Best Elevator Shoes Reviewed & Rated
Whether you're here because you're looking to add a few inches to your height, or your trusted pair of elevator shoes needs replacement, you've come to the right place. This is an awesome, discreet and comfortable method of gaining a bit in height, without having to sacrifice style or comfort. Nowadays made in a variety of models, ranging from boots to sneakers to dress shoes and semi-formal lace-ups, you can opt for a number of elevated shoe models that you'll love wearing.
However, finding the right pair for you may be difficult, especially considering that not many brands make this type of specialized footwear, and even less of them make it well. That's why we've collected the best elevator shoes in an easy to follow list, with detailed pros and cons for each style, along with descriptions of their best features.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Thick Cushion Sole
2.5 Inch Raise
Top 10 Elevator Shoes
1. Chamaripa Leather Sneaker
Thick Cushion Sole
2.5 Inch Raise
No Higher Raise
If you’re in search of something that keeps a rich look but wears as comfortable as your favorite pair of casual shoes, the Chamaripa Leather Sneaker checks all the style boxes. Leather sneakers are one of the hotter trends this year, and with perforations to help keep this sneaker breathable, it’s quite functional, as well as posh. With an increase of almost 2.5 inches, it’s worth a look, even if you’ve never considered wearing an elevator-style pair of shoes!Read more
Uppers of the Chamaripa Leather Sneaker keep a luxe look with full calfskin leather uppers and pigskin linings, making them durable and comfortable. Soft flex in the leather allows for a unique fit over time, and perforations in the uppers allow for increased airflow, keeping your feet ventilated and cool. Perfect for casual outings, date night, or even work attire, you’re sure to gain some compliments from this pair!
A thick rubber sole helps keep comfort in your stride, while a textured base allows for firm grip and traction, even on slick surfaces. A Polyether whole pad increases vertical height by almost 2.5 inches while keeping good support in areas where you need it most. Lace-up closure gives a snug yet adjustable fit, and its lightweight construction helps reduce foot fatigue for bouts of longer wear.
2. Calden K28802
Full-grain Leather Upper
Cuts Into Ankle
Strong Rubber Smell
These wingtip Chelsea boots by Calden were made for elegant wear during the colder months. Made to look just like regular Chelsea boots, they’re a great choice for those who want a stylish ankle style that is easy to dress up or down, depending on the occasion. They are only available in a single color option - black, but it’s quite versatile and shouldn’t clash with your favorite fall outfits.Read more
The upper of the K28802 is made with full-grain quality leather that is sure to offer you the comfort and temperature retention you require, without causing your feet to sweat, even if you tend to walk a lot. The broguing on the and heel add to an overall sophisticated look, while the elastic goring ensures easy on and off, as well as a secure fit around the ankle. You’ll also find that the heel pull tab makes it easier to put these on.
The rubber outsole is lightweight and includes a slight traction pattern. Though it won’t provide much in terms of grip on icy and very slippery surfaces, it should be enough for regular everyday wear. The almond toe is a great touch, ensuring that your toes aren’t squashed together while wearing.
The price of these Chelseas is higher than most other items on this list, but considering their versatility and beautiful design, they are a great investment for anyone who wishes to gain in height easily.
3. Calto G65030
Nubuck Leather Upper
Goodyear Welted Construction
Limited Color Options
Unsuitable for Rain
This Derby model by Calto is ideal for those looking for casual footwear that can easily be dressed up as needed. Made with quality materials and a construction method that is tried and tested, you’re sure to shine in these lace-ups, regardless of whether you wear them to work or a weekend outing. They are only available in one color option that combines a grey upper with tan piping and a red rubber sole, but it’s quite versatile and should look just as good with slacks as it will with your favorite smart jeans.Read more
The materials used in the G65030 include genuine leather. For the upper, a Nubuck was used which has a number of great properties, including a supple feel, breathable construction, as well as high resistance to wear. The leather laces offer an elegant touch. It should be noted that these Derbys come in a thoughtful package, that includes a shoe bag, as well as a horn for a premium shopping experience.
