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What are Cage Heels?

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  • Written By: D. Poupon
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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Cage heels are women’s high-heeled shoes whose upper piece is made from a latticed rather than a solid piece of material. Peek-a-boo glimpses of the foot are left visible, giving the impression that the foot is in a cage. These high heels can be anything from casual, such as low-heeled cage sandals, to provocative, such has platform cage-heel stilettos. Cage heels come in a variety of colors and materials as well. Like gladiator heels, they have been a staple for women’s fashion designers in 2009 and 2010 and possibly beyond.

There are two characteristics that set cage heels apart: the caging and the heel height. The caging may merely be present on the toe and the heel in a more classical pump. It may cover the entire foot like a shoe or ankle boot or even extend up to the knee or thigh. The caging may be romantic, flowery, or swirly. It might also be very regular and linear for a more powerful, strict look.

The height of the heels generally dictates the edginess and the formality of the shoe. Most sandals are strappy by definition, but adding a low heel instantly makes the cage shoe more sophisticated. Moderate height cage heels can be a more decorative, less stuffy version of traditional style pumps. As the heel gets higher, the shoe gets sexier, perfect to set off a simple black dress. For the most daring, stiletto cage heels are the perfect choice to turn heads.

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Cage heels can be found in just about any color or material. Brown and black leather are probably the most widely available materials. In addition to leather, these shoes can be found in canvas, vinyl, and many other materials. Cage heels can be found in most colors of the rainbow through online distributors. Over-the-top versions featuring intricate beading, metallic coatings, or decorative hardware can be found in a variety of price ranges.

Gladiator heels are cage heels that have been widely popular as of 2010. They have a tongue running up the center of the foot that is attached to the sole by many parallel cords that run like ladder rungs from the toe up to the ankle. Many top designers such as Christian Dior and copy-cat spinoffs have featured gladiator heels in their 2009-2010 collections. Impractical but sexy, gladiator boots have even made their way into fashionistas' winter wardrobes.

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