This '90s Shoe Trend Is Back Just In Time For Summer


Steve Madden's chunky platform sandals have come to represent an entire era of footwear. During the '90s, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen and The Spice Girls championed the lifted silhouette. Now the nostalgic platform sandal is getting a modern makeover, while also expanding to a range of silhouettes. "As platforms gain popularity, the variety of styles available also increase," David Tourniaire-Beauciel, footwear label Clergerie’s creative director, tells TZR. "There is no particular iteration as today platform silhouettes are everywhere.""

Part of the platform's reappearance could be attributed to its practicality. "Platforms make you feel bold and powerful, like heels, yet give you the comfort you need to walk from place to place, work all day on your feet, multi-talk and do everything that a modern woman needs to do," Chelsea Hansford, Creative Director of Simon Miller, tells TZR. The label's Blackout Platform has already become a hit among trendsetters on Instagram. "I've never left the platform behind in my wardrobe, since I was young and wore RocketDogs to school," Hansford explains what inspired her to created the shoe. "Heels always felt dressed up, but I wanted the height and power with a more relaxed style, so I landed on Platforms from a young age."

Below, find four platform sandal styles that prove the shoe will be everywhere come summer. Except to see them *all* over your Instagram feed, too.

We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Platform Sandal: Flatforms

Missed Steve Madden's iconic platforms? You have a second chance to sport them thanks to Urban Outfitters bringing the '90s shoe back. But if you're looking for a fancier alternative, look to Brother Vellies' Abbi Flatform Sandals, which feature a leather strap and rubber sole. "We are in a space of wanting some height but not necessarily being tied to traditional heels which can at times feel like they exist more for the gaze of others than ourselves," Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, tells TZR on why she thinks platforms are trending right now. "I personally love a platform with a cropped wide-leg pant or jumpsuit," she adds. "Although they are also beautiful with a vintage floral dress."

Platform Sandal: Flipflops

Flip-flops today are a far from rubber shower shoes. This season, the "ugly" shoe is presented both in heel and platform variations. "I love a platform wedge and we recently made a flip-flop platform which I am pretty happy about," Hansford explains. "For Spring/Summer 2020 we have both of these in bright spring colors, called the Level Wedge and Coaster Thong. They’re so easy to slide on and go about your day." The thong silhouette and raised platform make this take on the trend particularly key for anyone looking to recreate a '90s vibe.

Platform Sandal: Wedges

A wedge platform is a little less clunky than the flatform, a subtler take for those still on the fence about the trend. Labucq's Page style offers a super low wedge silhouette that's comfy enough for daytime use. For an exaggerated platform that has a bit more evening appeal, opt for Clergerie's Mirane Wedge Sandals or Staud's Jane Platform. Either option will seamlessly coordinate with any summer ensemble.

Platform Sandal: Heels

You're probably already familiar with Wandler's popular Isa Sandal, but you might not know that the shoe now comes in a platform style. "The Isa Sandal has the perfect silhouette for the platform, providing support and gives the impression you’ve added 5cm to your height without the discomfort of a high (spike) heel," Elza Wandler, Founder & Creative Director, Wandler. "I love how our Isa platforms give me the feeling of freedom and carelessness, making it a great look for everyday wear." On the other hand, if you're looking for a cool, summer-approved floral print, consider Miu Miu's Daisy-Jacquard Platform Sandals.