This winter, it’s all about the refined wedge. The cold-weather wedge of 2011 is streamlined and lighthearted, sleek and angular – not nearly as chunky as former incarnations of seasons past. But the comfort level remains the same. That’s the beauty of the wedge: whether you find it in the form of a bootie or pump, it’s a sturdier grip on the pavement and an instantly more confident stride than any other heel.
Giuseppe Zanotti‘s cap-toe versions, in a mouse-gray suede pump ($775) and a stretch canvas bootie ($775) (how comfortable does that sound?!), have such sharply tapered platforms they won’t even read as “wedge” the second you put them on. Jil Sander stays in keeping with their famously minimal aesthetic, as seen on their mid-calf suede boots ($745) and lace-up booties ($695) – winter-perfect with black tights or tightly tapered jeans and a lean, grown-up take on the schoolgirl oxford, respectively. You can always rely on L.A.M.B to nail the trends right on time for a fraction of the high-designer price – these pumps ($275) give you your wedge fix in the form of a super-practical shoe. Pelle Moda‘s “Naomi” booties ($200) have the same sporty-dressy feel, via the touch of elastic, as Zanotti’s sky-high numbers, and are way more accessible.