Today platform heels are very popular and even recommended. But back in 1973 things were different. Some people thought these were the ugliest shoes ever.
This is what a publication from The Guardian’s archive points out. It is an editorial dated May 3rd 1973. The platform heels have been around for a while, but have now are becoming a real fad. Platform shoes were everywhere, not only for high heels too.
“A generation of Britons is in danger of teetering to crippledom on the platform shoe, which is also the ugliest style conceived in the modern history of footwear. Such shoes are also impractical. A driver wearing platform shoes cannot feel the accelerator. If the style persists in having higher heels and thicker soles, the wearers will end up like the Venetian ladies of the sixteenth century in their chopines – slippers with high wood or cork soles. They had to be carried everywhere by the servants”, says the editorial.
There’s more. “For the fad now, pay both now and later. The high heels and the resulting incline of the body can induce in the teenager with still-soft bones (and aggravate in the more senior) swollen toes and toe nails, deformed joints, knees puffed with bending, and backs aching from arching. Callouses develop on the balls of the foot and ankles can be sprained at the slightest trip. No beauty is worth this suffering.”
And if that is not enough, the editorial gives a final blow where it knows it will really hurt: wear platform shoes and you look ugly, stupid and your gait is not pretty to watch.
“The inflexible soles mean that the step has to be shorter and that the leg has to be lifted from the hip. The damage done to the muscles of the leg, pelvis, and lower back should cause pause for thought. It has not. This style has not only swamped ladies’ shoe shops, but also been adopted by men. But why? In part, any fashion, however ridiculous, creates its own vicious circle of exclusiveness. The shoe-manufacturers in encouraging this, however, are guilty of losing sight of the human body for the sake of covering it with gimmickery. Aware also that many of their victims crave to be taller they have flooded the market with footwear aptly nicknamed cripple boots”.
Still not enough? How about this: “The wheelchair riders of the next generation are wearing shoes with only one practical application. In the farmyard they could replace the Wellington Boot, by raising the wearer clear of the mire”.
That is really, really harsh. There are some valid points for sure. But in the end we all know how that turned out. Platform shoes are still here and are loved by many. Today they are even recomended as a way to keep towering sky high but lowering the angle of your feet, thus reducing stress on them. You can’t throw something under the bus with hatred and expect people to jump off and agree.
So which one is true. Are platform shoes good or bad for you? The answer is both. If you wear them all the time, then you may encounter problems. If they cause you pain, they are not good too, obviously. But if you feel comfortable on them and wear them aloing with other shoes, you should be fine.