You’ve likely seen platform shoes worn by your favorite celebs on the red carpet or in a spread for the hottest fashion magazines. However, you may not know where some of these popular styles of platform shoes originated from or what they were used for.
We’ve put together a brief, elevated history of platform shoes to give you a look into what this popular retro shoe trend is all about.
The platform shoe style originated in the theater. In 200 B.C., Greek actors wore platform shoes made from leather and cork (called the Cothurnus) during performances. The platform shoe’s height indicated how important the protagonist was to the story since the higher the platforms, the easier the actors were to see.
In Japan, during the 1100s, platform shoes were used like wooden stilts as a way to avoid sinking into the mud in rice paddies. Later, they found a use for women to keep their kimonos from dragging on the ground. Eventually, platform shoes were used in geisha performances as well and their height became equivalent to their intent to seduce.
In the 1300s, platform shoes were worn to avoid the heated and wet floors of bathhouses in the Middle East. These platforms were typically decorated with ivory and shells.
Over time, Europeans evolved the shoe into more bedazzled and affluent silhouettes, and by the 1930s, they became popularized in modern fashion. Salvatore Ferragamo was instrumental in making platforms the fashion statement they are today with the debut of his cork sandal.
Platforms are popular because of the way they project power, and in the last year, a rise in platform shoe popularity of all types has been noticed.
The types of platform shoes available today vary widely. Here are a few types of platform shoes to look out for when shopping for your next pair of stylish platforms.
Common with the stylish platforms of the 1970s, platform heels tend to bring a retro style to your outfits while also giving you a boost in height. Styles are made in different colors and materials, including cork and wood, like Ferragamo’s heels.
Platform boots are another popular form of platform shoes for women. Check out the Puma Suede Platform Chelsea Boots for a simple look that will elevate your silhouette and give your outfit an easy, casual style.
It’s not uncommon to see platform sneakers either. These comfy platforms allow you to be on-trend and comfortable at the same time. Check out the adidas Originals Nizza Platforms or Nike Air Force 1 Fontanka.
Who doesn’t love being on-trend in your favorite classic sneakers? Grab some Converse Chuck Taylor Lift Platforms for a high-top platform look.
Looking for an elevated version of your favorite classic styles? Check out some of the latest platform kicks, modeled after iconic silhouettes, such as Vans Classic Slip-On Platforms or the Air Force 1 Pixel.
Want to check out some stylish platforms of your own? Check out the entire platform sneaker collection available at JD Sports.