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Kork-Ease: Iconic Style, Updated Comfort for Free Spirits
You may or may not recognize the Kork-Ease brand name, but chances are you’re familiar with the look of the iconic wedge Kork-Ease sandals that took 1970s fashion by storm. Well, 70s style is back, and works perfectly with the Kork-Ease aesthetic. Over the years the brand branched out and is now producing a wide range of styles, and has also become synonymous with high quality and comfort. So even if you’re not into 70s style, we think Kork-Ease is a brand you should know about.
Kork-Ease was born in Brooklyn in 1953. About twenty years later, the brand solidified its spot in footwear history with the release of the famed buffalo sandal, a high platform wedge with crisscrossing thick leather straps.
The sky-high wedge sandal flourished in 1970’s New York. Picture any dance floor beneath the disco ball and you’ll think of fashionistas in the crowd wearing Kork-Ease wedges. The style soon spread across the U.S., and spurred numerous imitations.
Kork-Ease style still follows a free-spirited vibe, and the company crafts their shoes with a slightly offbeat, artsy woman in mind. We think many readers will appreciate the retro-inspired silhouettes, lightweight construction, and bold leathers – think classics updated with a modern twist.
Sandals are still a standout of the brand, but other cute, comfortable, business-worthy styles like the Beryl oxford are also making a splash.
We admit, great looks are what caught our attention. But if you’ve followed us for any time, you know style alone doesn’t make a brand Barking Dog Shoes-worthy. Once we started looking closer, we noticed – again and again – online reviewers raving about the quality and comfort of various Kork-Ease shoes. Good cushioning, arch support, all-day comfort right out of the box, and versatility get frequent mention. Some, like the Bellota mary jane flat (pictured above) even get kudos from wearers who suffer from back pain, hallux rigidus, and bone spurs.
The original Kork-Ease wedge sandal is still produced, and has been renamed the Ava. The newer Ava 2.0 has been updated with additional comfort features, like a cushioned cork footbed and lightweight sole.
If you like the Ava sandal but prefer a lower heel, the Myrna sandal might be your perfect style.
Based on reviews, many Kork-Ease shoes work well for narrower feet. However, some styles get high marks from wearers with wider or higher-volume (“thick”) feet. Our advice? If you see a particular style you like, click on the image or one of the retailer links below and read reviews to see if the shoe sounds like a good fit for you. Keep in mind that many online shoe sellers offer free shipping and returns, so at-home try ons are easy and risk-free.
One more selling point of the brand we need to mention (especially if color is your thing): a number of Kork-Ease sandals (and other shoes), like the Tutsi, come in a variety of colors, from conservative to adventurous.
If you enjoy our brand reviews, which feature a number of shoes from a specific brand and give you an overall feel for that company’s philosophy, check out some of our other recent brand reviews of OTBT shoes, SAS and Dansko.