I’ll admit, as a self-proclaimed aspiring fashionista, my choice of spring footwear often gets a little lazy and university-oriented, relying heavily on Sperry boat shoes, Converse sneakers, and Hunter boots to throw on before running out into the unpredictable wild that is Kingston weather in March. Basically, I am 100% guilty of falling into the Queen’s-girl stereotype, outfitting myself in what’s practical and what’s easy instead of cultivating a more tasteful look. Lately, however, I’ve been inspired to drag myself out of the slump I’ve fallen into come March for the past few years. If you’re a frequent subscriber to fashion blogs, magazines, or Beyoncé’s everyday wardrobe (guilty), there’s a high chance you’ve been exposed to footwear’s latest trend- the sneaker wedge.
Originally pioneered by the Isabel Marant with the release of her “Willow”, “Beckett” and “Boston” shoes, the sneaker wedge is highly eccentric and bold, but when worn well, can up your sneaker game and look phenomenal. High tops sold in a rainbow of colours complete with multiple velcro straps sound like they belong on every street but Fifth Avenue. However, the Willow shoe retails for $760 and has been flying off the shelves at top luxury fashion retailers, from Barney’s New York to Net-a-Porter, with other top designers like Marc Jacobs and Giuseppe Zanotti designing variations. The shoe is a favourite of celebrities- Beyoncé’s wore a pair in her video for “Love On Top” last year, and Miranda Kerr has been spotted wearing the tri-tone Willow shoe. New designs of the sneaker wedge continued to hold a spot on the runway in last week’s Isabel Marant show at Paris Fashion Week, my favourite being pointy-toed booties, a sophisticated twist on the original.
If you don’t have a cool stack of hundies lying around for the Marant version, some of the most popular accessible retailers are offering replicas for an affordable price this season. Upon walking into Aldo over reading week, I was stunned to see how much this sneaker dominated the store’s spring display, with prices around $100, and a wide variety of neutral tones and textiles being offered. Urban Outfitter’s online store is heavily saturated with sneaker wedges by affordable favourites such as Jeffrey Campbell and Sam Edelman. Personally, I prefer black versions for maximized versatility and statement. The architecture of the shoe is so structured and intricate that multi-toned, colourful designs or those embellished with studs often seem overwhelming and take a sharp sense of style to pull off. For this reason, I would recommend black versions for newcomers intimidated by the loud statement that the sneaker heel makes. But don’t be shy! The best quality the sneaker wedge offers is it’s ability to transcend a wide variety of style genres- it looks amazing with a skinny pant, and can be dressed up with oxford shirts, or paired with a whimsical graphic t-shirt for a more casual look.
With sneaker heels in the forecast, spring couldn’t arrive sooner.
Ashley Laramie, Online Contributor