Elevator/Height Increasing Shoes Overview

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In the modern world height is something that can be a game-changer. Whether it be the dating scene, job interviews, or other types of events, appearance matters, and the pressure to be taller is greater than ever before. 

Elevator shoes/tall shoes make it possible to gain a few inches of height in a discreet, safe manner, and to maintain this boost throughout the year with varying shoe styles. 

Finding a manufacturer to suit your needs can be a daunting task, and there are a handful of manufacturers that maintain a discreet, high-quality design, being stylish, durable, and safe to wear. 

Unique Construction

A pair of elevator shoes are designed to increase height, with their design centered around the height increasing layer inside the shoe. So, if you are considering purchasing elevator footwear, then there are unique traits to be aware of.

Understanding this will give you an added boost in confidence before and after purchasing them.

Gradual Rise/Height Increasing Layer

Elevator shoes contain an internal height increasing layer made of strong materials such as polyether to maintain form. The rise is generally slanted at a 15-degree angle, which is beneficial for your calf muscles, foot health, and will create a body shaping effect, raising the hips and contracting the abdominals, influencing a straighter spine, posture, and proper walking form. 

Additionally, the gradual rise ensures your feet will not give off a pressurized look around the lacing area, as due to a sudden rise some designs give a noticeable lump where the wedge ends and heel structure begins.

Without a supportive construction, the higher angle of the raised footbed can cause you to feel like you are walking in high heels, and your feet, muscles, and joints can suffer.


Sitting on top of the height increasing layer, elevator shoe insoles protect the height increasing layer from breaking down, and provide a comfortable cushioning, alleviating foot pressure from the angle they are slanted at. Some styles offer additional arch support and slope evenly for balanced weight distribution. 

Some insoles are removable so you can clean and freshen them up, or change them for ones that better suit your needs.


Given that height increasing shoes have a built-in raise, this changes your foot position, and the construction needs to provide proper support to prevent foot and ankle issues. 

Heel And Ankle Support 

Elevator shoes require firm support and cushioning to keep them secured around the ankles, such as a raised back and extra collar padding/lining, but they shouldn't fit too tightly at the back, to avoid skin irritation in this area. 

On the outside, a rubber outsole will absorb pressure and alleviate unnecessary strain throughout the feet, influencing a natural instep. If you are prone to ankle issues, then hi-top style footwear also provides additional support by securing them at a higher point.

Midfoot Support  

loafers for men jeans and red shirt

The insole of the best elevator shoe is one of the most important factors for stabilizing your feet and providing balance when walking.

Without the correct support in the midfoot, the added raise in the heel area can cause ankle problems, and you will feel like you are wearing high heels. So, the top-tier companies use innovative midsole technology, providing a balance of lift and flatness, providing similar comfort to a regular shoe.


Another thing to consider is proper arch support for your foot type, which will help to distribute pressure evenly and avoid unnecessary foot strain and fatigue often caused by flatter footpads.

Forefoot Room And Cushioning

Elevator shoes influence the foot to slope forwards, and additional pressure will be placed on the forefoot, so without proper support, this can cause inflammation. 

Therefore, this section of the shoe must be padded enough to help ease the strain on the forefoot joints by spreading the pressure over a wider area of the foot. 

Similar to the ankles, the forefoot area should always feel secure, but spacious enough to avoid painful compression.


Toe Box 

Your toes need room to move freely, with around ½” space between your big toe and the front of the shoe. If they are restricted this can lead to corns, neuromas, or deformed toes.

Discreet Design

Nobody wants to be caught out wearing shoes that are bulky and increasing height. 

This is why top-quality elevator shoe brands remain discreet with 'normal shoe looking exteriors, raising confidence in your new-found stature. 

Heel Height

well-designed pair of elevator shoes will have a similar-sized heel to a regular shoe, remaining discreet in design. The height raise is constructed through a durable insole. Therefore, the outer heel will be around 1-1.3” high and undetectable as elevator footwear.

Outer Design

It is surprising how many people report receiving compliments on their elevator shoes for their elegant design. Often inspired by top shoe brands, many outer designs of height increasing shoes are busy, with elegant stitching and detailing.

Combined with beautiful aesthetics, durability is essential. This is why high-quality leather/suede materials are often used and will adapt to the shape of your feet, adding to a sense of security. They will remain durable, easy to clean, and keep your elevator shoes looking compliment-worthy for a long time!


When wearing elevator-style footwear it is important to understand that regardless of design quality, they will take time to get used to walking in. 

Your center of gravity will be shifted upwards, and your weight will be distributed differently, so correctly breaking them is a vital step to the happier, more confident you! 

Here are some tips to help you break in your new shoes.

Start Small

If you start with a lesser increase in height (2"-2.5") you are more likely to ease through the break-in period of the shoes. By starting small, your newfound height will not be as overwhelming to those who know you, and therefore less likely to be noticed. Your legs and feet will thank you too, as they will need time to adapt accordingly. 

Practice Walking Indoors

You will not be running to catch the bus when you first try on elevator shoes! There is an art to walking in them and you are going to need time to find your natural stride. 

