10 Best Platform Sneakers in 2021

Judith on

IDEALLY, the best-fitting pair of platform kicks will let you park your wedges and ramp up your look while giving you an added inch or two of height, PLUS the confidence to pull off your style. 

BUT you’d hardly get the right pick of platform sneakers just by judging them based on the images. We’re here to help you get the right choice minus all the headaches. 

No pair of sneakers from our listing here skipped our full-scale wear test. Yes, all 100+ of them!

At the end of the day, we want you to stand (a bit taller) and be prouder that you clinched the best fit, style, and value for a pair of platform sneakers. 

How we pick out the best platform kicks 

  • We purchase all the platform sneakers with our own money. We don't let the brands dictate our views on the shoes.
  • We go through thousands of user reviews and get the meat and substance of each platform shoe. 
  • Each pair gets a Corescore, a number from 0-100, which helps us determine the shoe’s standing among the rest. 
  • Our team of sneaker specialists spends several weeks wearing the sneakers. They scrutinize the shoes based on fit, breathability, flexibility, durability, and most especially, comfort. 
  • Those that ranked highest in our system-generated scoring algorithm and actual test land in this list.

Best overall

When it comes to thick-soled kicks that offer a voguish flair without much froufrou, to our picky noses, nothing beats the Vans Old Old Skool Platform. Its classic, minimalist, simplistic, and unisex style tickled us. 

We consider this a wardrobe essential as it instantly elevates our look. This kick blends well with a hodgepodge of streetwear clothes without us needing to put in much effort.

We felt like Bella Hadid looking fab even with a pair of washed-out skinny pants, a white shirt, and this platform shoe.

Aside from a runway vibe, we are drawn to the comfort it gives. Even with its pair of thick slabs of rubber nestled underneath, these didn’t weigh us down. We didn’t feel like our feet were strapped to bricks either. It’s fun wearing this around town for several weeks as it feels light too.

We’ve put these through a ground test and waited for its sole to bottom out and thin out, but we failed. These are SOLID! Like the Old Skool, this shoe is equipped with a hard-wearing sole that refuses to say goodbye quickly. 

If you’re looking for a platform kick that’s ageless, fab, and will keep you surefooted for long hours of the day, have no second thoughts with the Vans Old Skool Platform shoes. These will give you that needed LIFT.

See our full review and facts

When it comes to creeper soles, the Puma Mayze never fails to amaze us. It is an absolute rockstar! It sure does make waves without being over the top! 

After trying out dozens of platform kicks, we simply can’t replace this Fenty-looking pair among our top list. We were sold by its versatility, snazzy flair, and homey feel. Between wedge sneakers and tennis shoes, platform kicks like this makes us love mixing and matching our outfits a lot more. 

It instantly punctuates our long vest and jeans, mid-length pleated skirt, sporty tank, and capri with its deceptively simple guise. It isn’t hard to flip OOTDs wearing this like Dua Lipa did since the colors aren’t loud. They blend in easily with just about anything casual, sporty, or athleisure, whether we want the bold and daring or laid-back vibe. 

Even with decks of rubber and cushioning underneath, this doesn't feel narrow or too roomy. It fits perfectly! The laces do help cinch down everything without us experiencing heel slippage. 

Another a-MAYZE-ing feature that goes with this shoe is COMFORT. After strapping this for weeks between spring and summer, it wowed us. It made us cover most of the week’s to-do checklist without worrying about foot pain, blisters, or any of those that will force us to toss this to the sidewalk. 

We’ve given you the picture. If you like this style, go cop a pair or two. Its price, like its sole, won’t kill. 

See our full review and facts

Best icon

If Michael Jordan is irrefutably NBA’s GOAT, we think that the hoop star Air Force 1 is the greatest when it comes to iconic Swoosh sneakers. When we speak of iconic platform kicks, the Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 scores buckets and receives the highest elevated spot. 

We’ve tried wearing the AF1 and the revamped thick-soled version. The base of the platform style is more pumped and thicker. The injected airbag integrated into the midsole gives us an added boost in height.

Such air technology implanted under the heel also helped soften any stress that came in contact between the ground and our feet throughout the month-long sneaker endurance test. 

It's a premium Swoosh sneaker, but we didn't feel robbed of with hefty cash. Like most AF1s, this platform version is solid, lasting, top-notch in terms of quality. Full-grain leather, high-quality suede, and sterling lining are just some of the features that make this STELLAR!

