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:

Upper
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.

Insole
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.

Mid-insole
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.

Outer-soles
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.

References

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

2. Hudson’s Guide

20 Things You Must Know Before Buying Shoes Online

Buying shoes online can be downright tricky. In fact, many online shoppers have an array of disappointing accounts and experiences. Buying shoes for babies and toddlers online, gave me the most trouble. In several instances, I got the fit totally wrong. When the fit was right, I was not happy with the design quality and shoe material therein. Negative online shoe experiences are not uncommon. I have found that the best way to buy the perfect shoes online is to do some due diligence. With proper homework, you can avoid common pitfalls and buy the right pair. To get you started, I have compiled 20 must-know guides and tips. These pointers for buying shoes online highlight the most important considerations – before you cart your favorite pair.

1. Brand-memory rarely disappoints

Consider the best shoes in your collection right now and analyze them a bit. You will discover that there is a brand or brands that really deliver every time. From high quality material to impressive style and design, you most likely have a shoe brand that fits the bill. To this end, use brand-memory to determine your next online buy. There are so many new shoe brands entering the market; however, you have to be careful before trusting them. The best shoe brand is one that gives you the right variety, quality, style and price. Therefore, if you have been disappointed by a shoe brand before, there is no need to take chances. Go for brands that you can fully trust.

2. Beware of the cheap-shoe syndrome

A huge chunk of online shoe shoppers suffer from the cheap-shoe syndrome. This chronic condition manifests whenever you see a pair of shoes on offer at a greatly discounted price. Just because it is cheap, many will buy and this is not the best way to purchase. Cheap shoes have to meet all your needs first. They must be of good quality, appealing in design and style and fitted perfectly to your size. Many times, we buy cheap shoes over the Internet and never get to wear them after that. If you are not planning to buy shoes, avoid looking at the offers. If you are in need of buying, consider all the important elements first before looking at the cost. They say that cheap is expensive and most of us learn this lesson the hard way.

3. Do some background reading on new shoe brands

As alluded to above, new shoe brands have to prove themselves to you first. If you really want to buy a new shoe brand, you have to get more information about the company behind the product. Look at their attributes and how professionally they are operating. Go a step further and contact them through social media pages or on phone. New brands should be quick to answer queries from prospects. Get all the information you need about product materials, quality, authorized retailers; among others. Also, look at customer reviews to see what people have to say. If you find very limited or negative information, you may want to avoid the brand.

4. Update your shoe size before buying online

Did you know that your shoe size is not static? Your feet may not grow longer but they can grow wider or thinner depending on your overall body weight changes. In this respect, measure your feet to update your size. If you have a Brannock, measuring your size is a piece of cake. You can also use a ruler and a flat surface to get the most accurate reading. Use the flat surface to place your foot and then use the ruler to measure from the tip of your longest toe, to the end of your heel. Some people assume that their longest toe is the big toe; and this is not always the case. Measure your width as well to get the right results. You can have a narrow, standard, wide or an extra wide fit. Your online retailer will provide the grid in which you can compare and determine the perfect fit.

5. Determine the purpose of the shoes you want to buy

Shoes serve a myriad of purposes. In light of this, you may be looking for causal shoes, official shoes, sports shoes, flats, heels; among others. If you are looking for causal shoes, you may consider boots, flats, sneakers and more. In other words, you have to narrow down your search so that you can uncover the best shoe type for your needs. Some shoppers make up their minds as they savour the attractive shoe galleries online. Impulse buying comes about this way. Therefore, put your money to the best use possible by knowing what you want first.

6. Choose your online retailer wisely

Many shoe brands will not sell directly to the customers. In this regard, online retailers will take up the task of distributing various shoe brands. Choosing the right online retailer is critical. To begin with, they must have in stock a variety of shoes that will interest you. The user-experience at the online store must also be satisfactory. This literally means that their webpages and online interfaces must be clear and easy to navigate. I personally like neat and attractive layouts where online retailers are concerned. This way, you can scan through shoe galleries with ease.

