About Platform Shoes
Simply put, platform shoes are shoes with thick soles made from various types of materials such as plastic, cork, wood or rubber. The platform size can vary dramatically from an inch all the way up to several inches. New extreme varieties come up to an 8 inch platform heel.
Platform shoes can be traced back centuries and have an extensive history. Ancient civilizations used them for various reasons. It is believed that these shoes were worn in Ancient Greece to enhance the appearance of theatre actors and actresses. In the 16th century, it is believed that Europeans wore them to keep their feet clean and dry in the muddy streets. When they would sink into the loose soil barren roads, the platform of the shoe would sink, keeping their feet clean and dry.
In the United States, platform shoes were first introduced in the 1920's, but their popularity soared in the 1970's. During the 1970's the usual ? inch sole was replaced by the 2-4 inch platform sole. Unlike earlier eras, these shoes in the United States did not serve any purpose other than being the perfect accessory on the disco dance floor. Platform shoes had become the ultimate fashion must have.
Today, not much has changed. People wear shoes for fashion reasons. Many women claim that wearing shoes with thicker soles makes their legs appear longer and thinner. Some wish for the additional inches that they feel enhance their appearance. In today's Western Culture, it is the tall thin model that is portrayed as beautiful and sexy, so naturally, these shoes are an inexpensive, effective way to enhance their appearance.
Platform shoes are available in a wide array of styles. This style of shoe can range from the mini platform, which is about an inch in height, to the extreme platform which can be as high as 12 inches, however, most platform goers do not wear a shoe with a sole thickness of more than 7.5 inches. Some of these shoes feature high stiletto type heels while others have a chunkier base. Wedge style platform shoes are also very popular. Sexy sandal style shoes with a thick sole can be worn with nice evening attire. Platform shoes are available in any style or color in wide price ranges.
While quite the fashion trend, learning to walk in them can be a challenge. When learning to walk in this style of shoe, it is best to choose a conservative height. Begin with a mini 1 or 2 inch platform and work up in height as your comfort level increases. Take short strides always walking heel to toe. Balance is key when walking in platforms, so keeping your legs as strait as possible will also help. As your confidence rises with mini platforms, increase your platform height by ? - 1 inch at a time.
Some platform shoes however may be much less of a challenge than others. Many do not feature a high heel, rather the whole platform is at the same level, like a block. While these chunkier heels may be high in inches, they really are very easy to walk in.
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