-like material. I have only worn the silver once. I go back to my sandals and flats every time. The wedges were purchased with several outfits in mind and I wish I had thought twice. I am just not comfortable in them. As said above, I clomp in them, and they don’t look as nice as I thought they would. Very disappointed.

  7. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Loving wedges! For great wedges/platforms check out Donald Pliner’s website. I have no affiliation with them but am a fan of these shoes. I live in a hilly place and need rubber bottoms on many of my shoes. Needless to say heels are a limited option. Many of the Pliner shoes are not only comfortable but I won’t fall on my face. They are similar to the Cole Haan shoes in comfort.

  8. hopflower
    | Reply

    Yes, wedges can be very nice looking, I have seen a few I would not mind having. You get more support and like someone else said, worn with a summery skirt or jeans they can look really fabulous. That is how I tend to think of them: summer shoes. Depends upon the shoe; but I own one pair and they serve well.

  9. sonia
    | Reply

    I can’t stand heels of any kind but I do love the Soft Spot ones!

  10. denise;)
    | Reply

    Love the black ones!! I am a tried and true PLATFORM WEDGE girl. LOVE them. But I’m having a heck of a time finding them without the rope or cork heels, which I agree w/the others, they are too casual for office.

  11. kathy peck
    | Reply

    I think you chose a nice, feminine selection. I tend to like lower ones, not just for comfort, but because they don’t look so clumpy or cloompy? But then sometimes I think the low ones can look too mumsy. So, actually, because I have been looking at summer shoes – I’m a bit on the fence about them.

  12. I am partial to kitten heels and flats.
    Wedges seem to make me look dumpy but it’s more likely my shape and the fact that I am only 5 foot 1 inch.

    Those Weitzman shoes do look tempting!

  13. frugalscholar
    | Reply

    i wobble even in wedges. Oh well.

  14. Jane and Lance Hattatt
    | Reply

    Hello:
    What an amazing photograph you have used at the start of the post. Never mind the shoes, what about the wedge-shaped hairstyle? No, that really is frightening we think!!!

    As for wedges, well, they are only in use here for propping open doors. We really cannot grow to like them……especially the cork versions which remind us of the things that are thrown over the sides of boats.

    But, the lipstick red…..now that we should go for!!!

  15. Rubiatonta
    | Reply

    I like wedges, and will be buying myself a few pair of espadrilles with wedge heels for summer (left last years’ Stateside when I moved, as it’s a coals-to-Newcastle proposition to bring them back!) And if the budget permitted, those black SW’s would be on the list, for sure!

  16. WendyB
    | Reply

    I’m a huge fan of wedges — there were many years that they were hard to find so I’m thrilled that they’re so popular now. My favorite shoes with jeans are my old silver Prada wedges, which I recently posted. And of course, I just got wedge sneakers so I can be sporty without being too sporty, if you know what I mean.

  17. Debbie
    | Reply

    I wore those 70’s wedges, too, and my mother said the same thing. She hated them and I loved them. A preview of fashion divergence to come…

  18. Closet Coach
    | Reply

    Wedges are great! You get height with more comfort than a heel.

  19. Aunt Snow
    | Reply

    I love wedges – as others have commented, they let you go high with more comfort and support. But I do not like platforms, so for me, maybe a 1/2 inch platform is OK but more than that I can’t abide. Can’t stand platforms.

    I adore a wedge with an espadrille feel – those Sofft and Softspots up there are cute. Fabric or patterned shoes are cute in the summer – I have a polka-dot wedge espadrille I just love.

    Does anyone remember the Jacques Cohen wedge-heeled espadrille that was all the rage in Manhattan in the late ’70s? Loved those.

  20. rb
    | Reply

    I’m all over wedges and like Cole Haan air wedges in particular.

  21. Jen on the Edge
    | Reply

    I’m a big NAY. Wedges make me feel like I’m being pitched forward. Also, I utterly loathe platform wedges, platform anything, actually.

  22. Susan Partlan
    | Reply

    What a nice collection of wedges. The Stuart Weitzman “Jean” wedges are my favorite. I also really like WendyB’s silver wedges. Aunt Snow, yes I remember those espadrilles!

  23. Gretchen
    | Reply

    I have yet to see a woman wearing wedges who doesn’t clomp instead of walk. The platforms are particularly egregious. I have a pair and they were quite a mistake…I thought they’d be terrific for summer, and they are the most miserable shoes ever.

