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Quality is the key, every time

If there is one single thing that has stood out in my journey towards adding height, it is that the quality of what you wear on your feet makes all the difference and ensures that no-one realizes you are doing it.

My own history is one of caution and inching my way forward (and upward) only when I was totally confident of adding more height with really no chance of detection. Now, detection can come from many things – not least the temptation to actually tell someone! But if you tell no-one, then you want to be able to do it in a way that completely preserves your secret. At its lowest levels – adding less than about 3” or 8cm – you should never ever have any difficulties. But my main point in this piece is about quality and detection, and my own history.

I am in my late 30s and slightly unusually for that time, I started adding height in my late teens. So I have had the best part of 2 decades making myself taller – starting with an inch or two of socks and homemade lifts in my boots and trainers (not that comfortable, but it did the trick!), moving on to bigger lifts and more sophisticated ways of adding the max height in non-elevator shoes. And then finally – and not that long ago – taking the plunge and going for elevators.

I waited for 15 years

Why did I wait for almost 15 years before going for what I now know to be way the best option when adding height – high quality elevators?

It was because of the history of elevators and how truly awful the older ones were. When I began adding height I had kinda heard of elevators. The late 90s was the very early days of mass internet and the amount of stuff you could research was a fraction of what it is today. Today you can put in searches for ‘6 inch elevators’, ‘elevator boots’, etc etc and loads of stuff comes up, pictures, companies etc. Back then it was basically almost zero and what DID emerge was truly heroically terrible stuff. Old fashioned, clumpy things that stopped at about size 8 or 9.

And clearly bad quality. And as a young guy with a sense of fashion I looked at the 1950s style stuff and ruled them out – working in clubs you are to some degree fashion conscious in your own style whether you kinda like it or not! The biggest clincher though was that these confections were obviously very very poor quality to go with their dated look. And costly for poor quality. So I stuck with fashion wear and made do with added lifts.

Importance of image

I wisely never did try them, because stuff like that would look very strange on a late teen/early 20s club worker dressed in the current styles. In fact, looking at them I realised they would look crap on anyone. As chance had it, I had a bit of experience of seeing this. Doormen or bouncers in clubs like to be seen as HUGE: basically the bigger the better. If you know them like I do, you know that if sit with them and talk and say “Cards on the table, what is the ideal height etc?” they would honestly think that 6’7 or 2m tall is “not really tall enough” to be ideal, and that only if you got to a 60” chest would you get to where you should be! Listen, it goes with the territory – their job is to be big and intimidating and among themselves, these things are major – their guide is the superhero massive tall and monster-muscle bursting from the suit wide look.

Now I had actually known bouncers who had bought these old fashioned elevator boots, to wear with their black pants and jackets. Because of the colour and cut of their clothes, they (just about) got away with these boots. One doorman I knew who was already way over 6’4” had THE most enormous elevators.

But I knew that these boots were all wrong for most people.

So at the time I stuck to real quality footwear bought in bigger sizes to add loads of lifts. I was fortunate in that at a key period flares returned in Europe for over half a decade and I then got into the habit of wearing huge ones, boots unzipped and 3” of elevators undetectable under them. And then the fashion started to fade a decade ago. As they all do. At this point I did not want to go back to adding just an inch or two in boots under skinny jeans. And so I started looking again for elevators. Over a decade on from my late teens and the choice online was beyond all comparison. The best thing, though, was discovering firms like GuidoMaggi and the sheer quality of what they offer.

I had had a decade before venturing into my first pair of elevators of realizing that ‘quality’ was the key when adding height, whatever you wear. And ‘quality’ means two things. Yes, of course it refers to the quality of manufacture and making of the shoes, the overall look and the feel that you are wearing something that simply really looks the job and people know is not cheap. But it also and importantly means something else. That the footwear must totally fit YOUR style, not the other way round. The idea of buying some horrendous pair of boots that do not fit the style of your clothes just because it says they are 5” elevators – well that is also against the rules of quality.

I have mentioned this before, but those truly awful photos of action stars wearing obvious elevators at red carpet occasions are a lesson to us all. But the main lesson is that with all the cash available for their image, they clearly are not taking the right advice or buying quality. I look at the feet of people like Robert Downey Jr and Vin Diesel and I think “OMG I could tell you in a second what to wear and how, and people would never have known”. In fairness to them, it is almost always action stars who seem to go for the obvious, so it may just be that professionally (like doormen) they need to add all this height in a hurry and so go for stuff that does not go well with the tuxedo or dinner jacket.

Choose to suit your style

My own journey was not driven by that need. It was honestly more like the journey that most of you will experience, updated for the current times when there is more stuff available of great quality and fashion is probably at its most varied in several decades.

So above all, make sure that what you buy suits what you are wearing – if you are buying a certain type of jeans, look online and see the type of boots or shoes being worn with them and there WILL be something that fits the bill today. Not like 20 years ago. Same with a suit. I was forced to make that journey gradually and had to make mistakes along the way (mostly ones of comfort and fit, I always always was careful not to look odd).

You may not need to be as careful as I was but an element of gradualness is good. Unless you are skilled at adding height already, go for about 3” to start. In a style that really totally suits what you are wearing. And the quality of the manufacture and look of the shoes or boots is all that people might comment on.

Quality is the key, every time - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Getting the very max from your elevators - gradualness

Well this time I am not actually talking about the adding of inches but of making the very best job of ensuring that your elevators and all height addition at all levels works for you to the max. This time it’s about that word ‘gradual’. It’s a good word to remember for what we do. It’s probably the most successful way of doing it.

There is just no one better way of adding height than doing it gradually, almost to a plan, especially in certain circumstances like involving work or family or where your lifestyle is fluid. It enables to you to carry on up slowly and naturally…or to stop at a certain point, or slow down! It is almost unbeatable and you will be amazed at what you can achieve over a not-too-long period. The drawbacks of this of course is that it is sometimes more expensive, even if only over a period of time. And it takes more patience when you want to suddenly get to some magic height.

I had no option

My situation was interesting – I HAD to do it gradually because I had no option. A decade or more ago, certainly 15 years ago, there were honestly NO fashionable or well made elevators. They were all those cheap ones that did not bear scrutiny. As a young guy working in nightclubs, there was no way I was going to wear anything like that. So I HAD to wear the small lifts you shove in the heel area, and get ever more artful with them. When I ‘graduated’ to elevators, my Shanghais and Ischias from GuidoMaggi, I had already added regularly a couple of inches or maybe even slightly more in those lifts. But inserting lifts at that level into shoes not made for them is never really comfortable.

An example

But first let me give you a good example of this gradual approach that is not so long drawn out. I have always welcomed guys getting in touch with me for advice, on the basis that I have been adding height since my late teens, have made all the mistakes, and there are very very few places anywhere where advice is available, other than online trolls screeching at you “don’t do it, idiot”.

A few years ago, one young guy got in touch with me as wanted to be at least as tall as his younger brother, 2 or 3 inches. It doesn’t matter the whys and wherefores, he just did. He had two things in his favour – both were away at college backwards and forwards and so met from time to time at the family home: and that time break, even just a month or so, is also a great cover for serious change. But also, he straight away started using shoe inserts or lifts of just an inch (nothing more really for lifts, as it gets uncomfortable). He was surprised that although he felt much taller, no-one even noticed – I say this so often about no-one noticing, but it is counter-intuitive and I can only tell you that you will learn for yourself that height addition at the lower levels is just almost impossible to detect.

Nothing dramatic

He had added that inch of lifts for several months, it felt right and he experienced a feeling of normality, and then went on to some elevators, 3”, and he realized that at this stage, although nothing dramatic on top of the lifts he had been wearing, he was pretty much up there with his bro. The shoes were very flat-soled, the lifts were 3”, in fact a bit like a slightly lower version of my own 4” Ischias, and he met his brother eye to eye. He said it was weird that he almost feared this moment because in his mind the brother would notice, it would flash all sorts of lights and…drumroll…he would be uncovered. But of course that is not how stuff like this works. He was just the same now and that was that.

It was unspoken but he KNEW that the brother had realized they were now the same height. But unless you want to appear obsessive, it is NOT something either party tends to raise about small incremental alternations in the height of someone else.

What he said to me was interesting and bears out all of my own experiences – in a situation like this, where gradual is the key, it just gives a very very broad impression – a brother might think, really in passing; “Never realized we were similar height”. Might even say it. But unless really pre-occupied with competition on height, people do not as a matter of course go round comparing by the centimeter on the basis of the past. They just get vague impressions within a certain band of height. Truth is that the brother never really probably gave much thought to my contact’s height…until he ‘realized’ one day that they were the same.  

Now this is very different to the impression that might pass between two height oriented guys if one day a brother was 3” shorter and the very next day he was 2” taller, living in the same place! Pulling that off in close proximity day by day is a tall order! I wouldn’t recommend it. You can only really get away with the dramatic if you have been away a long time, moved to a new scenario etc. One guy who was in touch with me left university, wanted to dramatically add height, moved for work, added a lot and of course no-one knew. And when he saw his old college friends at his new height, the time that had gone by had dimmed the exact details of the real height. But that is an unusual situation (although not rare). The real point is that gradual is good, the rather unpleasant ‘boiling frog’ analogy where you do not notice something fairly major if it happens gradually to you… and the approach also takes away a lot of that fear we all have to some degree adding height.

And here, though, is the next bit. One year later (which was about 9 months ago), my contact went for the extra inch, for 4” boots, still flat enough in the sole, and is now very comfortably as tall as his brother (and probably even just a tiny bit taller). And there is no suspicion or issue or weirdness all because it has happened gradually.

Getting the very max from your elevators - gradualness - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The GREAT things about being taller

This is a completely non-ironic summary of the great things about being taller than you currently are. It’s very easy to be jokey or tongue-in-cheek about adding height (“hey guys, you can see easier at the movies or at the match”). But there are just some pretty straightforward pluses that don’t get talked about enough. Above all the sheer joy of being TALLER…

elevated boots

Imho everyone coming on here is interested in this feeling of just being NATURALLY taller. We all just want to be naturally taller – most of us probably to an impractical degree if we were given the chance! But it must be undetectable and feel totally 100% right. And when you realize it is so easy if you follow the rules, the real pleasure in it is incredible.

Also I am not talking about the advantages of being “tall” – just the advantages of being taller than you are. Whatever your height.

For me the most amazing feeling, and I know this is the case with the majority of guys I have talked with through here about adding height, is the buzz that you get being even just that bit taller. This is irrespective of who you want to impress or the impact on others. For yourself it just feels so cool. In a doorway, by a day-to-day object like a fridge or shelf, you just see and feel a different perspective almost and it gives a great lift – both literally and in the mind. It’s impossible to properly evaluate the value of that, but to me I know it has had a great impact on my life.

Even a couple of inches makes a difference

Even just a couple of inches makes a great difference, whether you are short or tall already. I wear elevators now all the time when I am out but still whenever I put on a pair of elevators, whether at the low or high end of height addition, OMG it feels so good lifting up to a bigger height.

And this is why I always say, if you are not sure but might already add a bit of height through lifts or whatever, then if you have any reservations, give it a go with just a pair of lower elevators and you will see. The difference is real. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it really matters whether you are short or tall (or perceive yourself as such) – if you have a kind of instinctive desire to be a bit taller, to gain a bit of advantage over someone or a situation, then you will always gain from adding height, and you will always get a great buzz from it. I have mentioned the considerations in postings I have made about how high should you go, and what kind of footwear you should wear in certain circumstances. Lifestyle, job, social life, leisure activities. But at its very lowest level added height works for every single guy, and at the higher level it works for a huge number as well. The key to deciding how far you can go kinda presents itself to you over time, but there is one certain thing: if you start on the lowish side you really just cannot go wrong.

A few things have happened with me recently that have prompted these thoughts because I have been wearing my new 6” boots a lot and I just realized – in 5 years it means I have added totally undetectably 3”-4” to my height on top of when I wore lifts for all those years which really probably gave me just a couple on inches. The 6” boots work incredibly well in many circumstances and have seen me add the vital recent extra inch or two over a couple of guys in my circle very convincingly.

Taking on taller guys

Being out and about and convincingly shading others who otherwise might be as tall or taller than you is a great feeling, and at the low and medium levels no-one ever notices you are immediately taller. I made time to get used to adding height to decide how far I could go. If you have never added height, you obviously want to go carefully at it, but it is not as obvious to others as you think. Unless your situation is specifically able to deal with it, I would not advise going straight for 6” boots!! But I went from 2” - 3”, to 4” to 5”, back to my favourite 4” ones and then up to 6” and no-one (NO-ONE) has noticed a thing. There are many many reasons for this, bound up with all the psychology of perception about others and observation. Even someone VERY CLOSE to you who is more aesthetically aware tends to put it down to just natural variations due to footwear (we all look different in flat dress shoes than Timberlands, for example, it doesn’t mean you are trying to look taller just because you decide to wear your Timberlands one night, and everyone allows for this). That instinctive allowance means you can get away with a LOT. Specially if you do it in stages.

Irrespective of what you do at work, at night in a bar or club or out with friends, it’s very easy to push the limit upwards and I shall never forget first going out with my 4” boots, then the 5” and finally the 6”. And it is just no difficulty for me to go up and down.

One of the big things is when you are stood by someone who YOU yourself know is either closer to you in height, or the same as, or even taller than. And now you are either taller or the same. And once you realize that no-one is querying your added height, or notices, it is an amazing feeling. One of my contacts on here was at a hockey match and he said that when he stood up with others it was such a buzz. He is 5’9” and has moved on after a few years to 4” boots. So he hits 6’ mark. He said to me the other day: “It’s weird but right at first after I went from just adding a bit of height by mildly uncomfortable lifts to my usual sneakers, I bought elevators. So I went from probably just under 2” to 4” and the ONLY person who knew was me. My girlfriend had no idea at all and I really found it almost impossible to believe. And my buddies just took it as read. Sure I would probably not wanna go with no shoes among other and that is an issue for me, but the bottom line is that no-one can tell under almost all circumstances I find myself in. And I am now ‘a genuine six-footer’, which I never expect would happen – Every day it gives me a great feeling.

The other day some of the guys I know just happened to be talking casually about height in general and in passing one who is around 5’10” said to a few of us: ‘You three guys are all a bit over 6 foot as well aren’t you? You are so lucky’ etc etc. Totally unselfconsciously – just a kind of matter of record and conversation. I just cannot tell you the great feeling that gave me.”

It was his comments that made me appreciate even more the joy of adding height like I do.

