Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Setting the platform

Published:Monday | December 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Wedge sneakers like these from Traffic Mode are the evolution of the traditional wedge.
This shoe from Traffic Mode is a cross between platform and wedge. Simply put - stylish.
Some shoes like these of the heel-less variety are simply a work of art. - photos by Gladstone Taylor/Photographer
This red-hot number from Club Intuition says it all.
Over the years, shoe styles have merged to create fabulous footwear like this green number with silver accents from Club Intuition.
These wedges from Club Intuition have taken on a whole new face.

For the past few years, platforms have been the ultimate in footwear. But its history spans several decades and has evolved to suit each century. The style of shoe was originally created by ancient Greeks and its main purpose was to primarily add height during Greek theatre performances. This method was also utilised by ancient Romans.

This history of the platform is also seen in Japanese Geta (Japanese footwear), which employed wood to create the platform-like shoe. It was also worn in Europe to prevent mud and dirt from catching the feet in the streets.

In the 1930s, Salvatore Ferregamo, European-born shoe designer, renovated the shoe into that of magnificence, making luxurious shoes for several A-list Hollywood stars.

Its popularity resurfaced in the United States from the 1960s to 1980s. With the 1970s being prominently known as the disco era, the shoe consequently became recognised as the disco platform, with the front and the heel of the shoe high and very thick in width.

Today, platforms are the order of the day, with the base maintaining the thickness and the heel varying in size and style. Women wear them because they are trendy in their design and the shoes increase height and to, ideally, provide comfort.

- KA

Wedge it!

Between 1939 and 1945, known as the war years, looks were abandoned for comfort. Fashionable pumps were replaced by wedge heels. Salvatore Ferragamo designed the wedge out of necessity when the war compromised the quality of the steel he was used to. It was made out of layers of cork so that the sole remained light despite its utilitarian look.

Today, the wedge is still seen as the shoe of comfort as it supports the arch of the feet, but it has gotten a fashionable makeover! Take a look.

- ND