I Wish I Had Done it Earlier

How often have you said that about all sorts of things: personal stuff, work etc. There’s all sorts of reasons why you don’t do things, many of them good, or at least understandable. But at times you miss out unnecessarily. And that was certainly the case with me and elevators.

For well over a decade, I just simply did not consider elevators, and it’s one of the things I regret most. There were a few considerations, of course, and they were important. Good elevators cost a lot more than other quality footwear. Traditionally (and I stress that word, traditionally, or ‘in the past’) elevators were also very limited in both style and size. I am in my late 30s and I started adding height by lifts in my teens – at the back end of the 1990s, looking at what was available just put me off. They were all truly awful – very old fashioned and designed just for a 55 year old man with the fashion sense of the 1940s. And handmade bespoke stuff – at my age? (and with my budget!?). I didn’t know where to start.

But I often used to imagine wistfully a time when trendy, current stuff (or just mainstream things that we all wore) would be available with added height. I emailed all the makers of boots and trainers I liked and asked them – I was hopeful of some of the smaller specialty makers of really good stuff. Two line responses. Nothing doing. OK then.

So I made my first mistake by concentrating throughout the next decade on just refining my technique with lifts, missing the fact that every year a bit more stuff emerged that fractured the old world of elevators. I can truly say that between 2000 and 2010 I never ever looked online or anywhere at elevators. I was lucky in that the early/mid 2000s in UK and Europe were the heyday of the flare revivals, and it was very easy to hide huge amounts of lifts in unzipped boots under them.

When that trend ended, I had to emerge into the light (as did my footwear) and I was bothered that I might have to lose a couple of inches in height or be discovered! And when I finally looked, I suddenly realised what I had been missing. Leaving aside the cheap stuff from China, you could now find good quality elevators and the companies making them, like of course GuidoMaggi, had clearly dragged the market out of the Dark Ages – now gone were the old days of half a dozen old-time styles in anything up to size 8 (41)!

Even then, though, I dragged my (uncomfortably lift-shod) feet for a few years. Often wearing boots with a bit of a Cuban heel which had become trendy (yet again) with skinny jeans. And lifts as well of course! I think one of the issues was: “it’s a lot of money and will these elevators actually WORK and do what I want? Might I just wear them once and think ‘never again’ and waste all that cash?”

So I hung around for a fallow few years doing more of the same until I finally bit the bullet. And my very first pair – 4 inch Ischia boots by GuidoMaggi – were a revelation to me. They went with jeans, casual pants, even with more formal stuff like suits that I rarely wear. But they added all this height in goodlooking style and comfort and in a way that suited my age – working in a fashion conscious business in what was then my early 30s. I bought 5″ boots a year or two later and then the 6″ Hong Kongs.

When I had been wearing those first ones a few times, I then made that classic ‘mistake’ of cursing myself for not doing this all a few years earlier.

That’s a mistake in itself because the key to it is not to beat yourself up about it – just make sure you do not do it again! Lesson learned, so a result!

I tell you all this because there is one thing I also know from many of those who have got in touch me, having read my pieces here or elsewhere: and that is that almost everyone waits a lot longer “because I was not quite sure”. And then regrets it. Just like me. They always tell me later. If you are really keen to add height, if you use lifts or heels to add height, and are wondering whether elevators will really work, then the answer to that is that yes they will. Big time. If you are not a habitual lift wearer, then start low with elevators, around 3″, go for something pretty standard and work up. There is loads of advice on here about how to make your choice based upon your lifestyle etc. Read it and Go For It.