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Trending 19 October 2021

The Return of the Wedge

Not just for the beach club, these are the brands bringing the wedged shoe back into the present day and giving us that little bit of lift.

The revival of the Isabel Marant Sneaker Wedge has created a cascade effect throughout the footwear scene, and we have to say, we cannot get enough of the wedge. Often earmarked for women who prefer to spend their time at resorts and beach clubs, the wedged shoe has unfortunately earned itself a bad rep when it comes to relevancy in the modern fashion world. Whilst the espadrille wedge will always hold significance, we’re most interested in the contemporary offering of this shoe type. Thanks to the cyclical nature of the trend, the wedge shoe is back, and we’re thanking one Madame Isabel Marant for it!

Words By Brittany Lyons

Casual & Comfy

While the wedge might be associated with beach, resort, or somewhat formal attire, that thought isn’t exactly correct.

The wedged heel is not only one of the most practical vehicles to elevate someone’s height but can be incorporated into a very casual and comfortable shoe design.

We’re sure you’re acutely aware of the 2010 trend of the Isabel Marant Wedged Sneaker.

Whether you were a lover or a cynic, we’re here to proclaim that the wedge sneaker is making a comeback a cool decade later. That’s right- and the perpetrator, none other than Marant herself.

The revival of the somewhat divisive sneaker bringing a little added height to its wearer has been altered ever so slightly.

You can expect chunkier elements from this cult classic in the 2020s, and some zesty colours to boot.

If the sneaker wedge isn’t necessarily your forte but you’re looking at a casual way to get a little bit taller, we recommend looking into a sandal with a smaller wedge and platform.

These slip on and off staples are the perfect way to add a little lift without a painful incline on the foot.

Isabel Marant Balskee Touch-strap Wedge Sneakers, $1,020, Farfetch


If you’re a traditionalist, then let’s celebrate you, shall we?! The wedged espadrille is certainly the most popular type of wedged shoe offered worldwide.

Historically worn at events held on sand or lawn, the practicality of the full-soled heel allowed its wearer to not sink into the ground.

Due to this very handy fact, the wedge is almost sacred in the beach and resort wear scene. Often realised with a sole crafted from rope or raffia, these originally hailing from Spain shoes, exude seaside chic.

Like any other deserving trend, the big-name fashion houses have put their stamp on the beach-worthy wedged shoe. It labels such as Bottega Veneta and GANNI have too shown us their contemporary version of the holiday staple.

One of our absolute favourite iterations is the Woven Wedge Mules designed by Daniel Lee for Bottega.

Bottega Veneta Woven Wedge Mules, $2,120, Farfetch

This unconventional espadrille has a heel that’s not the usual uniform wedge but still retains the comfort and ease of the chunky bottom (and would still be ideal to sport on a lawn or beach).

The signature roped sole has also been used for the entire footbed which is both unusual and wonderful. Realised in the signature Bottega zingy colours and we’re sold!

Noughties Inspired

Having spent my formative years growing up in the 2000s, I can’t help but be a total sucker for the fashion born soon after the same decade that I was.

When you think 2000’s you think chunky shoes, and wedges totally give us just that.

Last summer period, the fashion world saw a complete revival of the cult chunky flip flop sandal. Once associated with films like Clueless, this platform pair of thongs have again reappeared on the most recent runways of fashion month.

Thanks to brands such as Jacquemus, Coperni and Alexander Wang, we can expect the chunky wedged flip flop to stick around for the next season or so.

For those seeking a mid-market entry point to the platform thong wedge, retailers like The Iconic offer some versions that nail the trend without carrying the designer price tag.

If you’re an appreciator of 00’s fashion but not 100% convinced of the super chunky look, check out brands giving a more subtle nod to the trend.

We love labels like Staud and Tony Bianco for providing a refined version of the 00’s wedge trend. Especially the strappy versions that are super feminine and romantic.

Staud Billie Leather Wedges, $275, Moda Operandi

The Modern Wedge

Just like there are classicists, there are those who are appreciators of the modern, contemporary and unconventional interpretations of a trend.

When it comes to the wedged shoe, there are of course the left-of-centre brands who are putting their spin on things.

In true character, labels such as Off-White, Givenchy and Jil Sander give us major cool-girl vibes with their versions of the wedge.

For us, a common theme of note when looking at modern takes on the wedge is all about the villain vibe.

Pointy, angular and black, these are all elements we’re loving from high-end brands using the wedge to their footwear offering an advantage.

For example, the Amina Muaddi Black Daniel Thigh High Patent Boots are, yes not for the faint-hearted, but are a serious shoe! This superhero or supervillain way of wearing wedges are a big statement and we are here for it!

For something a little more subdued, a smaller wedge can be found in the offering of modern shaped shoes at Charles and Keith.

The square toe offers a contemporary feel when paired with a conservative heeled wedge. Perfect for in the office or as a summer slide-on.

Charles & Keith Square Toe Wedge Mules, was $83 now $70.55, Charles & Keith