Best Platform Shoes Reviewed & Rated

In case you were checking out trends for spring/summer 2018, among the strappy heels and slide sandals you must have, inevitably, you run into platform shoes. Thick-soled footwear is rapidly making a comeback as the fashion world once again shifts its focus towards 1970s styles.

However, to assume that platform shoes originated in the 70s would be blatantly wrong. In fact, this type of shoe dates way back to the ancient times. In Ancient Greece, they were used to raise the height of important characters in Greek theater. In sixteenth-century London, platform shoes had a similar purpose for high-born courtesans. And in the eighteenth century, they were worn in Europe to avoid the dirt and grime of urban streets.

Finally, in the 1970s platform shoes reached their peak popularity. Dubbed “party shoes”, they were often worn by disco-goers who wanted to attract attention on the dance floor, decorating their shoes with glitter and flashing lights. Further popularized by glam rock icons such as David Bowie, platform shoes became a staple of an entire generation.

Featured Recommendations

Birkenstock Papillio
  • Birkenstock Papillio
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Contoured Footbed
  • Price: See Here
Naturalizer Pressley
  • Naturalizer Pressley
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cushioned and Breathable
  • Price: See Here
G by Guess Seany
  • G by Guess Seany
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Chunky Heel
  • Price: See Here

The definition of a platform shoe is ‘a shoe, boot or sandal with an obvious thick sole, usually in the range of 1-4 inches’. Platform shoes can also be heels, in which case the heel is raised even higher than the ball of the foot. The sole of the platform shoe can have a uniform kind of thickness, like on a wedge, it can be separated into blocks, or have a stiletto heel.

Today, we love platform shoes because they are fun and interesting with their snazzy designs to match almost any outfit. They offer the height of stilettos, but without the strain and the tension in your feet that comes from walking in pointed heels. Platform shoes are by far one of the most comfortable categories of footwear.

In our list, we have put together a collection of the best platform shoes currently on the market. There are different styles and types of shoes, as well as different price ranges. We hope you will scroll through it and find just the right platform shoe for you. Enjoy!

10 Best Platform Shoes


1. Birkenstock Papillio

You must have heard about Birkenstock, a German shoe manufacturer that has been selling their unique brand of sandals for over 240 years now. They owe their longevity to the exceptional quality of their shoes, as well as comfort that is hard to compete against. The Birkenstock Papillio is part of the Arizona collection, taken to new heights with the addition of a lightweight EVA platform midsole. The Birko-Flor upper and the suede lining round out this simple, practical and yet cute sandal.
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The upper of the Birkenstock Papillio is made of Birko-Flor, an easy-to-care-for PVC which has been linked with a soft, breathable layer of fleece on the inside. This material is gentle on the skin and comfortable, while also durable at the same time.

EVA Outsole
EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) is a high quality, very light, elastic material that provides shock absorption. It smoothes out irregularities in the floor and ensures that your every step is supported and lightly cushioned.

Cost and Value
Coming from a footwear label with such a renown, centuries-old name, it is understandable that the Birkenstock Papillio is expensive. However, for this price, you’re getting a sandal constructed solely with your comfort in mind, made out of highest quality materials. If you’re looking for something functional and long-lasting, this is the shoe to go for.
  • Breathable Upper
  • EVA Outsole
  • Soft Suede Lining
  • Cushioned Cork Footbed
  • Contours to Foot Shape
  • Sizes Run Big

2. Naturalizer Pressley

Naturalizer is a label which promises fresh, unpretentious designs that will be a smooth fit with your wardrobe, your life, and your own unique style. The Naturalizer Pressley is an effortless combination of elegance and comfort, a kind of chic that will suit both casual and formal occasions. It is outfitted with N5 Contour technology, has a three-inch heel and three-quarters of an inch platform. Practical and yet unbelievably comfortable!
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N5 technology
This type of contour technology is unique to the Naturalizer brand. It includes extra cushioning for shock absorption, breathable lining, a heel to toe balance for a stable heel strike, flexible soles and lightweight materials which ensure comfort without the added weight.