The GREAT things about being taller - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Adding height with mainstream style

So, last time I looked at guys who tend towards current fashion styles or even high fashion and want to add a lot of height. This time I’m looking at the challenges and solutions for guys who either want to be, or HAVE to be, a bit more ‘mainstream’...

Ultimately it is in many ways much simpler when you stick right down the middle – no sudden changes in the style of the pants to challenge your footwear, nothing to dramatically alter the line and look. But I use the word ‘ultimately’ with care, because the subtleties of mainstream looks for men are well understood by others and you have to avoid style pitfalls.

To give you an example of one of these – no-one would think twice if a guy wore a pair of the 4” Ischias to a business meeting (in other words, no-one would notice your shoes or specifically look at them as a fashion item - exactly what most men in that situation want to avoid!). However if you wore the heavier-soled 5” or 6” boot with a suit, OK it would be fine and unremarkable in some circumstances and with some modern styles of suit or pants…but it would be a ‘statement’ item in many situations, specially the more formal, and would draw attention.

How formal do you have to be

At the core of this is the definition of what is formal or acceptable wear in your own business and day-to-day life – and this varies a lot from country to country and from profession to profession. As a rule of thumb, the USA is a lot more formal and restrictive than, say, the UK as I know from my dealings in both countries. ‘Casual’ is a lot more rule bound in the USA, even in major cities. So this aspect is the first you yourself have to come to terms with.

You can tackle this both ways or either way: you can fit the style you need to follow into your plan to add height. Or you can start with the type of footwear you want and the amount you want to add and work backwards, through the clothes that will suit. Or, as I say, mix it up. Some style commentators say that workwear right now is a mess (or ‘a work in progress’) because the variations in what is acceptable are so great and so fluid that they are causing confusion. That helps in a way, as it opens up possibilities.

It is about deciding what type of clothes you can wear (or want to wear) day-to-day, and the degree to which these allow you to add height (and how much). A big example of this is jeans. In many workplaces and day-to-day, guys wear jeans and these are really totally perfect for adding the very max height. Assuming you are going entirely mainstream, the current trend is slim-ish, tailored but not tight. The jeans trim through the hips and thighs, and skim your knees and calves without strangling them. Well these are just perfect (made for!) the biggest elevators, so it’s really down to just how much you wanna add. With these you Can get away even with the 6” elevators. But you may want to stick to the flatter sole of the 4”, or go for less.

When Mark Zuckerberg gives his keynote presentations in a t-shirt and jeans, what does that mean for the rest of us? As part of your plan when buying elevators, think carefully about your options and stick to things that you know will be acceptable at a superficial glance under your work pants or suit.

People do not notice

Firstly, though, do not be unduly bothered at what you might think are big variations in height as a result of wearing different elevators with different pairs of pants. The suit trousers in which you feel you can only get away with 2.5” elevators and the casual day when you can wear 4” boots under your jeans, amazingly, are just not obvious to others in the way they are to you. So wear them with confidence. The people who say “you can tell” are always the people who have never added height!

Mainstream style of course DOES change over time and is impacted by all the more extreme trends, whether through colour or cut or fit. But the important point is that the things in mainstream fashion that impact most on adding height are barely altered over 30 years. In fact for mainstream style, higher and quality elevators have become easier to wear with the relaxation of the very tight and strict dresscodes that were rigid until 50 years ago (the exact type of shoe a lawyer or accountant could wear with the exact type and cut and colour of suit, for example).

Today, variety might not be actively encouraged, and ‘office casual’ is still an awkward concept that doesn’t quite fit…unless it is casual every day of course. But gentle diversity is totally accepted in most professions – all within a wider band of what was allowed in the immediate past. And that permits you more scope for adding height year in year out than those who are into serious fashion and trends.

Basic single colours

There is a pretty general rule though with mainstream and it is that those who practice it are, by design or default, those who absolutely MUST have clothes that blend and do not look ‘remarkable’; so here my own suggestion is for elevators that do not stand out, and that are always in the basic single colours. No adornments, nothing. Even with blue jeans they need to look just like a normal pair of black boots or your average sneakers, which of course always have a bit more detail than the standard dress shoe.

Always look at what the models in promotional material (online/in magazines)are wearing on their feet with the clothes you plan to buy – or with items that are similar. I do this (I buy most of my clothes in the UK) and check the sites to see what the models have on their feet with the stuff I want. That gives you some idea of what looks right, even if you already think you know. And you then of course can choose elevators to fit the style.

For work and suits, identify what is acceptable in terms of style and keep to the lowish end of height addition at first and get used to wearing them (up to about max 3”). You can go further and higher later, and no-one will think you have added height just because you gain an inch. It is the old story – people do not notice such things. Adding height for office life needs to be finessed but it is probably the easiest option of all and many of those who have come to me for advice have in the end comfortably managed to add 4” (or in casual offices even more) and have been doing it for a long time with no detection issues.

Adding height with mainstream style - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The clothes compromise – if you want a fashion look adding height

Clothes (and in particular pants and jeans) are a really important factor when wearing elevators, and there is more to consider if you like to wear current fashions...

I will next time talk about the easier option – the guy who is not specially fashionable but just wants to avoid pitfalls and situations where he might think there is a chance of detection. But in this piece I am looking specifically at how to handle elevators if you are very fashion conscious.

The first thing is that fashions change. Not usually fast, but they change. And sometimes you DO get that quick seachange which means that all of a sudden something that was clinging on in fashion terms becomes, well, just deeply uncool. And fashion can be fab for elevators one minute and really problematic the next. You are having to learn new techniques. Under pressure. I am in my mid 30s and work in clubs and bars, an industry that is very fashion-oriented. 15 years ago, to my total joy, flares were all the rage, specially in the UK and Europe. And my God they could hide a multitude of sins against your natural height – I never wore elevators in those days as (unlike today!) I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t total crap.

So I bought fashion footwear in a couple of sizes larger and rammed them with lifts. And in flares? Wow, you could go totally crazy. They were long-legged and wide-flared, draped right over covering the boot almost to the ground, often on the ground just and just. And so you could add SOOOO much height. When the flares trend died down completely and we all went skinny around a decade ago, I was in despair right at first. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the look and style of skinny jeans and the new materials (with stretch in them, skintight, incredibly comfortable etc). But I could not do what I had been doing for half a decade – filling my boots in the same way.

Keeping height with new fashion

And so I had to work out ways of trying to keep my new height.

And I learned one thing reasonably quickly (and it’s the message I am really trying to send you now, to pick up on faster than I was able to): it’s all about confidence and carrying it off. And about the fact that today’s elevators mean that you no longer really have to HIDE the boots. My normal shoes rammed with elevators back in the day had to have the zips down and would not bear inspection. So flares were great cos they hid everything. Today that is NOT the case and it isn’t necessary to hide the boots.

So with fashion styles, take some time to quickly learn the new looks that suit you, stay in touch with all trends and make sure that you work out ways of making sure that your added height FITS the new looks.

So on that subject of the trend for skinny which remains entrenched in spite of fashionistas saying “it’s coming to an end” for the past five years. There’s a reason why they are popular – they flatter, and slight variations and styles and material continue to appear and appeal, keeping the look alive.

Think things through

Now right at first I thought “Love skinny jeans but I can’t wear them real tight because of my elevators (too obvious, too clumpy etc)”. But this is just NOT the case. And it was a wrong attitude. Yes, if you do it wrong, it can look wrong. But do it right and it looks superb. In fact, a really good pair of elevators up to 4” which fit snugly where they meet the leg and the hem of the pants looks very right and easy to finesse, and is a look that loads of guys wear anyway (big boots and skintight skinnies). Higher just takes a bit more thought and practice but I now do it and love it.

So yes, the boots are well on show in skinny or close fit jeans (which they are not under bootcut or the looser styles). But there’s a logic here – no-one knows you are wearing elevators. Yes, they know you are wearing big boots but so are many others. They do not attribute a 4” (10cm) lift in your height to your boots – just a bit of footwear advantage that any guy wearing workboots or Timberlands gets. In many of the more high fashion shots that GuidoMaggi do, they show off the boots a lot. I had my reservations about this at first, but having tried it out myself I realize it works – you just don’t always have to hide the boot, and with some looks it’s best that they are actually well on show (eg hem slightly rolled up very tight over the boot showing a fair amount of leather).

There’s an important issue here – it is about looking carefully at how these styles are being worn by non-elevator wearers and matching the look. OK some styling is just too high fashion for many guys, so take it down a notch and look at the commercial looks from high street brands. When I bought my skinnies, many came from the UK store Topman and it was really interesting looking at their site and seeing how they presented them, and with what footwear – they tend to show various models and different styles of the pants and (crucially) the footwear. OK there were the usual sneakers etc, but many were shown with guys wearing huge great boots and they looked excellent. Same with guys on sites like It was easy for me to think, “wow, I can copy that look but wearing my elevators”. And you learn by experiment and copying what looks good and works and what might not.

6” boots with skinnies

I myself have to compromise with my looks – I like my skintight skinny jeans but I am still careful about wearing them with my 6” Hong Kong elevators! I have done it and it is fine. But usually I wear my 4” boots with skinnies because I find it easier to get my look right. If I go for the 6” boots, I have to do a lot more finessing of the hem of the jeans of my skinnies before venturing out with them. But yes, it IS do-able, which I doubted a couple of years ago. With my 6” boots, I tend usually to wear slimfit in brands I like (rather than skinny). I play around with the hem to make them hang well over the boot. And all the time I try stuff on, I am first and foremost planning to make sure of how it would look with my varying boots.

So if you are of that age or inclination where you want to go for a higher fashion look, almost anything is now possible with added height right up to the new 6” boots: you just need to try stuff out and keep your eye on the look you are creating and how far it matches the overall look you want to create. Keep the line looking good (which is why I often like black boots and black jeans myself, for simplicity) and experiment.


The clothes compromise – if you want a fashion look adding height - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Getting the look right – ‘elevator wear’

The mistakes to avoid wearing elevator shoes. The case of Robert Downey Jr

One thing that really helps to carry off wearing elevators with total discretion is to get the rest of what you wear with them exactly right. I have mentioned before how strange it is that some guys in the public eye and with plenty of cash can so easily get it wrong – wearing huge great thick boots under a suit and making all the mistakes it is possible to make.

What is so strange about all this is that it is so easy to get it right – these are mistakes that are so easy to avoid and the rules are just very very simple. This piece is about just one person that got it wrong and how easy it would be to have got it right. I stress I am not a negative person and I myself have had nothing but outstanding experiences wearing my elevators. This is really to help avoid basic errors.

So I want to show you a shot of how spectacularly wrong it can look. Robert Downey Jr is on a red carpet in a grey suit, and these truly horrendous looking black boots with the tapered leg of the trouser hem are causing the whole lot to ride up high on the elevator showing for all the world how it is not to be done.

Making it Better

I want in this piece to just use this one shot to tell you how in fact it COULD be done even with a very similar look.

Firstly in a formal suit, irrespective of the degree to which you might want to wear something like a pair of sneakers/trainers (if the look is in style, and it is very occasionally), doing it like this you have to remember that wearing this type of boot totally absolutely and completely fixes the eye on your footwear first and foremost – and the more extreme you go the more the eye is drawn. I have seen other shots of him wearing huge great thick soled white sneakers with lifts below suits and whatever he might think, this is not a look for the average guy to pull off in elevators.

And if people are looking at your footwear because their eye is drawn, you have to get it totally right or this type of fashion disaster is really one of the few I know that can make others say “they look like built up boots”.

So take this look. Ignoring the boots, the suit on its own is fine if that’s your thing (I almost never wear suits but they can look cool I know and are important in many careers). But you cannot have all of these three things at once in a suit if you are adding A LOT of height: a narrow leg, a grey suit with thumping great big chunky contrasting black boots like this that are completely sat there like bricks at the bottom of your legs.

Art of compromise

So how could this look have been improved. Well, it’s about compromise.

In this shot of RDJ, altering it all slightly, he could have got away with wearing those massive boots, although I myself do not like them. He would have needed to wear a pant leg that is less narrow at the base – as it is, just look: they ride up because they CANNOT spread over the upper and down to the heel of the boot. Two inches of crumpled hem all straining to get over the boot. “Can’t do it RDJ, sorry!” This is really basic science in a way. They HAVE to gather in that unsightly way ABOVE most of the boot because the slim cut of the material cannot get over the size of the boots and general thickness - and so you have the very unusual sight of actually being aware of that raise of the upper where the laces are which comes from jamming so much lift in.

Just looking at that shot makes me want to go over there (it was actually taken a few hundred yards from where I run a club in London), stretch the hem left to right till it’s two more inches wide, possibly split the hem, and then satisfyingly pull it right down over the boot. Phew – job done. More sensibly he should just have had the pants made to drape further down – or $20 at the tailor’s to alter, surely not too much money for him? Put your finger over the boot in the picture just above the heel and sole, imagine it to be that grey pant leg fitting properly draped over the boot. You will see that the boots are barely visible, and the extra sole and heel not noticeable. And that would be way better than what you see in the shot.

Ideally though, with the colour of such elevators, the suit should be way darker (or elevators lighter!).

Easy to avoid mistakes

The other compromise in this situation if you want that type of suit leg, or that trendy-at-times sneakers and suit image, is that you have to either go lower in height or go way more discreet – suit and boot the same colour, then you can take an inch or two OFF the leg and make sure it is really tailored tight in to sit right on the boot, not crumpling up to show off the great lump of extra height. I have done this for example with my skintight skinny jeans I wear (black with black boots, almost always my 4” ones) – in essence the whole area looks as one and blends in. But I stress I have done this with quality elevators which are made to look right – these ones on RDJ (highest paid actor for some years) are clearly NOT right.

So had that suit been black alone it would have helped. Black and properly hanging (just a bit of alteration) over the boot. Another plus.

The mistakes the guy made are so easy to have not made. The key being that the boots must get some proper cover if they are very high (4”+) in your average type of suit like this, or they must be lower. Colours should really not clash like this in a way that highlights the boots unless the styling is very cool and modern. Then they CAN scream at you. Indeed there IS an argument for wearing boots nicely exposed and I am going to address that over the next few articles – along with other aspects of how to get the look right. This is the start.


