Platform sandals might just be the perfect summertime shoe. They're stylish without sacrificing comfort, they show off your pedicure, and they give you some extra height without a hard-to-walk-in heel. Whether you prefer your footwear to be delicate and strappy or chunky-soled and tough, there's a style of platform sandal for everyone.
For the best balance of comfort and style, we like Teva's Flatform Universal Sandal. The classic sporty silhouette has been given an updated look, with a cushioned platform and fresh colors. But if you're looking for something a bit fancier, check out the rest of our picks below! We've also included a buying guide reviewed by a wardrobe stylist to help point you in the right direction.
When it comes to platform sandals, the first thing to consider is the style. Fashion is a form of self-expression, so pick a pair you love the look of! In this guide, we'll go over some of the most common styles and highlight other important factors to consider while you shop.
Sandals come in tons of different styles that can be hard to neatly put into categories. However, there are some common universal styles that can provide a good starting point for your search.
Slides are sandals that you don’t have to fasten; you simply slide your foot right in. They tend to have thicker straps that cover the top of the foot. Some slides have one strap, others have two, and some consist of two straps that cross over each other in an X shape. Platform slides tend to look casual and trendy.
Some come in all black with a stretchy strap for a nineties vibe, while others are made from plush fabric for a luxe loungewear look. Because slides aren’t securely attached to your feet, a platform heel can make walking more difficult. For that reason, platform slides are best for situations where you won’t need to do a lot of walking.
Slides are the most comfortable pair of sandals you can own. Because they're so easy to put on and take off, they're very convenient for those who travel or are always on the go. These sandals can also be worn around the house.
Slides offer other benefits such as features that promote foot health. Most of their designs include cushioned footbeds with thicker soles and others come with adjustable straps to accommodate different sizes or wider feet.
Having a strap around your ankle does a couple of things for platform sandals. First, it helps keep your foot securely on top of the shoe. This is especially helpful for tall platforms. Ankle straps also secure the sandal to your foot and help to avoid the dreaded heel slap that can happen when you walk.
In addition, they highlight your ankles and make them look smaller, creating a dainty, feminine look. However, if ankle straps don't fit correctly or are made of rough material, they can cause discomfort or blisters. It's a good idea to check reviews to see if any buyers had issues with this.
If you like the strappy look, lace-up and gladiator sandals are a great choice. While they may take a bit longer to get on, the laces and straps help create a secure fit, ensuring that your shoes stay on your feet.
Gladiator sandals usually have buckles and a tougher vibe, while lace-up sandals tie around your ankles and legs and look more delicate.
If you were a nineties kid, the thought of platform flip-flops is probably cringe-inducing, and we don’t blame you! But while you can still find those chunky foam platforms if you know where to look, there are plenty of other options around now.
You can go with the classic flip-flop strap, but there’s also the more polished T-strap version, which has the added bonus of making your legs look longer. The T-strap also keeps the sandals on your feet more securely, making it easier to walk.
Espadrilles stand out thanks to their braided rope sole, which gives them an earthy, casual vibe. A platform style really shows off this unique feature and adds an instant hit of summer to any outfit. The straps can be made from any material and can often be found in a wide range of bright colors and patterns.
While we don’t recommend wearing platform sandals to play sports, you can still achieve a trendy athleisure look. These types of sandals typically use sporty materials, like Velcro, mesh, or sneaker soles, but add straps and a flatform or chunky heel.
They’re generally lightweight and comfortable, so they can be a good choice if you’re doing some walking.
Sporty sandals have been one of the hottest summer trends this year, and I can assure you they'll continue to be. Sporty sandals are incredibly comfortable and are a good fit for a variety of activities from walking, sitting at the poolside, or venturing along the beach.
While this type of sandal is considered to have a more relaxed, athletic look, sporty sandals can also be dressed up when the need arises. Pair a sporty sandal with a structured shirt or blazer for a sophisticated and polished look or a monochrome-styled outfit to bring out the design of the sandal.
Platform shoes are characterized by a platform that lifts both your toes and your heel off the ground. Some have a uniform height, while others have additional height under the heel.
Some platform sandals have a higher heel than the toe. If you look at the shoe from the side, you’ll see one platform under the toes and a taller one under the heel.
This style is great for when you want the look and height of a heel but with more stability. The chunky heel is easier to walk on than a stiletto, and the platform under your toes means that there’s less pressure on the ball of your foot.
In contrast to high-heel platforms, flatforms have a single, solid sole, giving you plenty of stability. However, it’s important to make sure that the flatform’s sole isn’t too thick or inflexible, or it may be difficult to walk in. Flatforms tend to have a more casual look than heeled platforms.
As we all adjust to a more casual lifestyle, flatforms provide the perfect balance of fashionable style and comfort.
Flatforms tend to have a more casual look than heeled platforms, so feel free to pair them with joggers and wide-leg denims. If you feel like stepping it up a notch for an elevated look, style them with trousers or midi dresses that hit right above or below your calf.
Sandals come in a variety of materials; the best one for you will depend on where you plan to wear them.
