The New Face of Platforms

Platform Shoes

When most people see or hear or read about platform shoes, it calls to mind some brightly colored, clashing, utterly awful 1970s version of the style – but platforms are changing with the times, just like everything else. They have a practical purpose now, yes – so you can totter around in staggeringly high heels and still maintain some semblance of balance – but they aren't just functional. They're fashionable as well. Take a look at the following 5 platforms from some of today's hottest shoe designers, and enjoy the style's serious makeover.

1. Stella McCartney's Platform Shoes

Stella McCartney Platform Sandals

Available at for a mere $295.00, Stella gives camouflage a good name. Seen here in military green, these platforms have a rugged look – like you could run over rough terrain without a problem. They look like they would offer some serious traction, so you could actually wear your heels in more inclement weather – or while going on a hike or something. Point being, one new facet of the platform style involves function as well as fashion, almost to a fault.

2. Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Platforms

YSL Platform Boots

Yoox has these for $580.00 – pricey, yes, until you take a second to consider the fact that, hi, these are Yves Saint Laurent. Hello masterpieces! While I'll be gushing more about this designer in a little while, for now I'll just say that the raised, visible platforms on these boots show another new facet. It doesn't follow the full size of the sole, you see, creating a really original juxtaposition, and making for a really unique silhouette.

3. Vivienne Westwood Platforms

Vivienne Westwood Platform Sandals

You can get these lovely, strappy little numbers at for $289.00. And I would recommend it, because these are a different kind of platform shoes altogether. It's smaller, subtler, more tasteful. It functions, but it doesn't overwhelm – and yet there's no denying it's there.

4. Balenciaga Platforms

Balenciaga Platform shoes

Can I just say yum? Although I'd have to save up forever and a day, these platforms by Balenciaga are totally worth the $690.00 they cost at Yoox. Forgetting for a moment the beautiful, subtle color palette and the juxtaposition of the stripes, let's focus on that platform. It's like what we saw on the YSL shoes, in that it's entirely visible, it's a wedge under the sole, and it's totally out there. In this case, however, the platform is clearly part of the shoe design, it matches and meshes and it's just scrumptious.

5. Alexander McQueen Platforms

Alexander McQueen Platform Sandals

Last but most definitely not least, we have these covered platform sandals by Alexander McQueen, available at for $645.00. The grommets all over are all kinds of cool, but I'm focused on on the covered platform – and how the main design of the shoe continues down them. You can't see them, but you know they're there, and again, it really heightens the overall silhouette of the shoe.

So there, you see? You don't have to be a fan of platforms anymore! Personally I still love those ginormous, towering '70s platforms, but I can't deny that I love the subtler, more functional makeover they've gotten lately. Sound off! What do you think of the new platform shoes?

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