Getting the look right – ‘elevator wear’ - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

My amazing new 6 inch elevators – the story so far

Last time I told you about my brand new 6” elevators (the Hong Kong style ) and my first impressions. I have had a few weeks now to really run them in. And I am so pleased with my new height.

elevator 6 inches boots

Last night I ran a night at a bar where unusually the individual washrooms were very large and there were two enormous full length very well lit mirrors, so you can see back and front – plus LOTS of room to walk around and get a true perspective. So I am wearing my new 6” Hong Kong elevators with a pair of black jeans, not too skinny cut, but straight, and the boots just looked totally superb.

So how have my few weeks wearing my new 6” elevators worked out? Pretty good actually! In fact I have spent the past couple of weeks wearing my 6” elevators constantly. I mentioned a few aspects about wearing them in my last piece, as it was pretty exciting getting hold of them and just trying them out, especially for the very first time.

And as ever, it takes several wears to kinda get the full flavour, particularly of something so totally new. With any new footwear, it takes a bit of wearing in, but with something like this there are other pretty major considerations – the main ones being linked to practicality. Above all, how will they look? Too much? Hard to walk in? Detectable?

And I have to tell you that the ones I have, the Hong Kong style, simply look and feel superb. My first task in them was to wear them enough to test how my legs and feet would feel, how far I could walk and to see whether there was any difference between these and the 4” Ischias I have and the 5” Shanghais.

Totally walkable…

Guys who I had told about these beforehand had always asked “but will you be able to walk in them?” I had never had a problem with this as I basically realized that they would be made to be able to be walked in. Obviously there IS a limit in terms of the heel to toe ratio, but the clever design makes sure that this is not in any way compromised – I can walk in these in exactly the same way as I can walk in my 4” Ischias and 5” Shanghais.

So with walkability they are incredibly comfortable – I usually take very short walks first in any new boots, simply because you have to get used to the varying feel, especially if something is a new or unfamiliar height. The reason is simple – if you do something that just does not work, you can head back home and put something else on. I still advise that. Always go for short walks first in anything new that adds height. This time my walks were longer as I instinctively knew that wearing them as intended they would be comfortable. I have since got totally used to them and they are very comfortable.

…and totally convincing

The appearance for me was always going to be the most crucial point – the very last thing I wanted was just to add an inch by having some great big goth outsole banged onto an existing style. No point at all – ‘footwear advantage’ is easy to claim by someone else under those circumstances! But these are just great – yes they have the solid kinda sole of the 5” Shanghai that I already have, but almost all of the extra is inside. And that is vital – my Hong Kong style 6 inchers have a stitching which makes them resemble a number of mainstream and fashion-style workboots which are worn for style as well.

Out and about it is a great great buzz to gain an extra inch on top of what I have been doing in the 5” boots. And you feel for sure taller. I now easily beat guys in height that I might have been close to before. And again, no-one actually notices you have ‘gained height’. Awareness only really comes of the FACT of your height not a comparison with yesterday or last Saturday – you are just tall.

Six whole inches is a great and serious addition. I am hooked and find it truly heroic that I can easily walk with half a foot of extra height. 15cm.

The only downside? Well I love my existing 4” and 5” boots, but now I have the 6” boots I kinda look for any excuse to wear THEM and not the other ones I really like as well.

My amazing new 6 inch elevators – the story so far - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The 6 inch elevator has landed!

Well the 6 inch elevator has landed. That’s a whole 15cm.

And I have spent the past few days wearing them like crazy to see how they look, perform, walk and feel generally. For some like myself who have spent some years adding height, I felt for a long time that 6 inch boots truly would be a godsend. But I always knew that you cannot just make them happen out of nowhere – everything has to be right, from the sole to the ability to walk and act normally, the whole look. After all there IS a limit…it’s just a matter of where that limit is.

First things first. I have the Hong Kong. They look like normal boots and as I unpacked them and put them on for the first time, it felt like just slipping on a normal fashion boot that goes so well with jeans and casual pants.

As I put them on and walked around in them wearing my favourite jeans, the first fear I had was immediately dispelled – they are both incredibly comfortable AND you can walk very easily in them: quite a few guys have got in touch with me over the years about the business of pushing the boundaries another inch, and a few contacts I had talked about 6” boots to had said: “but will you be able to walk in them?”. Fair point but they are just great.

The point, too, is that they are designed to BE walkable. It is just not at all like stuffing 6” worth of lifts in normal boots. What people often forget about elevators, specially today’s better versions, is that they are made specifically to allow for the extra height. At the highest levels, it is an art (as well as a science of course).

So on to the look of them. I have always had a kind of guiding rule that I do not want boots to have TOO thick an outsole. A certain amount of thickness is to be expected with 5” (and now 6” boots), but I do not want something too thick and out of proportion. And these are just great. There is of course a limit to adding more height without simply adding vast amounts to the outsole like goth boots, unwalkable and huge-looking. The guys at GuidoMaggi have managed to finesse the extra inch without any sacrifice of style and subtly at all. I wouldn’t wear them, frankly, if they had made those sacrifices because to me I want my height addition to be as unnoticeable as possible. And I reckon that is the case with 99% of the guys who are in the market for height addition. What we want is something that looks like a normal boot. And these look and feel like a regular boot. I have worn them for several days in many different contexts and they are just right.

Of course you could not make dress shoes with a 6” elevator (in fact you can’t even make shoes with a 5” height addition). It has to be a boot. But boots today cover a multitude of possibilities, including the ability to wear certain types at work. The Hong Kong I have is one of those you could wear in all sorts of situations, dependent upon what you do. OK very formal situations demand something very different but in most circumstances these do the job really well.

If you have worn 4” or 5” elevators, these are just ideal and imho you should think of them as a logical upward next step.. They take you that extra inch and trust me it totally feels it. Just superb.

I’m going to wear these around and get a greater feel for them over the next week or two. And in my next piece will let you know more of my experiences.






The 6 inch elevator has landed! - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Adding Height Gradually

I suspect one of the big reservations about taking the plunge and buying elevators, even relatively low ones of say a couple of inches or 5cm, is that you might imagine that when you put them on some kind of dark magic is going to happen and "everyone is going to notice that I have grown". I can tell you from 17 years experience of wearing height addition that that doesn't happen, it really really doesn't - it seems counter-intuitive, I know, so it remains a niggling concern. But here are the experiences and reasons.

elevated shoes

I come back to this because quite a few guys who I have given advice to in the immediate past have recently written with their amazement that on this aspect "you were completely right", and not one person has noticed, even those close to them. One guy even said: "in a funny way I am almost disappointed". This was after countless reservations that "people MUST be able to tell, I mean, you know, it's obvious". Well like a lot of things in life, it isn't obvious and there are sound reasons for it.

You want to add height, ergo you want people to realise you are taller (but at the same time you don't want people to know how or why). You kinda almost think that is asking the impossible. But this of course is a key to the success of what has been achieved. You physically ARE taller, of that there can be no doubt, but it is not an issue, and above all not "obvious" that you have "grown". You can achieved this by gradual change in a way that is not actually noticeable. And the key really is to start with a couple of inches, maybe three inches.

If you try ready made lifts first it will accustom you to feeling taller but don't let the lack of comfort put you off elevators - lifts are tricky to get right above a certain height. An inch is straightforward, two inches is possible but only in certain circumstances, and three inches is really almost impossible. Elevators on the other hand are comfortable at all heights as they have been designed for the purpose - good ones are not just usual shoes with lifts in.

Do it gradually

But whatever you do, the key to success of course is increment and gradualness. It is really simply that people's powers of observation are not great, specially in relatively smaller things over periods of time. Many have very limited powers of observation even over big things. Men are famous for this with wives and partners. My mother agonises over what to wear for a party, and when she has chosen she asks my father what he thinks. Yes that's great, he will say. She then says: "Close your eyes", he does so and she says "what colour dress am I wearing?". Silence, fumbling for an answer. "You haven't a clue have you?" she says.

There IS a bit of a formula as to how much you can get away with if you want to push it, and it's really linked to your current height and to what type of footwear you can logically wear for your work/lifestyle etc. I've written about this before. But one thing is absolutely certain. At whatever height you actually are, 2"-3" elevators, up to about 8cm, will not be noticed, your extra height will not be commented on or thought about, and there are styles of footwear for almost all lifestyles in those heights. Frankly you can even take your shoes on and off and the difference will not be noticed. The reason being that ALL footwear adds height to some degree - even a pair of flipflops add half in inch. While boots like Timberlands are really all but elevators in name, adding up to an inch and a half. Plus it is important to understand that we all walk in a way that gives variations in height in real time that people find difficult to grasp - it's one of the reasons why people find it difficult to estimate heights - as you walk forward you are (without realising it) going up and down. Enough to make an added 2" - 3" very difficult to detect.

And another key is that for most people, their own concerns predominate - a bit too much weight here, thinning hair there, what they are going to eat later - most OTHER people are only aware in a general way of these things that we ourselves individually might be bothered about, specially appearance issues which are not generally dramatic. So it's funny when you think you have lost that weight around the waist or added that height and YOU are aware of it...but unless it is very dramatic, no-one else is aware. In fact studies show that change has to be pretty dramatic for most people to be really aware of it and of the reason. Even big changes are often passed over by people as someone looking a bit different because they've "been on holiday".

Comfort is key

In the vast majority of cases, of course guys who add height do not want people to suddenly think there is some major difference. It has been my guiding principle over the past 17 years. Again, increment and gradualness. Unless you are already tall, then sticking to 2"-3" first and later adding more is the key. The timeframe does not have to be long. You can pop in an extra inch six months later no worries. Possibly earlier once you know and feel comfortable that no-one has been aware you have added height.  And then move higher if you want  a few months after that. But I have said before that lifestyle dictates how much height you are going to add (or NOT be able to add) anyway, and that is the good place to start. If you work and live in a way that you know you can go as high as possible then great - if not, then plan on a smaller gradual adding of height. Comfort is the key as well - you must feel (and therefore look) totally comfortable. And you will if you stick to the gradual approach.

And I can tell you from the very longest experience that people just do not notice.- if you jump straight in and add 5" to your height, well I think you can only get away with that if you are already way over 6' tall. But I would never advise it.

I myself have moved upwards from lifts in my late teens and early 20s to bigger lifts (when the fashion in jeans allowed big flares covering the boots!. Back in that period around 10 years ago). Then when elevators stop being crap imports from China and you got good ones (I discovered them quite by chance as I had given up hoping someone would produce anything worth having), and I climbed quickly to the 5", and now I pretty much add 5" all the time. No-one has ever noticed and I work in a business in which personal stuff like that if noticed would be the subject of very brutal and cruel exposure. Everyone would know in seconds on the grapevine. I have done it logically and gradually.

It is in fact a form of science and simplistic views like "if you add 2 inches people will know" are totally inaccurate and misleading: they are usually made by people who have no real experience of either wearing height addition full time or actually noticing someone who has done so.

So start at that lower end unless you have been a serious lift wearer for a while, and you will not go wrong.

Adding Height Gradually - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

10 tips for successful height addition

There is so little actual advice on adding height that it’s easy to make mistakes or make it difficult for yourself. My advice over the months has always tried to give you detail of techniques and strategies. Here are some pretty basic tips with a few words explanation.

elevator loafers

Start out low, even if that means lifts at first: Take it at a reasonable pace, especially if you have never added height before. eg do NOT try to put too much added height into low day-to-day shoes for the office. It will only put you off the great stuff that you might achieve in the future with elevators.

Get to understand (to some degree) footwear: the fit and space available for extra height becomes an issue if you are going taller, you will avoid potential problems by getting a grasp at an early stage of what can and cannot be done.

Always test out your new height adding techniques/elevators etc on short walks before wearing them to something special or all day: whatever you decide on, trying stuff out first before plunging in and wearing all day is vital. This is important because you need to get a handle on slight variations when it comes to walking etc. Whatever it is you do, you do not want to find yourself far away from where you can change if you need to if you have just started something new. This is not SO much a problem with elevators but totally vital with lifts, which slip, slide and can pinch your feet after a short amount of time if you get it wrong.

Elevators are an investment – choose your first pair carefully to fit your lifestyle: when I first went for elevators after over 10 years of wearing lifts, it was a revelation (greater comfort, greater height) - in my opinion, your first elevators should be something fairly classic and (unless you are used to wearing lifts quite a bit) in the 3” area. Go for more only if you are really used to height addition already through lifts, or are tall already.

Do not tell ANYONE at all: you may defensively think “my girlfriend or best mate is bound to notice”. They are NOT bound to notice and it’s best you say nothing. If you have already started height addition using lifts you will know that no-one notices: this is entirely logical although it doesn’t seem so before you take the plunge. Of course if you went straight to 5” from zero, I think some close to you would notice! Again, go gradually – a 3” pair is actually not that much more than you get from some of the heavier sneakers/trainers or Timberland style boots. No-one gasps in amazement when you put your sneakers on and gain an inch and a half.

Understand that everything is a trade-off above a certain amount of added height, around 3” imho: if you add a couple of inches or so, up to 3”, your footwear and walking and overall extra height will be pretty undetectable in terms of impact through change (you will just BE taller). But the taller you wanna get above that, the more things that you have to trade off. Every half inch above 3 inches and you need to consider lifestyle, how much you walk, the degree to which you do sport, what the rest of your clothes are like etc. For example, I wear 5” boots and just love them – but I have to accept that I cannot run, and I HAVE to wear them with casual clothes because they are thicker soled: I could not (even if I wanted to) wear these and take them off to play sport and put them back on again. I would worry that the height difference would be just too great.

Think carefully about a long term strategy with height addition – imho this involves, in the long run, a few pairs of elevators, and lifts in other things. All our lives are different. What is yours like? Do you have to wear low dress shoes regularly? Can you always wear sneakers and boots (as I do)? And on that basis be realistic about what you can achieve. I myself always add 4” to 5”. BUT if I were to have to have footwear on the odd occasion for a suit (wedding etc), then I will have to drop a bit. But I will STILL make sure in advance that I am in a position to gain the max either through elevators or lifts, or both. Planning helps.

Always realize that even a small amount of (unnoticed) height addition works: no matter what your height, an extra couple or few inches really does make all the difference. That’s not a bad thing as you do not WANT people to notice you are ‘suddenly taller’ and they really will not when you start your journey upwards. This is a good thing and is testimony to how unobservant about gradual change we all are. In my own adult life I have basically added 5” over the years, starting with lifts up to a 3” total max and then on to elevators and not a single person has noticed.

