Welcome to Is This Shoe OK?, an infrequent column about shoes that may or may not be good, as determined by me—an authority, because I own shoes—and you, in the comments below. In today’s installment, we’re looking at some black platform Oxfords Robert De Niro wore while shooting the 2019 Martin Scorsese crime drama, The Irishman.
On April 17, 2017, People ran a story with a headline that read, “Robert De Niro Wears Platform Shoes to Tower Over Al Pacino on Set of New Movie.” Intrigued, I clicked. Inside the Clickhole-adjacent article were a few images so marvelous they would be forever burned onto my memory: On a cold December day in New York City, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were seen walking next to each other on set of The Irishman with coordinating business suits and matching grimaces. Scroll a few inches down and you’ll see it: De Niro wearing ginormous lifts, apparently to appear much taller than his fellow actor. According to CelebHeights.com, De Niro is a respectable 5'10", and Pacino is 5'7". The three-inch platforms (I’m guessing here. Maybe they are four inches?) make for a much more dramatic difference in height.
According to People, De Niro’s character is hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran of the Bufalino crime family, a man who stood at 6'4". I love and respect a commitment to the bit (and careful editing to ensure the huge, black, Frankenstein-lite platform Oxfords De Niro wore were never in frame), but the real question I have for you today is... are these shoes okay?
Surely they were instituted for a particular artistic purpose, but if you were given the opportunity to purchase and/or own these statement kicks, would you? As writer Taylor Silver tweeted in my favorite throwback Thursday post in recent history, “de niro in dolls kill platforms...a hot girl summer miracle.” In fact, Dolls Kills sells platform shoes in this vein almost exclusively... does that make De Niro a trendsetter? Or at the very least, an Instagram thot?
I don’t know. What I do know is that I would absolutely wear these shoes in my everyday life. I love a sensible Oxford, a flashy platform, and any shoe that could be described as “orthopedic-looking” without actually possessing any medical benefits. To me, De Niro’s kicks are not only okay, they are great.
But my opinion is only, like, 20 percent of this blog series. What do you think? Are these shoes OK? Disagree with me the in the comments below.