When you first try them, practice walking in a straight line, taking smaller steps. Use a heel-to-toe style of walking, by placing the heels down first and purposely rolling through the foot in a forward motion towards the toes. Through this approach, you should be able to better center your balance and develop a natural walking style.

Walk With Confidence

A good pair of elevator shoes are designed to push your center of gravity forwards and upwards, improving your gait, helping you to stand straighter.

This influences a confident stride. So keep your head help high and wear them as they are meant to be worn, exuding the confidence gained from your newfound height!


Height increasing shoes are doing a special job for you and often use high-quality materials to do so. You will need to care for and maintain them frequently so they continue to work effectively and last for a long time. As a result, you will get value for your money.

Please refer to this guide to different materials and how to properly care for them.



For the colder months, boots remain a wardrobe staple footwear to protect the feet from hazardous weather conditions. Of course, when considering height-increasing boots, a rugged, good-looking exterior, and a firm tread underneath are essential.

Fortunately, there are many different styles of elevator boots, from casual, formal, to hiking styles that are available in 2022. Remaining discreet, they offer a regular-sized heel, with a hidden raise inside, remaining hidden from the outside world.

Dress Shoes

Elevator dress shoes are a highly popular form of height-increasing footwear due to the added authority and confidence they inspire, for formal occasions such as weddings, or everyday wear at the workplace.

Fortunately, modern designs are inspired by fan favorites such as the Oxford, Brogue, and Wingtip, and have a 1-inch outer heel making sure the height increase stays hidden from prying eyes. 


Elevator sneakers are a good all-around choice. They are a diverse form of footwear being able to blend with casual and formal outfits.

You will usually be active in a pair of sneakers, and this has been taken into consideration by manufacturers. The materials used are often flexible and breathable. A comfortable layer of inner cushioning and a slip-resistant rubberized sole are common inclusions. Styles available range from slip-on, casual, hi-top, and sport sneakers. 


Often used during the warmer months, loafers are comfortable, easy to wear, and adaptable to different scenarios. Often not overly fitted in the heel area, they are easy to slip on and off.

Styles available range from the classic Penny loafer to the Dress loafer, a casual loafer, or a slipper style for the indoors, and they all look fantastic!


If you are concerned about trips to the beach and losing the inches your elevator shoes provide, then don’t be! A diverse range of height increasing sandals are available, such as flip flops, slide sandals, strappy sandals, and many more! 

Styles with a higher elevation support the feet and ankles with straps or buckles, securing them in place. Styles with lower elevation are often subtle, with busy exteriors and neutral coloring that disguise them from prying eyes. 

Closing Thoughts 

No one style of elevator shoe fits all.

Elevator footwear is special in design and varies in style, meaning they are suitable for different foot types, activities, events, and so on.  

For instance, some are designed for additional arch support, ankle support, extra cushioning, and so on. Therefore, it is important that you understand your shoe size, desired height increase, shoe type, etc, and purchase accordingly. 

Additional Questions

Are Elevator Shoes Bad For The Feet?

Elevator shoes are constructed to increase height and designed with foot physiology in mind and are anatomically designed to support the feet in key pressure areas and to minimize injury, meaning that the components used influence natural walking and are not going to be bad for your feet.

Yet it is important to remember that we have different anatomies, so naturally, a lower/higher height raise or a particular style of shoe will work better for you than others. Once you have found the right style to fit the shape of your feet they should work as intended and without discomfort. 

Are Elevator Shoes Comfortable?

Similar to a woman trying on high heels for the first time, elevator shoes will take time to get used to walking in, for the skin, muscles and ligaments to adjust accordingly. 

Even with a perfect fit, initially, you might feel they are not comfortable, but if you persist with them, breaking them in slowly indoors before venturing outside, your body will adjust to them and they should feel comfortable thereafter. 

Which Celebs Wear Lifts in Their Shoes?

There are actors who wear subtle lifts of 1/2-1 inch, that are less noticeable, such as Brad Pitt, whose height fluctuates depending on footwear used. 

Yet, once you reach past 3 inches of lift, it becomes more obvious, and there are some celebs who have been spotted wearing huge lifts! 

Celebs who wear large lifts include:

  1. Vin Diesel 5'11" (180.3 cm) - Constant use of obvious shoe lifts
  2. Burt Reynolds 5'11" (180.3 cm) - The high heel king
  3. Sylvester Stallone 5'9" (175.3 cm) - Constant use of lifts again
  4. Simon Cowell 5'8" (172.8 cm) - Disguises high heels with jeans
  5. Robert Downey JR 5'7.5" (171.5 cm) - the king of shoe lifts, and proud of it! 

Which Elevator Styles Give The Most Height?

Hi-top styles with higher ankle designs can support the ankle at a higher position, meaning they can provide security for a height increase of over 3 inches.

Listed in order of height increase:

  1. Boots: Can range from 2-4+ inches depending on styles
  2. Sneakers: Low/mid-top styles provide between 2-3 inches of height and high-top styles up to 4+ inches!
  3. Loafers: Usually provide between 2-3 inches of height.
  4. Dress Shoes: Usually provide between 2-3 inches of height.
  5. Sandals: Open-toe styles provide around 2 inches of height, and closed-toe can add up to 3 inches in height. 
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