The height increase offered by the G65030 is 3.2, which is average for this brand. Although it is a noticeable difference if you don’t often wear this type of footwear. One of the best things about Calto, however, is that their footwear is designed in a way that allows for maximum comfort, without bearing too much pressure on the knee or metatarsal joints.
The cost association of these shoes is around average, which is a great deal considering the genuine leather uppers, the Goodyear welted construction and the shock-absorbing rubber outsole.
4. Chamaripa Oxford
3.15” Height Increase
Natural Rubber Outsole
Not Available In Wide Sizes
Chamaripa is a leading name in elevator footwear. This oxford is very breathable and features a high-quality leather upper, padded leather insole and arch support. It has a very simple design which will suit both business and formal occasions and you will also appreciate the comfort that Chamaripa builds into its shoes.Read more
The premium leather outsole is low-odor, flexible and very wear resistant. This lightly patterned outsole will last and provide decent traction on most surfaces.
The insole in this oxford conforms well to the natural curves of the foot and the arch. It is durable and padded for additional comfort. The shoe is also very breathable which keeps your feet cool, dry and comfortable. This shoe falls into the higher price range relative to the other elevators on our list. However, you are getting a lot with this shoe which will increase your height by a little more than 3” while providing stability, security and great comfort. You can work all day in this oxford and still feel great at the end of it.
5. Calto A329013
Genuine Leather Upper
Another model by this popular brand that makes height increasing footwear, the A329013 is perfect for those in need of a pair of tan dress shoes. There are great for work, as well as for special occasions, and will look great with grey, blue and other lighter colored summer suits. If needed, they can also be dressed down for a business casual event, making them a definite necessity in any professional person’s wardrobe.Read more
The upper is made with full-grain, high-quality leather which is highly resistant to wear, and which will feel like a second skin once broken in. The flaps feature a moc-croc design for a touch of elegance, giving you a look that’s fancy, without being too loud.
The outsole of the A329013 is made with rubber and features a studded traction pattern that will ensure plenty of grip on a variety of surfaces. You can also expect it to last quite some time. With the heel and invisible insert, these ensure a 3-inch increase in height, which is average for this manufacturer.
As for cost, they rank average compared to the other models on this list, but you might be able to find them on sale, ensuring excellent value for money.
6. Calden K320021
3” Height Increase
No Wide Sizes
This lightweight oxford dress shoe from Calden features unique brogue accent details with two tones of leather upper - smooth and pebble grain. This shoe will move easily from the office to the boardroom, to formal occasions in a well-disguised elevator. It is also very light compared to many other elevators and it is designed with a number of features to make your foot comfortable while increasing your height.Read more
You want the height but you also want to look good and this shoe will do it with brogue accent details all over the upper and two-tone full grain leather - pebbled across the vamp and smooth at the toe and heel. Beautiful!
Calden pays attention to detail and quality in the shoes that they make. The leather in this upper is high quality and will feel soft against your feet while being resistant to weather and durable. This shoe is priced in the mid-range which is quite a good value for a shoe with a well-disguised lift and versatile style. You will also appreciate the high-quality leather in this shoe and the multi-functioning soles that are designed to keep you comfortable all day.
7. Ailishabroy Invisible Elevator
Variety of Styles and Colors
The shoes made by this manufacturer offer a wide variety of styles and colors, allowing you to choose the model which is ideal for you. Their most popular models include Derby cut shoes with rubber outsoles, such as those found on sneakers, providing wearers with excellent casual options that can be dressed up or down. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from a variety of colors as well as cuts, which means you’ll be able to make the most of your new pair of footwear.Read more
The invisible insert which is included in these Ailishabroy sneakers offers a height increase of 2.36 inches, which is less than some of the other models on this list, but still a good amount for most people. You’ll find that the rubber sole is quite durable, and works well for most surfaces you may find yourself walking on.
