The Kentucky Derby: 4 Heels & 4 Wedges to Choose From

We’re just days from the 141st annual running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Like other sporting events, this one has its favorite traditions, from the mint julep to the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home” and the blanket of roses draped over the big winner.

Among the most exciting for fashion fans are the extreme hats that spectators don each year. We at Footwear News do love a good hat, but maybe not as much as we love shoes.

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Taking into account that this horse race is really the hats’ only moment of the year — next to the Easter parade — we’ll defer some of the attention to the chapeau and pick the perfect complementary shoes to pull off the look.

One of the biggest challenges of Derby dressing is the decision to go with a heel or a wedge. The horse track doesn’t always guarantee a clean entrance and exit for your footwear, unfortunately.

Fear not: We’ve picked four of our favorite pumps and wedges to help you decide what to wear depending on where you’ll be. Grass or gravel: go for the wedge. In the stands? You’ll survive in a pump.

The spring heels we picked are a playful crop of neutrals, with a few colorful surprises. From Paul Andrew’s Zendaia pump in cork with a peachy, coral heel, it’s the perfect statement-meets-neutral.

We also aimed to find wedges that offered a bit of a color and print — like Gucci’s espadrille with a pop of orange — without overwhelming spring dresses.

See for yourself — and we’ll toast you on Saturday.

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