Velvet platform shoes Prada pounds 185
From Noddy Holder to Naomi Campbell, platforms have always been a problem. Tying a pair of suede-covered breeze blocks to one's feet doesn't immediately conjure images of a waltz with Fred Astaire or the finely turned ankle of Audrey Hepburn. Even if they are by Prada. So it was with some trepidation that I approached my first pair of platforms since the blurry haze of teenage.

Along with orange denim and poodle jackets, the shoe that launched a thousand broken ankles was something I thought I'd grown out of. Big mistake. This was the heady world of fashion. where the unrealistic revival is all. Ergo: we now have the neo-platform. "They're all the rage," assured the cognoscenti. "Absolutely to die for darling."

If they mean the possibility of sudden death caused by attempting to load your platformed legs on to a bus as it pulls away from the rest of your body then they may have a point. There are very few women I know who are capable of elegantly removing a trapped 4in platform block from their hemline while still holding on to their shopping and bus pass. I'm not one of them.

I am also, sadly, no longer a sprightly 13 year old. I have grown. Considerably. By approximately 10 inches. Wearing 4in clod-hopping platforms when you measure 5ft 10in in stocking feet has a strange effect. It makes you look like a walking tower-block. Or, as my so-called best friend pointed out, the prototype for Frankenstein's monster - before his orthopaedic shoes were properly fitted.

Talking to people at this height is another problem. Clomping into a drinks party only to find that the only thing you can make eye contact with is the curtain pole, plays havoc with your social prowess. It is true, they are popular. Particularly with girls barely old enough to walk, who go around in gangs wearing silver nighties and looking oh-so-cutesy and vulnerable. With girls, in fact, who don't want to hang out with me.

They do, however, have one saving grace. Once removed, they quickly become that most essential tool of any girl's existence: the ultimate spider smasher.

Sam Taylor

Available from Prada, 43-45 Sloane St, London SW1.