The uppers found on the shoes made by this manufacturer are made with synthetic leather which looks polished and should be appropriate for all types of wear. With a variety of color options, you’ll find it easy to pair these with your daily outfits, while maintenance shouldn’t pose a problem, with minimal requirements. All the shoes are lined with breathable canvas, which is great news for those who prefer to invest in breathable footwear.
The price of the Ailishabroy is considerably lower than all other models on this list, making it a great choice for those who have never owned this type of footwear. Do note, however, that the lower price means lesser quality materials, as well as a shorter lifespan.
8. Calto G1823
3” Height Gain
Check Size Guides
This elevator shoe is a slip-on loafer from Calto that features hidden elastic gore and pebble grain accents. Elegant stitching has been added to the upper to increase both durability and style. Calto is an expert at this type of footwear, which they have been making for more than 20 years.Read more
The insole is a shock-absorbing leather that has a hidden increaser in it. Other aspects of the sole take on traditional aspects of the footbed and insole in a Cato elevator so the height increaser can remain discrete
The loafer has elegant moc stitching in the forefoot and is made of the finest, soft and supple leather. This looks like a shoe from an upscale menswear boutique for a reasonable price.
9. Chamaripa Elevator X92H38
2.76” Height Increase
Comfort All Day
Business To Formal Use
A sleek, simply designed elevator oxford. These are a heavy shoe but they are also warm and weather-resistant. It is engineered to ensure the health and comfort of your feet. This Chamaripa will fit well wherever you go - work, business meetings, banquets, weddings. Business casual or formal, the shoe will go with you.Read more
Chamaripa is committed to designing lifts that will not collapse and they do a great job of making that commitment. This shoe will stand up to whatever you throw at it without sinking.
This oxford has a polyether insole layer that is light, conforms to the shape of your arch and the natural lines of your feet, making it secure and comfortable - healthy for your feet.
10. Chamaripa Casual Sport
Quick Lace System
2.76 Inch Raise
Casual doesn’t have to mean your footwear can’t have a great look about it. The Chamaripa Casual Sport is a sneaker made from soft leather, beautifully designed to give it a pleasing aesthetic. Boosting height by 2.76 inches, it still takes the appearance of a regular sneaker, and hides an extremely comfortable soft pad insole for cushioning. This insole is the key to the hidden rise in the Casual Sport, allowing you to step confidently out with friends for parties, errands, or weekend events.Read more
The Chamaripa Casual Sport keeps its height hidden, taking on the appearance of an average pair of sneakers. Whole Insole Elevator Layer will add 2.76 inches of height but also functions to keep you comfortable with every step. This insole conforms to the shape of the foot, with supportive arch features, so you’ll not just feel confident in your steps, you’ll be supported along the way as well.
The Casual Sport is created from soft leather, giving it a luxe look compared to other sneakers, and a stretch fabric, which helps keep some flexibility for fit and movement. The sole is ample for cushioning your walk, and a speed lace closure makes them easy to put on and remove. Padded collar and a heel tab help with comfort and fit, and it comes in a couple of choice colors to choose one best for your tastes.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are so many ways to add height through footwear - heels, wedges, inserts, platforms, for example. Because you are here considering height-increasing shoes we are taking an educated guess that you want the additional height that is discreet.
We have evaluated a number of these shoes and while many offer discretion, many others are quite obvious - with lines or extended heels and midsoles that are very visible. Each of the models on our list is designed with a disguised lift for discretion. In every case, the upper for the shoe is designed in such a way to make the elevated heel less noticeable so what people will notice is your height and how great your shoes look and that’s it.
There are several ways to disguise an elevator in a shoe:
Elevated heels are not a natural position for the feet and can cause damage over the long-term. An elevated foot needs both support and cushion to remain healthy and strong.
