Finally, an answer for the vertically challenged fitness fiend. Shoes already had the pocket, the Pump, the Air, the outrageously expensive celebrity endorsement, the counterculture skate shoe, the old school revival, and the classic comfort. The only other place for the sneaker to go was up.
The craze for sneakers wasn’t lost on the tragically hip kids growing up in the 90’s, and New York’s infamous ‘Club kid’ culture brought fantasy to the most simple footwear when sneakers were lifted to new heights via platform soles. Club kids took their sneakers to cobblers, who attached stacks of additional rubber soles to the bottoms of their sneaks. Before long, kids were towering a full twelve inches or more above the average Joe or Jane.
The 70’s revival had already worn out its welcome, and platform shoes, as cool as they were, needed to go back in the closet. But what’s a crazy club kid to do when gold lamé is gone, and rainbow bright baby tees are in? Platform sandals were hard on the feet, and so common that even your momma was wearing them. The adoration for old-school sneakers was a pretty hip flip, but the big clod hoppers weren’t too fashionable, and they certainly weren’t going to get you noticed in the crowd. Unless, of course, you paired the platforms with the sneakers… and thus, the platform sneaker was born.
The new rave scene supported a comfortable style necessary to the all-night dance-a-thons, and nothing was better for feet than the sturdy, lace-up sneaker. The novelty of the platform lifted the shoe business to new heights. Even stalwart sneaker manufacturer Converse got in on the underground act, and platform sneakers became one of the hottest trends during the early 90’s.
Platform sneakers not only guaranteed total comfort, but they gave necessary height to gals that lived their lives in high heels in hopes of gaining a couple of inches. From New York’s club kids to suburban moms to Spice Girl wannabes, fashion merged with function when the platform sneaker turned plain jane footwear into something sassy.
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