Leather sandals are comfortable, durable, and breathable. They have the ability to conform to your feet and soften with wear. However, leather can be damaged by the elements if it’s not treated. If you plan to wear leather sandals to the beach or anywhere they may get wet, it’s a good idea to coat them with a protective spray first.
Fabric-covered sandals have a more casual vibe that’s great for both spring and summer. They often come in a range of prints and colors. The downside of fabric is that it’s more likely to fray, get holes, or fade over time.
There is also a range of synthetic materials used in sandals, from faux leather to PVC plastic (think jelly shoes). Synthetic materials tend to be less breathable than natural materials, so if sweaty feet are a common issue for you, it may be better to steer clear!
If you’re buying slides or flip-flops you don’t need to worry about closures, but for other styles, it’s an important factor to consider. For sandals with buckles, make sure the straps can be adjusted to a size that fits your foot. With certain materials, you can even make your own additional holes if needed.
Lace-up sandals that tie closed are more adjustable and look elegant, but make sure that the laces aren’t so thin that they cut into your skin. Velcro is common on casual or sporty sandals. It’s super adjustable and easy to get in and out of.
Like any other wardrobe piece, it's important to choose a sandal that fits your lifestyle. If you're an always-on-the-go kind of person, you may want to select a material that is sleek, supportive, and as fashionable as they are functional.
Functionality is also key when you're on the hunt for the perfect sandal. Stay away from materials that will cause blisters and stick to something that is lightweight, a platform heel, and cushions footbeds with padded insoles for extra comfort.
With all their straps and closures, sandals have the potential to be uncomfortable. Add a platform, and some of them can be quite precarious if you’re not used to the style!
Reading customer reviews can help you get a sense of how comfortable the shoes are as well as how easy they are to walk in. Look for clues about how the straps and closures feel against the skin and whether they pinch or chafe in any areas.
Our list includes platform sandals for all styles and occasions. There are sporty picks for all-day walking, nineties-inspired slides, chunky soles to add some edge, and more! We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Taiha G. LaReau.
Flatform Universal Sandal
Blaire Women's Brando Leather Gladiator Sandals
Rachel Faux Leather Strappy Platform Heel
Block Heel Platform Slide Sandals
Kellia Espadrille Platform Sandal
Gizeh Platform Vegan
An Iconic Sandal Taken up a Notch
Slinky Platform Slides Take You Back to the Nineties
A Sporty Sandal With Sneaker Vibes
Retro Slingbacks in Spring Colors
Stomp Around Town in Tough Gladiators
Strappy Platforms Add Inches and Glamour
Luxe Slides for the Fashionista
Chunky Soles Meet Sporty Straps
Classy Espadrilles You Can Dress Up or Down
Vegan Birkenstocks With a Little Extra Lift
|Style||Sporty||Slide||Sporty||Slingback||Gladiator||Ankle strap||Slide||Sporty||Lace up espadrille||Thong|
|Material||Polyester; EVA midsole; rubber outsole||Fabric upper, leather lining||Leather and nylon upper; EVA midsole, rubber outsole||Leather upper; synthetic sole||Leather; EVA sole||Polyurethane||Rubber||Leather upper and lining; PU outsole||Suede or leather upper; faux leather lining; synthetic sole||PVC upper; microfiber insole; cork footbed; EVA outsole|
|Platform height||1.75 in.||1.25 in.||1 in.||1.5 in.||1.5 in.||1.25 in.||1 in.||2 in.||1.5 in.||Not provided|
|Heel height||-||2.25 in.||1.75 in.||2 in.||1.88 in.||3.75 in.||2 in.||-||-||Not provided|
|Material||Polyester; EVA midsole; rubber outsole|
|Platform height||1.75 in.|
|Material||Fabric upper, leather lining|
|Platform height||1.25 in.|
|Heel height||2.25 in.|
|Material||Leather and nylon upper; EVA midsole, rubber outsole|
|Platform height||1 in.|
|Heel height||1.75 in.|
|Material||Leather upper; synthetic sole|
|Platform height||1.5 in.|
|Heel height||2 in.|
|Material||Leather; EVA sole|
|Platform height||1.5 in.|
|Heel height||1.88 in.|
|Platform height||1.25 in.|
|Heel height||3.75 in.|
|Platform height||1 in.|
|Heel height||2 in.|
|Material||Leather upper and lining; PU outsole|
|Platform height||2 in.|
|Style||Lace up espadrille|
|Material||Suede or leather upper; faux leather lining; synthetic sole|
|Platform height||1.5 in.|
|Material||PVC upper; microfiber insole; cork footbed; EVA outsole|
|Platform height||Not provided|
|Heel height||Not provided|
In addition to her advice in our buying Guide, Taissha was also kind enough to give us some of her recommendations for platform sandals for different situations.
Triton Raspberry Sorbet
|Materials||Recycled polyester, vegan rubber|
If you're looking for a sporty sandal, I recommend trying Teva's Midform Universal sandal. It’s the ultimate sporty "cool girl" style and is best known for comfort and all-day wear.
If you're looking for something a little less athletic, try Kelsi Dagger's Spark Flatform sandal. The woven design is a must-have sandal for your wardrobe.
It's finally time to put away our winter sweaters and bust out the shorts and sunglasses. Check out more of our favorite trendy summer accessories below!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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