Ignore uninformed or weird comments on websites: the same people who tell you Elvis is still alive are telling you that your feet drop off within days if you look at a pair of elevators. Irrespective of comments from people like myself or PR on sites selling elevators, there is very little real help out there, and you will get none from ill informed little souls screeching their prejudices and jealousies online. Many people who set themselves up as experts also give misleading advice (usually unintentionally and because they do not really know). The only way through all this (as I did it) is with a bit of trial and error and patience. Mistakes are made (I made loads), so what? Make sure they are small mistakes and containable.

Adding height is fun, enjoy it: this is really really important and I will do a piece on it at some point. It doesn’t get said enough. It really is NOT some desperate attempt to fool the world, but a way of adding to your appearance. Do it with confidence, and enjoy the extra inches you gain, however you do it. Always bear in mind practicalities, don’t push it too far too early, and ‘find your feet’ with height addition, then take it gradually and carefully upwards. Being so much taller gives me such a buzz.

10 tips for successful height addition - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The height of summer

If you either live in a hot climate, or in a climate like much of the US, UK and Europe where we look forward to a few months (or few days!) hot weather every year, the hot weather poses some challenges to your height addition. There is no doubt about this. If you do not live in a hot climate all the time, you have to think about compromise on height addition just a little bit more than usual, especially during the day. Here are a few thoughts from someone who has added height for 17 summers...


At night in summer, you can of course get away with your usual elevators going out, but even there, you see many guys now going out just wearing flip flops, particularly to casual things (or indeed whenever they can get away with it, so desperate are they to take advantage of the short period when it's warm and easy). It's not my style personally. I don't overdress as a 30-something club organiser, but wearing flipflops and a t-shirt for a night out is not me. But loads of guys do, and I can see that if all your mates do it, you don't want to look the odd one out.  Presumably, "getting away with wearing flip flops" is the last thing you want to do in your quest for height addition. I'll come back to this night thing later because I think it's pretty straightforward for height addition.

But during the day it really IS a different matter and it is another of those trade off/lifestyle things that you have to think about. I have said it before - if your lifestyle leads you to want to get your shoes off as much as poss and spend hours with the sand between your toes or whatever, then adding height HAS to be at a lower level - you just cannot be on the beach or football pitch one minute and adding 4" the next during the day. So that IS a consideration.

Drop a bit of height

What do I myself do? Well as chance has it, I am right now in a very hot country for six weeks working, endless sun and sea right at my doorstep. I work at night, being in the club business, sleep late if I can and DO go on the beach for a swim and a bit of sun. But I am not one who wants to play sport on the beach or whatever. When I am in London, where I am usually based, I almost always wear 4" or 5" elevators, but right now out here, during the day I wear trainers/sneakers much of the time (you can get elevator versions, plenty in the GuidoMaggi range, or add lifts up to a certain degree). Usually I am wearing trainers that give me anything from 2.5" to (v occasionally but not often) 3.5". If I am on the beach and relaxing of course I take my trainers off, but if I get up I always put them on as I like to have my natural height advantage as much as I can when I am stood. This is nothing odd and if having to do it is all just too much for you then do not do it! It is all a choice.

This aspect really is all about lifestyle and it seems that many cannot grasp this point that we are all different. It is not odd or sad or funny to not do what you think everyone else is doing. I am aware that I am writing to an audience of everyone from sporty teens to those who are retired (or sporty retired to teens who hate sport of course), and all in between. Every one of you has a different approach to what trade-offs you are prepared to make. By trade-offs I mean the degree to which you are prepared to (or want to, or find it easy to) accommodate your height addition with other areas of your life. Of course you might NOT be wanting to run around on the beach playing beach volleyball so you start with a plus...One of my contacts who I have advised in the past doesn't go in the water (doesn't enjoy it), always wears full 4" elevator sneakers on the beach to keep his height intact. No one approach is 'wrong' or 'right' - we are all different and diverse and will all do things in a different way.

But of course if we are with a group, we like to often stay within certain norms. It seems to me that the more you want to do stuff with others in any energetic sense on the beach or in summer generally (wearing shorts and t-shirts etc) then you HAVE to be prepared to go lower, and have those options in your wardrobe. What you really do NOT want to do imho is to just drop out of height addition completely. From all that I have gathered from others (and to some degree from my own experience), you can do almost anything the same with about 2.5" - 3" in sneaker height addition - that is a lot actually, it is effective to others but it is totally undetectable taking off and putting on, and you can run, play beach volleyball and walk energetically in them. That level also means you can wear almost anything by way of shorts, and the trainers just do NOT show in any way like they might be adding height.

Add more for night - easy

I do suggest that for night you can add more - in fact if you are doing the 2.5"/3" during the day then you CAN go for 4" elevators at night in boots. These differences are small scale - counter-intuitively to what you might think, others will NOT notice. Whatever you are doing - whether a sedate dinner or a night out on the clubs and bars - I think that for going out at night (however young/old) you can push it. If you are younger and a lot of your mates ARE wearing v casual stuff to a bar, then imho just take the advantage, add your height in your usual boots and revel in it that they are in the flattest possible footwear! It doesn't stop you dressing casual.

A reverse of this is that many of my contacts in height addition live and work in generally colder countries like Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and the cooler parts of the US and Canada, and spend their entire lives wearing 5" elevators because all around them are in heavy workboots with thick soles. One guy I know in Estonia is already 6'4' and adds of height because all his mates at work are very tall. It's exactly the same with a very tall Norwegian guy I know in London. And they both comment that it is dead easy to add height when everyone around them wears such thick soled boots all the time. So there's a lifestyle aspect ready-made - would that it were all that easy.

Enjoy the summer, stick at a slightly lower level during the day to 'keep your hand in', so to speak and keep your height up at night.

The height of summer - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Exploding the myth of set and low limits in height addition

On a site that occasionally refers to elevators, I have recently been reading the kinda daft stuff from comments about elevators that makes clear the writers have never worn them, and just have a bit of a downer on height addition. In particular recently I have seen the occasional comment about it being "impossible" to wear elevators higher than a couple of inches, and the usual "everyone can tell". Clearly mixing up lifts with elevators and not understanding the subject at all.

With appearance issues generally, you tend to read a lot of stuff online from people who have a bit of an obsession with things, all sorts of stuff. You may wonder why people even bother, but if you ask any well known person, they will tell you of the appalling things unhinged people say under the guise of some strange fake name and the obsessive lengths people go to and time they spend on their obsession.

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So on elevators, let's say you get some person who, say, wants to be taller but will not add height and so gets jealous of those who do - the only way they can counter your pleasure in adding inches is by pouring cold water over what you do by posting rubbish. "Everyone can tell, you will die within six months from leg rot (FACT) and you'll suffer forever from altitude sickness after wearing them three times because you are unused to being much taller (FACT, PROVEN). Outside of these strange and odd ramblings, you will also find people using cod science to back up some bias or cod theory. The latest of these I have spotted is the bizarre one that "you can't wear elevators over 2.5 inches". No research, no personal experience given. Just a finger in the air and a kinda impression. And the usual extreme language of the obsessive.

There ARE limits

But it made me think about this important business of adding height in a bit more dispassionate way than I have done before. There are limits and lifestyle issues that can lead to issues: I have mentioned some technical aspects before in pieces like How High can you Go, and stuff based upon your actual height, but this idea of there being some limit needs to be explored and exploded. Firstly, I for 17 years since my late teens have added height. I am fully aware of almost all (I think) of the pluses and minuses, as well as the optimums on height (a matter of opinion) and the sheer fact of how much you can add at various levels of comfort and walkability/daily use. And I now all the time wear 4" elevators and occasionally my pair of 5" ones. And yes there are limitations, and I will come to those but they are endured within the zone of compromise which we all set up - trade offs we all make about every aspect of life. The first reality is that there is a world of difference between specially made elevators and sticking lifts in boots and shoes not made for them. And I think that those posting about 2.5" limits are really referring to the lifts you buy for a few dollars and just shove in boots. There is a very basic science to all of this and it relates to the construction of the footwear along with the finer detail of measurements within the boot that can lead to pressure and stress when using stuff in a boot. With added lifts, it can literally be down to 2.5cm great and 3 cm painful. And you have to find that point on each different pair of boots or shoes you wear. And it ain't easy. I did it for years. Otherwise you will be telling everyone that "lifts don't work". Standalone lifts DO work, but only to a point. And above that 2.5 inches it is VERY difficult with lifts popped into anything other than really big army or doc style boots. Don't do it with standalone lifts except to gain an inch or so.

It’s a science

Elevators now - all elevators are made by specifically planning to allow that extra height by constructing the footwear so those measurements within the boot for your comfort and moveability are allowed for - so if you buy a pair of 3" elevators, the insides and space are tailored accordingly - they are therefore very different to usual footwear even if superficially they look similar. Now the comments about not being able to walk etc above 2.5". Well let's leave my own experience aside for a moment but I assure you all I have not stopped walking in my mid 30s and am not lying down 24/7 unable to move around, laid low by my 4" GuidoMaggi Ischias that I wear all the time! But there ARE considerations outside of the extreme world of online 'fact'...I spent years wearing lifts alone and in the end got up to the max poss in big oversized boots and the styles of pants which, at the time, were in my favour to add more. It took me a long time. So I was able to graduate to 4" elevators easily, effortlessly and indeed found both pairs I bought to be the most comfortable things I had worn in years. The idea that it is 'not possible' to wear these is simply false and misleading. The same with the 'everyone can tell' arguments. No-one knows I add height and in my business working in clubs, if they did know, it would be merciless and out there in seconds. There is no polite discretion in my area of work. And the truth is more interesting, nuanced and helpful.

Being cautious

I know indeed that the guys at GuidoMaggi are way more likely to promote the more cautious height additions, for all sorts of reasons. Comfort is a key reason and starting off with 5" elevators is just a total no no. You DO have to learn how to adapt to adding height, even at a lower level, and 4 or 5" elevators are not the answer until you are ready. And you are more restricted in terms of the type of pants you wear. You can get away with 4" boots in a suit, but not the 5" ones (imho) unless you are making a statement at certain times when the fashion is for suits and big boots. But at a lower level (say up to 3") you are much much less restricted in the type of pants you wear. I myself, for example, would not wear very skinny jeans with my 5" boots but I have learned and developed the technique of wearing them with my 4" boots. But it took me time and had I not finessed it I would not have done it - I would therefore have traded onto slightly looser ones. When you are adding height you are developing a new skill based upon a science. If you just expect to chuck on a pair of boots and run around half a foot taller then you are mistaken. The great fun is taking this a step at a time, even if you are in a hurry. Add your first couple of inches, if you have the cash buy another pair at the same time an inch or so higher that are similar, and experiment. Yes if you wear 4" elevators, pretty quickly you may indeed find it feels (and looks) awkward. But once you are used to walking in the lower ones, it suddenly falls into place. I shall never forget when I got my first 4" elevators - they were very comfortable. But at first it felt odd to walk more than a certain distance (I have always been someone who walks a lot). It took me two weeks. By the end of that two weeks I was genuinely wondering "will this ever feel 'normal''...and then one day I realised something "OMG it feels like normal now". I cannot place when it actually happened, it just did. I was back to being able to walk the same distances etc as I did before without being aware of the difference.

Test walk your new boots

And this is the real point - and it is why I tell guys to go out and do lots of 'test walks' when they first buy. Short distances and then long. You are getting used to your new height and the science of the boots you have bought. And once you ARE used to it, I tell you it feels odd NOT to be wearing them. In a way it was my girlfriend who gave me the clue to this - she works in the club business like myself and wears these crazy 8" stiletto and platform combos, the kinda poledancer boots, and some she has are even higher, just for being stood or sat. I often queried her on how she could walk and it was her who made me realise. "God these new ones are really tricky," she would say. But after a week or so of nights they would then be fine and I would hear no more complaints. Familiarity breeds comfort in all footwear - it might not feel it right at first but once they are bedded in, and you have your extra 4 inches. Well you feel great. It says something that I myself am now at the level where I want to see if I can try out a pair of 6" elevators when they are developed; it's never been done before but it could, I am sure, and I am prepared to bet that it will be the same story - there will be compromises, it will feel new and different...but that you will get used to them in the same way.

Exploding the myth of set and low limits in height addition - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Detection & Security Making sure no-one knows Part 2

So OK I wrote last time about the general principles of discretion and detection and what you yourself feel about it. Yep, in an ideal world all guys wanna be 15cm/6” taller and for no-one to know! That’s really it – but the task of getting there (or part of the way there) is limited by practicalities.

So this post is about hard advice – what do you do to avoid detection and what do you do if you think you may have done something to make someone (usually someone close to you) think you are adding height.

Some really simple rules here:

First, you are very unlikely to be detected just by ‘being taller’ when you are out. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive but honestly - People are not that observant, it has been proved over and over again by all sorts of studies – it is MORE likely that detection will come if someone close, in passing, finds lifts or something telltale in your boots if you leave them lying about.

So I am firstly going to deal with how to maintain security – first you just never leave lying around elevator footwear anywhere, stuff with lifts in, or anything that someone can look in, even in a wardobe. It sounds obvious and in the normal course of events it’s just very unlikely that someone WILL look – but you have to assume the worst and that someone will. They might just like the boots, see them there and think: “No harm in checking the make”. Would you be happy with that if lifts were in the boots? No? So don’t leave them there like that.

elevator dress shoes

Make sure lifts are out

You have to make sure that the lifts are OUT, that they are in something (like a dark opaque carrier bag and wrapped up – no-one will look inside that). If you are taking your shoes off outside of the home, then you put the package INSIDE your main bag you might be carrying, or a locker or whatever. I do this all the time – GuidoMaggi boots come with lifts that can be removed and I remove them. End of. So if someone picks up my shoes when they are off (‘these are nice boots’, because they are!) they see nothing except a normal pair of boots. It’s never happened. But it will one day. Yes I know, you meet a girl, you are at her place and yadda yadda. That is different. The rules are different and in that case, the other party is not interested (hopefully) in your footwear! But still kick ‘em under the bed or turn them on their side if you can! Separate lifts not designed for boots (ones bought off the shelf and shoved in the heel) are always more of a liability – the GuidoMaggi lifts come out but when they are in they look just like the normal inner sole because they fit snug and are designed for the purpose. It’s the floating lifts at the back of the heel that I think are most likely to be seen if the boots are off. This is not the place to go again into the business of making sure that your height addition follows the ‘rules’ of what is sensible in relation to your height, the circumstances, your lifestyle and the time of day or night. Check back my posts as I talk about that – they are important, as detection is more likely if you are doing something there dramatically wrong – adding too many inches during daylight for your own height etc.

