Want Some Bonus Height? Try Platform Shoes!

You probably remember the multiple heydays of platform shoes in years past, from the 70s woodblock platforms to the ubiquitous platform peep toe pumps popular in the aughts. But it’s the 90s platform shoes, flatforms and lug soles that have been returning with a vengeance this summer! And it looks the trend will continue into fall and winter. 

Platform Shoes and Flatforms For Women Over 40

platform shoes for women over 40

There’s no denying that puffy foam rubber or similar materials can make for comfortably padded slides and sandals, but they are not always the most flattering footwear choice. However, for those of us who are simply done with high heels or any other kind of uncomfortable footwear, platforms or flatforms can add some height and length to our looks. 


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Perhaps the trendiest shoe silhouette right now is the flatform, which usually manifests itself in the form of a simple slide or puffy sandal or a sportier version like the “Go-To Flatform” from Nisolo (think of them as the more fashionable version of Chacos or Tevas). 

Want to try this trend but looking for something more cheap and chic? Universal Thread at Target does a version of flatforms with a cork sole. 

Lug Soles

Lug-soled boots like Doc Martins never truly go out of style, but they definitely have fashion moments every so often. Like this fall and winter, when designers have been trotting out the lace-up combat boots and Chelsea boots with lug soles and more options that remind us of clomping around in heavy boots back in the day. 

Want to bring back that look? These Madewell lace-ups are a little sleeker than the lug-soles of our pasts, but still have that same attitude. 

Platform Sneakers

Sneakers already tend to be pretty comfortable, so adding a cushy platform can make them feel like you’re walking on clouds! On the other hand, big platform sneakers can be unflatteringly clompy (a problem with all platform shoes), so they can be harder to style than their sleeker counterparts. 

However, paired with wider legged pants, denim or other casual looks, a low-top platform sneaker like the three-striped Adidas Original Nizza sneakers can be super versatile and comfortable. Go for all white or black and white to keep things neutral or one of the fun prints to liven things up.

Block Heeled Strappy Platforms

Not ready to give up your high heels yet? A platform shoe with a block heel and ankle strap like these snakeskin sandals from Vince Camuto might be the easiest way to add some length to your silhouette without giving up comfort and stability. 

Ankle straps can also help support your foot in platforms and they can look incredibly chic paired with skirts of all lengths.We’re particularly loving flowy midi skirts at the moment as a way to show off your footwear while still getting some breezy coverage.    

Platform Slides

A pair of slides that you can just throw on and go is a summer staple, and adding a cushy platform to them can be a great idea. Note that these types of shoes tend to be super casual but they can be a good way to dress down a jumpsuit, a simple sundress or a t-shirt dress. 

You might remember the microfiber slides or the shoes with the giant cushy foam rubber soles from the late nineties, and these are their modern relatives. Steve Madden even brought back an updated version of the original microfiber slide with the Slinky30 style

Platform Loafers and Oxfords

Chunky loafers and lace-up oxfords are more 90s throwbacks that are coming back in platform-heeled and flatform styles. You probably remember these shoes from Clueless and other teen movies from that time, but they can be worn by grown-ups this time around. Only we’ll be skipping pairing them with pleated miniskirts and thigh highs.

That said, shoes like these can ground an outfit and look great with cropped wide-leg pants or full-length wide legs or flares once it gets cooler, so these menswear-inspired shoes might be great to pick up for fall. Something like the Circus by Sam Edelman Deanna loafer would be perfect. We like the white for a fresh look but they come in a variety of colorways including basic black and a fun bubblegum pink. 

Platform Clogs

There’s no denying the fact that clogs are comfortable and practical for many situations and jobs, but they aren’t exactly sleek and chic (usually). However, there are some new clogs coming out that might change your mind. These wooden-soled platform clogs with an elegant buckle detail by Schutz would be great for casual days or just throwing on to run errands. (Bet you didn’t think you’d ever see “elegant” and “clog” in the same sentence). 

We’ve definitely noticed that we prioritize comfort in our shoes more than ever, but we still want to look put together. At barely 5’3, I adore the bonus height that comes with wearing a platform or high heel.


Shop Platform Shoes for Women Over 40

Pictured above from left to right:

Nisolo Go-To Flatform Sandal, $130

Target Women’s Gia Platform Sandals – Universal Thread™, $29.99

Madewell The Citywalk Lugsole Lace-Up Boot in Leather, $198

Adidas Nizza Platform Shoes, $65

Vince Camuto Gebbrian Platform Sandal, Now $89.99

Steve Madden Slinky30, $79.95

Circus by Sam Edelman Deana, now $51.42

Schutz Women’s Anakin Buckle Clogs, $118

Are you wearing platforms right now, or do you plan to pick up a pair any time soon? What do you think of the 90s redux trend towards platform slides, clogs, loafers and other styles? And of course, do you still have your old lug-soled boots or Docs from back in the day?

– Jacqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s fashion posts like Chic Cabin Fashion to Pack for Your Country Getaway and Put A Bird On It: 9 Fabulous Ways to Wear Bird And Feather Prints.

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