It’s a sartorial move that hardly anyone saw coming, but 2000s-era wedges are back yet again. And for anyone who’s low-key struggling with the shift back to going-out shoes (let’s be real, aren’t we all?), the nostalgic and comfortable heel just may be the answer to our collective footwear anxiety. With an elevated height and even weight distribution, it’s the transitional shoe we didn’t know we needed as we get ready to re-enter the world.
“Wedge heels are both dressy and casual,” Rei Yoon Hongmi, Creative Director of Korean brand Reike Nen, tells POPSUGAR. “The sharp silhouette conveys a sense of womanliness, yet comfort. The current moment in fashion aims to be somewhere between the two.” What’s old is new again — just look at the most recent runways for proof: Schiaparelli’s fall/winter 2021 collection featured a stunning boot with a gold wedge heel and trompe l’oeil effects, while Givenchy debuted a high-shine wedge in fire engine red. And retailers followed suit with other exciting iterations in metallic, snakeskin, and lucite, elevating the silhouette from the aughts to present day.
After a year-plus of socks and slippers, the return of the Y2K wedge feels like a faint nod to maximalism, bringing joy back to dressing again. “There’s a cultural rebirth and shift happening,” said Barbara Borghini, Creative Director of luxury shoe brand Gia Couture (Gabrielle Union, Ashley Graham, and Karlie Kloss are all fans). “Now that we’re coming out of the pandemic and feeling optimistic about the future, it feels like time for an update.”
We hear Borghini loud and clear. Ahead, shop 15 wedges that are perfect for strutting around outside. As far as lasting shoe trends go, you can’t go wrong with comfort.