If you’re looking for a platform kick that’s for keeps, infinitely timeless, indisputably iconic, we highly recommend you get this AF1 into your sneaker stash. This stylish LV8 doesn't fail to elevate!

See our full review and facts

When we talk about fashion icons, we can’t dismiss the Swoosh Dunks from the picture. These are just one of the most coveted gems in the resale market and highly collectible ones in the sneaker sphere. So we find the Nike Dunk Low Disrupt deserving of a spotlight among the best platform kicks among the legends.

Its thick-based aesthetic disrupts the traditional silhouette of the Nike Dunk, but it gives out an edgier alternative. We loved this revamped look of the iconic shoe because of the chic lopsided elements that go with it: exaggerated leather overlays, exposed foam on the tongue, jumbo heel tab, and blocky sole unit. 

While those modified details offer a fresh tone, they still provide this Dunk buddy its trademark versatile look. Nike made this dynamite more DISRUPTive by giving us a spread of colorways to choose from. 

We tried switching between neutrals and multicolored ones throughout the month-long wear test, and we enjoyed playing around with our streetwear garb.

It is amply cushioned all over, so comfort wasn’t an issue. Its cupsoled base cradled our feet even when we spent most of the day for the entire week wearing this. The overall upper construction made our feet happy than toasty even when we gave this kick a test run during summer. 

When you think of premium platform kicks that offer a bit of a playful tone, consider the Dunk Low Disrupt. It’s edgy without being so costly. 

See our full review and facts

Best high-top

We’re over the moon with Converse Run Star Hike. This Converse Chuck with a striking, spunky sole isn’t only a star in style but stellar in comfort too! 

We’ve tried dozens of platform sneakers and this shoe surprisingly stole our hearts! After sporting this around town frequently in a week for a month, we were taken aback by how friendly it is to the feet.

How did it stun us? That squatty, rigid sole is heaven for our feet. It may not be as forgiving as most rubber compounds used in most platform kicks but these are super supportive! Rearfoot and midfoot control prevents unnecessary foot torsion so we didn't end up having feet, ankle, leg, and back nightmares. 

Some of us with plantar fasciitis and mild ankle instability, and mild osteoarthritis swear by how this shoe made them smile. It accommodated customized orthotics for enhanced arch support. 

Did we mention that its toe box didn’t squeeze our toes? We know that the longer we use this we won’t have any trouble with ingrown toenails, bunion growth, and blistered pinky toes. 

Converse design team is just so whip-smart to come up with a sneaker that’s as functional yet totally fab as the Run Star Hike.   

See our full review and facts

After trying multiple pairs of high-top platform sneakers, the Vans SK8-Hi Platform 2.0 won our hearts by landslide. We all agree that the Vans Sk8-Hi is simply multi-faceted! It excels in whatever form and function, as a high-top skate shoe or a street-ready lifestyle sneaker. 

Those fat soles didn't only elevate the classic style of the well-loved SK8-Hi. They gave us more height and confidence to strut this almost every day for one whole month. 

Our feet felt like bugs snuggled in a rug as the cushioning and padding built into this shoe were soft, homey, and comforting. It made us forget about foot aches when moving from one errand to another, ticking off the must-dos for the day. It's a super cool sneaker. 

Durability is not a problem, too, as this skate-rooted sneaker is as tough as it can be. The extra layer of reinforcement around the forefoot puts a lot of life around the front. That's a clever makeover to a street gangbuster!

Dressing it up and down wasn’t a task. It blends well with any casual, sporty, athleisure clothes, even with formal to wedding attire!

It’s not hard to love a sensational sneaker like this one, mainly so that it comes at a wallet-friendly price.

See our full review and facts

Best for women

We find the Puma Cali Sport among the must-have platform kicks exclusively for women. This throwback ‘80s shoe is among the classic designs worth adding to any style-savvy individual’s sneaker arsenal. 

We felt like princesses wearing this as its cushioning and lining makeup is so gentle to our feet. It’s one of the welcoming, snuggly, and plush pairs among the heaps of platform sneakers we’ve tried on. 

Running from one errand to another and staying up on our feet almost the entire day wasn’t taxing. Thanks to the ultimate comfort this shoe offers since day one. It dampens any possible foot and leg stress while making us cover most of our week-long priority tasks. 

