In this review, I take a look at Chamaripa elevator shoes to help you decide if they’re worth trying out. Read on to learn more.
For centuries, women have had a plethora of footwear choices to help them appear taller. The first known modern account of high heels for men was in the 18th century when King Louis XIV of France sported thick-heeled shoes to give him an added height boost.
He reasoned that a few extra inches would help him better project his “God-given” royal authority.
High heels soon became associated with women’s clothing and fell out of fashion among men. Recently, however, “lifted” shoes for men are starting to make a comeback. Chamaripa is one of the brands leading this trend.
What are Elevator Shoes?
Don’t be so quick to write off elevator shoes as a concept; we’re not talking about men wearing women’s high heels here.
Men’s elevator shoes have a thickened insole that is completely hidden in the shoe bed, thus discreetly elevating the foot, as the name suggests.
The idea is that the invisible nature of the elevator shoe design allows you to fly under-the-radar without anyone noticing that you’ve artificially changed anything about your appearance.
If you feel insecure about trying out elevator shoes, realize that not just women and pompous French kings of yesteryear wear shoes that give them a few extra inches.
Look at the heels of well-made work boots or cowboy boots. Not only do they make the wearer appear taller, they are also functional. They help the wearer with traction, with staying above mud and grime, and with staying in the saddle when riding a horse.
Just like thick heels of work boots serve a purpose, elevator shoes are advertised as a tool to help a man appear several inches taller, ultimately increasing his confidence.
Chamaripa is an Asian-based large-scale elevator shoe manufacturer founded in 1996. The name comes from a folktale about a man in ancient India who became a Buddha after successfully making quality shoes.
Unlike regular dress shoes which provide a very modest bump in height, Chamaripa is able to provide a subtle, yet noticeable, 2-5 inch increase.
They also stand behind their product with a free lifetime replacement of the height-increasing layer of the insole.
While I picked up a standard model, Chamaripa also offers several customization services including outsole materials and height variation. Chamaripa really wants to make shoes that will fit anybody and that’s something that can definitely be commended.
About The Shoe
Here are some of the finer details of the Chamaripa loafer.
Here are the specs of the shoe that I chose:
- Height Increase: 7 CM / 2.76 Inches
- Upper Material: Brushed Leather
- Lining Material: Premium leather lined
- Outsole Material: Genuine Leather
- Color Selection: Brown
- Style: Slip on Penny Loafer
- Season: All-season
When looking at the materials list for this product, the price seems reasonable, however it will come down to the actual fit and feel of the shoes.
My package didn’t arrive for a few weeks because it shipped from overseas, which is to be expected. The box itself looked to be of high quality but after that, everything fell apart.
After inspecting the shoe by merely gliding my hand over the outsole, the cheap genuine leather was a dead giveaway that Chamaripa does not make a high-quality shoe despite all of the claims on their website.
The so-called leather was slick to the touch and, after trying on the shoe, it creased immediately– leaving the leather almost looking like it was cracked.
At $179, you’d expect that a shoe, especially a shoe serving a special function, would be manufactured with higher quality materials. For example, there are other companies like Greats and Thursday Boots that make a full leather sneaker at this price point.
It feels like they put most of their money into their heel technology and didn’t pay as much attention to materials.
Unfortunately, Chamaripa’s sizing recommendations were off. I ordered size Euro 41 (my usual dress shoe size) but the shoes were too big for my feet. I had some excess room in the front, and my heel was coming out of the shoe in back.
Apart from the fit mishap, I was not impressed with how my foot felt once inside the shoe. I blindly assumed that it would fit more like a platform shoe, when in actuality was more like a high heel.
Being that it fits like a high heel, there is a very steep curve (pun intended) in learning how to walk in a pair of Chamaripas.
Having had a recent bout of Achilles tendinitis, it felt nearly impossible to walk in these shoes due to significant discomfort.
Props to all the people who do this on a daily basis; I wouldn’t last 5 minutes in these.
Aside from the excruciating pain, one great thing about the shoes that I chose from Chamaripa is that they have the potential for being a highly versatile addition to a man’s wardrobe.
Like a classic white leather sneaker, you can wear a brown dress loafer with pretty much anything.
My favorite loafers outfit is chinos and a collared shirt; elevated casual, but certainly not dressy. This outfit can get me into most places without feeling underdressed.
A note for those styling elevator shoes– they are chunky. Keep in mind the fabrics and fit of your outfit to maintain a seamless silhouette.
For me, height is not the end all be all for confidence in how I present myself. I’d much rather have a killer outfit that fits me proportionally than have a false sense of confidence from being taller.
I get it, Chamaripa’s main business objective is to sell shoes. However, I think that crucial aspects of their business, the user experience and customer service, need improvement.
With unnecessary text and grammatical errors, the website is hard to navigate. Our interactions with customer service were also questionable at best.
At $179, these shoes are not super expensive, but also not cheap. In my mind, they are definitely not worth the price given the less than stellar sizing experience and overall poor build quality. They’re merely glorified mall shoes.
This experience has given me a negative perception of the entire elevator shoe industry, making me feel as though they are a gimmick.
Chamaripa gets points for being a widely accessible company that fills a very real void in menswear, but I’d have to pass on this product.
For the right person, there’s definitely something here. However, I personally wouldn’t recommend Chamaripa.