A cursory scroll through a fashion influencer’s Instagram or the site of an on-the-pulse retailer will reveal that platform shoes have undeniably clinched the title as 2022’s front-running style. Their trending trajectory makes sense, too. Lofty footwear is an on-the-nose means of escapism, boosting both your spirits and silhouette. Think about it: If your heels put you a few inches off the floor, you’re, quite literally, not as grounded in reality, free to daydream in a fashion fantasy of your choosing. And naturally, as warm weather sets in, more summery iterations — platform sandals, in particular — are shifting into focus, eclipsing the sky-high sneakers and lug-sole boots of winter.
Stephen Owens, global head of account management for the e-commerce platform BorderX Lab and head of BeyondStyle, a sustainable, luxury marketplace app, shares his insight on sky-high footwear with TZR. He credits a collective attitude celebrating showy fashion as responsible for platforms’ popularity, saying it will be especially prevalent throughout the warm-weather seasons, too. “This summer, skirt hems are rising and platform shoes are sky-rocketing,” he explains. For reference, Owens invites you to look at the Spring/Summer 2022 showings from Chloé, Versace, and Hermès, where platform sandals in various forms — ranging from stacked, nightclub-ready heels to casual and strappy slip-ons — were bountiful. Furthermore, Owens states this season’s iterations of the It shoe all offer surprising wearability. “Although they may seem intimidating,” he says, “platforms are actually a perfect way to balance height with comfort as the extra chunky sole and heel provide more support.”
Mo D’Accori, founder of the eponymous brand whose sky-high sandals boast endorsements from the likes of Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, echoes Owens' point on ensuring platform sandals are easy to wear. “For me, the most important thing was the balance and comfort of the shoes. To achieve that, we had to go through a lot of trial and error in the prototypes stage to make sure we maintain a balanced and comfortable fit,” he details. “With the Belle sandals” — the label’s ultra-chunky, six-inch platform pump — “we worked on the aesthetic of the heel to be wider on the base to make sure it is super comfortable, light, and complements the feet,” the founder describes. The end result is a pair of statement party heels — which D’Accori describes as having “maximalist disco vibes” — thoughtfully designed for you to dance the night away in without ever having to slip them off and give your feet a reprieve.
As alternatives to dramatic platform iterations like D’Accori’s, there are ample sandals on the market that are more feasible for everyday wear. Indie shoe label NEOUS, for instance, offers its take on elevated dadcore fashion with its strappy slingback Cher sandal. “The inspiration behind [the Cher Sandal] stems directly from the Bauhaus principle that form follows function,” says founder Vanissa Antoninus. “The mission was to create an elevated sandal — in form and aesthetic — which could carry us through the warm summer days. And,” she adds, it's a shoe that’s “versatile yet defined and allows for the connectivity of daily functionality and a feminine form.”
Looking for more takes on the buzzy footwear? Ahead, discover a deep dive on 2022’s platform sandal trend, with more insight from the above designers, an edit to shop, and sample outfit ideas for you to test drive.
We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Flashy & Formal
If you’re never one to fade into a crowd, a golden, high heavens-reaching platform heel needs to be in your formalwear rotation. Not only will the gravity-defying silhouette garner attention, but the aureate shade makes the shoe — and you by default — impossible to miss. Jimmy Choo offers an open-toe pair with a 4.75-inch chunky heel, which is certainly high but not overly so that you’re worried about the safety of your ankles.
Elevated Dadcore Sandals
“Spring and Summer provide opportunities for unapologetic style statements that feel authentic and embrace warm days and nights,” Antoninus describes. “The CHER sandal’s versatility lends itself to everything from elevating denim to adding an edge to summer attire,” she advises on styling NEOUS’ signature strappy buckle shoe. Follow Antoninus’ advice of edging up a summery look and team a socks-and-sandals combo with a floral dress that exudes a feminine feel.
“Ultra-high and mood-enhancing platforms take advantage of the heel height and make an adventure of details and materials statements,” says BeyondStyle’s Owens. Lean into the shoe’s innate venturesome vibe and choose a style that adopts another of 2022’s on-trend and spirited silhouettes — a lace-up gladiator style. Then, strap into the shoes and set out on an adventure of your choice, whether that be sightseeing in a new city or exploring an area of your neighborhood you’ve yet to discover.
“Every time a customer buys a pair of our Belle sandals, or we get tagged in a post, I get so excited to see how people style them,” D’Accori’s founder tells TZR. “For me, it's the freedom to style and wear the shoes as you wish; You could wear them with a revenge dress, a micro miniskirt, tights, stonewashed jeans, a mid-length dress. Or,” offers D’accori, “if you are feeling the party season, go all sequined and be fabulous!”
In every wardrobe, there should be a set of break-glass-in-case-of-emergency pumps. You need to have a pair of reliably dressy heels you can slip into whenever an event pops up on your social calendar — perhaps a spontaneous, last-minute gathering or one that’s been planned for months but innocently slipped your mind — that necessitates formalwear. Chunky black platform sandals, for one, make for a reliable option to keep as a just-in-case option. Their dark hue is neutral, and their lofty look delivers a slightly elongated silhouette that’s a bit more agreeable than, say, a sky-high stiletto.
For when you’re working from home but can’t bring yourself to put on yet another sweatsuit, piece together a comfy-casual outfit that’s a step above loungewear. Then, for the final touch, don a pair of open-toed platform sandals that provide the same comfort as your wear-everyday house slippers, but deliver a more put-together and refined effect. Gia Borghini offers a set of sleek, leather-trimmed, velcro-strapped shoes that reflect the brand’s penchant for thoughtful minimalism.
Flip-flops have a reputation as being, well, an anti-fashion shoe. Iterations made of flimsy rubber carry connotations of being a stashed-away slide, the shoe you haphazardly slip on when doing laundry or making a last-minute, quick trip to the beach. Platform thong sandals, however, are a more elevated (literally) take on the shoe that makes for a surprisingly luxurious option to introduce into your spring and summer footwear collection. Look to ATP Atelier’s minimalist flip-flop, below, for proof.