The straps of the Naturalizer Pressley are not there only to add a bit of a zing to the shoe’s appearance. They are carefully spaced out across the forefoot to offer you maximum support and stability as you walk.

Cost and Value
After we have listed all these dizzying benefits of the Naturalizer Pressley, you might be a bit weary of hearing about its price. Please don’t be! This sandal is comfortably in the mid-range, far from expensive, and we honestly don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t buy it.
  • Slingback Strap
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • Cushioned Footbed
  • Breathable Lining
  • Flexible Soles
  • Not for Wide Feet
  • Possible Pinky Toe Blisters

3. G by Guess Seany

G by Guess is a branch of the Guess label geared towards young, hip and trendy youths with an eye for the freshest looks and hottest styles. The G by Guess Seany sandal is elevated thanks to the approximately 1.5 inches platform and five-inch block heel, chunky and laid-back in design. Its upper is made of synthetic leather with a caged vamp and a slingback strap with a buckle closure.
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Stable and Comfortable
Key points which make the G by Guess Seany comfortable and easy to move around in are its faux wooden block heel, which prevents your foot from wobbling, the caged vamp, which secures the foot in the shoe and doesn’t let it slide forward as you walk, and its lightly padded footbed.

Casual Design
The G by Guess Seany is the perfect everyday summer shoe - it is simple, without any glitter or embellishments, and its relaxed design will complement every casual outfit you might have planned for hot weather.

Cost and Value
Compared to other shoes on our list, the G by Guess Seany is neither expensive nor too cheap. At first sight, it might not be anything special, but it is comfortable and won’t kill your feet while you go about your day. It goes well with jeans, shorts, skirts, and dresses, and you’re going to love them!
  • Block Heel
  • Soft Upper
  • Open Toe
  • Padded Footbed
  • Adjustable Buckle
  • Tight Caged Vamp
  • Not for Wide Feet

4. Michael Kors Slide

4. Michael Kors Slide
Along with platform shoes, the slide sandal is also a hit this season, in all its open-toed backless glory. So why not combine the two? From a footwear label which offers chic and comfortable shoes that are always on trend, we present to you the Michael Kors Slide Sandal. This shoe comes with a 1.5-inch platform, a strap with a gold-tone MK logo-engraved accent and a corked footbed.
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Corked Footbed
Cork is used for insoles because of its elasticity, and ability to control climate and comfort. Cork footbeds are amazing absorbers of perspiration and are especially useful for diabetics, who should avoid stepping on plastic or synthetic materials for medical reasons.

It is a platform, sure, but because of the fact that the platform is combined with the heel, the Michael Kors Slide Sandal is actually a wedge. A wedge allows for even distribution of weight, making the step more secure, and taking that extra pressure off the front of your foot.

Cost and Value
Well, we are not surprised that the Michael Kors Slide Sandal is high in cost. With that logo on its strap, it is to be expected. Nevertheless, this sandal is comfortable, will keep your feet cool in warm weather and add a touch of summery sophistication to any outfit. Might just be worth the money!
  • Absorbs Perspiration
  • Leather Upper
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Wedge Heel
  • Slip-on Design
  • Questionable Durability
  • Makes Slapping Noise

5. Puma Basket Platform

5. Puma Basket Platform
From a global sports brand which successfully fuses athletics, lifestyle, and fashion, we have the Puma Basket Platform. It is a design classic, now with added height thanks to the creeper sole. The upper is metallic, contrasted with white branding and waxed laces. With the iconic lateral Puma Formstrip and feminine flair, these sneakers are all about attitude and making strong fashion statements.
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Durable Boost
The platform sole of the Puma Basket Platform adds height to anyone who might wish for those couple of extra inches. However, aside from boosting your height, the chunky sole is also quite durable and wears well over time.

