The wedge shoe has been a popular choice of heels for women since their first appearance in the 1930’s. Many women find the wedge to be an enticing alternative to the traditional high-heeled shoe because they can provide the same amount of height and leg definition but are typically more comfortable, provide more support to the foot and ankle, and are often much easier to walk in. As opposed to a high-heeled shoe with a separate heel, a wedge shoe mimics a sneaker in the way that the heel is one large piece with the sole of the shoe.
The Wedge The wedge shoe was originally designed by the renowned Italian designer Salvatore Farrago in 1935. This style gained incredible popularity during World War II when there was a shortage of leather and rubber- materials typically used in sneakers and other types of shoes. It was also during this time that height started to become a popular fashion trend for women. This trend coupled with the shortage of rubber and leather lead to a high demand for the cork-heeled wedge shoe.
The Sneaker Slightly before the wedge shoe was invented in the 1930’s, the sneaker shoe began to gain global recognition in the late 1920’s due to its practicality in sports. It was during this time that the birth of popular athletic brands took place such as Adidas and Puma. Not surprisingly, during this era professional sports were typically left to the men of the generation. Thus, athletic sneakers became a popular trend amongst athletic men, especially after “Track star Jessie Owens wore Adidas when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics.”
It’s clear that both the wedge and the sneaker were increasing in popularity during this time. Around the same time, the women’s rights movement began, which many fashion experts believe was a turning point for women and the types of clothing that were considered acceptable. Because many women helped out with the war effort during this time, women started wearing more manual labor appropriate clothing.
Obviously today, sneakers are a popular choice for both men and women, and the wedge has continued to be a popular choice amongst women. The 20th and 21st centuries have pushed the limits in fashion, constantly striving for innovation and new ways to express ourselves. This continues to be the case, especially when it comes to footwear.
One such example is the recent sneaker wedge trend that has seen some high demand in the U.S. The sneaker wedge is the perfect representation of innovation in fashion of the 21st century. Taking the ideas of the traditional and well-received design of wedges and sneakers dating back to the early 20th century and combining these ideas together, the sneaker wedge was invented. The combination of these two drastically different styles leaves the shoe-holder with the sporty look of the sneaker and the elegance of a heeled wedge. Because of this, sneaker wedges are worn with all different styles of apparel and can be used to give an outfit a more casual and look, or taking a more casual look and subtly adding some formality by the height of a wedge. This designer shoe has truly become a go-to accessory of the 21st century.