Y2K Wedges Are Back, Just When Your Feet Needed Them Most

Amina Muaddi
Amina Muaddi
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It's a sartorial move that hardly anyone saw coming, but 2000s-era wedges are back yet again. And for anyone who's low-key struggling with the shift back to going-out shoes (let's be real, aren't we all?), the nostalgic and comfortable heel just may be the answer to our collective footwear anxiety. With an elevated height and even weight distribution, it's the transitional shoe we didn't know we needed as we get ready to re-enter the world.

"Wedge heels are both dressy and casual," Rei Yoon Hongmi, creative director of Korean brand Reike Nen, tells POPSUGAR. "The sharp silhouette conveys a sense of womanliness, yet comfort. The current moment in fashion aims to be somewhere between the two." What's old is new again — just look at the most recent runways for proof: Schiaparelli's fall/winter 2021 collection featured a stunning boot with a gold wedge heel and trompe l'oeil effects, while Givenchy debuted a high-shine wedge in fire engine red. And retailers followed suit with other exciting iterations in metallic, snakeskin, and lucite, elevating the silhouette from the aughts to present day.

After a year-plus of socks and slippers, the return of the Y2K wedge feels like a faint nod to maximalism, bringing joy back to dressing again. "There's a cultural rebirth and shift happening," said Barbara Borghini, creative director of luxury shoe brand Gia Couture. (Gabrielle Union, Ashley Graham, and Karlie Kloss are all fans.) "Now that we're coming out of the pandemic and feeling optimistic about the future, it feels like time for an update."

We hear Borghini loud and clear. Ahead, shop 15 wedges that are perfect for strutting around outside. As far as lasting shoe trends go, you can't go wrong with comfort.

Good American Cinder-F*cking-Rella Thong
goodamerican.com

Good American Cinder-F*cking-Rella Thong

If this show-stopping silver Good American Cinder-F*cking-Rella Thong ($195) doesn't amplify your outfit, nothing will.

Rejina Pyo Norma Sandals
rejinapyo.com

Rejina Pyo Norma Sandals

In a cute peach shade, these Rejina Pyo Norma Sandals ($545) are proof that neutral doesn't mean basic.

Amina Muaddi Lupita Leather Wedge Sandals
mytheresa.com

Amina Muaddi Lupita Leather Wedge Sandals

We're seriously coveting these Amina Muaddi Lupita Leather Wedge Sandals ($620), and this colorway is not one to miss out on.

ShoeDazzle Reeba Slip On Wedge
shoedazzle.com

ShoeDazzle Reeba Slip On Wedge

Pair this ShoeDazzle Reeba Slip On Wedge ($60) with a black oversized button-down and straight-leg jeans for a look that works both day and night.

Gia Couture Rosie 2 Strappy Leather Sandal
giacouture.it

Gia Couture Rosie 2 Strappy Leather Sandal

According to Borghini, nature was the main inspiration for these Gia Couture Rosie 2 Strappy Leather Sandals ($610). Far from the ordinary wedge, a peek-a-boo brass-toned heel elevates the shoe into a true sculptural showpiece.

Jeffrey Campbell Cutie-2
jeffreycampbellshoes.com

Jeffrey Campbell Cutie-2

Pastels, please! Preferably via the Jeffrey Campbell Cutie-2 ($150). Chic, colorful, and affordable — we love to see it!

Reike Nen Odd Pair Wedge Heels
us.wconcept.com

Reike Nen Odd Pair Wedge Heels

With artfully mismatched straps, these Reike Nen Odd Pair Wedge Heels ($330) are a decidedly modern take on the wedge. Hongmi suggests pairing them with an everyday outfit for a mood-boosting effect.

Yeezy 110 Wedge Thong Sandals
farfetch.com

Yeezy 110 Wedge Thong Sandals

Talk about a dream silhouette! The slender wedge heel on these Yeezy 110 Wedge Thong Sandals ($272, originally $777) takes the thong beyond casual territory.

Alexander McQueen No.13 105 Wedge Leather Sandals
farfetch.com

Alexander McQueen No.13 105 Wedge Leather Sandals

If you're in the market for an attention-grabbing wedge, then you can probably already hear these Alexander McQueen No.13 105 Wedge Leather Sandals ($436, originally $1,090) calling your name.

Christopher Esber Alexa Wedge Sandals
farfetch.com

Christopher Esber Alexa Wedge Sandals

Two-toned heels mean double the fun. We recommend teaming these Christopher Esber Alexa Wedge Sandals ($283, originally $707) with something bright pink.

Dolce Vita Jaylyn Wedges
dolcevita.com

Dolce Vita Jaylyn Wedges

Wooden heels are the micro-trend to pounce on this season. These Dolce Vita Jaylyn Wedges ($60, originally $150) play especially well with linen shorts. Easy breezy!

Zara Mini Vinyl Wedge Sandals
zara.com

Zara Mini Vinyl Wedge Sandals

With a low heel that ensures comfort, these Zara Mini Vinyl Wedge Sandals ($50) offer a subtle statement.

Nicole Saldaña Karina Colour-Block Wedges
farfetch.com

Nicole Saldaña Karina Colour-Block Wedges

Wedges with an optical illusion vibe? Sign us up! These Nicole Saldaña Karina Colour-Block Wedges ($144, originally $405) are the perfect combination of form and function that will "compliment any material or leather," says the designer.

Giuseppe Zanotti Embellished Wedge Sandals
farfetch.com

Giuseppe Zanotti Embellished Wedge Sandals

Yes, you can totally get all dolled up in wedges. Consider these Giuseppe Zanotti Embellished Wedge Sandals ($725, originally $1,450) your new favorite going-out shoe.