OK so one of the questions most asked about shoes that add height is: “Do elevators look normal?”…”Will I stand out in an odd way…will it be obvious?” In a roundabout way, a lot of questions centre on the thinking behind this question.
It’s an absolutely logical thing to ask and frankly one that until about seven years ago I used to answer myself in the negative without even thinking! For a good few years I decided not to buy elevators because of the simple risk (allied to the cost) of getting something that indeed did NOT look normal. The last thing I wanted was to waste serious money on something I then dared not wear or just left in the closet. I stuck to uncomfortable lifts of varying degrees in ever more ingenious methods of adding height in the spaces in standard shoes.
When I finally got around to buying some around 2014/15, the incredible pleasure was tempered by the fact that I wished I had done it before. “Why did I just pass on it for so long? All that discomfort with standalone shoelifts. OMG,” was a polite version of what I was saying to myself.
Hindsight is indeed perfect 20/20 vision but my reservations were based upon some of the truly awful things I had seen, ‘made in China’ (groan, cheap and badly made tat) and for a long time it seemed to dominate. It’s all you saw if you went online in, say, 2001.
Things change – new methods and styles
But here is the thing in ALL fields you have to be aware of. Stuff changes especially in areas where technology and aesthetics meet. In every aspect of life from cars, to phones etc, people are out there looking at how to use latest developments to respond to what customers want. My mistake in a way was not to look often enough at how it was all changing.
I probably made a subconscious decision in say 2006/7, I just don’t remember exactly when – ‘it’s basically all rubbish and not for me sadly’ – and stuck with that attitude about elevator shoes long after I could have just taken a quick look and seen “hmmm that now looks WAY better”.
Normal really means detectable when you strip it down and there are some standard logics that really do apply.
For me and all through the stuff I have written on here over the years it boils down to the old phrase “horses for courses”. This means we are all different and stuff that really suits one person and their circumstances might not suit another. But there are some standards that apply to every single person.
So let me just tell you what I myself believe looks ‘normal’ (or not abnormal!) on any single guy considering buying elevators. Short or tall, young or old.
‘Can’t Go Wrong’ suggestion
It’s a kind of short and simple ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ suggestion if you are starting out and have any fears about whether what you buy might look even slightly offkey. And here it is.
Choose anything that fits your current style – it might almost be just like a pair of what you wear right now – and stick to 3″ or about 8cm. The exception being that if your style is boots and jeans and you already wear big boots like Timberlands or lifts, then you can go to the 4″ (10cm) range.
This advice applies to every single guy – yes if you are taller you can go higher, if your natural style tends to be less mainstream then you can do all sorts of other things.
But forget these exceptions. This advice is for the worriers and fretters about the possibility of standing out. And I totally understand that. No unusual colours, no slightly thicker sole, no sudden serious jumps in height.
3″ or 8cm is just no way an uplift that will cause anyone at all to think you are adding height. It just is not.
Now I myself wear 6″ (15cm) boots every day and no one has a clue. I wished I had gone higher than my 4″ boots I first bought. But had I gone straight for the 5″ boots with their slightly thicker soles, I too might have feared “they’re all looking at me…these soles…”. I now know that is just no way the case. But you have no way of truly knowing as you are a bit fighting in the dark – wanting to add height but with major reservations. And if you are naturally cautious then go low and go standard and then move on and up afterwards!
So now ‘will I look normal?’ is really in no way the issue. Not only that but the effort that goes into them makes them better than normal, if you like. For the ultra ultra safe, the modern way elevators are made and constructed means that those 3″ shoes will give you a terrific lift and you will never ever fear that anyone thinks they are anything other than ‘normal’ shoes!