Ask the Pedorthist : Platforms

Shoes with platform bottoms are more popular than ever, and this is a great thing for our customers! This type of sole construction allows footwear designers to construct feminine uppers and put them on a sole that provides women all the height she is looking for, but without the pitch usually caused by traditional high heels or wedges.

A normal high heeled shoe has a couple of things working against it when it comes to comfort. First, the surface area provided on the bottom of the heel is usually much narrower than a normal soled shoe. This causes instability that can lead to foot, ankle, knee, and eventually back pain. Second, because none of the height of the heel is balanced with additional height on the sole, the wearer feels every inch of pitch on the ball of her foot. If a traditional high heeled shoe is four inches high, every bit of the weight imbalance caused is transferred squarely onto the ball of the foot.

Shoes with wedges can be slightly better in that the surface area offered on the heel and arch portion of the sole provides more stability than a traditional heel. Although that increased stability is helpful, the result of the pitch is still mostly on the ball of the foot.

Platform soles help with both the instability and pitch issues. For stability, platform soles offer the same increased surface area as wedges, but the extra build up of the sole that makes it a “platform” is what really helps make the shoe more comfortable. Most platform constructions that have four inches of heel height will build up the sole two to two and a half inches. This makes the overall “pitch” of the shoe only one and a half to two inches, distributing much less weight onto the ball of the foot. The result is that the wearer gets four inches of additional height without all the extra pressure on their forefoot, and this is a very good thing for comfort!

Great models of comfortable wedges now in stock are

Vionic Vionic Dansko Wolky
Cancun Grenada Dana Jewel

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