Handling tricky situations

So, you have left your boots out and someone has seen ‘something’ in the heel. What do you do. Well it’s almost certainly the case that if they’ve seen something, they cannot possibly know the full picture. And even if they have, this is the best defence. You simply say: “Yeah I have to wear insoles cos of my feet, they get incredibly tired. My doctor says I should wear them”. Insoles, a neutral, comfort, semi-medical word, accompanied by being told that you have been told by a doc you ‘should’ wear them. And in your bag as if to ‘prove’ it, you should carry an actual pair of insoles like this with you. And say something like: “In fact you’ve reminded me I have to put these ones in now”. Appear effortless and cool. There are two things about this approach – firstly it diverts and makes it seem kinda almost natural. Simply writhing around apologetically in some sort of embarrassment is exactly the OPPOSITE of what you need to and totally gives the game away. It says “I’ve been caught out”. What I am suggesting is a credible approach and here’s the point – even if someone has doubts or wants to pick at it, it answers those points and there are very few people who will start a row about it. Any gossip can be dismissed with “yeah, I took the insoles out to put them in my boots in front of him/her when my feet started to ache”.  Carrying these more medical/comfort type insoles tells others that it is not an embarrassment for you, far from it. Handling anything like this with a bit of style is over half the battle – you yourself may have other thoughts on other strategies that divert – let me know them. There is really no point at all on dwelling upon what is ‘true’ or not. The simple reality is that you are adding height, you don’t want people to know, you have made a slip up and you need to cover it over. Period. Get over it. Move on.

Play down Height Addition

In this situation, I do not believe you should be tempted into telling the person exactly what you do, even if it is someone close to you – I think you HAVE to maintain the fiction to some degree. It is possible they may think ‘hmmm’. But most will accept what you say at face value either fully or to a degree. The main thing is to downplay the ‘HEIGHT ADDITION’, if not the wearing of insoles. “Yeah I wear these but they don’t add height and are definitely not meant to” if pressed. You should factor this in in advance – you will probably never have to use it. I have been adding height for 17 years and have never ever needed to. But I know guys who have had to use it. There is a real problem about actually telling people the whole story, or the basics of it, and it goes back to the psychology bit that I have mentioned. People are funny – they may not notice anything at all, for years. But if it is suddenly drawn to their attention, they then suddenly as if by magic believe it is ‘obvious’. And that “not only is it obvious to me but EVERYONE can tell”. This test has been done so often that it is almost not worth repeating but I will. Photographs are shown to a study group of someone quite straightforward-looking who has never had, say, facial surgery or breast enlargement! But the group is told that she HAS had surgery. And is asked: “What do you think of the surgery?” Well within minutes, all those who do not approve or have a view on the subject say “it looks terrible, how could she DO that to herself…you can see the marks, you can see how it’s stretched” etc etc. And those who do not have a particular view end up sold on the idea that something dramatic and terrible has happened because of the violent reaction of others – at the end, every single person believes that “she has had surgery and that it looks ‘dramatic’.” – Bear in mind we are talking about someone who has never had surgery. So telling the full story will mean that people will probably think you have added 30cm in height and that they can ‘tell’. This really is a case where the well rehearsed in-advance denial strategy is the best option. It is easy. And you will almost certainly not have to use it.

If you yourself have ever had a detection issue and used a strategy that is different, let me know!

Detection & Security Making sure no-one knows Part 2 - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Detection and security – making sure no-one knows Part 1

The essence of the importance of security is simply this – you are adding height because you want to appear taller. But the key to doing this successfully is that you want to make sure no-one knows. That surely should be logical. And they do not need to, ever. It is pointless to avoid this fundamental issue because knowing the reasoning makes it easier to both achieve near 100% security and also to realize that even if you make a mistake and leave yourself open, there are some quite easy ways to correct it.

I’ve said this before. You start with a great advantage. You’ll be amazed at just how bad people are at being able to work out you have added height. Surveys have shown that the majority cannot even really pinpoint their own height against their friends and don’t know their partner’s heights. And imho, being ‘discovered’ only really comes if you make a mistake and let yourself open to it: it will never come with your girlfriend telling you; “Darling, you look 5.6cm taller tonight” – it will be with: “Hey, what’s this I discovered in your wardrobe?” It DOES happen. And I am writing this because a couple of my regular contacts have told me that they have done stuff that could potentially compromise them – in one case leaving a pair of elevators openly on the floor at mate’s house! Aaargh. I am going to do this in two posts. This post is about the business of security and how secure you want to be and all the stuff around it…and it is the second that will give you some practical bits of advice, specially to avoid detection and to deal with it should something like ‘the wardrobe incident’ occur. But onto general issues around security. It’s all about what you want and the practicalities of this.

Total security

Some guys (like myself) have to have total security. No-one knowing for a fact that I add height, including girlfriend; and a strategy in place to deal with issues that might arise if detection might possibly arise. I think that is really how most guys think about it in an ideal world, even if they do not think through the bit about how to react in a situation where you think you might make a mistake and leave yourself open to detection! For a second group of guys, I think it is a case of “prefer no-one knew but sometimes practicalities intervene and I might tell the girlfriend/wife, not sure, prefer not to”. I know no-one who actively tells people generally that they do it. Which is logical as it is counter-productive and spoils the effect. It may just be that if you are into being taller, your girlfriend/wife knows this and you have a long relationship – well in that case it may be that she can buy into the idea of you making yourself taller without blurting it all over the place. It may also be ‘shades of grey’, that she kinda knows but doesn’t know, if you like. But there are real issues around telling someone the full story. What you do not want is that someone who does not regard it as vital as you do tells someone because they think “it can’t do any harm”. “My boyfriend wears these thingies in his shoes and he’s like 10 inches taller”. Aaaargh. I think most (if not all) guys would prefer to add max height and engineer a situation in which even their closest friends and partner did not actually know. And, you know, it IS possible with certain lifestyles, without being overly furtive. I have certainly done it but it does require some effort, and a commitment to adding height gradually (but again, not TOO gradually!). And security. So here are my thoughts on the whole business of trying to keep height addition a complete secret. And there are really several aspects to it.

Keeping it secret

Firstly, as I have said, they will not notice you have got taller. I invite all guys to try this simple trick NOW - add an inch or a bit more of lifts in your shoes just normally at home and/or at work, then a week later add another inch (that’s about as much as you can really comfortably add in most footwear). No-one notices. This is because people are not really actually looking out at every aspect of your appearance and tend only to really take note when something is drawn to their attention. My mother is a psychologist and she works for the police and tells me all the time how amazed they are at witnesses just not knowing the basic details of potential suspects. He can be 5’8” or 6’2” according to who you ask! There are loads of reasons for it, but just take it as read that unless you set your height in stone and tell people (“didn’t you notice, I am 2” taller because I have lifts in my shoes?” Well of course THEN they are gonna notice), you have a lot of latitude. So this should give you confidence right away that what you want, security and total lack of detection, is very possible. And that can go right up the highest extras but the higher you go, the more careful you have to be. And this is really the key in regard to theory – how careful do you want or need to be? Take it from me that if you are just out to add a couple of inches or 5cm by way of elevators, then you can get away with it 100% and with great ease and with anyone – your girlfriend, and mates playing soccer or rugby, in the locker room, taking off and putting on shoes, the chances of detection are tiny. This is simply because ALL footwear adds height as does the footwear of your mates and (specially!) your girlfriend’s, because of heels etc. You are with the lower end of height addition, if you like you are just at the top end of when all footwear adds height. For some the best of all words. Tell no-one at all, add the height and it matters little when you are changing clothes etc. The only issue might be that you will of course be a couple of inches shorter when stood right right next to that guy you want to be as tall as or taller! OK, so don’t stand right next to him when you are both barefoot! But that guy will not notice a thing normally. But of course do not leave stuff lying around with lifts or elevators in. And bear in mind that applies to elevators - adding LIFTS not made for boots and sticking them into the heel area is in fact the worst of all worlds if detected – you gain an inch or so but if you are discovered everyone’s thinking you are adding serious height. Stand-alone lifts floating around in a pair of boots are not brilliant if you leave them lying around. But I have a strategy for dealing with that which I will tell you about next time.

Higher means more care

My theory post here is really more about higher levels of addition – 3” (8cm) or more. Bigger elevators are great – I myself wear 4” and 5” all the time and have never been detected, 3” would be a breeze for me and I long for the days of 6” elevators! But at this level you have to think of certain things and how they play in your own life. Reason for this is that we are all different as I said at the start. I am now ignoring buddies/mates in this posting and focusing on your partner, and how you need to handle the situation both in advance before you start adding height and later on in the journey. And it all depends upon the situation and the type of person you are with: sensible partners take limited notice and do not dwell on appearance issues (which allows you latitude), but we are not all sensible and some people obsess about appearance issues in their partners. So this depends a bit upon different types of partners and only YOU can judge this. “We’re all different”. I would say that for higher elevators, taking it in two steps (3” to 4” or 5”) minimizes detection. But I would further suggest that the real issues are around what your partner expects – in my situation, it is not an issue, my girlfriend would sooner take her vacation in freezing Antarctica than witter on about my jeans or shoes or hair (unless she thinks I am doing something totally stupid and it looks obviously so), but I do know guys whose girlfriends spend ages fussing over their boyfriend’s clothes. And this you HAVE to take into account. You would be surprised that even the fussier partner will almost always miss height addition when faced with it, but might nose around in that wardrobe etc. Answer to this problem – in my next post. The key then to this is what you do early on – sticking to low levels of addition is really just like putting an insole (well a turbo-charged insole) into your normal footwear and I think that there is almost no need for a strategy. But at its higher levels, you have to work out the impact of adding height very discreetly in a close relationship. The awkward fact is that some partners tend to dwell on appearance stuff as almost a moral type of issue and it becomes a kind of “I think I have a right to know” thing. This tendency will be near irrelevant in lower elevators but with higher ones it is to be considered. So you yourself have to work out, if you like, what your partner might think if, by accident, she worked out you were adding height. Is it worth then telling someone who you are close to? And how much to tell? There are degrees of ‘telling’, which I will come back to in my next post. Indeed, have a strategy for all this which I will discuss more fully in my next post but for the time I have just introduced what are some thoughts on this sensitive issue, and all of them can be dealt with – this is itself a longish post and it answers no questions. It is in a way meant to be like that. It’s meant to raise the points that all partners are different, that you can get away with all sorts of stuff in some cases and a certain amount in others, that you can make mistakes but that also these can be handled. That you have to consider a number of different things which are pretty straightforward. But that low level elevators are almost immune from detection on all fronts.

Next time I will give you some answers and advice. Trust me, when you get it right there is just nothing better – constantly taller and living your life as that taller guy.


Detection and security – making sure no-one knows Part 1 - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

How high would you go

A few weeks ago I asked 'how high CAN you go?' which was a series of suggestions of how high imho you should go dependent on different factors. But this is a different one. It assumes that you go high already and from time to time think “hmmm could I get another inch – or so!” If the options were available that looked cool, how high WOULD you go if you knew that it was no more detectable than wearing boots that are already the higher elevators. Specially if you are already up there with the 4" or 5" styles, and it was working for you.

elevated shoes

Ask any guy and for sure he would want to be as tall as he possibly can be. In fact when guys write to me for advice, they often ask “do you ever think that 6” (15cm) elevators will be made?” The things that have always guided me are based on the need to avoid detection. And from a technology point of view there is of course a limit on how high in the future we can actually go. But for me, I would LOVE to get hold of good quality boots with a 6” elevator.

Once you have followed the basic rules and realised that detection is minimised to almost zero, you DO start to think – I wonder if we could get from the 5” max I wear all the time to 6”?! How much further will those that make elevators be able to take us without it looking obvious? Because there is one thing that is certain - once you have added inches and made it work, you are kinda hooked. And you then think - "hmmm, I could add another inch...maybe more!". At first you try this by adding a lift in your elevators. And then you know you can get away with a higher pair. This of course creates a kind of almost philosophical question. How high in fact could you go (or want to) given all the things I have mentioned in the past related to lifestyle and existing height. Most of this is answered for you - unless you decide to wear those classic massive Goth boots, you will never be able to add 9 inches of height!

At its highest end already, there are plenty of 5" elevators in the GuidoMaggi range, over 25 different styles in varying colours and finishes. The main difference between them and the 4" styles being a slightly thicker sole but no more so than classic stuff like Doc martens, Timberlands or Redwings, specially the logger boot types etc) and a host of other boot styles. They are all boot styles of course. There are still no real sneakers/trainers or dress shoes with 5” elevator.

So it begs the question, how much higher can it be taken that the 5”. Until now, 5" has really been the limit in terms of that careful balance between aesthetics and what can be physically achieved in a boot by the maker to add our desired height. That is certainly how I have always seen it, as a non professional and just a wearer. Having for a couple of years now worn 4" and 5' boots regularly, I have wondered for some time if a 6" boot is possible. Yes of course it will have to be a boot, yes it will need the solid sole of the 5". But provided it is no more than that, to me it has always seemed, well, possible. And very desirable.

And I think if it WERE to be available and look really straightforward as a boot, then it could be very popular. For me, I have always found very very little difference between walking in my 4” boots and the 5” ones. The key here would be the sole – as long as it was the similar thickness to the 5” and no more, then that for me is the key to both walkability AND detection. I think that many many guys would go for it, specially those who have already graduated right up to the top of the height range and find it no restriction on their lifestyles.

How high would you go - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The "short" answer

One question I often get (and think about myself quite a bit) is based on wearing elevators with shorts. In fact it seems to me that guys ask slightly different questions but in the end really want to know one thing – ‘bearing in mind they are more exposed, what can I get away with in terms of height addition in my footwear when I want to wear shorts?’ Often guys fear suddenly going from days and nights wearing 3” or 4” elevators and suddenly BANG - down flat in Converse or Vans. “Aaaargh, suddenly I look SHORT”. And they do not want to stop wearing shorts even if it is just occasionally.

elevated shoes short

And this goes back to my lifestyle points when considering how high someone can and should go. Lifestyle counts for a lot, as I have said, when deciding how much you want to add regularly – lifestyle means ‘are you always playing sport?’, are you someone who wears shorts on every day possible even the cooler ones at the cooler time of year? Or does that have no attraction to you at all? If you are someone who plays sport all the time then my suggestion is that you get yourself some elevator sneakers asap because these (and their added height) will form the basis of how you operate and your height addition at all times. I have some interesting contacts through height addition and one is a sportsman who has told me, to my amazement, that in a couple of very height oriented sports in America, some top players actually wear added height as a matter of course! I was astonished – how do they move around? Now of course they do not clump around the pitch in 5” elevators but what appears clear is that they can manoeuvre very easily in a couple of inches added height and indeed do just that! In fact in some sports there appears to be a tad-off with the added height actually having some pluses. That’s obvious in basketball for example. In fact if you look at standard sneakers, there are many that add 1.5” or about 4cm, anyway. In fact this is what I used to do – I would buy the standard brands’ highest and add a bit. But at the end of the day there is just nothing like something made to order and designed to fit your foot properly with added height – and it is here that sneaker elevators really come into their own imho. They add 2” to 3” in height without looking in any way artificial – with your foot, and boot top, fully exposed there is no room for doubt at all (and there HAS to be no room for doubt). They just look normal. Added height in your standard non-elevator sneakers is fine if they are covered by pants, but there is such a small limit in them if you go above adding an inch. I think there is a simple answer here for almost every guy other than someone into high fashion – it is all about wearing sneakers/trainers and restricting yourself to a max height. However much height you add in your normal routine.

