Men’s fashion in 2021 has seen taboos further evaporate into the ether, with rigid rules removed from the industry to bring a new dimension to a previously neglected arm of the industry.
One of the latest trends has been elevator shoes, which are shoes with thickened section of the insoles — known as shoe lifts — built into the heels to make the wearer appear taller or ‘elevated’.
Kureen, wanting to bring you all the information on a burgeoning market space, has taken the trouble to try out four different shoes from various brands and at different price points to offer you some insight into what you can expect.
Dr. Martens 1461 Black Ajax Neon Yellow Sole Shoes (£90)
Elevation: Not officially marketed as an elevator shoe, the neon sole adds around 1.3 inches to the height of the wearer. Although not subtle, they have a pleasant neon colour which adds a touch of glitz.
Comfort: A solid shoe which takes a while to wear in, not one for lengthy outings but ideal for an evening event.
Durability: The textured leather material is easy to clean, although the neon sole begins to flake after a few walks, and the shoe was discontinued for this reason.
Overall: A lovely looking shoe which can turn heads in the short term, but don’t expect much elevation or a long life from these hard to find, aesthetically appealing DMs.
Generic factory pair (£32.88)
Advertised as a 2.36-inch elevation, built into a visibly built-up sole.
Not made to be functional, you get what you pay for with these generic, low-cost hybrids. I encountered sore feet after half an hour of walking.
The sole began to fall away by the fourth wear, with a total trek time of circa three hours. Sole appeared to be held in place by strong glue, which felt unstable by my final walk.
Really poor. The money saved was offset by an unattractive, very poorly constructed pair of shoes.
Guidomaggi Worth Avenue (€595/£509)
Elevation: These bespoke shoes offer various height increasing options from 2.4 inches up to 4 inches. The lift is built in to make it virtually undetectable to onlookers.
Comfort: Incredibly snug, these were make specifically to my specifications to ensure they fit perfectly. Feet felt painless after several long walks.
Durability: Having worn these for the past three weeks, there appears to be no discernible decomposition of these beautiful shoes. Should last several years of heavy wear based on my experience thus far.
Overall: These are absolutely stunning shoes and the raise is fantastic. These feel like a multi-year investment and come highly recommended. Guidomaggi are now the best shoes I own, elevator or not.
Elevation: The shoes are advertised as having a 2.36 inch raise and this proved about correct as I was elevated to around 5 ft 9.
Comfort: Not bad, fairly tight until worn in and the back of my soles rubbed. This was due to the shape of the shoe rather than the size.
Durability: Relatively well made by factory standards, although they had a mass-production feel, leading me to believe they would need replacing within 4-6 months of constant use.
Overall: A reasonable mid-range shoe, but for such an outlay I’d have expected something a little more durable with additional bells and whistles.
For anyone looking to acquire a fashionable pair of height increasing shoes, it is worth investing in the Guidomaggi brand if you can afford to.
Here’s a vid for a little more info on the Worth Avenue shoes courtesy of our friends at Stuff and Things…
The low budget pairs are very poorly made, with the mid-range ones a little bland and uninspiring, as well as showing decomposition very quickly.
Guidomaggi, an Italian company formed in 1918, appears to have perfected the art of making fantastic shoes over the course of a century within the industry.