There are several important things to look for when choosing an elevator, including the following support aspects:
There are also a number of ways to cushion the foot, some of which have already been touched on but also include:
Very few brands make shoes meant for gaining height. You'll find that most are difficult to find, and you'll often be left to ordering online and hoping that you chose the correct size, style, and color. Add to that the fact that you have no previous way of checking the quality of materials and construction; the entire process can be rather frustrating.
Some people will find that purchasing footwear by well-known brands featuring higher heels or chunkier midsoles is easier than looking for the perfect elevator shoe, but this doesn't have to be the case. All you need to do, to ensure a successful purchase, is do a little bit of research and read a bit about the products that have caught your eye.
If you're shopping online, you can make use of the review features on most websites and look at what other customers had to say about a particular model. If it runs small or large, if it's poorly constructed or isn't durable, you can count on people expressing their opinion. After all, nobody wants to invest their hard earned money and get a sub-par product or service in return.
If you're unsure of where to start, we'd recommend looking into brands such as Calto, Calden, and Chamaripa. These make great quality footwear and offer a wide variety of styles that are sure to suit everyone's preferences. From there on, you'll easily find similar items by less known manufacturers that may offer the same (or even better) quality.
When shopping for footwear, you will want to make sure you’re getting the correct style for the intended use. Sneakers are everyone’s favorite shoes to wear, but they won’t exactly be appropriate at the office or at a formal event. Luckily, finding a stylish pair of elevator shoes shouldn’t pose a problem, no matter what you’re after. Most often, you will find the following styles of this type of footwear:
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many times, our footwear can give us confidence and a spring in our step, just by how they make us feel. High heels give a sexy confidence, while dress oxfords can give us a polished, pull-together feel.
Elevator shoes are no different! Confidence can be gained in a pair of elevator shoes, leaving you feeling like you can accomplish what you set your mind to.
When you pick out your next pair of footwear, consider what it is you want them to help you feel!
One of the best things about elevator shoes, is the subtlety of the height increase the shoe grants the wearer. While they appear like any other shoe, a quality made elevator shoe won't have unnecessarily thick soles, but is able to hide that height increase somewhere in the midsole or insole, while the exterior of the shoe appears as it should.
Other Factors to Consider
Obviously important in an elevator is its ability to increase your height. The shoes in our list range from an additional 2.36” to 4” in height. This is measured in additional height for most shoes (i.e. the normal heel is not included) and in other models as total height (the height of the lift plus the heel). For this reason, it is important to read the product descriptions for the shoe you are considering so you understand what additional height increase you can expect.
Elevating devices must be sturdy enough to not collapse but sufficiently soft that they don’t wear out or harm the heel. The shoes on our list have all demonstrated strength in the elevator and are from companies who specialize in making stable, functioning elevator shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do these models fit “true to size”?
No, they do not fit true to size. If you normally wear a size 9, for example, there is no guarantee that you will wear a size 9 in an elevator. It is very important to check size guides and charts when choosing an elevator shoe as none of them is standard. Also in an elevator, it is important to measure the circumference of your foot at the midfoot to ensure the size you are looking at will not be too tight. Often users complain that a shoe is narrow or tight in their ‘normal’ size but the real problem is that the sizing charts were not used correctly.
q: Only a few manufacturers on this list? Why?
While there are several manufacturers that make height increasing shoes, there are very few that make them as well as the four in our list, who each specialize in making comfortable, safe, subtle and effective elevators. We set out to bring you the best and some just didn’t make the cut. We also ruled out shoes where the lift was visible or added only a minimal height.
q: Will shoe lifts achieve the same effect?
Shoe lifts are made from foam, plastic or cork and will provide the same lift but with some disadvantages over a built-in lift. First, it can move around inside the shoe if it is not designed for the exact measurements of the shoe. Secondly, they are noticeable, especially if you have to remove your shoes to change them (for example, at a gym). Third, they are normally not as tall as internal lifts and finally, your ankle will sit above the support and comfort features meant for the heel and ankle in the shoe. This means a loss of stability and safety that could lead to injury.
q: Is it safe to wear these shoes?
