Sustainable Fashion

How Much Height Do Shoes Add?

Abby Lucy

By Abby Lucy-Tucker


The added height shoes give us make us look and feel taller, elongating our legs and giving us a psychological boost, and research shows that taller people are paid more, appear more confident, and are more successful! But just how much height do shoes add?

Shoes add between 0.5 and 7 inches to your height. Fashion footwear like stilettos, pumps, and heeled boots add visible height to the heel, while even athletic sneakers, court shoes, and dress shoes can give a 0.5 to 3 inch boost by increasing the thickness of the midsole.

StyleHeight Added
Elevator Shoes1 to 3 inches
Court Shoes & Athletic Footwear0.5 to 1.2 inches
Fashion Sneakers0.5 to 1.5 inches
Dress Shoes0.5 to 1.5 inches
Kitten HeelsUp to 2 inches
Low Heels2.1 to 2.4 inches
Mid Heels2.5 to 3.4 inches
High Heels3.5 inches or more
Platform HeelsUp to 6 inches or more
BootsUp to 3 inches (6+ for platform boots)

Below, we’ve examined 7 shoe styles in a little more detail, with some style suggestions for adding to your height. Which one are you going to wear?

1. Elevator Shoes Add Up To 3 Inches To Your Height

Elevator Shoes are essentially any shoe constructed with a thicker sole to give you a few extra inches of height.

Unlike high-heel pumps and stilettos, the purpose of elevator shoes is to discretely elevate the entire foot by creating a thicker footbed and outsole so that your extra few inches of height are more subtle.

Look For: Thick Soles, Added Midsoles, Raised Footbeds, Flattering Designs

My Suggested Elevator Shoes for Men

  • Derby UK Navy: These vegan patent leather dress shoes feature breathable moisture- and odor-wicking uppers and thick, robust soles. These dress shoes are stylish, classy, and the perfect everyday office shoes!

My Suggested Elevator Shoes for Women

  • Women’s Tree Dasher Relay: These odor- and moisture-wicking running shoes by Allbirds are breathable and lightweight. The midsoles are made with carbon-negative materials and provide support, comfort, and an inch of extra height!

2. Court Shoes & Athletic Footwear Add 0.5 to 1.2 Inches

Shop for shoes crafted with midsoles, naturally creating thicker soles to add support. Court/basketball shoes are another great option because they are strategically designed to give basketball players a little extra height to dunk the ball more easily.

Person in running shoes running on sand
Even athletic footwear adds to your height

Look For: Midsoles, Cushioned Footbeds, Court & Basketball Shoes, Trail Runners, Athletic Sneakers

My Recommended Athletic Shoes for Men

  • TrailFly G 270 Men’s: These eco-conscious running shoes were renamed “TrailFly” when they won four “Trail Running Shoes of the Year” in 2020. With a 1.3″ high traction sole, these trail sneakers will reduce soreness and make you appear slightly taller!
  • Men’s Court (Ultra Violet Dream): Looking for sustainable court shoes that will give you a hint of height? Check out these court shoes by Thousand Fell! These shoes are built for athletic performance and designed using Earth-friendly practices and materials.

My Recommended Athletic Shoes for Women

  • Women’s Black Bio Leather Lace Up: These Thousand Fell thick-sole sneakers are fit for sports and fashion! The aloe vera-coated, plant leather uppers and 0.8″ thick outsoles offer additional height while maintaining a chic, trendy look!
  • Women’s Tree Dashers: These breathable, lace-up running shoes by Allbirds feature SweetFoam midsoles to deliver top-performance support. Plus, Allbird’s line of Tree Dashers comfortably fits all foot types, especially if you have wide feet.

Unisex Suggestions (European Sizing)

  • Impala Engineered- Mesh Full Black Kaki: Veja’s athletic sneakers feature midsoles carefully constructed to deliver outstanding support. The uppers are made with flexible, eco-friendly materials to hug your feet comfortably.

3. Fashion Sneakers Add 0.5 to 1.5 Inches

Styles like chunky sneakers and platform shoes are popular fashion trends designed to add extra height, cushioning, and support while achieving a cute, casual look!

But be careful — styles like low-tops and skater shoes sometimes create an illusion of added height, but in reality, they don’t have a midsole layer, which means your feet will rest on the thin footbeds less than half an inch thick. Instead, look for “platform low-tops” or shoes with midsoles that result in outsoles greater than 1 inch thick. 

Look For: Platform Low & High Tops, Raised Footbeds, Chunky Sneakers, Elevator Shoes

My Suggested Height-Boosting Sneakers for Women

  • Monterey Platform: Platform shoes add as much height as they sound! These 60s Pop-inspired vegan sneakers by SeaVees feature slip-resistant platform outsoles, cushioned footbeds, and breathable, fashionable corduroy uppers.

These Sneakers for Men Will Subtly Add Height

Unisex Suggestions (European Sizing)

  • Retro 90s White Vanilla Tomato: These thick-outsole sneakers by Flamingos Life are versatile, stylish, and made by a company involved in animal welfare and reforestation projects. These cruelty-free shoes add height and comfort to your favorite casual outfits!

