Platform Shoes: All You Need to Know

Nothing works better than a platform shoe if you want to stand out or feel a little taller. Despite the fact that specific styles and fashions have altered how they are worn, these centuries-old accessories remain in demand today.

If you don't already have a platform in your closet, now is the perfect time to start as there are many platform styles that are hot right now!

What are platform shoes?

Any shoe—trainers, sneakers, boots, sandals—with a thicker-than-usual sole is considered a platform shoe. Soles that are significantly larger than average typically range in size from 1 to 4 inches. Platform shoes are defined by the sole beneath the toe box, therefore they might have high heels or be completely flat. Here, the thickness is what determines if a shoe is considered a platform or not.

The term "hidden platform" is used to describe shoes in which the top material obscures the platform, giving the impression that it does not exist. This might give the impression of higher heels without really wearing platform shoes.

What is the standard platform shoe height?

Platforms can range in height from 3 to 10 centimeters (or 1 to 4 inches), however this is the industry standard. On the other hand, high-heeled platform shoes can reach a height of 6 to 8 inches at the base of the toe.

The origins of platform shoes

Platform shoes have been around for a really long time, but they used to look different. In ancient China and Japan, royalty would wear wooden sandals and clogs that raised them up high off the ground. This showed they were important people.

In the 1960s, things changed. Fashion designers in London started making new kinds of platform boots. They put thick soles on the bottoms to lift peoples' feet up an inch or two higher. Groups of young people called mods and rockers thought these "beehive boots" were cool and started wearing them.

American designers saw the beehive boots and brought them to the US. They made the platforms even bigger - sometimes over 5 inches tall! Famous singers like Diana Ross wore really high platforms because they showed she was powerful and in charge. Rock stars like David Bowie towered over crowds in his platform shoes.

Soon everyone was wearing platforms. They came in all kinds of styles, and showed that people weren't afraid to be different. Platforms are still worn today by fashion designers and musicians. They help people feel brave enough to express themselves in their own unique way. Platform shoes have had an amazing journey from ancient times to now - they just keep lifting up self-confidence and style!

How are platform shoes different to other heels?

The main distinction between platform shoes and traditional heels is the type of sole. Traditional heels have elevation primarily under the heel, giving a higher inclination, but platform shoes have an elevated sole that runs uniformly from the heel to the toe, offering height beneath the entire foot. 

Platforms vs. Wedges

While both platform shoes and wedge shoes give elevation, they differ in their styles. Platform shoes provide height without clearly separating the heel and sole thanks to their thick, homogeneous sole that covers the entire foot. 

Conversely, wedges have a continuous wedge-shaped pattern due to a sole that progressively thickens from the back of the shoe to the middle or front. 

Despite their different sole structures, both styles are a very comfortable choice of footwear.

Platforms vs. High heels

In addition, platform shoes are not like traditional high heels. Platforms offer a more evenly distributed height, with an elevated sole that extends beneath the entire foot, in contrast to high heels, which usually have an elevated heel with the height concentrated under the rear of the foot.

Both are excellent options for shoes with an elevated sole, but because of their larger base, platforms frequently provide greater comfort and stability. In actuality, high heels accentuate the difference in height between the front and rear of the foot, creating a more noticeable arch.

How to style platform shoes?

Platform shoes really stand out, so it's important to choose the right outfit. Platforms are trendy now but not like the loud styles from the 70s. Today they're more subtle and attractive.

For nights out, tall platform sneakers look amazing with dresses or skirts since they lengthen your legs. Make sure to show off your platforms and legs!

In summer, platform sandals can be perfect all day. With boho prints and loose clothes, you'll have a 70s vibe while staying comfortable.

Pool slides are popular too - they have flat platforms that pair well with swimsuits or casual clothes. Platforms add height easily.

For winter, chunky heel boots are a smart choice. You can't go wrong with ankle or knee-high platforms. Wear them with cozy knits and jeans for relaxed style through cold weather. The thick sole also keeps your feet dry.

Taller platform boots really make a statement with a mini skirt and tights. Add a leather jacket - you'll feel glamorous yet warm! There's truly a platform for every season.

Are platform shoes comfortable?

Whether platform shoes are comfortable or not can depend on the individual and the specific shoe style. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Platforms tend to be more comfortable than regular high heels since the elevated sole distributes weight across the entire foot instead of concentrating it at the heel. This makes platforms much more stable.

However, shoes with very thick, tall platforms can still cause the top of the foot and toes to feel some pressure or tightness. Starting with a lower, wider platform is best if you're not used to them.

The material and construction of the platform is important. Rigid wooden platforms may feel less cushioned than ones made of softer materials like cork or dense rubber. Well-padded insoles and ankle support can increase comfort.

For sandals, it helps if the straps avoid pressure points on tops of feet/toes. Adjustable or looser styles tend to be more breathable and comfortable in warmer weather.

Breaking platforms in slowly is advised, just like any new shoes. Starting with shorter periods of wear allows feet to adjust to balancing on the elevated sole over time.

With the right pair, platforms can definitely become comfortable to walk, dance or stand in all day. The key is choosing a style your unique feet will appreciate!

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