Lace Closure
The Puma Basket Platform comes with a lace closure in the front, which offers adjustability for a snug fit. Not too tight to constrict, but also not too loose so that you accidentally lose your shoe if you’re in a hurry!

Cost and Value
Despite bearing the name of one of the most popular athletic brands in the world, the Puma Basket Platform is reasonably priced. It is sporty, stylish, will be a comfortable addition to your everyday style, and it won’t break your bank. A good deal!
  • Metallic Upper
  • Durable Platform Sole
  • Lace-up Closure
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Budget-friendly
  • Stiff Upper
  • Too Wide in the Sides

6. Jessica Simpson Waleo

6. Jessica Simpson Waleo
Jessica Simpson is famous for her fun, flirty style, and with her accessories label, she aims to bring this same style to her customers. The Jessica Simpson Waleo is truly a beautiful pump. It is clean, alluring, with a toe design between rounded and pointy, and a sky-high heel. The platform under the ball of the foot measures approximately 1.5 inches, while the heel itself is 4.75 inches. This shoe isn’t a show-stopper; you are sure to make quite an entrance in it!
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Genuine Leather
The upper of the Jessica Simpson Waleo is constructed out of genuine leather, which means that it is not only durable but that it also conforms to the shape of your foot. Thanks to this natural material, the comfort level of this pump is out of this world.

Padded Insole
Speaking of comfort, it is good to know that the Jessica Simpson Waleo also features a lightly padded insole. This means that no matter how much you walk in these beauties, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

Cost and Value
Given the brand name stamped on the footbed of the Jessica Simpson Waleo and the high-quality genuine materials it is made of, the price of this pump is surprisingly low. Cost-wise, it sits in the mid-range, and if you’re into staggering heights and simple and trendy designs, this shoe is perfect for you.
  • Padded Insole
  • Genuine Leather Upper
  • Slip-on Design
  • Patent or Smooth Finish
  • Classy and Comfortable
  • Bulky
  • Sole Wears Easily

7. Steve Madden Gills

7. Steve Madden Gills
Steve Madden, the person, founded Steve Madden, the company, in 1990 in Brooklyn, when he started constructing trend-advancing shoes one at a time. Today, this label is known for its ‘dressy sneaker’, and the Steven Madden Gills is exactly that. It is an elevated slip-on sneaker with a 1.25-inch platform and a variety of luxurious surfaces for that trendy refined look.
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Slip-on Design
The goring panels in the upper of the Steve Madden Gills allow you to put it on quickly and take it off just as easily. A true life-saver if you’re always on the go and don’t have a minute to spare to fiddle with laces or unreliable zippers.

The round toe, padded collar and lightly cushioned footbed all contribute to the comfort of the Steve Madden Gills. No matter where you go and what you do, trust this sneaker to keep away the pain and blisters while making you look fashionable at the same time.

Cost and Value
Depending on the color and the choice of materials for the upper, the Steve Madden Gills can vary anywhere between low- to mid-range in cost. It is undoubtedly unique with its blend of casual and fancy, and decently comfortable - overall, a good value for the price!
  • Padded Collar
  • Cushioned Footbed
  • Slip-on
  • Rounded Toe Area
  • Dressy Sneaker
  • Heavy
  • Needs Breaking In

8. Chinese Laundry Teaser

8. Chinese Laundry Teaser
If your jaw dropped to the floor upon seeing these for the first time, don’t worry - ours did, too. Chinese Laundry is a fashion forward footwear brand specializing in stylish daytime looks as well as dressy, innovative evening collections. The Chinese Laundry Teaser is an eye-popping sandal with overlapping straps over the toes, a high-gloss finish and an ankle strap with a buckle closure. It is sultry, it is smoldering, and you are sure to wow absolutely everyone in these stunning sandals.
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Adjustable Buckle
The benefit of the buckle closure on the ankle strap of the Chinese Laundry Teaser is that it enables you to adjust the fit according to your preference. Depending on the size of the ankle, you can go as tight or as loose as you’d like, without any problems!

