“Reach for the stars,” “Climb the corporate ladder”; for better or worse, ambition is almost always defined vertically. And if you’re a shorter guy, that can have real-world implications. Fortunately, as a society, we seem to be moving forward, with affirmative, positive memes celebrating “short kings.” But until we get there, the best shoe lifts for men can be a viable option for guys looking to add one or two inches without needing to rock a Cuban heel.
What to Consider Before Buying Shoe Lifts
Shoe lifts for men are insoles that are designed to be inserted into your shoes, and they don’t look too different from regular insoles. In fact, there are a few different insole types that fall under the shoe or heel lift category. Some insoles are designed to correct uneven leg lengths, and there are also heel lifts designed to alleviate uncomfortable conditions like Achilles Tendonitis. We’re focusing on cosmetic options that are designed for men who want to add a little extra height. However, these options can also potentially work for other purposes, such as correcting slight leg-length differences or providing cushioning and support. Here are a couple of factors to consider:
- How much height are you looking to add? Common options include 1″ and 2″.
- Are they comfortable enough to walk in? You’ll probably have to adjust your gait, but you don’t want to feel like you’re walking in heels.
- What kind of shoes do you wear? Lifts work best for shoes with some ankle coverage, such as chukka boots. Otherwise, your heel might peek out.
How We Chose the Best Shoe Lifts for Men
Obviously, all of these products add height, which is why there were other factors we also looked at when looking for the best shoe lifts for men. The best shoe lifts for men were trimmable, meaning they could be cut to fit the size of different shoes. Plus, some of our favorite options were customizable — they come with an extra insert that allows you to choose how much height you want to add. Some of them also have gel or air to help provide cushioning and comfort.
These are some of our favorite options.
1. Burlingham’s Shoe Lifts for Men and Women
These insoles from Burlingham’s are designed to add 2″, and they feature a trim-to-fit design to fit men’s and women’s shoe sizes — the men’s sizes go up to 9. The best part of these is that there are actually two inserts included — you can wear one of them to add 1.25″, or attach the extra 0.75″ insert to get a full two-inch lift. The breathable material makes them odor-resistant, and there’s a gel bubble for comfort.
Pros: Versatile option features adjustable heights. Breathable material. Trim-to-fit design works for different shoe sizes.
Cons: Only goes up to size 9 for men.
2. Dr. Foot’s Height Increase Insoles
These heel inserts from Dr. Foot’s are designed to add a little extra height, or they can be used to help even out height discrepancies. They also provide cushioning, making them comfortable if you’re standing for a long time. The insoles are made from a gel material with a honeycomb pattern, helping to absorb shock. They’re available in two heights and two sizes — you can add half an inch or a full inch and choose between small and large depending on your height.
Pros: Comfortable gel material provides support and cushioning. Can be used to add 0.5″ or 1″. Can be used to even up uneven leg lengths.
Cons: Some people may want to add more than 1″ of height.
3. SOL3 Quick Lifts
These convenient lifts from SOL3 add up to 1″ of height to your stature, while also providing cushioning and comfort. The lightweight gel is designed to absorb shock, making them more comfortable if you have sore feet and ankles.
Pros: Adds 1″ height while potentially providing relief. Also available in 0.5″.
Cons: Limited sizing.
4. Ailaka Elastic Shock Absorbing Height Increasing Sports Shoe Insoles
These insoles from Ailaka are designed to absorb shock, making them more comfortable for walking and standing. There are also a wide variety of heights available. It’s worth noting that they’re measured in centimeters, not inches, and they range from 1.5cm to 3.0cm. The soles have a mesh panel that’s designed to allow air to escape for greater comfort.
Pros: Shock absorption for greater comfort. Different sizes and heights are available. Works for different kinds of shoes.
Cons: Limited cushioning in the front of the shoe.
5. Mendez Premium Height Increase Insole
These insoles from Mendez are specifically designed to add a little extra height to your stature. The soles come with two components, allowing you to customize how much height you want to add. The sole itself is 1″, and you can also add the 0.5″ stacker for added height.
Pros: Height adjustable, including an optional 0.5″ stacker. High-density foam that’s designed to reduce lateral strain.
Cons: Only one size available.