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The Rise of Flatforms

Once considered a questionable silhouette known for being the Spice Girls’ go-to choice of footwear during their ‘90s heyday, flatformsare back as one of the hottest trends for SS16. Offering the height of a platform within the comfort of a flat, exciting new silhouettes from trend-setting labels including Melissa, MICHAEL Michael Kors and Lauren Ralph Lauren have revived the flatform to make it the must-have shoe for your summer wardrobe.

The flatform shoe originally rose to fame in the 1970s as a central stylistic element of David Bowie’s androgynous costumes for his Aladdin Sane tour. Not a shoe for the faint-hearted, the style was picked up by rebellious subculture groups defying conventional footwear styles until the Spice Girls brought it back into the public spotlight in the 1990s.

Fortunately though, you will find no Union Jack or red latex designs in this season’s offering; for that we can thank Miuccia Prada, who in the late ‘00s transformed the formerly loud and eccentric personality of the flatform with elegant, subtle designs accessible enough to be worn on the high street without attracting unwanted attention. This season sees an abundance of chunky espadrille slip-on sandals perfect for the warmer weather and leather strappy sandals, while classic low-top canvas silhouettes from Converse and Superga are taken up a notch, quite literally, via chunky rubber platform midsoles.

With a wide selection of flatform shoes available here at AllSole, our style editors have curated a list of our five favourite flatforms for spring/summer 2016.

Michael-Kors-FlatformsMICHAEL Michael Kors Darby Espadrille Flatforms

The MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Darby’ flatforms are crafted with high-shine snakeskin textured strappy leather uppers that envelop the foot to give personalised comfort. A silver-tone snakeskin textured footbed helps give an all-over modernistic sparkle while the chunky jute espadrille midsole gives a timeless feel.

Melissa-FlatformsMelissa Hotness Flatform Sandals

Featuring a classic open-toe design, Melissa’s Hotness sandals nail this season’s monochrome trend in a contemporary silhouette with cut-out sides and a tonal buckle strap at the heel. A 1.5” platform is topped with a cushioned footbed for superior comfort while a ridged teeth tread to the outsole gives a modernistic edge.

Paul Smith Shoes Bennet FlatformsPaul Smith Shoes Bennet Flatform Sandals

Paul Smith’s meticulous eye for detail was evidently in operation for the creation the Bennet flatform sandals. The upper is constructed with a combination of full grain leather and patent leather straps at the heel and forefoot, while the chunky platform sole features a contemporary colour-block design. Finer details include the finely textured outsole and Paul Smith’s iconic foil-embossed branding to the footbed.

Loeffler-Randall-FlatformsLoeffler Randall Mariko Flatform Sandals

A popular choice here at AllSole HQ, the Mariko sandals create a unique feminine aesthetic with a nude, perforated leather upper set on a jute espadrille platform midsole. Equally at home on the beach or the high street, the Mariko is a standout silhouette from Loeffler Randall’s latest collectionand that’s no mean feat. See the AllSole blog for more on how to style the new Loeffler Randall collection with our blogger style post.


Converse Chuck Taylor Flatform Trainers

Best known on the feet of trend setters rather than trend followers, even Converse can’t help but get involved with SS16’s hottest trend. The monochrome Chuck Taylor flatform trainers sport that classic Converse look in all-white, accented with gold-tone eyelets and a chunky off-white striped midsole. The Chuck Taylor is, in our humble opinion, the perfect low-top casual flatform trainer for spring/summer 2016.

Shop the complete flatforms edit at AllSole, with free UK and international delivery available > >
Sarah Atkinson
Sarah Atkinson Writer and expert

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