Durability isn’t an issue. The upper is dressed in high-quality leather that gives it a more premium look. Its sole held up all the pounding we did the entire month as we tossed this around the city for a test drive. 

We just love the added boost in height it gave us. Being creative with our wardrobe, whether for work, leisure, or even formal affairs, was fun.

If you’re building up your sneaker wardrobe with sassy staples, you’ll never go wrong with an ageless, sporty, thickset soled pair from Puma.

See our full review and facts
Nike Air Force 1 Sage Low
Nike Air Force 1 Sage Low Nike Air Force 1 Sage Low

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Also great

Offering a fashion-forward vibe with a thickset sole yet exuding grace in a top-quality build is the Nike Air Force 1 Sage Low. What makes it even harder to resist is its modest, minimalistic form that makes it practical and versatile. 

It does bring height and appeal to high levels!

It seems complicated not to give in to the force that comes with the AF1s, so even with a platform sole, we find it fitting to be in any woman’s essential sneaker wardrobe. With a reimagined hoop shoe style, this shoe works well with any casual and sporty wear. 

We had an instant connection to this shoe the moment we opened the box. It was love at first sight. We made sure it went through the same grind test we did for all the other sneakers we wear-tested. 

We expected that its sole would not be anywhere near any vulcanized Swoosh shoes out there or far from the cushiness of the React-soled kicks, but it did make us into happy bees. They’re super comfy, which gives it an added glow. 

We handled our seemingly neverending weekly workload without this shoe posing any threat to our feet. Its rubber sole didn’t weigh us down. 

If you want to push your casual wedges aside in place for a sporty yet striking sneaker, go for this shoe. Be mesmerized too. 

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

Skate-brand Vans doesn’t only prove that platform sneakers can be stylish, comfy, and convenient, but downright affordable too. Vans Slip-On Platform sneaker offers tons of bang in exchange for a few bucks. 

If you want to level up your sneaker game without having to spend a fortune, the Slip-On Platform from Vans is among the wisest pickups you can scour out there. 

That streamlined, incredibly versatile form turned us from skeptics to fans. We went beyond the obvious and tried wearing it for several weeks. If we would choose a single slip-on platform to put into our daily rotation, this would be our top pick. So it wasn’t a feat for us to add it to our highly recommended budget sneaker list. 

Those padded collars complimented by sufficiently cushioned insoles were a treat for our feet. Aside from excellent cushioning, this shoe makes our feet breathe. It prevents us from getting sweaty feet under warm weather.

Like most platform kicks, this shoe comes with a sturdy and beefy base that isn’t 100% flexible. BUT our feet didn't feel tired wearing it 8 hours straight for several days in a week. 

Never was there a chance that it altered our gait and made us walk like chickens or ducks. On the contrary, it gave us the confidence and attitude to strut this in style any time of the day.

And the best part next to durability is its $55 price tag. That’s quite hard to beat.

See our full review and facts
Adidas Nizza Platform
Adidas Nizza Platform Adidas Nizza Platform

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Also great

Something as basic and modest as the Adidas Nizza Platform can add spice to your miniskirts and overalls. What makes it a landslide winner, you ask? For less than $60, it won’t break your tight budget or rip your wallets off with hefty cash! This sneaker is among the valuable, budget-friendly, snazzy platform pickups!

We subjected it to a month-long initiation to see how it fare. Even with an inch high sole, it gave us the confidence to walk in style throughout the day without getting bothered by any foot pain. We didn’t worry about any sudden trips or unwanted falls wearing this. And that’s a major plus!

The sturdy and hard-wearing fabric upper offers enough give and support with each step. Those laces allow us to find our desired fit comfortably. 

These are just the best option for picky buyers who won’t trade comfort and value for anything else. Even with the use of the standard EVA foam cushioning, this sturdy soled shoe offers comfort. 

We didn’t have a hard time getting our preferred color too as the choices are vast. 

See our full review and facts



If Sneakerology exists, Judith’s close to earning her Ph.D. She owns not stacks of kicks, but hundreds of published sneaker content online, headlining grails, greats, GRs from over 30 global brands. She’s a natural creative wordsmith, a hype monster at times, who writes and edits lifestyle articles professionally for over two decades now. If you're lost in a sea of popular or undervalued sneaks fishing for that best catch, she’ll gladly help out between sips of coffee or lemony mojito.