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Wedge health shoes for women debuted in the fashion world in 1938. It was originally designed and created by Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo, who became known for his visionary and classic design in women's shoes. . Farragamo gained his reputation as a shoe and boot designer in the film industry during the 1920s. As a result of his innovative designs and the quality of the shoes, he was commissioned by both male and female film stars to create footwear for both screen performances and personal use. Because of his shoes in Hollywood, he became known as "Shoemaker to the Stars".
Although his shoes were popular with the Hollywood elite, they were not comfortable. To solve this problem, he enrolled at Los Angeles University to study anatomy, mathematics, and chemical engineering. He used his studies on the design of his shoes and broke away from how the shoes were traditionally manufactured and designed and started to make his shoes, both innovative in design and comfortable to wear. The popularity of his shoes increased internationally, but the overwhelming demand for his shoes and the inability to meet this demand without the help of qualified staff forced him to return to Italy. When he found qualified staff in Florence, one of the centers of the Italian shoe industry, he opened his own shop and began to expand the production of his shoes.
In the late 1930s, a shortage of leather and rubber, traditional materials used in footwear, developed because of the war. Ferragamo began experimenting with non-traditional materials such as straw, blanket, cork and wood and integrating them into the design of his brand of shoes. As a result of experimenting with these non-traditional materials, he created his most noted designs, the wedge and the heel shoe. He made the wedge lug with wood or cork as a platform support for the shoe. The cork platform became the most popular because of its light weight and durability. Women, from his era, found the wedge heels much easier to walk in than shoes with a narrower heel and bought this shoe style, not only for its style but for its support for the foot and the comfort it provided in walking. Within two years of its introduction to the fashion world, wedge heels became a classic and popular design in women's shoes internationally.
His original design of the wedge heels made no difference between the heel and the rest of the shoe, except that the back and ankle of the foot were raised above the toe of the shoe. It offered a triangular platform on which the food rested, extending from the heel of the foot to the middle or front of the foot. Today, the original design of both his platform and regular wedge-heeled shoes has evolved into a more defined heel of certain styles, cropped platforms, straps and strapless shoes, with varied decor. The wedge hat today offers more variety in colors and materials are designed with heels ranging from one inch to over 4 inches in height. Shoe sizes now run the spectrum from small to extra large and women with different stature and walks in life wear this classic platform shoe for both style and comfort
Platform shoes have been worn in many cultures before the 1900s, but Farragamo's innovative design of wedge heels reintroduced platform shoes into the fashion world. His visionary ideas ranged from bizarre to subtle designs worn by women every day and served as inspiration for other shoe designers of his time. Today, his company is still known for its classic and visionary designs in women's shoes.
The wedge heel shoe has become a classic and trendy shoe style for women of all ages and remains as popular as it was in the 1930s. Whether Ferragamo's intentions were that his design of the wedge-heeled shoe extends to the different genres in footwear or not, it has become a versatile shoe that can be worn with almost any style of clothing. Wedge heels, today, are sold as formal dresses and casual shoes. It is a shoe that has shown its constant resistance to fashion trends and has stretched the test of time.