4. Dress Shoes Add 0.5 to 1.5 Inches

While dress shoes are typically thought of as the kind of shoes you’d wear to the office or a formal occasion, you can easily find more casual styles — especially if you’re looking for an everyday dress shoe that will make you feel a little taller!

Look For: Extra Height in Heel, Lifted Insoles & Footbeds, Elevator Shoes

These Men’s Dress Shoes Add Height

  • The Brian Cap Toe: Looking for a more casual style? These eco-friendly dress shoes by Third Mind will offer that extra height in the heel. The sleek aesthetic and fit make them the perfect go-to everyday shoe for various occasions.
  • Gabe Men’s Vegan Oxford Shoe: These Matt & Nat heeled dress shoes feature slim-fitted vegan leather uppers and 1-inch outsoles. The sophisticated all-over black look will subtly make you look taller!

My Recommended Dress Shoes for Women

  • Teresa Dress Shoes (Black): These women’s dress shoes by Ahisma are a great alternative to wearing flat shoes if you want a hint of height without wearing heels. These oxford dress shoes will pair well with business attire and dressy-casual outfits.

5. High Heels Add Up To 6 Inches To Your Height

High heels may be the most obvious choice when considering shoe styles that will give you that extra height. After all, high heel styles are mainly categorized by their heel height — so the sky’s the limit in this section! 

Look For: Platform Outsoles, Wedges, Stilettos, Kitten Heels

How High Are Different Types of High Heels?

Kitten: 2 inches or less

Low: 2.1 to 2.4 inches

Mid: 2.5 to 3.4 inches

High: 3.5 inches or more

Note: The height of heels is not directly correlated with stability — so if you’re not used to heels, don’t worry! Heel shapes like wedges, cone, and block heels offer more balance so that you can wear heels with confidence! 

My Top High Heels Picks: 

  • Ella Kitten Heel: These luxurious REACH Certified vegan leather 2″ kitten heels are perfect if you’re looking for a modest boost.
  • Clara Nude Clear Heels: These clear block heel beauties by Covet Shoes will give you an extra 4″ height without sacrificing stability!

6. Platform Styles Can Increase Your Height Significantly

The advantage of wearing shoes with platform soles is that you don’t necessarily need to change the positioning of your foot (like you do with high heels) to gain a few extra inches of height. The job of platform soles is to elevate your entire foot without putting strain on one part of the foot the way heels do.

Platform shoes come in various shoe styles — sneakers, boots, wedges, heels, and even sandals — creating a fun way to change up your look!

Look For: Wedges, Boots, Sneakers, Heels, Sandals

Women’s Platform Styles That Add Height

  • Itgirl: These metallic purple vegan platform heels feature eye-catching embellishments. With 4.5″ heel and 0.75″ platform, these fashion-forward heels were designed to draw the eye!
  • Meghan Vegan Espadrille 4″ Wedges: Check out these adorable platform wedges by HEXA! The cushioned soles provide plenty of support, so you can wear these 4″ heels (plus 0.5″ platform) without feeling a lack of balance.

My Suggested Platform Shoes for Men

  • Camel Flat Shoe: These platform-inspired shoes by NAE Vegan Shoes are made with vegan materials and feature a rugged sole that creates a unique cross between work boots and oxford shoes.

7. Boots Add Up to 3 Inches (6 for Platform Boots)

If you live in cooler climates, you’re in luck — you can still gain a few extra inches without strapping on a pair of 6″ stilettos! Choose from work boots, hiking, heeled, or platform. The added height in the insole will not only make you feel taller, but it will likely also offer additional support and traction, especially if you’re wearing boots in icy conditions or rugged terrain.

Look For: Platform Boots, Heeled Fashion Boots, Styles W/Natural Height (Combat, Chelsea, Hiking, & Work Boots)

Boots Suggestions for Women

  • Chloe Black Vegan Leather Heeled Long Boot: These Allkind soft vegan leather heeled boots fall just below the knee and feature 3″ stiletto heels — making them the perfect fall fashion favorite!
  • ZUKE Women’s Vegan Chelsea Boots: This pick by Matt & Nat are so cute! These platform-inspired boots come in a variety of colors and feature a 1″ rugged outsole. Pair these boots with a cute pair of dark-colored shorts or your favorite skinny jeans!

Boots Suggestions for Men

  • WVSport Waterproof Urban Boots: These waterproof hiking boots from Will’s Vegan Store are fashionably functional! These all-over black boots feature thick, high-traction outsoles and a sleek design, so you can wear them from hiking trails to city sidewalks!
  • Claudio Vegan Leather Winter Boot (Black): These stylish lace-up winter boots by NOAH Italian Vegan Shoes feature insulated and 2″ slip-resistant, heavy-tread outsoles.


If you’re looking for shoes that will make you look taller in a subtle way, look for styles that feature thicker outsoles instead of higher heels. Look for shoe brands that use sustainable materials to design high-quality footwear that will withstand years of use without breaking down and losing shape.

Abby Lucy

Abby Lucy-Tucker

I am a writer, educator, and devoted environmentalist with a lifelong mission to serve our planet. My goal is to inspire a natural love and curiosity for sustainable products, companies, and lifestyle choices through my writing.