15 'non-granny' wedges and espadrilles to shop this summer

Floral-appliquéd leather wedge sandals
MAGDA BUTRYM Floral-appliquéd leather wedge sandals

There’s no shoe style that epitomises summer more than wedges or espadrilles.

The once divisive style is back for 2024, and like many pieces right now, it's had a super chic makeover. Suffice to say, we’re glad the block heeled shoe is the one to wear right now, though it’s unsurprising considering comfortable footwear has become the go-to for every fashion aficionado on the planet (dad trainers, we love you).

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Wedges and espadrilles are totally versatile - comfortable enough to wear during the day, yet chic enough to take you through to the evening. "They are a  great day to night shoe," shoe designer Eleanor Wellesley tells H Fashion, "I style my wedges with all different looks." The British It-girl became the designer of her own eponymous luxury shoe company after spending years searching for the perfect wedged-espadrille in vain.

How do I style wedges and espadrilles?

Eleanor says they "Can be styled from casual to smart; for breakfast events or even for weddings in the south of France. I wear mine a lot with long dresses to smart events as they are so comfortable... they really go with any outfit you choose." Wedges are renown for their blend of style and comfort. The elevated heel provides height without sacrificing stability, making them ideal for longer-wear. "I did a trial with my wedge espadrilles and wore them for 20 hours to a birthday party in Italy and another wedding in South Africa and my feet still didn't hurt even with all that dancing," Eleanor explains. They pair effortlessly with casual outfits like jeans and t-shirts or shorts and blouses for a laid-back look. For semi-formal settings, wedges complement dresses and skirts beautifully, offering a chic yet comfortable alternative to stilettos.  "You can wear them with a flared jean with a cool jumper, a top or blouse or event a smart navy suit to my work meetings... and a silk dress to attend a party, wedding, or a polo match," explains Eleanor.

What is an espadrille?

Espadrilles, also referred to as alpargatas, are a type of versatile footwear characterised by their lightweight, flexible soles made from natural fibres like jute or grass. These shoes have a rich history that dates back several centuries, with their origins believed to be in the Pyrenees region, straddling the border between Spain and France. "A wedge espadrille originates from the traditional Spanish flat espadrille," explains Eleanor.

The term "espadrille" is derived from the Catalan word "espardenya," which in turn originates from "esparto," a type of tough, wiry grass used in making ropes and soles. Historically, espadrilles were worn by both peasants and soldiers in the regions of Catalonia and the Basque Country. The traditional espadrille consisted of a simple canvas or cotton fabric upper and a sole made by hand-braiding esparto or jute. These materials made the shoes not only affordable but also suitable for the hot, dry Mediterranean climate, providing comfort and breathability. In the 13th century, espadrilles became the footwear of choice for soldiers in the King of Aragon's infantry. This practical and durable design allowed soldiers to traverse various terrains with ease. Over the years, espadrilles remained a staple in Spanish and French culture, with each region developing its unique variations and styles.

The 15 Best Wedges and Espadrilles to shop in 2024:

Why You Should Trust Me:

With over 10 years in the fashion industry, I've explored countless trends and helped others find their perfect footwear. As an editor and journalist, I'm always analyzing the latest trends to find the most flattering and stylish pieces for the season. Whether you love classic wedges or trendy espadrilles, I've got the insider tips to help you choose the perfect summer shoes that make you feel confident and stylish.

How I Picked the Perfect Wedges and Espadrilles for You:

Seasonal Sensation: I've curated this selection with the summer mind, focusing on styles that capture the essence of the season's hot weather and vibrant colour palettes.

Fashion & Function: We know that summer activities often go beyond just casual outings. These shoes combine comfort and style, ensuring you look and feel your best whether you're out for a walk or attending a garden party.

Something for Everyone: I understand personal style preferences vary. This edit offers a range of options, from delicate and feminine espadrilles to more trendy and bold wedges. Whether you prefer a classic look or something more contemporary, we've got the perfect selection to complete your summer wardrobe.