Dieters hearing the word wedge are likely to envision chunks of lettuce while mechanic’s minds would probably conjure the triangle-shaped tool that’s thick at one end and wide on the other. The true wedgeophile would go straight to either golf clubs or women’s shoes. If that describes you, welcome to our world! Our singular mission is to convince you that life without wedges is no life at all, and we're talking both shoes and golf clubs. Keep reading to find out why…
Wedging around the course
If pedigrees are explored, look for wedges on the golf family tree to share a branch amid irons. Wedges are the party relatives: long on solving dilemmas, short on shaft and helpful to golfers whose lob shots leave something to be desired. As the heaviest club head in the irons family, wedges have been compared to enforcers: Don’t mess with them when they dig in to save golfers from shame, ridicule and teasing.Wedge clubs are designed with modified soles to assist duffers in pursuit of their aim: getting that ball out of a hazard or retrieving it from some tricky spot that could upend a golf game immediately or seriously damage the ego of a golfer. Not to worry. If you have a full accompaniment of wedges in your golf bag—pitching, sand, gap and lob—that alone could elevate your stature in the eyes of your competitors. Want to impress friends who have shown that they’re one sandwich short of a picnic when it comes to their education into golf's lexicon? Next time you approach your next impossible shot, invoke the name Niblick. It’s the original name given to wedges when they emigrated from Scotland. Sure the name sounds as though it should belong to someone fixated on nibbling corn, but who ever said that golf was logical?
Wedging around the floor
Rumor has it that legendary Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo is responsible for engineering the first wedge shoe for women in the 1930s, but back then, he wasn’t striving to make women’s legs look sexy. His engineering of an innovative, new wedge heel offered orthopedic benefits, so if you ever think about putting Ferragamo in the category with designers who torture women with impossibly high heels, you might wish to thank him instead.Image Source: ferragamo.com
Eschewing leather (the designer claimed it was strategic design move, but most say that a rubber shortage was the culprit), Ferragamo’s wedges were made of cork because after experimenting with this light material, he concluded that cork was not just readily available but affordable, durable and sturdy. The same couldn't be said about leather.
Nobody knows whether word spread that these shoes pampered feet or if the style simply won the hearts of women, but the wedge became a wildly popular heel during World War II. This shoe was said to make women feel feminine and sexy and there were no complaints, even when wedge heels got taller and added about 5 inches one's height. Ferragamo’s introduction of the wedge heel came along around the time shoulder pads arrived, turning perfectly feminine women into linebackers. As a result of the marriage of the wedge heel and shoulder pads, women’s silhouettes morphed into triangles, but as we mentioned earlier, no judgments. The wedge heel waxed and waned in popularity for decades so it's never been a fleeting fad–even when a designer put live goldfish into wedge heels in the 1970s. FYI: the Nimrod who sacrificed those goldfish wasn’t Ferragamo.
Why wedges are good for one’s health
Getting on a golf course for a round or 18 and in the company of one or more wedges offers health benefits to men and women who otherwise might become couch wedges fixated on The Golf Channel. Improved fitness as a result of walking the course, usingImage Source: shutterbean.com
upper body muscles and the stress-reducing act of screaming “fore” and other four letter words has repeatedly been proven to enhance mental health and motivate even those who never met physical exercise they didn't dislike.
As for the golf wedge’s first cousin, the wedge shoe, we have already touched on Ferragamo’s original reason for creating the wedge heel and his theory hasn’t been mocked by orthopedists who cite improved posture and balance as reasons enough to go out and spend one’s entire shoe allowance on wedges in the name of a properly aligned body. Further, foot specialists agree that Ferragamo’s heel offers additional arch support and can lessen foot and ankle problems–especially when compared to injury, discomfort and pain associated with wearing stilettos. According to foot fetishists, wedges add zest to the lives of those who aren’t as much seeking a shoe as they are stimulation. We would be remiss if we left lettuce wedges out of the mix. They’re good for your health, too.
Are wedges important?
To quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “Let us count the ways.” For golfers, simply including wedges in your golf bag is enough to scare off competitors because you look like you’ve come to the course ready to do battle. Wedges are your “get out of jail card”—and your get out of the water card if you sent your ball heavenward without a tiny life jacket. Owning all four wedges heaps on the respect because you’ll be seen as someone who is willing to invest in clubs that you really, really hope are never needed.
Wedge shoes are as important. National economies thrive when resurrected fashion like the wedge sprawls across the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Marie Claire accompanied by editorial that convinces women of reasons to own the new style, even if that means cutting back on the quality of the cat food they are forced to purchase. This economic imperative is particularly dramatic when fashion-forward women discover that despite a closet filled with shoes, not a single pair has a wedge heel. Wedges are important population drivers, too. Women feel sexy in wedges, therefore men benefit both before and after they play golf if they return home to find the love of their life eager for a round or two at home. Can there be too many wedges on this planet? Not in our opinion. Life without wedges might not be worth living!
Wedges can even perform public services
Wedges dig down deep to position a golfer for a key shot because this club is like a prairie dog burrowing down to rescue pups. Conversely, wedge shoes elevate women’s feet well above the grass, protecting toes from the mud, soil, sand and dirt that wedge clubs work so diligently to plunder.
Golf addicts perform public services when they stay out of trouble because nine holes really are more important than nine months in the slammer—especially if those nine months happen to wrap around golf season that can run from spring to fall. Wedge as social reformer? Why not?
Can wedge shoes also perform other public services? You bet your golf bag and hand bag. Shoe shoppers who are as much thriftanista as fashionista help retailers stay afloat by helping them manage their inventories. Shoppers who apply due diligence to sleuth out sales, mark-downs and the biggest shoe events of all, BOGOs, are helping the free enterprise system stay—well, free.
So, must you cut corners to satisfy your wedge purchase(s)?
Sadly, making a sensible decision to buy shoes with wedge heels can be more difficult. “Yes, please,” impromptu online shoppers say when a super-hot shoe style presents itself, one's heart starts to flutter and that “send” key is achingly close. But of course, that’s why God invented websites devoted to footwear. For wedge-seekers, choices are bountiful and prices tend to be attractive because vendors have no expensive storefronts to maintain. Some shoe websites even allow browsers to shop exclusively in the wedge category and with decent return policies, taking a risk can be a no-brainer.
What about inter-marriage? Can men and women interchange wedges?
Once upon a time, society may have disparaged such an arrangement, but these days, anything goes. Men and women often share the same wedges as a matter of convenience if they play golf together, though bickering on the course has been known to trigger the purchase of matched sets of wedges if even the golf bags of both parties don’t play nicely in the car trunk.
On the other hand, could there be a future for men’s shoes with wedge heels? Why not? Manly, testosterone-saturated superheroes from yesteryear—kings, emperors, lords, earls and dukes—wore high heels for centuries while conquering countries. We’re convinced that it’s just a matter of time before an anthropologist finds proof of wedges before Ferragamo came along.