Introduction to Elevator Shoes

What are Elevator Shoes?

Elevator shoes are also known as height increasing shoes, lift shoes or tall shoes. They are specially designed to invisibly increase the height of the wearer. The basic idea is to put thick insoles (lifts) , so that the wearer can get taller. (See “Inside Elevator Shoes” for more information.) Elevator shoes look normal from outside. Well designed elevator shoes are as comfortable as normal. It may take several days for wears to get used to it. Normally, elevator shoes increase 2.5-4 inches in height. There are 5 inches extra-height ones, but it will loose comfort and is more noticeable.

History of Elevator Shoes

You may raise the question “Who invented elevator shoes?” The history can be chased back to early 1500s when cowboy boots came out in Spain. Since 1700s, men’s footwear with Cuban heel became popular along with a brief resurgence in higher-heeled shoes for men.[1]

In modern life, people are more concerned about health. People with flatfoot feel uncomfortable when they wear normal shoes. Some of them try to put soft insoles inside shoes to make to more comfortable. Also, orthopaedic doctors sometimes recommend use thick insoles to help patient increase height. Later on, this kind of thick soft insoles became a shared secret within a particular group of people. Shoes manufactures started to design special shoes with thick insoles and keep the normal look and comfort. They call it “Elevator Shoes” or “Height Increasing Shoes”.

In the past, height shoes are only for men but in late 1990s, women’s elevator shoes came out. Although women can wear high-heel shoes or platform shoes to increase height, some women don’t want to show people they wear high-heels. Women’s height shoes usually come with flat, low or middle heels with a thick insole.

Inside Elevator Shoes

It seems simple to put thick insoles inside shoes but it’s not that easy to keep it comfortable and look normal. All the components need to be re-designed to achieve this goal.

A pair of tall shoes consists four parts:


The upper needs to be designed to accommodate the thick insole. There is more slope between the face and the post. Also, the post curve is higher than normal shoes.


This is the magic part to increase height. It can be made from plastic, cork, or foam. The front part is lower than the back part. There are different designs in the slope and curve to fit different feet.


Because insole is usually made with soft and expensive material, it is easy to be worn out. The mid-sole provide some level of buffer between insole and outer-insole. It prevents the deterioration of your insole and provides aeration.


The outer-insole helps keep the wearer from feeling uncomfortable and allows a natural instep. The natural rubber heels can be replaced by an ordinary heel.

Although the components of height shoes are different from normal, it looks just the same when they are assembled.

It is noteworthy that tall shoes and shoe lifts are different. Shoe lifts are separated thick insoles that can be inserted into any shoes. The disadvantages of lifts are that they need to be replaced every few months (due to hygienic reasons), they may be uncomfortable, and the larger-sized lifts may not fit in smaller sizes.[2]

Who is Suitable to Wear Elevator Shoes?

As we all know, there is no effective way for adult to naturally grow taller. Elevator shoes are designed for people who want to be taller effectively. They are for both men and women, though women’s are not popular. Also, if you are flatfoot, you should give it a try because most people with flatfoot feel more comfortable when wearing elevator shoes.

You can choose height shoes for long term wear or just for a special occasion. Some people choose to wear it for long term because they get used to it and they like the feeling of being taller. In some occasions such as wedding, it is important for a man to be taller, especially taller than “her”. People choose elevator shoes in these situations. Most people feel normal when they wearing height shoes but to other people, the wearer looks taller and more confident.

Who are Wearing Elevator Shoes?

You may not notice, but actually many people around us wear tall shoes including some famous men. For example, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, famous movie star Tom Cruise and famous venture capitalist Aviv Nevo. Over 1,000,000 elevator shoes are sold every year!

Table of Content

What are Elevator Shoes?

History of Elevator Shoes

Inside Elevator Shoes

Who is Suitable to Wear Elevator Shoes?

Who are Wearing Elevator Shoes?

Note: In this article, “elevator shoes”, “height shoes” and “tall shoes” are used interchangeably.


1. Wikipedia High-heeled footware, section “Men and heels”

2. Hudson’s Guide