Guidomaggi Review: Luxury Italian-Made Elevator Shoes

Guidomaggi Madrid closeup 2

Elevator shoes – also called “height increasing shoes” or “tall shoes” – are shoes that make you look taller. In the same way that high heels make women appear taller, heightening shoes add a couple of inches to a man's height.

Tall shoes aren't for everyone, and I'm not recommending that all short men should wear them. More on that here:

Should Short Men Wear Elevator Shoes?

But if you are going to wear height increasing shoes, you have to make sure they're stylish. Unfortunately, many elevator shoes are downright ugly. Which is why Emanuele Briganti created Guidomaggi, a shoe company that makes luxury height increasing shoes.

Emanuele is 5'9″, and he clearly knows a thing or two about dressing well.

Guidomaggi CEO Emanuele Briganti

He couldn't find any heightening shoes that actually looked good. He saw that most elevator shoes were mass-produced in Asia, and he believed that he could create a more comfortable and better-looking product.

Guidomaggi shoes are handmade (sewn by hand, as opposed to machine-made) in Italy using old school, time-tested techniques honed by Emanuele's great-grandfather, Guido Maggi.

Handsewn elevator shoes

Guidomaggi construction

So how do Guidomaggi shoes make you taller? They include an extra insole called the “increaser insole”. It's removeable, and it comes in different thicknesses.

Guidomaggi Construction

Thicker = taller. So you can choose between 2.4, 2.75, 3.1 or 4 inches of extra height. In my opinion, 2.4″ is plenty!

Guidomaggi carries all kinds of shoes, from dress shoes and loafers to boots and sneakers. I love boots, which tend to have thick heels anyway, so I chose to review the Madrid brown leather boots.

Guidomaggi Madrid closeup 1

They're made with full-grain leather, goatskin lining, waxed laces and a rubber sole (which is much better than leather for walking on wet surfaces).

You can see and feel the premium construction quality in these boots. They fit like a glove, and they're much softer than other boots I've tried that require a painful breaking in period.

Walking around in these boots feels a bit awkward at first. The insole tapers toward the front of the shoe, so your heels are higher than your toes. This isn't visibly noticeable, but you can definitely feel it:

Elevator shoes

boots | chinos | jacket | vest | shirt | gloves | sunglasses

I like these boots because they can be dressed up or down. They lean toward casual, but they're sleeker and more elegant than other boots that are strictly casual, like the Wolverine 1000 Mile or Alden Indy.

Guidomaggi Madrid boots_sitting

Heightening aside, they really are handsome boots. Unlike many other tall shoes, these don't look blocky and obvious. They just look like nice leather boots. The height increase is subtle (at least with the 2.4″ insoles).

Guidomaggi shoes are not cheap. I got these boots for free, for the purpose of this review, but they're the some of the most expensive footwear in my closet. Like any other high quality shoes, these are long-term investments – the kind of shoes you bring to the cobbler to get resoled instead of throwing away.

The bottom line is this – if you want to wear elevator shoes, and you can afford to pay for the best, Guidomaggi is for you.

Note: This post is sponsored by Guidomaggi, which means I was compensated to write it. But fear not! I would never endorse anything I wouldn't actually wear. You can be sure that this sponsored post is 100% honest and objective.

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  1. These shoes are nice, but way out of many guys’ budgets. Any idea of lower cost alternatives. I used a Chinese made elevator shoe back about 10 years ago and they wrecked my feet.

    • There are other companies making good-looking elevator shoes, but I haven’t personally tried any of them, so I can’t vouch for them (in terms of comfort and quality).

  2. I just love your shoes, Brock and they really do not look like elevator shoes – classy, they are certainly a keeper.

  3. Roehl Galang says:

    You have my utmost approval. You look like you’re at least 5’9” tall and the way you put together that look – very stylish and masculine. The way men should always dress.

  4. Brock mate, my google alert for elevators and GuidoMaggi led me to your excellent site: you look great in those boots and no-one in 100 years would think you had added height. I have been adding height through lifts since I was 19 (now 35) and am quite an expert at doing it undetectably. I only discovered GuidoMaggis (GMs as I call them) through my google alert and I did not buy at first for a long time because of the price. They seemed way out of my range but totally fab: they were/are in a totally different league to anything else, and that is obvious from the site.

    With 16 years experience of lifts and of ignoring most elevators (mass produced far east stuff and not v good), I finally took the plunge when I had signed up to the GM site and got a small promotional discount. It was the best thing I ever did – the boots are classic, will last forever and are undetectable. And I bought the 5″ elevator, the highest. That height is probably not for everyone but if it IS your bag, then the GM ones are which are the most undetectable. As I am totally used to the business now of my heel being a bit higher, it is no issue. You quickly get used to it. But the boots themselves are just fab. Style, look, fit.

    • Hi ROBV, I am wanting to buy one pair of their sneakers, dress shoe, and boot. Would you recommend another company that’s safe but not as expensive?

  5. personally you recommend the 2.4″ or the 2.75″? i want something that is undetectable when i wear.

  6. Hi Brock, Great site btw! Interesting article…At 5.7″ I’ve been wearing elevator shoes for quite a few years and went through endless amounts of poorly made shoes often with too much additional height ( I think anything over 2 inches is a problem, especially when you have to take your shoes off!). The only decent made pair I have are from donsfootwear (midsole 2inches extra in height) but I find them to be heavy and have caused me quite a bit of ankle pain. Are the Guidomaggi heavy in weight?

  7. I am a 22 year old student from Switzerland and not a tall man. 5’4″ to be exact. And for the most part it doesn’t bother me. I mean, I’ve been short my entire life, kind of used to it by now. I know my short stature hurts me in my personal, dating, and professional life. Short men are seen as less attractive by women. Short men are typically paid less. Etc. I’ve been debating getting elevator shoes. But I can’t get over the feeling that that would be like ‘admitting’ that I am self-conscious about my height. I’ve spent years acting like it doesn’t bother me, no reason to change that now? On the other hand, everything about the way I dress is designed to increase my attractiveness. Why should my shoes be any different? I had never heard of these shoes until now, so I figured there had to be a way for short men to find out about these things better. Well, for the last two months I’ve been wearing a pair of Elevator Shoes called Pastellos (donsfootwear. com/pastello) that give me a height increase of 3.1″ and for formal dinners i’ve worn the “European Summer 2″ (donsfootwear. com/european-summer-2) a nice dress shoe. I love it. They make me 3” taller. That’s over 7cm increased height! I can feel it; the world and other people just look slightly smaller from a few inches taller and I feel much more like I have a gameface on. This must be the feeling women get from wearing makeup. The best part is that the effect doesn’t go away when I tell other people. It’s pretty hard to tell just from looking at the shoes how much taller they make you. The sites are very big on being discreet, like wearing taller shoes is your deepest darkest secret, but I’ve showed everybody whenever I get compliments on the shoes (which is all the time) and everybody thinks the effect is cool, not shameful. As for the shoes themselves, they are both from the same company Donsfootwear. com (check this site out) and they both fit well, are comfortable and well made since they are handmade. Also the shoes themselves look classy as F’ and I’d wear them even when they weren’t Elevator Shoes. I just thought to share my experiences with the Elevator Shoes since I’m really happy with the impact they had on me and my life. So what are your experiences with elevator shoes? :))

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