Firstly let me say it is very very possible to wear 4” and even 5” elevator boots and shoes on nights out or at work and then drop a couple of inches wearing shorts with lower elevators. You will be amazed at how no-one notices. In fact if you wear elevators every day (or most days) and like to wear shorts on occasions, then I think you NEED to have some elevator sneakers to at least make sure you do not lose too much height.  I am certain there will never be any type of elevator that will gain you 5” with shorts – it would just be too obvious and exposed. 4”? Well there are really superb sneakers like the GuidoMaggi Sochi or Austria or California which have 4” versions, but these are hi top and really imho more suited to wear with longer pants. Things like the Ohio or Alexander, come in much lower (2” to 3”), and they are very easy to wear with shorts and totally undetectable.

And this is the key – be prepared to drop a couple of inches if you wanna wear shorts occasionally, but that is WAY better than suddenly dropping more or losing all of your new height! And as has always been my experience, no-one ever notices.

The "short" answer - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Who do you tell?

Who do you tell you are adding height? The simple answer to that really IS “no-one”. There is the old saying: “If you tell one person, you have told the world” and when it comes to personal things, people love to gossip even more. The problem is that gossip about people’s personal lives and appearance seems irresistible. But of course set against all that is the fact that many people are not good at discretion or polite concealment – there is a general desire to tell people everything about themselves (on social media etc), which is probably every bit as unhealthy as wanting to hide everything. But unless you are that rare kind of guy who is not bothered that people know he adds height (“I bought some lovely 4” elevators, they make me look really tall” - I have never met one of these guys yet, btw), then I have some rules for you as to how to keep it real while making sure that no-one ever knows. So I start from the perspective of probably almost every guy that has added height and/or bought a pair of elevators – I want to make myself seem taller but at the same time not to look like I am trying to. I also frankly pretty much dread anyone actually knowing or even guessing.  

elevated sneakers

Surely that is what motivates you?

Somehow it is still the case that women can do anything and everything in regard to appearance (make up, heels, having the breasts made bigger), talk about it endlessly on chat shows or to each other. But for your average man, it’s a non starter. A guy just will NOT by and large talk about making himself look better – the fiction is that it’s all supposed to be natural. I run nightclubs and know loads of blokes of all ages who I am certain have had cosmetic surgery, dye their hair, do artificial stuff to enhance their sporting careers etc. But the fiction has to be that they are cool, naturally gifted and in no need of any help, thank you. It’s all untrue but the publicity machine says it’s true to, hey, it has to be. So let us accept that, for now, if you do something to help your appearance you have to be pretty careful how you approach it, and you know instinctively that you are not gonna want to tell ANYONE. But that you might feel a pressure to tell at least someone close to you.  Now I think that is a good start point – telling no-one. This is not quite as final as you think and does not necessarily involve lying. 

But let’s start at the very beginning. You are buying some elevators from GuidoMaggi. Well, do not tell anyone including girlfriend, mum, best mate (specially not best mate!) that “I am buying a pair of elevators”. Apart from anything else the lifts detach so it’s not like they are there solidly stuck into the boot and can be looked at at any time. You have just got some cool new boots. End of. If someone wants to look at them they see a normal pair of boots or shoes when the lifts are not in them. Now, I have said this a thousand times and you may find it difficult to credit but the vast majority of people will just not notice you are taller when you slip that elevator into your shoe, the moreso if you only get up to the 3.1” (8cm). And if anyone at all says anything, it is just a case of you turning it into a casual joke: “Oh really, they make me look a bit taller? Wow, fab. I’ll have to get some more of these then…some boots do make you look taller I guess”. And then move onto the football, the weather or the film. But the point is that ALL footwear has some impact on height, some more than others, and people are generally just not good at calculating even relative height. Guy A and Guy B are exactly the same height. Exactly. When really pressed, most people would not be able to say whether one was taller than the other and will get it wrong – as indeed will Guy A and Guy B! Height appears different at different times in different circumstances. In different footwear of course.

So you do not have to tell anyone.

Girlfriend? Well, I have never actually told my own girlfriend and we have been together eight years. She herself wears these crazy huge heel and platform combos up to 8”/9”, so going up and down like a yoyo she really has just NO idea about others’ height. I guess she knows/might know I seem taller in some things than others but then so does she (dramatically). All women really wear heels at some time or another. With ONE exception, all the guys I have advised have let it happen naturally when buying, not made an issue of it or a dramatic announcement, and have found that wearing elevators has not been noticed. Quality of footwear helps of course. And wearing the right footwear at the right time. Please please do this even if it means sacrificing an inch or two. No clumpy boots with suits unless you are a young trendsetter in certain types of jobs or work. First off, you always make sure that if it IS shoes off (sport, fun, whatever!), you at some point early in the proceedings quietly take the elevators out of the shoe and stick them in your own private bag. This is not necessary in 99% of times but might be useful to get in the habit of, just in case someone actually likes the boots and picks them up when they are on the floor (people do!). 

People who are very very close 

Now we all have this thing about not wanting to ‘be deceitful’ and of course it may be the case that over time in a relationship, the issue of your footwear or adding height becomes part of that. My own view, for what it is worth. Say nothing and keep it that way: if it appears to go somewhere towards saying something, then you can ostentatiously buy some foot insoles, have them lying around and stick them in on top, saying you like them ‘for comfort’.  It kinda covers certain circumstances. I think that any ‘confession’ with detail and measurements is both unnecessary and unwelcome! It is also about timing. A new or newish relationship presumably works whether barefoot or booted so it should not be an issue. As time goes by, you become more familiar and I now turn to the one exception I have mentioned. Where a guy said something to his girlfriend. This guy has been with his girlfriend for 10 years. They are both 29 so still in that early stage but old enough to kind of know what they want. The point here was that she actively likes her guys to look tall and had said how much she liked it when he wore some boots with a bit of heel as they made him taller: so of course he knows this and one day he decided to buy a couple of insoles and openly add them ‘for comfort’ to his new higher elevators (he went from some 3.1” to a pair of 5” boots), and she said that she liked him being taller and that he looked amazing, assuming it was the insoles he had bought from the pharmacy! I think he had intended to cover himself assuming she might realize he had added a lot of extra height. But he also knew she liked him being taller. So in the end he said something about adding more height via some small lifts. And that was that. She knows and it’s cool. My reservations? Well, if they were to part the danger is that it gets mentioned. 10 years in and happy…so maybe it’s cool.  A danger that she might tell someone anyway, entirely innocently? Yep, but he HAS told her he would hate that as people would ‘get the wrong idea’. Other people’s secrets are never as important to be kept as your own.

And finally, mates.

Never never ever. The minute you tell a ‘mate’, it becomes a given that everyone will know. I am afraid that this is one area where you have to be hardline with yourself, totally believe in your new height as ‘real’ and actually completely dissemble imho – lifestyle  is important and you can add less if you are playing football with mates and always at the gym etc. But otherwise you can add what you like and never ever say a thing.   The bottom line – this is an important issue, it deserves sensible discussion and IS a consideration because of the way we live today. But it’s not a major issue really – just have confidence in what you do and it will be great. Underplay anything, and do not ever focus in conversation on your height or that of others. 

Take heart in one thing – in 16 years of adding height I have never ever come close to being discovered and that is exactly how I like it

Who do you tell? - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The wrong (or right) trousers to wear with Elevator Shoes

One of the practical issues when you wear elevators is that they DO have some impact on the type of pants or jeans you might wear. It is not as great an impact as you might think (unless you are going for 4” or 5” elevators) but there are some general lessons you need to understand, specially if you haven’t really done much height addition before.

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General points about trousers

By and large, 2” and 3” elevators have very little impact at all on what you wear on your legs. You would instinctively think that you will have to buy 2” or 3” longer pants inside leg but usually, I find, you don’t!  Even in fact with my 4” boots it seems to make not a great deal of difference: it may be because I tend to buy jeans longer anyway, but when I am dressing and walking around barefoot I am always surprised at how little different it is after putting on my elevators and how all of a sudden there is not 4” of boot exposed with a hem flapping way up my leg. It is more the case that different style of boots go with different trousers. So if you are a novice, make sure you try out your new boots with your jeans etc – and look carefully in the mirror that they are not now just a tad too short. In some professional situations, the fit of your footwear and the hem may be more exacting – so you have to take this into account. Shoes rather than boots are a different matter to some degree, and I will devote more time in a future article to these – there are greater demands on the exact nature of how you look and these Can be met with elevators but you just need to take more care. So in general with those situations, if you are committed to adding height, start buying your pants a little bit longer (an inch, max two for a 3.1” or 8cm elevator).

A warning!

Many of you have seen the truly appalling ‘full length shot’ sight of celebs in red carpet situations who add height wearing clumpy great boots or trainers with tux or dinner jacket. Unless this happens to be a trend (very occasionally it comes in to fashion) avoid it totally. It draws total attention to the footwear and in not a good way.  There are some specifics to be aware of. 

The back of the boot and your hem 

When you wear elevators, however long your pants, you will find that at times and with some styles more than others, the pants will ride up at the back specially when you are sitting. And they can then hook up over the back of the boot. It looks uncool unless it is a specific fashion (the jeans tumbling over big boots haphazardly HAVE been a fashion trend in fact, but let’s leave that to one side right now).  When this happens unintentionally, it draws attention to the heel area and while this is not necessarily a problem,  I have always found it best to follow the line that was intended and casually look down after being seated, specially in a chair like at a bar or restaurant, and pull the hem out of the boot to drape it back over the boot. It’s just commonsense and is no issue. So make sure your pants are generally long enough to avoid it happening in other situations, and you can do this just by trying it out in private - sit down, move legs, stretch, stand, walk, sit at a table for 5 mins etc. I have one pair of pants I just love and the boots tend to ride over the hem, but I am used to it now and used to correcting it. And when they are hanging right they look very good. 

Skinny jeans 

I love my skinnies but have found in my quest for totally max height that I now wear less of the really skintight, super stretch ones I like than just slim cut. North Americans wear much looser jeans than in the UK or Europe where many guys wear second-skin jeans a lot and they are still fashionable.  Now you CAN wear these with big elevators but it is a certain look and takes a certain style – one look that is very common in Northern Europe, specially in winter, is great big army type boots with very tight skinnies. Look at a group of lads in a bar and if someone said “they’re all wearing elevators”, well you wouldn’t be slightly surprised. Huge boots even with no elevators have big thick soles and heel areas anyway, and that of course is useful for us. A style like that that is current means you can indulge your desire to add height in a way that doesn’t look like you are adding height against the prevalent trend. 

Keep your eye on style trends

What I have said about skinnies is important for another reason. Whatever age you are, if you are adding height, keep your eye on general fashion trends even if it is not really totally your thing. The reason for this is that new trends can allow you to indulge in more added height or a more easy way of wearing stuff undetectably. And age is not now as important as it was unless you are going for high or extreme fashion. A decade ago or so, flared jeans were in fashion for the first time since the 60s/early 70s and these were sensational for hiding heroically massive height addition – I wasn’t wearing elevators then (I couldn’t find anything I liked) so it was all big boots, zip at side, left undone, masses – MASSES -  of lifts rammed into the boot! And of course one huge great pair of flares covering the lot. It was the highest I ever got with lifts. And I was just so sorry when the style faded out.

The lesson of this? There will be changes in style that come along – some will be great for height adders. Others not. But unless you to some degree keep your ear to the ground you will never know.

The wrong (or right) trousers to wear with Elevator Shoes - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Who can go for the maximum Height

If most of us are honest, we would all like to just wake up and be ‘several inches’ taller. You would be amazed at the contacts I have who are already over 6’ and want to be several inches taller. I don’t think for anyone it is a specific figure, and when guys try to put a figure on it, they often end up with a kind of figure they can end up disagreeing with: one friend who is 5’7” will say that he just wants to be “a couple of inches taller”. But if you then say “so you would not like to be 6’ tall in an ideal world?”, he is, like, “well, no, but maybe yes, but how can I anyway?”. 

bespoke elevator shoes

This is because we all know there are limits of the technology, and above all to believability. So to some degree we limit our aims. This is quite logical. I think most lifestyles would find it difficult to convincingly take themselves up from 5’7” to 6’ in all situations. You are always thinking about those things like being convincing when the shoes come off if you have met a new partner! Or what happens when you take your shoes off on the beach. A contact recently said to me that the 4” (and above all, the 5”) height additions through elevators are really for those who are well used to adding height or (unfairly!) already very tall. And generally I agree, but think there are some important caveats. Firstly, and this is really important, much depends on your existing height and lifestyle. It is not ‘fair’ but a simple fact that the taller you are the more you can convincingly add if you want. And even more though depends upon what you have already been doing before investing in a pair of elevators. Have you already been using lifts to gain more height, for more than just a few months? Or have you a pair of elevators up to the 3.1” ones that GuidoMaggi make? Because if you have, then you can go higher if you want to pretty quickly. In some situations.

Fear of the unknown

Part of the issue around first adding height is the unknown – so taking it easy at first is sensible. I started for many years using lifts which I found always a little uncomfortable, liable to slip and I could never really gain the amount of height I wanted. Much over 2” extra is difficult with lifts other than in certain boots and when certain styles of pants are current and can allow you a bit more cover. But I DID find that I added height, got used to my extra inches, and that meant that when I came to buying my first elevators I DID go high. 

So to put it simply who should buy 4” or 5” elevators or even higher if they were to come along! 