7. Product information is everything

Online retailers and shoe brands that invest in providing comprehensive product information build more trust with customers. When buying shoes online, you need all the product-specific information you can get. This ranges from key shoe features, materials used, style, actual color, size guides, reviews and many more. The weight of the product is important together with what to expect in the box once the shoe arrives. Through this information, you are able to demystify in-depth regarding the type of shoe design and style; among many others. Some online sellers will go a step further to give you recommendations for wearing and so on.

8. Never buy online shoes before checking out user reviews

Reviews on the shoe you zero-in on are a-must read. Whether you read a single review or several, getting a feel of what others think will greatly inform you further. Thankfully, online retailers have incorporated a review section for each product. Therefore, you can just read some of the available feedback on the same page. If you are not convinced, do your own online search and uncover what others are saying about the same product. This way, you get independent feedback on the product.

9. Compare prices at various online retailers

Chances are that you will find the same brand of shoes on various eCommerce platforms. You should never pay more for a pair of shoe than is necessary. Some people assume that all retailers will sell the product at the same price. Do your homework and you will discover a better deal on the same product. This comparison plays a major role in keeping these online sellers competitive with pricing.

10. Take your time with shoe galleries

The best thing about shopping online is that you can take all your time looking at the images of various shoes. These images are meant to give you the best idea of how the shoes looks like in reality. Never buy shoes that do not have enough pictures to convince you. You should view the shoes from every angle. In many instances, your computer screen can disguise or misrepresent colors. Solve this by reading the actual shoe color from the specifications provided.

11. Look at the related products options

Online retailers will give you other options of shoes; similar to the one you are interested in. Here, you can discover even better styles and designs. Some shoes will be cheaper versions. Therefore, take time to look at the related products tab that will be visible while you view a particular shoe. You can also search manually for related products. I have found that many online retailers have a humongous amount of shoe stock that needs to be uncovered.

12. Only choose a fairly-priced shoe

If you are counting your pennies, buying shoes online is an opportunity to save money. In this respect, choose a price tag that you can afford. Some people spend way too much than necessary. For example, you can forgo certain features to save money. Also, you can look for a discounted pair instead. Using coupons is also a great way to shop. If you are not totally happy with the price, chances are that you are looking for a cheaper shoe. Do not go out of your budget and taking time before buying can help.

13. Compare shipping charges

Some online sellers will have exorbitant shipping charges. In this case, cheap or discounted shoes may turn out to be very expensive. Compare these charges at various online shops. For those who offer free shipping, make sure there are no hidden costs. Chances are that you are paying for the shipping with the actual product price. Find a common ground where shipping charges are concerned before ordering.

14. Never ignore the shipping time or duration

Some people will buy shoes online with great urgency. You may be looking to wear the shoes at a wedding or party that is coming up. Before you buy, look at the shipping duration and make an informed decision. We all love short shipping times. Sometimes, unforeseen situations extend this shipping time. Therefore, be open minded and avoid buying shoes with urgency.

15. Know the return policies

If the shoe you order does not fit properly, can you return it? If it is damaged or is the wrong order, what are your options? These among other concerns constitute return policies. Some retailers are better than others. Once you receive an order that does not please you, know all your options regarding returns. You must be very prompt to meet the deadlines. Some digital sellers may not refund your money but they can allow you to choose another pair of shoes.

16. Doorstep deliveries or pick up points?

Once you make an order, your online retailer may have the option for doorstep delivery or pick up point delivery. Consider the financial implications first. Having the product delivered right to your door could be more costly. Then again, going to pick up the shoe at a pick up station may have implications as well. For retailers that have these options, choose what works for you best. I personally prefer doorstep delivery in Kenya because the hustle of picking up the product removes from the convenience of online shopping.

17. Be extra careful when buying children’s shoes online

My biggest lesson on this is that when in doubt, always buy a bigger size. The good thing is that children grow up fast and a larger size can be used later. However, the best thing is to follow the size guideline above to take accurate measurements. Take into account the shoe brand and where it originates. For example, shoes made in China are relatively smaller than similar African shoe sizes. Therefore, buy one or two sizes bigger to make up for the difference.