It is as safe or even safer to wear these shoes than it is to wear heels or inserts. What you need to keep in mind in all cases is that an elevated heel is unnatural for your foot so you should choose a shoe that is stable and secure. If you feel pain wearing the shoe, you should remove it and try a lower height or a more stable shoe. If you have been feeling severe pain or pain over a period of time, have your feet checked by a podiatrist as you may have sustained an injury.
q: Can I work out in the sneaker versions of the elevators?
These shoes are not recommended for any exercise more strenuous than walking, as injuries are far more likely with your foot in an elevated position. The sneaker versions of elevated shoes are designed for a casual appearance and the additional comfort that most people find in a sneaker, not for more impact than that.
q: How noticeable are these? Really?
If you’re looking specifically for an elevator, you will see it but to a casual observer, the elevated nature of each of the shoes on our list are well-designed to be disguised and unnoticeable. A thorough reading of the reviews of these shoes backs up the idea that they are well-disguised shoes.
q: I’m 5’2” and would like to be at least 5’6”. I’ve never worn elevators, inserts or heels before should I just go for the 4” elevators?
You could but we don’t recommend it. First of all, most of your friends, colleagues, and others will notice such a drastic height difference. If you were going for subtlety and discretion, it was lost. It’s recommended, to begin with smaller inserts to both see how they feel for you and to graduate in height over time. Most people will not notice a height change of a half inch to one inch at a time.
q: Can I wear elevated inserts with these shoes to maximize the height increase?
Humans are wonderfully capable of doing anything at all so yes, you could do this. However, it’s not recommended to wear an insert that is of any substantial height in an elevator show. An inch probably won’t cause you any difficulty or injury but every inch in height above the elevator is going to substantially increase the risk of damage or injury. 4” is substantial for most people and can make a significant difference in confidence. However, more than that, with the risk of injury and the changes that will come to your gait and stance, make it completely unworth it. Also, if you can imagine placing your heels on a 6x6” timber while your toes are on the ground, you will quickly realize how unsteady and uncomfortable this would be. You're already fantastic without the injury, trust us.
q: Are these shoes just for men?
No, that would be silly, wouldn’t it? They are for anyone at all who wants the additional height along with the look, quality, and comfort of the shoe. Many of these shoes are marketed toward men because, in large part, they represent the market for height-increasing footwear but they certainly are not exclusive to one group of folks. If you like them and you want to wear them, go for it!
q: Are these shoes just for shorter folks?
Not at all, it’s not about how tall you are but how tall you wish to appear. Lifted shoes are for anyone who wants the height and likes the look and feel of a particular shoe. That’s the beauty of a free world, isn’t it? Go for it!
q: Where can I purchase the shoes on the list?
We’ve provided links to the shoes on our list above. Remember to read the size charts and reviews to ensure you know the size to order and whether they fit narrow, wide, large or small.
q: Aren’t these heavy?
Some are quite heavy yes, It does take some weight to make an elevator that will stand up to pressure and not collapse. However, there are many lighter weight models that are comfortable. The lower the height increase, the lower the weight - which is also the reason that larger sizes of shoes weigh more than smaller sizes.
q: Will I need a longer pant length with this type of shoe?
No, that is not normally necessary, though it will depend entirely on the look you want to achieve. Remember that if your pants bunch on the bottom, they will draw more attention to your ankle and foot and therefore, your shoes.
q: Will packaging be discreet if I purchase online?
We can’t guarantee the packing the shoes will come in but reputable manufacturers and resellers will be discreet in shipping any product that may be personal. You should check with the shipping policy with online sellers before you buy to be sure of discretion.
q: How long will these shoes last?
All of the shoes on our list are designed to be durable. You are investing in these shoes so it is important you get long life from them. With normal, everyday use, the shoes should last more than a year. However, durability relies on care, exposure to weather, walking surfaces, stride types and more, so there is no way to be perfectly accurate on shoe length. With good care, they may last several years.