Platform sneakers have crept onto the street style scene. Creepers have gained momentum as a footwear trend since about late 2009. Since then, creepers have snuck down runways and been incorporated by designers such as Prada and Balenciaga in their spring/summer 2011 collections. On the streets, creepers have been adopted with the resurgence of 1990s grunge and the social-media-driven seapunk scene.
Platform soles have a history that dates back as early as Ancient Greece. More recently, they were a key element in the Teddy Boy style of the 1950s. The Teddy Boys’ counterparts, Teddy Girls, were tough, working-class women who wore slacks, tailored jackets and platform shoes — like creepers. I love Teddy Girl style, which sprang from a rejection of post-war austerity and a love for American rock ’n’ roll.
However, I picture creepers most at home on an aging rockabilly: a middle-aged man with a sagging pompadour who explains to you that his band almost made it while staring down at his shoes, abashed and defeated in his failed quest for fame. Like a crumpled rocker, creepers seem a little silly and dated.
I don’t own a pair of sneakers, so it makes sense that I have no attraction to sneakers on steroids. Though there is an aesthetic argument that the bulky nature of the shoe lends the illusion of slimmer legs and calves, I think creepers look like bricks glued to feet.
However, I am an immense advocate of the platform heel due to the comfort and practicality it offers. While I may not incorporate the sneaker creeper into my wardrobe, I have spotted creeper Oxfords and creeper boots online. The Oxfords remind me of an amped-up, coquettish English class, while the boots, with sparse detailing, seem like something worn by a trendy space alien from Planet Glamour. (David Bowie?)
Who doesn’t want to be five inches taller in an instant? I love that platforms offer me the opportunity to pump up my height, pushing me over the six-foot mark. If you don’t already enjoy this lofty position due to the blessings of biology, it can be fun to put on tiny stilts once in a while and cast one’s gaze around the party, thinking, “How’s the weather down there?” When wearing high heels, the less of an angle the foot is at, the less strain there is on bones and muscles. The last time I hiked downtown in stilettos, my feet felt as if I had strapped them to beds of nails.
Creepers are fun. They’re inspired by Teddy Boys, and they allow one to play with the aesthetics of height and body proportion. I think they’re a great addition to dress-up. Keep on creepin’ on.