If you are below about 5’8”, I believe you should only wear really big elevators of 4” or more in very played-down classic styles and only on special occasions/nights out – and only after you are well used to adding height and have worn elevators up to the 3.1” styles for a while. imho they (the 3.1” elevators) should be your staple daily ones to wear. At your height the big ones are extras just for when you really want to push things to the max. Unless you are the type of guy who is confident that adding so much will not generally impede what you want to do with new girlfriends/work/life in general. You may find also that you develop into this type of guy after wearing the higher ones occasionally and feel that it is no sweat or trouble to wear them more often – it happens.

2 If you are around average height, then the key again is making sure firstly that you obey the rule of getting used to height gain. But for you I think that you can certainly fairly quickly graduate to wearing the 4” boots all the time. In colder climates, the bigger chunkier 5” boots as well, and you can gain serious height. One of my contacts who is 5’11” and lives in the coldest part of the USA has three pairs of 5” boots now and wears them all the time because where he is every single guy wears big boots a lot. It is more difficult to do this in warmer places so I myself would recommend the 4” ones with thinner soles and heels there or when it is not winter. But when it IS cold and snowy, then Go For It big time.

3 I have said this before, it’s not really fair but taller guys of 6’+ can wear as high as they like pretty quickly and very few people will ever have any sort of idea that a tall guy is adding height. Yes, generally you must wear lifts for a while or lower elevators to get used to the whole thing, but you will be amazed at how well it works and how people have just no idea.

Lifestyle is also a key

The highest boots are also about lifestyle – whatever height you are, you just cannot wear them day to day if you have to wear fairly conventional business clothes. Many areas of the economy now do not insist on formal, but many still do. If you have too much fear about what that new girl you like might think, then keep it to the 3.1” whatever height you are but DO at some point buy a pair of bigger ones for special – you will be just amazed that she will either not notice or will just think the boots are boots and, OK, make you look a bit taller (‘but hey, I like that in my man’).  Playing sport all the time? Again the same rule above. 3.1” max, and do other higher stuff for special. It’s amazing how people do not notice things on special occasions – after all, adding 3.1” is really pretty straightforward and not too dramatic in spite of what you might think, so adding up to a 4” or even 5” pair is not greatly more on a night out.

Go easy as you journey upwards! 

Now, I have a few hundred contacts which have come from me giving advice about lifts and elevators over the last few years, and you will be amazed at this: almost every single person who has written to me asking “is there anything higher than 5 inches, like are there 6” elevators?” is six foot tall or over! All those tall guys wanting to be taller – generally though competition with other tall guys/not wanting to be towered by anyone etc. If six inch elevators come on the market, it will be interesting to see the impact. There is of course a limit to how much you can add, and it links to technology, your existing height and your lifestyle. There are tradeoffs and considerations. It IS a science really but one that is not easy to calculate because of all the variables.

If ever you yourself have a question about your own situation and want to know what to do, how much to add and what sort of styles, feel free to comment and ask. I welcome feedback like that and I myself learn from it as well all the time.

Who can go for the maximum Height - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Adding height for formal occasions – some thoughts

I recently went to a wedding and it got me thinking about the limits on height addition in more formal situations. Really, it’s simply another of those lifestyle limitations I have mentioned before, and if you have to dress very formally a lot then you have to think carefully right from the start about the level of extra height you are going to try to add on a regular basis. However, we probably all have to cope with occasional situations where the limitations mean we can achieve less by way of extra height than we normally do.

So it got me thinking about these limitations and what they mean – firstly, I myself was lucky in that the wedding was younger, fairly casual so not at all the kind of regimented formal wear that demands a certain type of shoe and suit. I was able to very easily wear a pair of my 4” boots (although even in a more easy environment like that, I would not have felt right wearing the thicker-soled 5” styles). The groom himself wore a casual suit and a pair of Cuban heel type boots with 3” heels! And he himself is about 6’4”. 

bridegrooms elevator shoes

But the fact is that we all at some point have to cope with the much more formal situations so here is my take on it. If you are regularly adding anything up to about the 3” mark and mostly go no higher, then really you have no problems except for deciding whether to invest in an extra pair of more formal shoes up to the 3.1” (cm) height. If your lifestyle is like mine for example (I work in an area that is really casual and almost NEVER wear a suit), then that IS an issue – do you invest in something specific for a very formal occasion when with that cash you would probably more like to buy something that you can wear all the time? 

The other key really is, to what extent do you absolutely HAVE to keep your usual height up? It’s easy to imagine that everyone will notice the loss of an inch but they really will NOT – you will notice it and be aware of it. Wearing very big solid boots with a formal suit only looks right when it’s fashionable – otherwise it has the look of some of those celeb catwalk shots where you see them trying to add height by wearing great big boots under the tux. All wrong. And a bit on the obvious side. People aren’t measuring each others’ height at such occasions – anyone reading this is not their height and very aware of it, naturally – but loads of people are not. imho in a very formal situation you are best taking it on the chin, dropping an inch and conforming if you have to.

The real issues do come if you are trying to max out your height gain and want to maintain serious height addition without it looking odd in more formal clothes – someone like myself goes all the time for a 4” or 5” addition, and a really formal situation where you wear what amounts to totally flat fine shoes is quite a shock!

I have thought of this a lot and I believe that even if you regularly go for, say, 4” on a daily basis, you can find dozens of different styles of what are called in some markets ‘dress shoes’ in up to 3.1” (8cm). And they are fine.

If you look at those shoes you will see that they offer a height increase that is of course less than the 4” I get day to day with my lowest ones…but it is not THAT much less – it’s not like dropping from a 4” to just an extra inch-and-a-half. It strikes me that it is worth having such a pair at some point unless your lifestyle is such that you really never will want to wear a standard pair of dress shoes. 

And if you really are THAT bothered at losing the inch from 4 to 3, then you can always tuck in a little lift as well! 

A PS on Cuban heel boots

Btw here is an interesting point about Cuban heel boots – they look great and create a nice line to pants etc, BUT they do not add as much height as you might think. The reason for this is that although there is a heel, the slant of your body lessens the adding of height as does the very thin flat sole. PLUS the important fact that your own heel sits right on that 3” heel with only a very thin piece of sole in between. Unlike most boots where there is a much thicker layer, of course.

What this means is that effectively you gain about as much height as you gain from a pair of normal Timberlands! This is not much understood, because you will see the heel and think “they MUST add height”. Yes they do, but all the extra height you are gaining is visible and there is none of the normal thicker sole that you get from other boots or even shoes. And the slight problem with this is that in some situations it can LOOK like you are adding height by wearing heels. When you are not really! It’s a matter of taste of course but it means basically that you gain less height than you get from the lowest elevators and it LOOKS like you are adding height – for most of us that’s the opposite of what we wanna achieve.

Adding height for formal occasions – some thoughts - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Mythbusters – height and attraction

Another area for much mythmaking is over the relative attraction or importance of height. A bit like other appearance issues, we are always being fed opposite and confused messages by the media. Read the popular press and you will see: “Hunky 6’4” Mark with his huge pecs and biceps looks great in his board shorts at the glamorous resort in the sun where 43 women have been chasing him for attention day and night” or whatever. A comment you will not read in such a slavish way about someone who is 5’4”, and averagely overweight slapping on the suntan cream at this ‘glamorous resort’, even if 143 women are chasing him night and day. That really is just a fact. It is nothing to get too bothered about either. 

But what IS tricky is that the same newspaper will then repeat trite comments elsewhere in the paper about “appearance not mattering”….”it’s inside what counts”. If that were the case, then the media coverage would be the same about that someone of average height and average body at that ‘glamorous resort’. Media coverage = exposure = money for those favoured with appearance because they look good. That really is a fact as well.

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Something is attractive because it attracts, and usually physically. And this counts, whether we like it or not. And height is PART of that, again whether we like it or not.

Where this affects us is that height is one of the key factors of appearance (specially for a man) and the odd inch or two really does make an incredible difference. It is also really easy to achieve discreetly. People who will say “height doesn’t matter” will in almost the same breath mention a tall guy they know favourably in direct link to his height. They also do not really understand the inconsistency of their comments and approach. This of course is a lesson which we have to learn very quickly that what people say is NOT always what they mean (“you look very nice,” becomes “doesn’t she look a mess” when ‘she’ is out of the room).

You get this about height – lots of comments online suggesting that relatively normal heights are ‘too tall’. Always accompanied by clichés about the difficulty of sitting in cars and on board a flight. Well it’s ALL rubbish – there is no such thing as ‘too tall’ or indeed ‘too short’. But there are some simple facts about height shorn of the emotive special pleading by people who have issues with it.

Most men could benefit from having a couple extra inches of height, and it’s all really about how you finesse achieving it. Having done it since about 1999/2000, I can tell you that I myself will NEVER want to go back to my ‘real’ height, a view/desire which most of the guys I have discussed it with share. I get a better response adding height, and know that you can get a relatively low but crucial additional couple of inches in a way that no-one could ever guess. 

I concede that someone like myself who adds 5” has more considerations to take into account, with lifestyle, greater need to avoid detection etc. But for 2” or even 3”? No sweat at all. And it makes an amazing difference.

Through my posting of advice online, I advise one guy in the US who is a moderately well-known sportsman, retiring from playing soon and wants to be seen as taller. Already very tall. He was really tricky to advise because (and I understand this) in his position there is greater scrutiny of his appearance etc. But when he finally took the plunge and bought a 3” pair, he was just stunned that no-one said a thing – not even his wife. As he said to me, she would be THE FIRST to say something and would have no qualms about doing so. He still cannot believe it. I think even at his height his wife might have grasped it had he gone for 5” boots. But who knows?

The key with taking down this myth about appearance not mattering is to not overly bother about it and just accept that it DOES matter (whatever is said) and that if you want to do something about it, then take the bull by the horns and just do it. Listen to the subtexts of what is said and you realize that it IS important and that you CAN benefit from added height. But it is not vital – you don’t HAVE to do it to get the girl or the job. But height helps.

Mythbusters – height and attraction - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

My first Mythbuster – the effects on your feet of wearing elevators

One of the reasons I started advising people about adding height was my own experience starting around the year 2000 and the fact that I saw absolutely nothing online by way of advice. 16 years later, there still isn’t much! In common with a lot of areas about personal appearance, there is just a whole lot of rubbish masquerading as fact – fake ‘facts’ with no proof or research. The lack of proper info is a vacuum, which means that all sorts of odd folk pour in their particular bias, frantically typing away like maniacs howling abuse at anyone who does something they just don’t approve of, and making up any old rubbish to suit.

I asked one guy who had posted something completely weird where his ‘research’ or facts came from – and his response was to send me three comments made online by ‘Anon’ in some chatroom. That was it, the ‘research’ to back up his claim that some completely off the wall and plain odd comment was “A FACT, research PROVES IT’. What he was really saying was: “This is my bias, I know nothing but I have a strong view, so I will just search for something online posted by someone who thinks the way I do – ‘all elevators suck, so there, and you will have 6 years and 4 months bad luck if you even look at a pair’.

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I come from a family of scientists (although not one myself) and it astonishes me the degree to which people online now just repeat unfounded rubbish as ‘fact’, just because they have read it somewhere. It is worth adding here that some of the quite virulent attacks on appearance-related issues online and indeed odd obsessions among some journalists, are more really about the person writing them – obsessions, inadequacies, jealousies and mild ‘issues’ which lead to loud and screaming views. You see the same when people post about ‘celebrities’ that they do not know – anger and fury and nasty personal attacks (they do not know the person but feel able, hiding behind a false name, to just hurl abuse and unpleasantness).

So I thought I would tackle some of these false and untested claims in a different way in my pieces here, and this is the first of a series of Mythbusters, on the effects of wearing elevators – I have been adding height now for over 16 years, made all the mistakes (there are plenty) and have learned that there ARE issues you have to deal with – but you will not be helped by looking at the online comments of people who have never worn them, never used them at all. My first myth is “elevators are bad for your feet, FACT”. Well of course it is not FACT (or even just fact) and there is not one single piece of research that they are any worse for you than flat shoes or going barefoot or eating carrots. It is an irony that this subject comes up quite often in the occasional online comment but no-one ever gives proof of research or facts. In essence they say that elevators ‘must’ be bad for your feet (usually in capital letters of course!) but give no research or back-up. And that is because there is none.

Journalist sensation & online weird

Now just have a look at this story which ‘proves’ that “flat shoes can ACTUALLY damage your feet” (the story screams that in the headline). ( ) Of course it proves nothing of the sort but it pretends it does. It is rarer than stories that heels are bad for you but it is the same really. It is interesting because it is the mirror image of the mad and more frequent comments made by people going on about how if you wear high heels or elevators your feet will drop off after a week. It is simply not true that any credible or long term research says that flat shoes are ‘bad for you’ or that elevators are, or in fact even that stiletto heels are. What any research on any aspect of footwear has shown is that wearing the same shoes and standing all day (whether flat or heeled or elevated or even bare foot) is probably not as good for you as having a break (duh, obvious surely) but that has been turned in this particular story by journalists seeking sensation into “flat shoes are bad for you”.

Take a break off your feet

This one is an important one because at its heart are throwaway comments attributing all sorts of potential problems to heels or elevators and the only content of any research that is proven is the one about the need to get off your feet at times and have a rest. That’s it. Oh apart from the usual – shoes must not be too tight (circulation) and you mustn’t run in certain ones. Any of the cod ‘scientific’ arguments that you see online or in newspapers about the potential dangers (usually the comments refer to heels) apply also to flat shoes and are covered in phrases and words like “experts believe” (which experts, where are their facts to back this ‘belief’?), or “foot specialists think it may…” (“may”? “think?” – that’s not a fact or research, it’s opinion backed by thin air).

They are selling something

And remember. They are also, ahem, selling something – the services of foot doctors et al. Who are only too happy to tell you that ANYTHING you are doing is wrong (as they take their fees) – tell them you have been in flat shoes all day every day and they’ll say “Ah well that’s where you have been going wrong…flat shoes are not good for arches…”. Tell them you’ve been wearing 4” elevators all day and they’ll say “Ah that’s where you have been going wrong…etc etc”.These are all new areas, with no proper study, but people are anxious to make money and journalists are anxious to make people read sensation. Here’s the plain and rather boring facts – ALL shoes should not be worn all the time/all day without a break. Everyone should take a break from their feet, specially those who work standing in one place a lot. Elevators absolutely do NOT cause any problems any different to those of any other sort of footwear unless they fit too tightly. Make sure the toes are not squeezed into anything. And do foot exercises (not just those who stand a lot, anyone). And remember if you do not read this article again, FACT, both your feet will drop off. Within 47 hours and 23 minutes, ‘studies and experts have shown’…Research PROVES IT.


