Here’s the Difference Between Wedges, Platforms, and Flatforms

Learn what the lingo means and find the right shoe for you.

With summer still in full swing, footwear options are limitless. Don’t get us wrong, we love shoes, but all of the different kinds of sandals can be confusing. Avoid unnecessary stress at the store by studying up on these three common sandal options: wedges, platforms, and flatforms.

Wedges have traditionally been a summer staple and for good reason. Their bottoms extend from front to back with a raised heel, so that it serves as both the sole and the heel. They give you the lift of your favorite pair of pumps, with added support and stability for outdoor terrain. Platform shoes also have a raised heel, but the difference is that they have a thick sole as well. Rather than have a flat surface under the ball of the foot, platforms offer an extra boost in front. They come in wedge or heel styles, but we love the wedge style for the warmer weather. Flatforms—the shoe you’ve been seeing everywhere this summer—have a level platform that covers the entire foot. It gives you a completely even lift and adds a retro twist to any outfit.

Still unsure about which one is right for you? We picked our favorite version of each style so that you can get the one you like the most—or all three.


Lucky Brand Lowden

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These wedges will be your go-to occasion shoes for the rest of the summer. The tan leather works as a neutral, while the jute detail mixed with the stacked heel strike the perfect balance of laid-back and polished. A lightly padded sole means that you can comfortably rock these all night, whether at a wedding or a barbeque.

To buy: $63;


Marc Fisher Harlea Platform Wedge Sandals

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Take your look to new heights with these pretty platform wedges. The light natural suede color paired with the floral design will complement any sundress in your warm weather wardrobe. The open-toe design will show off your pedicure and the open back means you can put them on and take them off in a snap.

To buy: $56;


Sixtyseven Flatform Espadrille Suede Leather Sandal

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Try out the footwear trend of the summer by slipping on these fun fringed flatform sandals. Pair them with anything from your favorite dress to your most comfortable jean shorts for a retro vibe.

To buy: $72;