Wedge Shoes

"The Height-without-Ouch-factor with Wedge Sandals, Pumps and Booties!"


Wedge shoes are definitely the way to go if you're not a stiletto-gal but still want to benefit from the extra height and leg-elongating effects of high heels! They're killer chic and foot-friendly. And I also LOVE that they're sexy in a casual, subtle way. I'd choose wedge sandals over platform stiletto sandals any day!

Camel colored spring summer 2012 trendy wedge sandals
Courtesy of Unlisted by Kenneth Cole/ Zappos

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Ok, so I may be a bit biased when it comes to wedge sandals and boots. I prefer them over most shoe styles, mainly because compared to trimmer heels the chunky wedge heel looks better on my slightly muscular calves. That's why I always recommend wearing wedge shoes to women with thicker ankle and calves - the shape and size of the heel look way better with the scale of their legs. But anyone can wear them - you just have to know what wedge shoes to look for..

What Wedge Shoes Should I Buy?

They're available in a plethora of colors and styles. The three main wedge styles are low sandals, high heels and boots. And then again, each of these comes in multiple designs such as open toe, pumps, bootie, platform and gladiator sandals.

Height

It completely depends on what you're foot's pain threshold, but then again, most wedge shoes are very comfortable because of their smooth heel and sole!

Wedge sandals heel height guide
Courtesy of (left to right) Vaneli, Lauren by Ralph Lauren x2, Black Rooster

Low 1"- 2" sandals are perfect for low-key casual tee-and-denim shorts outfits, and may be the best choice if you already have miles-long legs or just want to feel extra comfortable.

If you want to add a piff of chicness then upping the height to at least 2" or 2 1/2" is a must. They're not super-tall but they give the right amount of heel to visually lengthen your legs. 2 - 2 1/2" is also the perfect heel height that is very comfortable but not too "out there", so they can be worn for walks in the park or when you're out shopping.

3 - 4" wedge heels are chic and sassy but may not be the most comfortable height for casual occasions.

Going higher than 4" is ideal for special occasions and for looking extra sassy.

The best heel height depends on the occasions and what image you want to project. The taller the heel - thus trendier and "forward" you'll appear.

Style

It's to each own, but if you want a pair of wedge shoes that will last a season or two then I highly suggest securing a basic, versatile style that goes with all of your outfits. Think neutral colors such as black, navy blue, nude, brown, white, etc.

Versatile and timeless wedge shoes styles
Courtesy of (left to right) Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Dirty Laundry Treasure, Geox, Dolce Vita

The design should be minimal if you want to avoid creating a strong fashion statement or prevent them from interfering with your outfit that you want to show off. A few timeless wedge styles are: Espadrilles, peep toe, closed pump foot, canvas- & leather material.

After securing the basics - go wild on the heel sizes, colors and designs - whatever tickles your personal taste :-)

A pair of mid-to high heel cork wedge footwear is a Spring & Summer essential, but if you want to keep your legs comfy then you should definitely include wedge boots as well. Click here to learn more about womens fashion boots

Chunky or slim heel?

It depends on the scale of your ankles and legs. Chunky heels always look best with thicker legs; and slimmer styles with slimmer legs. Unless you want to make your leg size obvious.

Color

Neutrals are pretty but if you want a *pow*-statement then a pair of high heel wedge sandals in a color you love. Colored footwear brings attention to your legs so make sure your legs are shaved and toe-nails polished ;-)

Trendy wedge shoe styles
Courtesy of (left to right) Michael Antonio, Chinese Laundry, ALDO

Try happy and timeless Spring & Summer colors such as red, turquoise, yellow, orange and pink. A pair of colored high heels looks amazing with a basic sundress or a plain tee-and-jeans outfit.

Note: Nude wedge sandals are a must if you want to add those extra inches to your legs!

For what occasions can I wear wedge sandals?

Wedge shoes are in general casual footwear but can be worn for a range of occasions, weddings included. But the style has to be extra pretty and polished (leave out those hemp espadrilles), especially if you're the bride's or groom's sister. UNLESS the invitation says strictly formal.

Here are a couple of wedge sandal styles for dressy occasions:

Dressy Bridal-appropriate and office workwear wedge sandals and pumps
Courtesy of:
Bridal - Nina Eterna (left), Bouquets (right); Office work - CIRCA Joan and David (left), Calvin Klein (right)

Pastels and white are perfect for weddings. If you want to look dressy and appropriate for the occasion - look for wedge sandals in a light color (eg. pastels, whites, gold, silver) and lustrous material such as satin or shiny leather (not super-shiny like patent).

Unless your position is in a creative field - pick wedge pumps (not sandals or boots) with a closed toe and in a dark, neutral color.


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How Do I Wear Wedge Shoes?

Their versatility makes it possible to wear wedge sandal, pumps and boots with almost anything - from jeans to mini skirts, maxi dresses to shorts.

The magic is in how you mix the styles (style of sandal + style of clothes). We want to make sure that we don't add too much of for example sexy or casual. We know that an ultra sexy mini dress with sexy high heel wedge sandals look too much. And denim jeans with plain sneakers is a complete bore.

Or if nothing works for your Classic taste, then you can never go with a pair of basic strappy or pump wedge sandals! But to keep it looking fresh and chic - make sure to add a stylish twist with accessories in a bold colors; or experiment with prints and textures.



If you can combine the wedges with something opposite from it - such as casual boyfriend jeans with trendy wedge shoes - then you've nailed the chic style code! Check out how Rachel Bilson does it:
Rachel Bilson looking chic and casual wearing Chloe wedge sandals
Via intheircloset.com

You can also try wearing a pair of wedge sandals with a pretty floral dress, but I recommend opting for a shoe style that is different from it. For example floral dress + edgy/trendy leather wedge sandals. You just gotta love how chic Eva Mendes looks here:

Eva Mendes wearing a pretty floral dress with trendy wedge sandals
Via handbag.com

Got a Classy fashion persona? How about wearing a pair of shorts with a blazer and tall wedge sandals? Take a look at Cameron Diaz' outfit:

Cameron Diaz wearing a classy, tailored outfit with sporty wedge sandals
Via wireimage

See how the wedge sandals brings the classy outfit up a notch? It looks flirty and on-trend without looking too much :-)


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