After months of wearing winter boots, how do we transition from the comfort of sweatpants and sweatshirts to the hot girl summer of our dreams?
Enter the wedge sandal. With the added height of a heel but without the pain of a stiletto, it’s the perfect summer shoe. On top of that, the wedge is quite on par with the revival of Y2K fashion. However, skip the sky-high cork wedge and opt for the season’s slimmer takes (via Footwear News).
What makes the wedge so comfortable is its distribution of weight. “When you wear a wedge, the pressure is distributed throughout the wedge –- not just in the heel and the ball of the foot like you would have in a traditional stiletto-type shoe,” Dr. Ami Sheth of the American Podiatric Medical Association told The Pioneer Woman.
From high to low inclines, from leather to PVC, here are our favorite wedge sandal styles of 2021.
Espadrilles are the perfect mix of comfort and style
Though it arguably was never out of style, something about the canvas and plaited fiber sole of the beloved espadrille takes us to the Mediterranean beach shores of our dreams.
The style is also preferred by royals and politicians alike, chosen for its comfort and its ability to elevate a summer dress while still keeping it casual. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is known to opt for the chic wedge during the summer as she walks across the White House lawn (via The Zoe Report). The thicker heel is perfect for navigating grass yards without the fear of sinking in.
Fellow lady in power Kate Middleton is also a fan of the style. The Duchess of Cambridge has been photographed multiple times with her favorite Castañer pair, sporting them in both their white and black iterations (via The Zoe Report). While the royal-approved pair may be a little expensive, ASOS and Soludos are just as stylish.
Queen Letizia of Spain has also been known to rival the duchess in her love for espadrilles. Stepping it up a notch, the queen has worn all-black and leather espadrilles for a new take on her closet staple (via Vogue).
Royally approved, wrap those strings tight around your ankles and run to your next summer event.
Bring it back to the 2000s with platform slides
Y2K fashion has also brought back the classic black “flatforms” (via Cosmopolitan). Keeping the heel incline low without compromising height, these wedge sandals are a great transition from comfort to style.
Perhaps the most iconic wedge “platform” are the black sandals. Whether in leather or nylon, the thick strap of the wedge sandal makes the shoe even more comfortable. Cosmopolitan recommends & Other Stories’ Leather Platform sandals if you’re trying to achieve a Y2K velvet tracksuit and wedge sandal moment.
If you’re looking for a more sporty look (not unlike the espadrilles), this Nine West Glampin Espadrille Platform sandal combines the twine fibers of the espadrille with bandana print straps (via Oprah Daily).
While the flatform shoe is already comfortable, if you’re looking for an even more comfortable option, consider Dr. Scholl’s Beaming Wedge Sandal. Featuring a cork heel and cushioned platform, your feet will feel like they’re walking on clouds (via Pioneer Woman).
Classic and backless
Fully inspired by Carrie Bradshaw’s many heel moments, the backless wedge is a must for this summer’s closet. Whether you opt for a thick or thin wedge, or more stylized curvy heel, the backless wedge is a classic.
This style is definitely for the more fashion-minded of your friends, usually coming in leather or even PVC. Although their backless nature is certainly not the most comfortable as it lacks ankle support, a heel with a larger upper part will provide the added support (via Pioneer Woman).
Whistle’s Suede and PVC wedge sandals give you the same neutral look as espadrilles, but with a little bit of an edge for a night out (via Cosmopolitan).
Staud’s Silvie sandals follow the similar silhouette of a thinner wedge in leather, playing with texture and color to add another bold element to a sophisticated silhouette (via Footwear News). Pair it with either loose jeans or a miniskirt to show off the white leather detail.
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