Thanks to its sensual silhouette, the two-inch platform, and the 5.75-inch heel, the Chinese Laundry Teaser will make your legs look long and slender. There is a reason this shoe has been consistently worn by Miss USA contestants, and now you can too look like a fashion model in them!

Cost and Value
Chinese Laundry, as a company, aims to deliver style and fashion at an affordable price, and their Teaser sandal is exactly that. You don’t have to re-evaluate your entire budget to get your hands on these striking sandals and trust us, they will be worth every cent.
  • Open Toe
  • Padded Footbed
  • Adjustable Fit
  • Comfortable Straps
  • Miss USA Approved
  • Questionable Quality

9. Jessica Simpson Bansi

9. Jessica Simpson Bansi
It is safe to say we have yet to find a shoe which radiates more elegance and sophistication than the Jessica Simpson Bansi. This open toe T-strap vamp sandal is absolutely stunning with its design, a perfect blend of sexy, flirty and yet classy at the same time. The heel measures up to five inches, but thanks to the 1.25-inch platform under the ball of the foot, walking in these is a breeze.
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The T-strap of the Jessica Simpson Bansi allows you to modify the fit of the shoe, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally ordering half a size up or down. What’s more, the T-strap helps hold your foot in place, and doesn’t let it slide forward in the shoe.

We guarantee that there are very few high heels out there which are more comfortable than the Jessica Simpson Bansi. In large part thanks to the platform heel, in this sandal you will be able to walk, dance and prance around as much as you want, without worrying about any cramps or pain!

Cost and Value
For a shoe that looks like a million dollars, the Jessica Simpson Bansi is unexpectedly inexpensive. Its middle price puts it in the same range as most of the other shoes on our list, and you can get yourself a pair of these captivating sandals without emptying your wallet.
  • T-strap Vamp
  • Buckle Closure
  • Leather Upper
  • No Rubbing in the Sides
  • Roomy Toe Box
  • Needs Breaking In
  • Not for Wide Feet

10. Nine West Carnation

10. Nine West Carnation
Nine West is all about the runway - this footwear company pinpoints the must-have looks of the season and then translates what is fun, feminine and interesting to its window shops. The Nine West Carnation is a two-piece sandal featuring a two-inch platform and a five-inch heel. It comes with an ankle strap and a padded footbed and is an exquisite blend of style and comfort.
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Chunky Platform Heel
Because the platform under the ball of the foot is two-inches and the heel height is five-inches - when wearing these staggeringly high heels, you’ll actually feel like you’re on mere three-inch heels. They’re chunky and stable and won’t give you any pain as you go about your day.

Comfort and Fit
The padded footbed of the Nine West Carnation brings comfort and reduces any tension in your foot, while the ankle straps have an adjustable buckle, allowing you to tighten the fit or loosen it however much you want!

Cost and Value
We will be the first to admit that the Nine West Carnation is pricey. Perhaps even too pricey. It is from a well-known footwear brand, as well as comfortable and casually sexy in appearance, but there might be other shoes out there with a similar style and comfort level at a more reasonable price.
  • Padded Footbed
  • Adjustable Ankle Straps
  • Stable Heel
  • Feminine and Comfortable
  • Not For Wide Feet

As you can see, the term ‘platform shoes’ is not reserved only for astoundingly high heels. In this shoe category we can find sandals, comfy elevated footwear, and even sneakers with thicker soles. In short, there are platform shoes out there for every occasion, whether you’re looking for footwear for a leisurely stroll by the river, or for a night out, filled with dancing and bright lights.

It is important to mention that, despite the fact that platform heels are generally considered comfortable due to the lifted front of the foot, this feature alone is not enough to help you walk in them for lengthy periods of time without pain. The same goes for other platform shoes – when you’re choosing the best pair for you, consider other factors for comfort as well.

