Since 1917 Converse sneakers have been popular, especially among basketball fans, becoming a trademark shoe in fashion culture due to their iconic design and presence. One of the trademarks of the Converse design is the unusually thick outsole which raises questions around how much height benefit you can expect when wearing a pair.
So, do Converse actually make you taller, and how much height do they add?
Converse can add anything between 0.7 inches to 2 inches to your height, depending on the style model. The classic Chuck Taylors add 1 inch of height to your frame. Although your height is increased, it’s debatable if converse will make you noticeably taller. Regardless of how effective the increase to your height might look, factually, you’ll be slightly taller.
Here’s a photo of me measuring the height of my pair of High Top Converse:
As you can see they add 1 inch of height. To see how they look on me, check out my YouTube video:
Before getting your first pair, check out my sizing guide here, especially if you are ordering online!
So in short Converse sneakers do make you taller; however, the amount of height increase will depend on the style model you buy. Let’s take a look at the different models and the amount of height they add, and also discuss other options you can use to make you look even taller in Converse.
How Much Taller Can Converse Make You?
The specific height Converse can add depends primarily on the model you wear. If you take the famous “Chuck Taylor All-star” for example, you’ll be disappointed to know that the 1.2 inch outsole is not the full height that it adds, as the outsole design wraps around the insole inside, which is lower.
As a result, the “Chuck Taylor All-star” model will only add 1 inch to your overall height. However, the ‘Platform’ model will add more than that amount, increasing your height to 1.4 inches.
Both models are similar in style, but you can clearly see the thicker outsole of the converse on the platform, making their height increase a little less subtle looking.
You may also like: Why Is The Converse Logo On The Inside Of The Shoe? A Surprising Answer!
Most customers would opt for models that increase their height without being too noticeable; however, the thick and high outsole is also a major style attraction many customers enjoy displaying. Platform styles are super on trend right now, made popular by the style choices of gen z and TikTok.
If you are looking for even more height, the “Converse Run Start Hike” is an extremely thick and tall shoe, and the design embraces those qualities instead of shying away from them. Moreover, it can add to your height by approximately 2 inches!
Similarly, newer designs like the “Converse Aeon Active CX Low Top” offers a sporty look with a similar outsole thickness. However, the dimensions might vary slightly due to the altered style.
So, the timeless converse designs like the “Chuck 70”, “Classic Chuck,” and even the “Converse CX” all have similar outsole thicknesses that vary by a fraction of a dimension but will only add a height of below an inch. For most people, the increase in height Converse sneakers offer is almost undetectable unless you opt for the Platforms or the Run Start Hike.
Did Converse Design The Thick Soles To Make You Taller?
Although Converse have been designing shoes since 1917, it was only when the semi-professional basketball player Charles Taylor joined the company as a salesman that they started altering and improving the shoes to benefit basketball players specifically. However, was the alteration done to make the players taller?
The basketball shoe design is thicker and taller than most other athletic shoes, and the reasons for this are quite clear – enhanced flexibility and improved ankle support.
Although basketball shoes cannot be too high as they inhibit the players from moving quickly, and the increased height makes injuries more likely, the increased outsole thickness and ankle length provide stability when jumping and landing during a game. Thicker outsoles also aid with shock absorption when continuously landing with your full body weight on your feet.
High ankle and thick outsole shoes are a trademark design of basketball players’ shoes as traction and stiffness are increased, but over the years, the rules became more strict, and players were looking for better designs to cater to their needs. For example, Nike created the Air Jordan Mids, allowing Michael Jordan more freedom of movement than the Highs.
Similarly, most basketball players now prefer a ‘medium-sized’ shoe as it still has a large percentage of the benefits concerning the ‘High’ shoes but with less restricted ankle movement.
As a result, the high ankle and thick outsole Converse design was not created to make players look more high-heeled but taller shoes, at the time, were more advantageous for the players. Although innovation and scientific research favored a smaller shoe, the “High Converse” core design is still relevant and present in most basketball shoes.
What Can I Do To Look Taller In Converse?
If you intend on increasing your height but wish to make it less noticeable, the most effective method is to add shoe lifts to the timeless converse like the “Chuck 70”, “Classic Chuck,” and even the “Converse CX”.
