Fashion Fact Friday : History of The Wedge

Friday, December 9, 2011

What is a wedge heel?

The majority of heeled shoes have a heel located exclusively underneath the back of the shoe.  A wedge heel is triangular in shape and runs underneath the entire shoe, from the back  to the front.  It’s thicker at the heel  and thins as it nears the toe. Weight is dispersed more evenly between the balls of the feet and the toes. The higher the wedge, the more weight will be carried by the front of the feet.


Comfortable, offers more arch support than the thin stiletto heel.

Easier to balance, its heel-to-toe length span provides stability. 

Versatility, wedges can be worn with almost anything, day or night.

History Of the Wedge

Mid to Late 1930's - Italian Designer Salvatore Ferragamo creates the orthopaedic wedge and wedge heel.  The first wedge heels were made of cork and wood.  Cork being the popular of the two due to its lightness in weight.

1970's - The wedge regained popularity.  The 70's fashion scene called for big, outrageous shoes.  Some styles even allowed for a gold fish inside of the heel.  The designs were over-the-top.  In the 70's both men and women wore platform heels.

1990's - Wedge sneakers became popular.

2006 -  Cork and rope wedges made a comeback in the summer of 2006.  The wedge flip-flop also began surfacing.

Today - With the revival of 70's fashions, it was only expected for the wedge to regain popularity.  Wedge sandals, boots and sneakers are popular.  All styles are available in a plethora of materials and heel heights.

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