  24. mette
    | Reply

    A definite no-no from me. Can´t even understand why there are such shoes. Adding a platform to any shoe is even worse.
    I do like ” normal ” shoes with some heel.

  25. Stephanie
    | Reply

    I love them, a lot. I own that first pair of Stuart Weitzman’s shown except in nude and I get compliments all the time on them. They are very comfortable and the nude color extends the look of my leg line.

  26. Paris Rendez-vous
    | Reply

    Les soft Morocco rouge…really fab!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. rb
    | Reply

    These are cute. The nude looks like a good nude. I like the pink, too.

    http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/product.aspx?c=737&pid=88344&VID=88344

  28. Jill Ann
    | Reply

    Quite a divergence of opinions here! I am in the “hate platforms” category, but I have a couple pairs of wedge sandals, not too high, with cork or espadrille wedges. Cute for summer and fairly comfy. I will be SOOOOOOO happy when those ridiculously high platform “hooker shoes” go out of style. Hideous!

  29. Jill Ann
    | Reply

    Quite a divergence of opinions here! I am in the “hate platforms” category, but I have a couple pairs of wedge sandals, not too high, with cork or espadrille wedges. Cute for summer and fairly comfy. I will be SOOOOOOO happy when those ridiculously high platform “hooker shoes” go out of style. Hideous!

  30. Jill Ann
    | Reply

    Sorry, don’t know why that posted twice!

  31. Sam
    | Reply

    I love wedges for the reason you mentioned (added lift without excessive heel height). My favorite pair were by Andre Assous, a type called “featherweight”–alas, I can’t find them anymore, so can’t recommend them. For the past year, knee issues have kept me from wearing any sort of heel at all…but someday I’ll rejoin you in wedge-wearing solidarity! ;)

  32. Nancy
    | Reply

    I like the idea of wedges, but I have hugely prominent insteps–dancer’s feet–and when I wear wedges my feet look like hooves. So I guess that makes my answer “neigh.” (Heh.) I do love me some high-heeled sandals, though.

  33. i absolutely live in wedges…they are so comfortable…but then i’m one of those odd birds that can wear heels for long periods of time and not be having my feet ache…high arch maybe?

    i guess if i am really honest…i just love shoes… =)

    you picked some nice ones…can’t wait to hear what you end up with…can i send a subliminal message? color…color…color…

  34. oops…one more thing…what size are you? i’ve got several “new” espadrilles & wedges in my consignment store…

  35. LPC
    | Reply

    I’m with you, I like them, if they are just right.

  36. The Style Crone
    | Reply

    I like the look of wedges, but for some reason I don’t have a pair in my closet. The wedges that you featured are appealing to me, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open in the future.

  37. Thyme2Be
    | Reply

    I love wedges. In the 70s I had a favorite sandal wedge I wore year round (yes, I confess, with socks too in the winter) until they finally shredded. Nowadays in warm weather I wear wedged, closed toe espadrilles … and never with socks! The Weitzman you’ve shown look very nice.

  38. California Girl
    | Reply

    I wear them Spring thrum Fall. They’re comfortable & great w/ pants. Most of mine are open toe but I have several pair of pump styles. What the heck…I just love shoes. :)

  39. departmentofcolor
    | Reply

    My mother hated wedges, too. I still remember my favorite pair in the 1970s: suede peep-toes. I don’t ever feel like I’m clomping around in wedges. In fact, I feel more graceful in them than I do in other types of heels.

  40. Anonymous
    | Reply

    dangerous ground here… can quickly be in stupid shoe land.. making one’s IQ appear less than her shoe size.. then there is the clomping sound making one sound like a draft horse…a moderate wedge yes.. higher than that and the wearer looks silly

  41. Susan
    | Reply

    Yesterday, after reading this entry, I happened to see a young woman walking in wedges. And yes, she was definitely “clomping”. Maybe some women can walk gracefully in them, but my guess is that most will clomp unless the wedges are very low.

  42. othello
    | Reply

    I love all type of shoes and boots and wedges have always been a fixture in my wardrobe. Platforms, pumps, stilettos, wedges, tall boots, booties, and running shoes. Flats are a problem for me because they are—flat. Standing in my stocking feet I am only 5’2 1/2 inches. So, flats do not flatter. I have danced in pumps and platforms for hours on end and could still run a mile or more in 3 1/2 pumps. I consider myself lucky to still have the choice. Still in my fifties and looking to reach higher!

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