Platform Shoes


Author: Tracey Stranton
Publication: January 23rd 2016

The term “platform shoe” is used to refer to any shoe that has a sole that is thicker than usual. Most platform shoes are deliberately designed with soles that are far beyond normal thickness; the smallest platform shoe soles are about an inch thick, while the thickest can be as thick as five inches at the lowest point, or even more in some rare cases. Like normal shoes, platform shoes come in a variety of styles and designs; platform sandals and platform boots are two such varieties. Platform shoes may also have high heels, in which case the heel of the shoe will be even longer than the rest of the already thick sole, elevating the foot of the wearer even further. These shoes and platform shoes in general are mainly worn for stylistic reasons, as they are somewhat more difficult to maneuver and balance in than normal shoes.

The main popularization of platform shoes began in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Platform shoes were present as a part of modern fashion before this point in time, as early as the 1930s, but their current popularity is attributed to their rise in popularity during the 60s and 70s. During the late 60s, a platform shoe fad began in Europe, particularly Britain, and lasted until the late 70s. The same fad carried over into the early 80s in the United States. The shoes became particularly popular with young women and some men, usually in their teens or early twenties.

As the fad progressed into its later stages in the 80s, the variety of platform shoe designs available began to expand. This led to the creation of more extreme types of platform shoes, with even thicker soles, and in some cases, taller heels. Over time, the degree of platform shoe that was considered acceptable as opposed to outrageous has widened, allowing for the sale of taller and flashier types of platform shoes. While not as popular as during the 70s, platform shoes remain popular fashion items, and many of the flashiest forms are still seen sold today.

Works Cited

Bucci, Jessica. "Fashion Archives: A Look at the History of Platform Shoes." StartUp FASHION. N.p., 03 Oct. 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2016. .

Wang, Connie, and Zoila Sylvester. "An Illustrated History Of The Platform Shoe." Refinery29. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2016. .