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Reach a fashionable edge with the wedge

Shoes come in a bundle of styles: flats, heels, espadrilles, mary janes and wedges, to name a few. What is quite flattering to wear with a casual summertime maxi dress or a formal oversized floral-patterned skirt, however, is the wedge.

The wedge offers both comfort and balance. As in any heel, women stand taller, elongate their legs and create a distinctly-erect posture when they sport a fancy wedge heel. Wedges make a fashion-forward statement in comparison to stilettos, which tend to be more difficult to walk in.

Wedge heels come in various sizes, from nearly flat to sky high. You’ll find wedges with a 4-1/2 inch heel height and a 1-1/2 inch platform height; in contrast, flatter heels come as 2-3/4 inch wedges with a 1-3/4 inch platform height. The weight of the wedge is significant, averaging around twelve ounces, depending on its height. The material in the wedge is made of cork, a lightweight material. You may find some wedges have a heel that looks like it was made of material other than cork; in such instances, the designer covers the wedge and platform heel with leather.

Ladies revel in shoes. And, wedges will empty your purse strings as would any quality shoe purchase. You’ll find wedges on the market from $69 to $398, sometimes more affordable and sometimes just the opposite, depending on who designed the shoe, whether or not the shoe was imported and the quality of material used.

Imagine a color—bold or pastel—and you’ll find a wedge in that hue. Think of a pattern—polka dotted or swirly—and, presto! You’ll find one with just such a design on the market somewhere. The wedge has been around for quite a few decades, so someone has created the design you are looking for.

Women around the world can thank Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo for inventing the wedge shoe in the early parts of the twentieth century. The Italian designer made a career in the film industry in the 1920s where he was notable for designing shoes for both on-camera and off-camera wear. Ferragamo made a name for himself when he designed the wedge, and his classic design has lived on in fashionable circles to this day. Note this brilliant designer’s flair the next time you slide into a wedge!

Here are a few Chicago-area stores that sell spectacularly-fashionable wedge heels:

Lori’s the Sole of Chicago

824 Armitage Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

773.281.5655

www.lorisshoes.com

Average cost of wedges: $60 to $120

Hanig’s Footwear

Hanigs North Avenue

1000 W. North Avenue

Chicago, IL 60642

(312) 640-1234

www.hanigs.com

Average cost of wedges: $300 to $400

Hanig's Footwear

John Hancock Center

875 North Michigan Avenue

(Please use Delaware entrance)

Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 787-6800

www.hanigs.com

Average cost of wedges: $300 to $400

Hanig's Footwear and The Little Chick

1627 Sherman Avenue

Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 864-3268

www.hanigs.com

Average cost of wedges: $300 to $400

City Soles

2001 West North Avenue

Chicago, IL 60622

1.888.GO.FUNKY / 773.489.2001

http://www.citysoles.com

Average cost of wedges: $165 to $400

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