Wedge heels are popular in every season because of their classic styling and comfort, adding height while offering more support and stability than a thin heel or stiletto. Just about any type of shoe can be styled in a wedge form, including pumps, sandals, clogs, boots and even sneakers. Wedge heights vary and may include a platform to add height to the shoe without increasing the height and angle of the wedge.
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The espadrille wedge describes any wedge shoe with a braided or woven base. Although most commonly available as sandals, the espadrille wedge is also seen on closed-toe pumps, peep-toe pumps and clogs. The identifying factor is the braided or woven base, which may be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, jute, rattan or synthetics. Even if other materials are used on the base, such as wood, leather or cork, the woven portion categorises it as an espadrille.
Wooden and Cork Wedges
After espadrilles, the most common wedge heels are wooden or cork. The wedge base may be made of a solid piece of wood or cork, may be wrapped in wood or cork, or may be hollowed inside to reduce the weight of the shoe. Other commonly used materials for wedge heels include rubber, plastic, Lucite, leather and canvas.
The hidden wedge has a very slight wedge (3/4 inch or less) that is built in to the shoe, so that no wedge is visible and the shoe appears to be flat. The hidden wedge is used most often on ballet flats.
A wrapped wedge features a heel wrapped in the same material as the upper portion of the shoe, which is usually leather, so the upper and the wedge heel appear to be constructed from one piece. The wrapped wedge is commonly used on wedge pumps and wedge boots.
The architectural wedge features cutouts or architectural concepts built in to the wedge base. It is most commonly seen on wooden wedges and often on Lucite wedges.
A flatform is a flat shoe or sandal on a platform base. Flatforms may be flat or may have a slight incline of the heel so the shoe wears like a flat but looks like a wedge. Flatforms are most often expressed as espadrilles and other sandals.
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