Cork Pumps: Spring's Whimsical New Shoe Trend

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This isn't the first time the cork pump has drifted on to our fashion radar, but this Spring's version of the cork pump is just a little more chic, fresh and whimsical than before. Luxe labels have particularly embraced the look, crafting cork-detail shoes that are practically works of art. I can't think of a Spring shoe trend that I'm more excited to indulge in!

Oddly, the best cork shoes this season have come exclusively from the high end labels. I find it a little strange that the look hasn't trickled down to the more accessible labels yet. But, all I can find in the under-$200 department is standard-issue cork soles slapped on otherwise quite plain sandals. Ugh. So, my finds do veer towards the costly (with one notable exception).

Let's start with my personal favorite cork pump: the Manolo Blahnik Newcio Cork Pump. These classic, perfectly shaped Manolos are made modern with the glossy cork construction. They come in the natural color pictured here, which would make a stunning neutral addition to any shoe wardrobe, as well as glossy Black and glossy Raspberry cork.

Manolo Blahnik Newcio Shiny Cork Pump

→ Buy the Manolo Blahnik Newcio Shiny Cork Pump, $645.00, at

Leave it to Christian Louboutin to make cork sexy. Similar to Manolo Blahnik, Louboutin has added cork construction to a classic shoe design: the Prive. These peep-toe, slingback pumps combine a natural-colored coated cork upper with the signature Loubie red sole.

Christian Louboutin Prive Cork Platform Slingback

→ Buy the Christian Louboutin Prive Cork Platform Slingback, $845.00, at

Cork pumps don't have to be super dressy. These Stuart Weitzman pumps look almost casual thanks to the woven platform. Try pairing them with your Spring dresses.

Stuart Weitzman Rowswoon Cork Platform Pumps

→ Buy the Stuart Weitzman Rowswoon Cork Platform Pumps, $365.00, at

Cork gets a nightlife-approved look thanks to Ruthie Davis. These towering 6" pumps create a stunning contrast between an un-coated cork upper, a metallic leather insole and a coral leather outsole. Fabulous.

Ruthie Davis Cork Platform Pump

→ Buy the Ruthie Davis Cork Platform Pump, $698.00, at

The texture of cork has the ability to create some very unique effects, like with these Sergio Rossi pumps. I've never seen any shoe quite this color of glossy blood red. It's stunning.

Sergio Rossi Cache Glossy Cork Peep Toe Platform Pumps

→ Buy the Sergio Rossi Cache Glossy Cork Peep Toe Platform Pumps, $695.00, at

I promised one pair of "affordable" cork pumps. Thanks to Badgley Mischka, I don't have to walk away from this post having left all of you with just investment-level cork. The combination of rose gold accents and un-coated cork makes a powerful statement.

Badgley Mischka Willoe Peep-Toe Pump

→ Buy the Badgley Mischka Willoe Peep-Toe Pump, $159.99 (was $200), at