Lastly, remember that platform shoes have gained popularity because of their unique, whimsical look which aimed to make people smile. In the same fashion, shopping for platform shoes should be equally fun and stress-free! So think about the occasion you want them for, what colors or patterns you like best, and get yourself a stunning pair of platform shoes right now!

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Platform Shoes


Platform Height and Type

Platforms are defined as shoes with a sole anywhere between 1-4 inch in thickness, though it could also be more. This is a pretty broad definition, which means that there are many different types of platform soles. Each has its own perks and drawbacks, and we thought it would be important to compile an overview of the most common platform soles and their characteristics.

  • Flat Platforms:
    As their name says, flat platforms are… flat. Usually found on sandals and sneakers, they are uniform in their thickness from toe to heel, and as a result quite comfortable to walk in.
    However, bear in mind that walking for longer periods of time in completely flat soles, including flat platforms, can result in conditions such as plantar fasciitis and flatfoot if the insole of the shoe doesn’t have adequate arch support or cushioning.
  • Platform Heels:
    Probably the most common type of platforms. Platform heels vary in style and can be sandals, pumps, slingbacks etc. (more on that in the next section), but they also vary in the type of the heel itself. The general rule is that platform heels are comfortable to wear and cause minimal to no pain because of the raised ball of the foot area, which means there is less pressure on the front of the foot. Some types of platform heels are:
    • Wedges – The shoe which doesn’t have a discernible heel, the wedge is widely thought of as the most comfortable type of high heeled shoes. In it, your foot touches a lot of surface area, which allows for the strain to be taken off the ball of your foot, and they also command a wider footprint, meaning that your arch is well supported.
    • Chunky Heels – By ‘chunky heels’, we mean platform heels which have the well-known lift underneath the front, but which also have a boxy, chunky heel in the back. The thickness of the heel allows for a steady step, preventing wobbling and possible stumbling.
    • Stiletto Heels – The fact that platform stilettos have that added height under the toe area makes them far more comfortable than conventional stilettos.
      However, it remains that the heel is thin down to a point, which doesn’t provide enough security as you walk. You need skill to be able to safely walk in these high heels, so make sure you practice at home.


Shoe Style

Platform shoes come in all shapes and sizes, as you saw from our list. There is a platform shoe out there for every occasion – from the most mundane of tasks, such as picking up kids from soccer practice to the most glamorous of events, as a red carpet would be. With this in mind, we have strived to collect a wide selection of platform shoes, ones that would meet your needs, whatever they are.

So here are some styles that have found their way to this page:

  • Sandal:
    The go-to type of footwear in spring and summer, sandals have always been a favorite. Their design allows the foot to mostly be exposed, which lets it breathe and keeps it cool and dry in hot weather. Furthermore, some foot conditions, such as ingrown toenails or athlete’s foot heal quicker if the foot isn’t restricted in a tight, damp environment.
    Now, sandals come in many different versions:

    • Birkenstock:
      We felt like the Birkenstock deserved its own category in this section, as it is the original comfort shoe. This sandal isn’t particularly trendy or stylish, but it has been orthopedically designed for maximum comfort and support and will last much longer than a mere season or two. Regardless of its simple, utilitarian appearance, the Birkenstock has been a customer-favorite for literal centuries, and its platform version adds even more stability and shock-absorption while you walk if that’s possible.
    • Slide Sandal:
      As we have previously mentioned, slide sandals are also making a comeback this season. These types of sandals are backless and open-toed, similar to a mule. Their upper can cover almost the entire foot from ankle to toe, or they can have only one or two narrow straps. Usually, the straps are located across the toes and the lower half of the foot to hold the shoe to the foot. Their name, ‘slide sandals’, stems from the fact that this shoe is easy to slide into at a moment’s notice. Thick soles add a bit of weight, but also more sophistication to the classic, rubber beach slide sandal.
    • Casual Heel:
      Platform soles are great for relaxed, everyday type of footwear because their heels can be blocky, chunky, and even uniformed, like in a wedge, for that easy-going, leisure vibe. Platform sandals with these kinds of heels are ideal for strolls around beach towns, for a coffee shop date with friends, and even for children playdates at the park. They go well with jeans and shorts and skirts and keep your feet effortlessly stylish while providing good ventilation to boot.
    • Fancy Heel:
      There is more than one type of a ‘fancy heel platform sandal’ on our list. These are not designed for casual wear but rather aimed at those who attend formal events, who enjoy a glitzy night out at the club and who wish to impress with their footwear. Usually, these types of sandals come with a stiletto heel in the back, and a high platform in the front for that added comfort. Their straps can have a unique pattern, and more often than not they come with a glossy finish – extra polished!
  • Sneaker: The ultimate casual shoe. What’s great about the sneaker is that it is so versatile – originally conceived as a sports shoe, now sneakers can be found in everyone’s wardrobe. There are sneakers for the gym, for long distance walking, fancier sneakers for chic casual outfits, sneakers for making a statement, and even sneakers for semi-formal events, paired with ball gowns or suits. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that sneakers also come in a platform version. We think the platform soles bring a certain panache to the classic design of the sneaker, putting a twist on it and elevating its style. These shoes are not suitable for running, that’s for sure, but they are undeniably trendy.
  • Pump: Pumps are the kind of closed-toed, sleek and simple shoes that fit many a women’s need. They can be work-appropriate, fit for an office party, a birthday celebration, and especially for more glamorous, formal events, such as weddings and galas. Granted, platform pumps may not be the best for the workplace or any situation where it is advisable to look more business-like, but they do draw attention and look nothing short of stunning, even in their more basic, nude forms.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are platform shoes still in season?
A: We feel obligated to say that you shouldn’t restrict yourself to what’s in season, or what is currently trendy. If you’re in love with the platform shoe and want to wear it, by all means, go for it, regardless of the fashion craze at the moment!
However, that being said, you will be pleased to know that the platform shoe is particularly in this 2018 spring/summer season. They have come back in style, with blocky heels and floral patterns to bring some freshness and much-needed funkiness to the runways!

Q: Can platform shoes harm my health?
A: In theory, yes. The main feature of the platform shoe is its height. If it is a sandal or a pump, or even a tall wedge, there is always the risk of stumbling and falling, possibly even spraining an ankle in the process. So do be careful how you walk in these!
Additionally, wearing heels of any kind, platform heels included, can lead to a condition called flatfoot. This occurs because you’re not actually using much of the muscles in your foot as you walk in high heels, resulting in the falling of your arches. To prevent this, try not to walk in platform heels for long periods of time.

Q: What are hidden platform shoes?
A: Hidden platform shoes are ones where the platform isn’t immediately visible. They come in the form of high heels, where the material of the upper extends all the way down to the sole, covering up the platform and essentially making it seem like it is ‘inside’ the shoe as opposed to a very thick outsole.  Another version of the hidden platform shoes are ones which have flat soles but are stacked inside, such as sneakers. These are mostly aimed towards men who wish to add some inches to their height without making it overtly obvious that they are wearing platform shoes.

Q: Who created platform shoes?
A: Ah, right down to the history questions. As we mentioned before, platform shoes have been around since the ancient times, so in that regard, it is quite hard to tell who was the first person who invented them. However, a man named Moshe (Morris) Kimel is the one who made the first modern design of the platform shoe in the early 1930s. It was created specifically for the actress Marlene Dietrich, and very soon became incredibly popular among the Hollywood elite.

Q: Who are some notable wearers of platform shoes?
A: Over decades, dozens of influential people have been known to wear platform shoes, especially in the music industry – where flash and pzazz usually bring in more attention and more fans. Some of the most famous wearers of platform shoes are: Marylin Manson, Elton John, who has a large collection of platform shoes, many of which have been sold at auctions for charity, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, Gene Simmons of Kiss, Carmen Miranda, all of Spice Girls back in the day, and more recently Lady Gaga and Charli XCX.

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