18. Not sure about shoe size? Avoid buying shoes online as gift items

The biggest anticlimax is surprising your husband with a new cool pair of shoes. When the reality hits that the shoes can barely fit, you become devastated. Shoe fitting can be very intricate, especially when you are buying them for someone else. However, if you have done due diligence and are sure about the fit, style and quality, go right ahead and buy them as gifts.

19. Take advantage of shoe discounts and offers

You can save money during clearance sales, special offers and other deals. Just make sure you are not buying on impulse. Buying shoes after holidays could save you money as well. For school children, buying before the back-to-school season starts could give you better prices.

20. If you have limited resources, buy shoes you need not the shoes you want

The female shoe obsession has created a multi-million dollar shoe industry globally. This may be good news to sellers; but it is bad news for those who always spend more money than they have to buying shoes. New, adorable and sexy shoes are no doubt therapeutic. However, everything in moderation.

Why Use Shoe Trees

We have all done it, jamming our feet into shoes without untying the laces. It goes like this: stick a foot into the shoe then wiggle the heel and press down on the back until it plops in. Sometimes you may need to stick a finger in the back in order to push your foot farther inward stretching the shoe so the heel will fit in. This can also be done with slip-ons that do not have laces. We jam our feet into shoes not thinking that this is causing the shoes to be stretched and misshapen over time.

When the shoes are brand new we never try to do this. The shoes are a new addition to the wardrobe and they are treated with respect. Not too far in the future we start the jamming process. It would be a pleasure to have something that could put the shoes back into their original shape and hold them that way over time.

When shoes are being worn and the day progresses feet perspire inside the confined area of the leather shoe. There isn’t enough air circulation inside a slip-on or lace up dress shoe. Socks may make feet more comfortable in shoes, but there still is perspiration in the sock, which usually seeps out into the interior leather of the shoe.

Leather is an ideal material for shoes. It is easy for artisans to mold and create designs and models that match the shape of feet. It can be stretched, dyed, rubbed, sewed, cemented and glued. It also absorbs liquid. Feet will eventually get wet if wearing leather dress shoes in the rain.

The way to live with these issues, keeping shoes comfortable and in great shape for years is to use shoe trees. Using shoes trees will save your shoes and keep them fitting and looking great over time. This especially holds true if shoes have encountered any wet weather or excessive interior perspiration. Using shoe trees is very easy and there are different types to choose from.

The best shoe trees are made from cedar wood. Not only does the cedar wood give the interior leather of the shoe a fresh smell after daily wear, but it does something much more important. Cedar wood has the ability to control odor and absorb moisture. When placing shoe trees in shoes worn daily, the cedar wood takes the perspiration away from the leather and disseminates it into the cedar wood. This keeps the shoe leather in great shape wear after wear. It will keep the leather soft and stop it from becoming stiff and cracking over time. Using shoe trees everyday also keeps the proper shape of the shoe. During daily wear shoes tend to stretch out. When leather contracts after the heat of your foot is gone, the shoe tree keeps the correct toe box shape and heel shape.

Be sure to buy and use shoe trees that are sized for shoes. There are some companies that make one size fits all shoe trees with a center spring. The shoe tree is squeezed into the shoe and upon release of the spring held in place. This puts extra stress on the leather and stretches the shoes. Using shoe trees that are sized, fit right in the shoe and keep the shoe shape without stress or stretching the leather. Using shoe trees will keep your current shoes looking great for many years. Polish still needed.

Choose the Right Running Shoe

Every runner needs to have the perfect running shoe that fits well and works well for them. Specific footwear characteristics should match the individual needs of a runner. Also, each training type – endurance, strength, or speed – that runners undergo have different demands on their bodies and also their running shoes. Thus, it is important to know which kind of running shoes match your specific goals and individual needs.

With the wide developments in running technology today, it can sometimes be confusing and even intimidating when choosing your new pair inside a running shoes store. How will you choose what’s best for you and your training when there are different categories, shoe types and shapes within the standard Neutral, Stability, and Motion Control?

