July 14, 1997 12:00 PM

SOLE SISTERS

“If I’m not in platforms, I’m barefoot,” says Baywatch’s Traci Bingham of the latest footwear craze. “I feel like a giant in them.” She isn’t the only one walking tall. Stars who need a boost (Pamela Lee, 5’3″) and even those who don’t (Sigourney Weaver, 5’11”) are wearing the ’70s-era stompers with everything from shorts to gowns. “Women seem to walk prouder in these shoes,” says designer Richard Tyler, who has sold his soles to Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Lopez. “That extra height makes them feel more confident.” Adds Alicia Witt (Cybill): “Strappy high heels are so prissy. I like the tough image platforms give off.”

Though not exactly marathon material, the shoes are safer than stilettos, and more comfortable. “You can wear them without feeling like you’re going to slope over,” says Randy Soffar, president of Elsé Anita, an L.A. platform maker. Bingham needs no convincing. “I will always wear platforms,” she says, “even when I’m 90 years old.”

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