Puma has been keeping us supplied with comfortable, stylish sneakers for over 65 years. From high-performance running sneakers to casual tennis shoes, from high tops to low tops, and from slip-ons to lace-ups, this is a brand that knows what we want and doesn't mind giving it to us. Now and again, it's even been known to give us something we didn't know we wanted, but that as it turned out, we really, really needed. Case in point - the platform sneaker. Cast your mind back to 2012, and the platform sneaker was everywhere. Alessandra Ambrosio wore them. Dakota Johnson was snapped in them. Beyoncé had a few. J-Lo never took hers off. Basically, they were everywhere. Whether you teamed them with dresses or jeans, skirts or shorts, it didn't matter. Provided there was a pair of platform sneakers clapped to your feet, you were good to go. Not that everyone actually liked them, of course. Manrepeller went so far as to dub them the 'the most controversial shoe in fashion.'
And yet we carried on wearing them anyway.... until 2013 struck and we all came round to our senses. Overnight, the platform sneaker went from hot to not, from fashion-forward to fashion victim. We shoved them to the back of our closets, donated them to charity, or dumped them in the recycling. By the turn of the decade, they'd been relegated to a footnote in fashion history. But then some bright spark at Puma decided to bring them back. Why, who knows? But that they did, we'll be forever grateful. Because as it turns out, the platform sneaker is kind of genius. They boost our height while still keeping our feet blissfully comfortable - what could be better? If you're ready to re-open your mind and your closet to the joys of the platform sneaker, take our advice and check out these five amazing Puma platform sneakers.
Puma Cali Wedge Sneakers
When Puma revived the platform sneaker earlier this year, it did it with the Cali Wedge. Inspired by Isabel Marant's wedge trainers of several years before, they promised to make your legs look longer and leaner without any of the discomfort of high heels. Did they deliver on the promise? You bet they did. Better still, they looked good as they did it. Teaming a clean, all-white leather upper with a platform sole and a wedged heel, they're simple, subtle, and yet still bold enough to turn heads. Puma Ambassador Selena Gomez summed up the consensus by calling the Cali 'the perfect shoe to make a statement in'. 'They give me the height of a heel in the comfort of a sneaker and they are easy to pair with any outfit,' she raved via the Daily Mail. In fairness, she was paid to say it, but that doesn't detract from the fact that these are a seriously lust-worthy pair of sneakers. Unlike earlier wedged sneakers, the Cali delivers a uniformly chunky platform, meaning you get the same great height boosting effects of a heel without the unsettling 'forward thrust' motion. If you want a sneaker that marries clean-cut good looks with fashion-forward sensibilities, this is the pair for you.
Puma Rise Glow Sneakers
Get a height boost of 2 inches with Puma's Rise Glow Sneakers, a fabulous pair of kicks that offer a subtle take on the platform trend. As one of lofficielusa.com's top style picks for 2020, the Rise combines a dreamy aesthetic with blissfully comfortable construction. The cloud-inspired design elevates an otherwise classic pair of white sneakers to all new heights of glory, while the 2-inch platform promises to do the same for your legs. Made from plush leather and featuring a superbly cushy insole that aims to distribute your weight evenly for a buoyant step, the Rise is proof positive that you can boost your height without sacrificing comfort in the process.
Puma Suede Platform Women's Sneakers
As whowhatwear.co.uk rightly notes, platforms are a great way to upgrade any shoe, offering a fabulous height boosting effect without the instability or discomfort of a typical heel. Take Puma's Suede Platform Women's Sneakers as an example. Built around the Suede (one of, if not the, most iconic sneakers in the Puma collection), it combines a grungy stacked sole with a supremely comfortable construction. Interest is added with the addition of a few pops of bright metallic detailing. If you're a fan of the early 1990s grunge look, you're going to love them.
Puma Women's Fenty by Rihanna Suede Cleated Creeper Sneakers
What happens when a fashion icon teams up with one of the leading names in sportswear? Judging by the Puma Women's Fenty by Rihanna Suede Cleated Creeper, something amazing. Created during Rihanna's third season as a creative director for Puma, the Cleated Creeper is a big, bold shoe that delivers on all fronts. The burnt orange suede uppers have just the right kind of preppy chic working for them. The double-thick, cleat style lug sole keeps the silhouette fresh while adding a few crucial inches to your height. Comfort is accounted for by the padded collar, cushioned footbed, and gorgeously soft suede uppers. They're not subtle by any stretch of the imagination, but why settle for subtle when you can have fabulous instead? If you want to go big, go bold, and go high, get yourself a pair of these beauties - your closet (and your feet) will thank you.
Puma Deva Randomevent Sneakers
Why settle for one great brand when you could have two? For the last item on our list, Puma has teamed up with China-based streetwear brand Randomevent to create a gloriously chunky, supremely fashionable sneaker that promises to be your new must-have item. The style manages to be both bold and understated at the same time: a classic low top silhouette is giving a fresh new look with the addition of a huge gum rubber platform sole that delivers a great boosting effect without compromising on comfort one iota. The suede uppers have a touch of retro cool about them, while the combination of black upper and camel sole is a fitting tribute to the street style of yesterday. Comfort is added by way of a padded hem, a structured midsole, and a padded removable heel. A logo on the side, on the tongue and on the heel confirm their provenance.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker