If wedges make your world go round, you have Salvatore Ferragamo to thank. Though they first popped up in ancient Greece, it was the Italian shoe designer who introduced lifties to Italy in the 30s. But right around the time Ferragamo was perfecting the shoes, Italy invaded Abyssinia in 1935, which led to sanctions on steel and leather. So like any good designer, Ferragamo improvised, using cork as the new base of the shoe. It was sturdy, light and, most importantly, affordable. And just like that, the modern-day wedge was born.
The style remained popular throughout World War II, but it wasn’t until the glam rock days of the 70s that wedges regained their footing. As time went on, they’d crop back up in the 90s and again in the early 2000s. Their most recent revival took place on the Spring 2012 runway when Isabel Marant unleashed her high-top, hidden wedge sneakers. In an instant, the trainers became a cult collectable and sparked a sneaker phenomenon that’s still going strong today.
This season, designers are offering up a mixed bag of wedges. You’ll find everything from suede gladiators at Chloe to sleek python lifters at Valentino. There are teeny-tiny wedge sandals at Marni and towering raffia step-ups from Paul Andrew. The sky’s the limit.
To shop the best wedge sandals of the season, click on the gallery above.