The Case for Platform Sneakers: The Ultimate Travel Shoe

The Case for Platform Sneakers: The Ultimate Travel Shoe

Whether you’re exploring a new city for a few days or embarking on a month-long backpacking adventure, having the right shoes makes all the difference in your travel experience. While many travelers rely on tried-and-true styles like sneakers or hiking boots, an often overlooked option is the platform sneaker – a shoe that provides both comfort and flair.

Top Brands for Platform Sneakers

Now that we’ve explored why platform sneakers are ideal travel shoes, let’s look at some top brands offering supportive, stylish options to consider for your next trip.



Adidas originated the platform sneaker trend back in the 1970s and they continue delivering iconic silhouettes today. A favorite is the Superstar, with its thick rubber sole lifted by a 1-inch platform for cushion and flair. Modern updates like bold colors or patent leather keep it trendy but classic. Other great Adidas options include the Gazelle and Campus 80s platforms.



Vans puts its own fun, laidback spin on platform sneakers. Standouts include the Old Skool Platform, lifted by a 1.25-inch wedge for an effortlessly cool look. For a more dressed-up platform, try the Era platform in luxe materials like suede. Vans are lightweight and flexible for all-day comfort.



Converse gives its signature Chuck Taylor a lift with the Platform Chuck. Available in high-top or low-cut styles, it layers cushioning under a 1.5-inch platform to keep feet happy. Opt for bold colors and prints to make these icons your own. The Jack Purcell Platform also delivers the same retro Converse charm at a lifted height.



Dr. Martens are known for their durability and support, now taken to new heights with platforms. The 1460 Platform is a 2-inch wedge version of their iconic boot, providing the same tough sole and ankle support. For a sleeker silhouette, try the 2976 Platform in supple leather. Dr. Martens cradles feet in comfort mile after mile.

Steve Madden

Steve Madden

Steve Madden delivers on trend with fresh platform sneaker styles each season. The Superga platform collaborations are a favorite, lifting the classic sneaker on a sturdy 1.5-inch platform. For a edgier look, the Trip platform in buttery leather has metal spikes. Steve Madden uses premium materials to pamper feet all trip long.


puma screenshot

Puma combines sporty heritage with on-trend platforms. The Suede platform sneaker grips on rugged terrain thanks to its thick 1.5-inch sole and suede upper. For a dressier look, the Mayze platform comes in luxe materials like velvet or metallic. Puma sneakers mold to feet with every wear for impeccable comfort.

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Top Platform Sneaker Styles for Travel

Top Platform Sneaker Styles for Travel

Adidas Superstar Platform

A classic given the platform treatment, these sneakers are as versatile as they come. The 1-inch rubber platform provides just the right lift without compromising the iconic style. They look polished enough for evenings out but are lightweight and flexible for all-day sightseeing. Opt for a bold color like neon pink or green to channel fun vibes on your trip.

Martens 2976 Platform Chelsea Boot

For travelers seeking ankle support on uneven terrain, these boots are ideal. The 2-inch platform keeps feet stable on everything from cobblestone streets to hiking trails. The leather upper molds to feet while cushioned soles absorb shock. Wear them to explore by day then polish off your look with jeans or a dress at night.

Converse Chuck Taylor Platform High Top

The lifted high-top Chuck is perfect for protective ankle support. Its 1.5-inch platform cushions without compromising the laidback retro style. Breathable canvas keeps feet cool as you pound city pavement. Wear the classic black or opt for a bright color to channel fun vibes on your trip.

Vans Old Skool Platform

For lightweight comfort, these platform Vans can’t be beat. Their 1.25-inch wedge adds just enough lift without bulk. Breathable uppers in canvas or suede flex with feet all day. Wear them to explore cities, then pair with dresses or skirts after dark. Choose a bold print or color to make them your own unique travel style.

Puma Suede Platform

These sneakers deliver sporty style and cushioned support for active travelers. The 1.5-inch platform absorbs impact on everything from hiking trails to cobblestone streets. Breathable suede and rubber grips on any terrain. Wear them to explore national parks or cities all day then polish off your look with jeans or a skirt at night.

Steve Madden Superga Platform

For premium materials and fashion-forward style, these collaborations deliver. Rich leathers form a 1.5-inch platform base for all-day cushioning. Wear the classic white or opt for a rich color like burgundy. They look polished enough for evenings out but are flexible and lightweight enough for long days of sightseeing. A great choice for urban explorers.

Caring for Platform Sneakers on the Road

While platform sneakers are sturdy, it’s still important to properly care for them during extended use while traveling. Here are some tips:

  • Pack shoe trees to maintain their shape when stored in your luggage between wears.
  • Bring a small travel-size bottle of leather conditioner to keep uppers supple on long trips.
  • Spot clean as needed with a damp cloth. For tougher dirt, use a small toothbrush.
  • Allow to air dry fully before storing to prevent mold or odors.
  • Consider packing a small sewing kit with needles and thread. Platform soles can sometimes come loose with heavy use – an easy fix.
  • Apply protective sprays before trips to waterproof leather or suede uppers and repel dirt.
  • Stuff the toe area with tissue paper to maintain their shape when packed in luggage.
  • Bring an extra pair of laces for emergency repairs while traveling.
  • If platforms get soaked or very dirty on trips, consider visiting a local cobbler for professional cleaning and conditioning.
  • Give platforms a break between active days of exploring by wearing flats or sandals. This prevents foot fatigue.
  • Apply moleskin or bandages to any areas that develop blisters from extensive walking in platforms. This protects skin from further rubbing.

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With proper care and maintenance, a good quality pair of platform sneakers can provide cushioned, supportive comfort through weeks of travel. Their versatile silhouettes seamlessly transition from sightseeing to evenings out. Top brands like Adidas, Dr. Martens, Vans and Steve Madden offer iconic styles lifted by just the right amount of platform for an effortlessly cool look. Whether you’re backpacking through cities or hiking national parks, platforms are the ideal travel shoe to keep feet happy mile after mile.

No travel wardrobe is complete without at least one pair. Platform sneakers allow you to comfortably cover more ground each day and arrive at your destination with energy to spare. Their subtle lift also boosts confidence so you can fully embrace each new experience. So the next time you’re packing for a trip, be sure to include a versatile pair of platforms. You’ll be thankful for their cushioned support as you log miles exploring new places. And you’ll love how their stylish silhouettes polish off every outfit with just the right amount of lift. Platform sneakers are truly the ultimate travel shoe – a must-have for any globetrotter.

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