In the seventies the immense popularity of platform shoes had orthopedic and podiatry surgeons worried as more and more cases of foot injury were reported. It is no surprise that during this time, when disco ruled, platforms were also called as “the elevated orthopedic nightmare”. When first introduced it had a heel only two inches high. The young generation of those turbulent times was known for its excesses, be it in sex, drugs, music, or alternate lifestyle. Excesses in fashion and footwear were also widely seen. Platforms that originally were designed with two inch heels soon appeared with heels and platforms that were five or six inches high. Hospitals in Europe and North America were routinely treating young people for injuries like twisted ankles, broken ankles, hammertoes, bunions, calluses, etc. Thankfully the mid-eighties saw the return of sobriety and platforms went out of fashion.
These shoes were popular not only amongst short and average height individuals but were also very popular amongst the tall. The short and average guys wore platforms to gain height while the tall just wore them as they were supposed to be ‘hip and happening’. Today platforms are mostly used by women; men have a far better alternative – elevator shoes. So, why are platforms so bad for the feet? Well the answer lies in the weight distribution while walking. It has been established by studies conducted at several universities that the heel of the foot supports almost 60% of the weight, the forefoot supports 28% of the weight, the mid-foot supports only 8% of the weight and the toes support the remaining 4% of the weight. In platforms the heel and the forefoot are not supported by a thick padding to cushion the weight. In elevators the mid-insole and the height increasing insole both cushion and protect the feet.
Platforms are generally machine manufactured and hence will not always have a toe section that is wide enough to fit your toes. In contrast most elevators are custom made to accommodate the wearers toe section so that the toes are not compressed. Elevators have a wide shank to comfortably fit the section of foot between the heels and the ball of the foot. The uppers of the elevators are flexible and slightly big to firmly grip the foot. The height increasing insoles and outer soles of the elevators are made of shock absorbent and flexible material while the outer soles of platforms are rigid.
In platforms the foot slides forward with every step while in the elevators this does not happen due to the firm grip offered by the front and top of the shoe.
All these factors make a risky proposition. So, if you want to gain height instantly and invisibly without damaging your feet it is advisable that you consider buying a pair of thoughtfully designed shoe.