Vogue.com declared not long ago that the wedge is “fashion’s most contentious shoe”. Yet, in the sneaker world, platforms continue to give familiar silhouettes extra elevation. This is significant as many women think that sneaker brands are ignoring them as a consumer group, never mind that for most popular drops, women’s get the most striking colour ways such as those seen on the various iterations of Nike’s VaporMax.
It seems that to attract women, chromatic variations alone aren’t enough. Sneaker brands are adding platform mid-soles to some of their more popular styles, clearly to entice women who require extra lift in their shoes that they will neither see track nor field. Puma has always been a proponent of the platform sneaker. Their Basket Platforms, to name one, has always scored high on the scale of desirability among those who prefers kicks that tower. This was even before Rihanna made platform mid-soles regular in her Fenty line with Puma. Going heel-to-heel is Adidas, with the taller-than-usual Superstar, mildly tagged Bold. Even the mostly conventional Vans issued their own, the Old Skool Platform.
The latest to join the rise is Nike. The reiteration of the 36-year-old Air Force 1 with a thicker mid-sole called Jester is possibly one of the most attractive platform sneakers out there. Foremost a basketball shoe, then what Nike now calls a “streetwear legend”, the Jester is designed for fashionistas than sportswomen—definitely for those who are inclined to post their footwear online to encourage envy. It comes with what appears to be double mid-sole (in two colours), a Swoosh re-positioned to swoop down on the sole (to enhance its “off-kilter” standing), and a label—just like those on clothing—that hangs loose on the back of the out-step. To better keep up with their Off White collabs?
If a higher shoe is required, Nike has the Vandal 2K, a re-imagining of the classic Vandak High silhouette, with the ankle strap moved downward to the mid-foot. If you look down at the upper of the 2K, you’d see a good-looking basketball shoe. But from the side, with its platform mid-sole, it looks oddly proportioned. Perhaps the shoe to go with track pants that can be unbuttoned on the sides right to the hip to expose the limbs. This deliberate split opening we were recently told is the coolest way to wear them track bottoms. Platform sneakers, it seems, have found a worthy partner.
Nike Women’s Air Force 1 Jester, SGD179, and Nike Women’s Vandal 2K, SGD199, are available at Dover Street Market Singapore. Photo: Chin Boh Kay