Not only will shoe lifts make you physically taller but they are designed to be inserted into the shoe, if possible depending on the shoe, making them effective, comfortable, and unnoticeable.
Shoe lifts come in different sizes and brands; some are gel soles that add approximately 0.5 inches, whereas others allow you to add layers, creating a height of up to 3.5 inches.
Although shoe lifts are the most effective solution, other options might make you appear taller without affecting your height physically. For example:
- Wear a uniformed outfit of the same color. Dividing the color of your pants and body breaks up the features which reveal the size difference between them. Having an upper body and a lower body with the same color creates the illusion of one long unit, which is why women also appear taller in dresses.
- Avoid oversized clothing. Oversized clothing like baggy shirts and pants makes you seem smaller as it simply doesn’t fit, making you appear smaller in ‘normal clothing.’
- Bulky shoes don’t actually make you look taller. Shoes like the “Converse Run Start Hike” will add inches to your height, but you’ll look small from a distance as the shoes will appear too large for your feet compared to the rest of your body. Instead use the “Classic Chuck” and add a shoe lift.
- Avoid large patterns. Similarly to baggy clothes and bulky shoes, big patterns make you look small; therefore, smaller line patterns will be more advantageous on the shoes and the clothing. In addition, opt for shoes with one color pattern, as bold; colorful shoes will also appear bulky.
Are Shoe Lifts Ideal For Converse?
Shoe lifts are a great solution to appear taller without wearing noticeably bigger shoes, but can shoe lifts be used with Converse?
The answer is yes, specifically the classic design with the high ankle, and here is why:
Shoe lift brands often offer various layers ranging from 1.2 to 3.5 inches. When you place the base shoe lift (also the shortest) inside the shoe, it lifts your feet from the base of the shoe, which will lift them further up the shaft at the back of the shoe. This can result in your heel slipping above the shoe, making walking nearly impossible.
The main benefit of the classic High Top Converse sneakers is that the shaft design goes quite high up the ankle making it possible to add various layers without causing discomfort or forcing the feet above the shaft. The shoe lifts will be unnoticeable, and the converse design is lean and stylish, making your added length appear natural.
In addition, the shoe laces on Converse allow for some room when inserting the lift. Regarding slip-on shoes, the shoe size design is created to make it easy when putting on the shoe but also provides comfort when using the shoe. Unfortunately, the ideal design for ease of use and dress decreases the space available to add other insoles or lifts.
Luckily, Converse sneakers have lengthy laces making it possible to add various layers or beneficial soles and then tighten them afterwards without creating discomfort, as the shoe has the ability to expand.
Are Converse The Best Shoes To Look Taller?
Various brands specialize in shoes that increase your height without looking noticeably bigger or taller. For example, Calto Formal Oxford is a traditional business leather shoe that adds roughly 3 inches to your height, whereas the Chamaripa Monk Strap is a similar design adding around 2.5 inches.
Bearing in mind that there are companies that specialize in creating elevated shoes, which will be much more effective and ideal than Converse, we can specifically assess some popular brands and their respective sneakers to keep the focus on the competitors.
- Nike’s Air Max 720 Running shoe offers an approximate 1.4 inch height increase.
- Adidas’ Yeezy 700 V3 shoe offers an approximate 1.3 inch height increase.
- Chamaripa’s Basketball Shoe offers an approximate 3.74 inch height increase.
- Calto’s Elevator Sneakers offer an approximate 3.2 inch height increase.
As you can see, various other brands offer high-quality shoes with larger sizes and for similar, or even alternative, purposes than Converse. Although Converse has great quality shoes that are stylish and popular, other options on the market can add even more inches to your height.
However, it depends on your style and taste, as the Converse Platform and the Adidas Yeezy 700 V3 shoe will add roughly 1.4 inches to your height. Still, Converse will be more appropriate for stylish casual outings, whereas Adidas is more suitable for exercise attire.
Depending on the model of Converse that you buy; you can add up to 2 inches to your height. Timeless Converse designs like the Chuck 70 are also ideal for adding shoe lifts, making them a wise choice.
However, the standard Converse models will only add less than an inch to your height. The more bulky options might actually make you look shorter as a kind of optical illusion, even though you technically added two inches to your height, so be aware of this.
For more Converse content, check out:
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).