WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – This spring, feet will rise and be free with the help of the wedge, that high and mighty heel that magically shrinks your ankles and lengthens your legs.

“The stiletto was huge for years, but the good thing about the wedge is that more people can walk in them,” says Marshalls style expert Amy Gallagher. “It’s a fun shoe that can be dressed up or down.”

This spring is all about flouncy full skirts, safari chic and bohemian peasant blouses, and the wedge is the perfect match for such free flowing femininity.

Wedges come in just about every look – among the most popular is yummy pastel – with-high-cork heels for shorter women and one-to-two-inch heels for you taller lucky ducks.

And the good news, says Liz Claiborne creative director Richard Ostell, is that these shoes go with almost anything.

“I think they look great with skirts and straighter leg crop pants with a cuff,” Ostell says. As for miniskirts and short shorts: “Yes, if you’re 18 years old.”

The canvas espadrille look is especially hot this season, in greens, oranges and yellows so exotic you could pass them off as something you picked up on your summer in Istanbul.

The Indian prints you’re spotting on camisoles and skirts are dripping onto wedges, along with beads, sequins, fake flowers and just about any other legal embellishment.

Gallagher says unlike fall’s round-toed stiletto that got lost underneath long jeans, the wedge actually leaves something to be seen.

Wedges also look fabulous with dresses and spring’s can’t-live-without item, the full skirt: It’s fitted at the waist and hips, then flows out to below the knee or longer.

While all heels elongate the legs, the wedge will hold a special place in the hearts of those with less-than-dainty ankles.

“The wedge makes the leg look smaller, especially if you have thicker legs.” Gallagher says.

Given that, they can look a bit odd – unless you’re going for the Dee-Lite look – on superskinny legs.


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