The design and technology of shoes varies depending on the brand and type. As a general guide for running shoes, here are brief definitions for the 3 major categories and some tips when buying your new pair:

NEUTRAL

The shoes under the neutral category are usually designed with a flexible forefoot and soft but firm mid-sole. These are the best types of shoes when you tend to land on the outside of your foot. You can determine where your foot lands by checking the soles of your old shoes – if the outside of the sole is worn out, then you tend to land more on the outside of your feet. This may also be the best pair for people with a high foot arc. Check if the arc of the shoes you’re planning to buy has enough support or rigid especially if you have a high foot arc. These kinds of shoes support the arc of your foot more than your ankle or your knees. You can observe that this type of running footwear often has a curved sole.

STABILITY

Running shoes that are under the stability category are designed to control your feet from turning outwards when you run, balances your heel, and supports the arcs of your feet. These types of running footwear provide extra cushioning and excellent stability for your feet when you run. These shoes are for runners who lands on the outside of their heels and slightly turns their foot inward (pronates) when running. The arc of these shoes are not as rigid and may have varying degrees of support.

MOTION CONTROL

The soles of running shoes under the motion control category are usually straight or flat. Some designs have slightly curved soles but the main goal of these running footwear is to keep the heel secure and minimize the rate of pronation when you run. These shoes usually have a wider landing base for your heels, and a strong, rigid heel counter. These are good for runners who have flat feet or low arches. Runners who tend pronate their feet and have unstable knees when running can benefit more from these types of running shoes. Check the soles of your old pair – if they are worn out on the mid-sole, then this category is for you.

How to choose running shoes?

Here are some tips when buying your running shoes:

1. Walk and Run in the store. Spend time with your chosen pair before buying it. I know lots of people who buys specific kind of shoes just because they discovered that some great runner used it to finish first place in a race. You have different needs and what works for others may not work well with you. Test out the running shoes in the store. Don’t be afraid to take a few steps on them and even run a couple of meters if possible. Some good running stores even have treadmills for you to run on!

2. Don’t throw your old pair – yet. Bring your old pair of running shoes to the store where you’re going to buy your new shoes. If the place where you are shopping for a new running shoes is specifically a running shoe store, they may have staff who knows about shoes and can analyze the wear pattern of your old shoes. Because you will want to try on walking and running on your new shoes, bring your socks with you and any orthotics if you have one. If the running store have equipment for foot analysis, do not hesitate to have your gait analyzed even if you already know your foot arc or foot type. Let the staff know your running history, goals, injuries and what type of training you usually do.

3. Know your soft spots. One of the main reasons why we need to wear shoes is comfort. Your feet should be comfortable enough while you walk or run in your new running shoes. Pressure spots or loose fitting shoes often leads to blisters.

4. Perfect Fit for your Feet. If your running shoes are too loose and your feet slides inside your shoes, you will lose energy on every push off that your feet makes when you run. It is okay to adjust and re-adjust the laces of the running shoes while inside a store. Tie your laces so that you have a feeling of security without discomfort.

5. Running shoes are special. They are designed specifically for forward motion (i.e., running forward), heel cushioning and arc support. If you have time to observe the soles of different types of shoes, you can see that they have horizontal line patterns on their sole. If you plan on using running shoes for other sports or physical activity, you will wear them out faster and you may even risk yourself injury. Cross-training shoes are designed for more lateral support (moving sideways, etc.) and toe flexibility. Buying a different pair like a cross-trainer for other activities is a good investment because your running shoes will last longer and you will reduce risk of injury.

When to buy a new pair?

You may ask yourself, “When do I need to buy a new pair?” Usually, the top part or the body of your running shoes looks like they are still in great shape but the cushioning and motion control may have already been lost.

Check the soles of your if they are worn out too much. It is helpful to mark the date that you bought your pair.

If you keep a record of your runs, compare it with the date that you bought your old ones. When you reach around 800 kilometers or 500 miles, you may need to buy a new pair.

Getting a new pair is an investment since your feet are the only parts of your body that touches another surface and absorbs all the impact when you run. Your legs and feet are your main engine for running so you need the excellent tools for support, stability, and comfort for them all the time. One of the keys to reducing risk of injury is to replace them once they break down or wear out.