How to Increase Heel Height

By Jenni Wiltz

You can increase the heel height on your favorite pair of boots, loafers or pumps without resoling or replacing the heel. All you need to do is add a "booster" pad between the body of the shoe and the heel. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to make the color of this pad match the color of your shoe--try it first with solid color heels in an easy-to-match color such as black or brown.

Add height to your favorite pumps with a homemade insert.

Remove the Heel

Step 1

Use a razor blade or knife to pry up the part of the insole that covers the heel. If you can't pry it up, you can slit it along the edges.

Step 2

Peel back the insole until you can see where the heel is attached to the body of the shoe (most heels are secured with nails and shoe glue).

Step 3

Grip the nails with tweezers and pull them out. Note the position of the nail holes--you will put new nails into these holes later.

Step 4

Knock the heel gently with a hammer to dislodge it.

Make a Heel Lift

Step 5

Buy a small piece of foam core, foam matting or self-adhering shoe sole (available from shoe repair stores).

Step 6

Use the top of your dislodged heel as a stencil and trace its outline in chalk along the foam core.

Step 7

Cut the material to the shape you traced. Hold it in place between the heel and the body of the shoe to check the size; trim if needed.

Step 8

Paint the insert the color of the heel. All-weather outdoor spray paint works well, as does exterior acrylic paint applied with a foam brush. If you like, you can paint over the heel, too, to make sure it's a perfect match.

Step 9

Let your insert dry for the amount of time specified by the paint's usage instructions.

Attach the Lift and the Heel

Step 10

Glue the insert to the heel with shoe glue.

Step 11

Allow glue to set and dry before attaching the heel to the shoe.

Step 12

Glue the combined insert/heel to the shoe.

Step 13

Coat the shaft of your replacement shoe nails with shoe glue.

Step 14

Slip the shoe nails back into the holes they came from, in the body of the shoe, and press them down as far as they will go.

Step 15

Hammer the shoe nails the rest of the way down.

Step 16

Glue down the insole so it lays flat and covers the heel.