Arguably the strongest footwear statement this season, wedges are no longer the clodhoppers they used to be. In fact, Susie Sheffman, fashion director at FASHION magazine, calls them "every woman's best friend," citing the marriage of height and comfort. Plus, they give gams a starring role. "They're leg-lengthening," Sheffman says, especially when worn with wide-leg or flared trousers (they complement dresses, too). According to Ron White, owner of Ron White Shoes in Toronto, espadrille wedges have "sold like crazy" this season. Earthy materials such as cork, braided jute, wood and suede are the most ubiquitous; for added edge, look for distinctive details, such as animal-print straps or geometric designs that seamlessly meld the wedge with the upper.