My first Mythbuster – the effects on your feet of wearing elevators - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Adding Height at Work – Some Rules

“I have always been the tallest in our sales teams at work, and I like being so, but there’s this guy who has started working at our firm. Now it’s likely he will join my own team. Problem is he is taller and I want to get in now and add height convincingly so I can at least not be towered by him. What do you suggest?” Mike

This is an e-mail I had from one guy last week. Outside of the “will my girlfriend notice?” type of question, this is a variation of an issue that I have heard so often now that I think it’s worth devoting a specific piece to. Getting taller AT WORK.

The concern about work colleagues (and specifically new ones) applies to guys of all heights – another guy who has now bought a couple of pairs of GuidoMaggi elevators – you know who you are! – wrote to me a year ago bothered that he too had always been the tallest and that a new guy was about to start (in a few weeks) who was taller. “I urgently need to do something”. Most of you will laugh – this guy who wrote to me a year ago is … 6’4”, his new rival 6’6”!  

Mike (the latest one, above) is just a tad over 6’. But I have also had many similar questions from guys of ALL heights and the rules are similar.

elevator shoes for work

So it emphatically is NOT just a situation that affects guys who are 5’6” and want to get there with the 5’10”s. It cuts right across all guys because of the macho nature of size and height, and the perception that taller people are somehow advantaged.

Work dress codes are different

The issues around adding height in this situation, though, are quite different to those involved in wanting to add height socially in a club or out at night in the bar. Work is of course massively varied, with ever changing and evolving dress codes. Some types of business are very demanding with the dress code, even casual being defined right down to the colours and widths of trousers and styles of shoes – the guy who wrote to me at the top of this piece (and in fact also that very tall one a year ago I additionally referred to) work in offices where pretty formal wear is the order of the day. Suits, ties, jackets, colours and styles that have remained pretty much the same (but with subtle changes to allow for trends that pass into the mainstream) over the past 20 years or more.

The first important point is that there is probably almost no room at all for big boot styles - but YES to the flatter kind of boot styles that double up as shoes that are often worn by younger guys with suits and formal work trousers in an office situation. This is good news: they can add more height and they really are NOT just for the young – they can be worn by all. Similarly there is a little latitude in many places for a bit of fashion – and it is within fashion trends that you can often get away with a bit more.

Here was my plan for Mike to get taller in a way that is not noticed and also does not break the standard office code on what you wear.

Firstly there is a limit in most offices on the added height you will ever achieve simply by virtue of the fact that thicker-soled boots are a big no no – just look at the red carpet guys who wear suits and great chunky boots to appear taller (sorry Vin Diesel and RDJ, but they look all wrong) and you can see why they just do not fit the formal ethos of most offices. I stress that this does not apply to all offices – again I talk about your average office of professionals outside of the creative.

Dress shoes and boots with a sole not too thick

The start point for Mike (after trying out an inch or so of lift every day in is current footwear) is really twofold – ‘dress shoes’ like the range here all of which come in up to just over 3” (8cm) and boots like the Milano, Gallipoli, Roma, Prague or (my fave and the ones I wear all the time) Ischia - I don’t work in an office, never have but these boots fit ALL moods – and these can come in up to 4” (10cm). But not 5”. They have a flat enough sole for almost all workplaces (that is a real key) and they fit the most recent ideal of the kind of boot that is worn with the suit. A lot of young guys began wearing boots with suits because they give a better line than many shoes, the suit hangs clean over them in a line where with shoes that’s more difficult to finesse.

As I always say, ALL shoes add about an inch, then bear that in mind when you buy – in Mike’s position as he is well over 6’ already, I would go for a 3” classic shoe and a 4” boot if he thinks he needs to have both kinda styles – but if boots always do the trick, then  no problem, go straight for two varied pairs of 4” boots – flat sole, not the chunkier sole you get on the 5” boots.

And with the two pairs of removable lifts that come with the boots (one slightly higher than the other), you can go slightly up and down in height according to what you want – you will quickly find that you can go a bit higher after wearing them for a while. It is about confidence – I can tell you several times that ‘no-one will notice’ but you really have to learn for yourself. I have said it here before about people’s lack of ability to spot changes or things about appearance.

Doing stuff out of work with colleagues?

But there are important caveats for work, based on the variations of your own experience. No workplace is just ‘go to work, sit at desk, make the calls and leave’. Interaction, banter, movement, socializing – all sorts of stuff mean that there are major differences. For example, if you play a sport with your colleagues after work, then it will be more difficult to carry off a 4” elevator, specially if you are shorter. Not impossible but difficult. You have to wear less addition in those circumstances – don’t worry about the very odd occasions when taking shoes off, those can be finessed (eg at airport security with a colleague, I have written about this in my column already). But regular occurrences through socializing etc require you to drop at least an inch for day-to-day, with a bit higher for special. 

And my same rules about height addition depending upon your current height also apply. Scroll up and you see I did a piece about these – read this, as the same rules apply here. For example, I would be uneasy advising a guy who is 5’6” to add 4” day-to-day. Sure, for special occasions and when you want to appear specially tall. And SOME guys DO do this anyway with no issues– but day to day, for me, your best bets at that height are the 2” and 3” boots to start And then if you think you have no issues or problems, then go for the 4” boots.

Once again, it is counter-intuitive I know, but no-one at work will notice these fine distinctions, these grades of gradual increase, really they will not. Gradual change on the old ‘boiling frog’ principle works its magic every time, specially with adding height. In work more than anywhere. And walking taller at work feels very cool.

Adding Height at Work – Some Rules - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Adding height the right way – a case history

It’s difficult getting height addition really right on your own without a lot of trial and error. Adding inches and keeping it discreet, in comfort, gradually enough (but not too gradual!). I have been doing it 17 years since my late teens and am still learning. There are not many actual examples that are right out there, in full view, and the only time you become aware of elevators is when you see stars wearing appalling clumpy great boots with suits on a catwalk in an attempt to seem taller.  So I am going to tell you about a mate of mine who is really one of the very few people I actually personally KNOW and see regularly who adds height like I do. I have given loads of advice to guys online and anonymously – mainly because I read such rubbish about the subject and cannot resist commenting and offering my views, having done it successfully for so many years – but rarely do I meet anyone. I like to keep my secret safe and as the old saying goes – ‘once one person knows, everyone knows’. Unless I guess (hopefully) it is a secret you share in common over a long period. 

elevator boots

Greg and I got to know each other when he worked in a business linked to mine and he used to go on all the time about how tall I was. He then was quite frank with me about wanting to appear taller and our friendship was such that I shared a few thoughts and in the end after quite a while told him that I too added height. He is a good bit shorter than me, at 5’9”, and his path to adding height has also been shorter! – he started 7 years ago. But his story is so useful and such a good example of how to do it right that I thought I would share it with you. When we met, I was wearing lifts all the time and had not yet got on to elevators. I didn’t realize it but he too was wearing lifts. It came about quite naturally that he commented on wanting to appear taller, he always bought and wore boots that added a bit of height, like Timberlands and Doc Martens. And he mentioned that he was in the habit of stacking insoles etc. “For comfort”! Having got the crap out of the way I talked frankly with him and he was totally amazed that I wore lifts – and a lot bigger of course by that stage than what he was wearing. He then bought himself some lifts, wore boots a little larger than his normal size to get more in and spent a few years adding height generally. His comment to me one day was revealing, at the stage he was comfortably adding a couple of inches: “You know this is weird but I SWEAR I thought my girlfriend would twig that I was adding height. She hasn’t, at all. I guess she has just got used to me at slightly different heights but for me those 2” extra are amazing”.  By now he had got used to adding a bit of height and had realized he could in fact take it further – but with lifts this really proves impossible to do in comfort. So after I myself bought my first pair of GuidoMaggi’s a couple of years ago, he watched on carefully and then bought the same as myself but an inch or so lower – the Ischias. Nicely made, beautifully made in fact, but very plain and practical and mainstream and quality. This meant he was adding about 3” of height now and getting used to it. As they went with practically everything he wore he got used to them and so started using the slightly higher lift supplied with them, giving him another half inch or so.

“Again I was amazed that no-one, just no-one, had really made any kinda observation that I was getting taller,” he told me. “I was really worried that it would be ‘Yikes. Look he has shot up’. None of that at all. My mates at work, my girlfriend, my family. I may have had the odd occasional comment along the lines of ‘you are taller than I thought’ but even that wasn’t probing or questioning – it was just a kinda statement of fact. And it wasn’t like ‘oh God you were tiny and now you are massive’. It was just the kinda thing you say when you see someone and comment, like as if they have been working out and then one day a bit of muscle shows in the t-shirt”. By this point, Greg was hitting 6’ quite easily and at this stage very very comfortable with the addition. He was adding incrementally, bit by bit and it was working – the ‘boiling frog’ principle (a nasty analogy but it is often used!). Throughout this, it seemed to me he was able to do it right (with a bit of guidance!), not crashing around in a pair of suddenly acquired max 5” boots having done nothing to prepare the world for the New Tall Greg! Certainly he did not have to do too much expensive and time wasting experimentation (that I had had to do over the years). Now Greg really wants to be as tall as absolutely possible but realized that the next stages had to be carefully worked out given his actual height. “I think I realized that wearing 5” elevators regularly at my height and in my lifestyle/situation was going to have to be carefully thought through, and in the end I decided no, I will stick to 4” absolute max day to day, but get some 5” elevators for really special – nights out, maybe situations where I will meet other tall guys socially like my girlfriend’s brother who is indeed 6’2”. 

So that’s what he did in the end only a few months ago.  And it matters not at all that his height varies a little. Everyone’s does in different footwear. He is never less than an extra 3” which is around 6’ and hits higher on nights out. If ever there was an example of doing it right, gradually, and getting acclimatized to the changes, Greg’s is it. He has never felt odd or uncomfortable, never felt that people were looking and wondering anything at all. Every new slight advance was made easier from a comfort and walkable point of view. And most importantly really – the gradual way in which he did it means that his enhanced height feels real and natural.

Adding height the right way – a case history - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Will I be able to walk? Won’t they ruin my feet?

One of the great misconceptions about footwear generally is that anything you like to wear must be bad for you. You read totally unscientific comments and scare stories about how high heels/elevators/fashion shoes/sneakers/flat shoes ‘must’ be bad for you but you rarely see any serious science that proves this. This is because it’s another of these hype and scare ideas that journalists so love - all based upon an extreme scenario mangling completely unscientific ‘research’ that they can attach screaming headlines to – but they can never cite any really serious examples other than general stuff.

If you believe everything you read, then will not be wearing any sneakers/trainers again because these have been said in stories to be bad for your feet, nor will you wear flat shoes ever again because, to quote a story in the Irish Examiner last summer: “did you know that wearing flat shoes can actually damage your feet?” And so it goes on. Not much is ever really proved, although it all sounds nice and pseudo scientific.

This is important here because you will see the daftest and loopiest comments made online (“I read it on the internet so it MUST be true”) about elevators. Not many, but some people end up with a bit of an issue about anything that makes people look better and try to pour cold water on it. Without fail, these people have no scientific background, no knowledge of elevators, in fact no experience of anything they are writing about – just a weird bias against personal improvement. “I mean, it must be bad and wrong, right?”

elevator shoes for walking

There is the simplest and most sensible point about ALL footwear and that is that you cannot wear any pair of shoes or boots for 24 hours at a stretch, on your feet all day, day in day out, without it having some negative impact. You need a break.

Resting your feet, stretching exercises, periods without wearing anything, wearing different shoes…all these help to ensure your feet and legs stay healthy. It is less to do with the style of shoe you are wearing than with taking a break, ringing the changes and mixing it up a bit.

Any actual research that you CAN get hold of is really just about this one point. Strip away the hype and the classic journalese and that’s what you’ve got – don’t do something to extreme and without break.

My own experience over the years tell me that this is how you tackle elevators and lifts…just like any other shoes or boots – you can wear elevators WAY longer at a stretch than lifts but if you are going way up there for the max, then you have to take a break. On your feet all day in a pair 5” elevators walking everywhere – well I have done it but if you don’t sit down in any shoes your feet will feel tired. Lifts are much trickier because they can slip, fit wrongly and put pressure on in the wrong places – I really see them as a training ground for getting used to being taller with the real thing – properly made elevators.

Getting used to your elevators

But this brings me to the major point. Breaking in your elevators. Even if, like me, you wore lifts for years before buying your first elevators, the main issue is that you have to get USED to wearing elevators and I learned that with this you need a bit of a plan.

It’s so simple and it has worked with everyone I have advised.

You get them out of the box and after giving them the initial polish (I always do that, force of habit), you take them for a short walk on your own and under your own steam. Firstly you walk around at home for 15-20 minutes, just getting used to the different perspective. You absolutely will FEEL way taller – that fridge door handle and top will seem almost ‘different’ (in a great way). But you need to get used to it.

Then you go for a short walk – in London where I am based, this means going to the newsagents or local shop, walking to a bar but not hanging around in it, or taking the dog for a walk. Allow 45 mins max. The reason for this timing is that you do not want to return after an enforced 4 hours in a new pair of new boots thinking “that was terrible”. You probably will not anyway, and you could just as easily feel this about ANY shoes you buy in the local shoe store. But these are special and you need to get accustomed. They key to this short walk is that you yourself are in control – you can set the time you are out, which you can’t do if you decide to go out with mates and it turns into a long 6 hours at the bar you cannot get out of once you have started.

Do this two or three times and then you are really ready, because you will for sure have got used to walking in them - and just to make sure, just do a trip involving other stuff that is not too long drawn out. Yes, a night with some mates at a bar or club you know will end in a few hours, some time seeing family. Whatever.

Now a lot of this depends upon how high you have gone. I went a bit wild and straight for 5” elevators. But I had had years of lift wearing before so was used to lots of it – the main thing for me was that they were the most comfortable boots I had worn in YEARS. OK, I couldn’t run in 5” elevators. OK I have to be a bit more careful about uneven surfaces. OK, I didn’t really wanna walk for hours or stand all day (but I couldn’t even do that when I was not wearing any lifts or elevators at age 17!).

But every inch lower than the full on 5” is easier to finesse and walk easily in – and a pair of 3.1” (8cm) elevators, well they really are a breeze after a bit of walking-in… just SO easy to get accustomed to. 


Will I be able to walk? Won’t they ruin my feet? - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote