You Heard It Here First: Wedges Are Back And Cooler Than Ever

Whether you love or hate ’em.

Originally Published: 
@ karenbritchick
2023 wedge shoe trend Karen Blanchard
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Ahhh, wedges. There are few, if any, shoes as controversial as the slanted, sometimes wobbly silhouette. (Ask your style-minded group chat for opinions, and chances are the answers will be all over the place.) But regardless of your feelings toward the hotly debated style, it’s safe to say wedge shoes are officially back in vogue, according to recent designer collections. From boots to sandals to sneakers, the latest wave of options are a far cry from the preppy rope or cork espadrille iterations you likely had on rotation in the late ’00s (but hey, if those are more your speed, by all means, wear them!).

Those who are firmly on #teamwedges will be pleased to hear there was no shortage of the silhouette on the Spring/Summer 2023 runways. Case in point: Dries Van Noten displayed a leather wedge-meets-mule style with a flashy golden touch, while Salvatore Ferragamo’s circular take on the classic silhouette was as sculptural as it gets. Meanwhile, Fendi went the boot route, showcasing a skin-tight, made-you-look lime green patent iteration. And off the catwalks, cult favorite labels like Wandler, Ganni, and Miista have been giving the silhouette their stamp of approval too.

Fendi Spring/Summer 2023Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Salvatore Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2023Justin Shin/Getty Images Entertainment

So why have wedges made such an impressive (and somewhat unexpected) comeback? “I think it’s partially because people are getting more dressed up [these days] and wearing heels, but they don’t want to sacrifice comfort,” Michelle Li, Tradesy’s senior style editor, tells TZR. “Wedges are the more manageable heel.” Additionally, she notes that wedges are a natural evolution of the platform shoe trend: “They’re the shoe for the person who is looking for the stability and chunkiness that a platform provides but with some more shape.”

If you’re ready to welcome wedges into your closet with open arms, ahead, find nine of-the-moment ways to style the shoe this season.

Leather On Leather (On Leather)

Fact: a sleek leather look is always a good idea. But instead of finishing the look off with a boot in the same material, opt for soft suede to keep things interesting.

Mesmerizing Metallic

Did you hear? High-shine metallic shoes are poised to be spring’s buzziest footwear. Jump ahead of the curve with a gilded gold wedge knee-high boot. Then lend the eye-catching look a futuristic vibe via a pair of sporty shades.

Clearly A Must-Have

The wedges from cult-favorite shoe designer Amina Muaddi are making a big splash in the industry, as proven by the fact that new styles like the Lupita Glass-Wedge Slide Sandals tend to sell out quickly. Above, the designer styles the shoe with baggy camo pants and a white rib tank. Throw a blazer into the mix for the office, and then take it off for after-work drinks and dinner.

Sleek & Sculptural

If an espadrille wedge isn’t your cup of tea, try something far from it, like a unique minimalist style. This iteration from luxury label Khaite gives a simple ensemble an eye-catching addition.

Need A Lift?

Whether your trousers are a tad too long or you’re always the shortest in group photos, a wedge will give you a little boost. To transition influencer Marta Cygan’s crop top look into cold-weather territory, just toss on a toasty shearling jacket.

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Fit For A Princess

Still waiting for your Cinderella moment (and, well, Chad Michael Murray)? Now’s your chance to experience it, thanks to Jeffrey Campbell’s acetate wedges. Above, influencer Amy Julliette Lefévre styles the shoe with bike shorts, a burnt orange jacket, and mini bag.

Flip-Flop Meets Wedge

With its flip-flop silhouette, Song of Style’s Mia Heel feels especially modern. Try out Aimee Song’s look and team the shoe with an anklet for a playful twist.

Baby Steps

Still unsure if wedges are for you? Start off slow by first trying a sandal with an itty-bitty baby slant. The heel gives a nice subtle lift while still keeping your toes blister-free.

Poolside Cool

Toss your rubber thongs to the side and instead wear your summery wedges while relaxing poolside. In addition to the shoes, dress up a bikini with a silk scarf tied around your hair and shiny hoops.

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