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Shorter heel on a cordovan dress shoe?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by NDND2012, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. NDND2012

    NDND2012 Active Member

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    Dec 31, 2012
    I'm looking for a pair of burgundy cordovan oxfords. I tried on a couple of pairs at allen edmonds on a recent trip to NYC. I found some nice looking shoes but I found the heels a bit chunky I guess. I'm 6'6" so I have always gravitated to italian loafers which don't boost my already somewhat awkward height (sounds weird perhaps).

    Having a new pair resoled to a different heel height, would that be sacrilege and destroy the look of the shoe? Would a bespoke shoemaker be able to accommodate such a request or would they laugh in my face?

    Would appreciate any advice/options.

  2. SpiffEngineer

    SpiffEngineer Senior member

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    May 2, 2012
    I am not sure if heel height can be significantly changed; because of how it would affect your gait, with the foot and toes landing at a different angles from the shoe's original design. You can at least change to a single leather sole, as opposed to the double leather sole used on many cordovan bluchers, which might reduce the height by 1/4 inch.
    You might have better luck with an English (CJ, EG) or European brand (Carmina, Vass) than an American brand, as the former tend to offer sleeker, less bulky shoes. In addition, selecting balmorals rather than bluchers will probably get you a thinner, sleeker sole. You may also want to take a look at the different welting techniques, as that has the potential to affect sole and footbed thickness.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013

  3. eluther

    eluther Senior member

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    Apr 10, 2011
    The heel on a men's dress shoe is typically ~<1/2 an inch. Even assuming it's a full inch (which it definitely is not in the case of a pair of AEs), that only makes 1/2 an inch difference in your height. I think you're splitting hairs here.

    Talking about getting a bespoke pair of shoes made so you can shave some tiny fraction of an inch off of the heel for some imperceptible difference in your height is ridiculous and fussy. We're not talking about the height of lucite heels here.

    Find a pair of shoes you like the looks of, buy, and wear them. In a few weeks you'll forget it was ever an issue.

  4. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Look for single soled, blake stitched, oxfords - generally of Italian make. (Santoni, Sutor, etc. etc.)

    There zillions of these made every year in Italy by a plethora of makers.

  5. StarterStyle

    StarterStyle Senior member

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    Jan 1, 2007
    If you're one of the "zero drop" guys then either have a cobbler take off all the stacked leather of the heel and replace the lift, or get some driving mocs/boat shoes/fashion forward sneaker-oxfords.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013

  6. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Sep 3, 2012
    It is hard to believe that the fraction of an inch height loss you could achieve would be noticeable, and certainly not worth butchering your shoes. Going for shoes made with thinner soles and low heels, as others suggested, would have the same minimal effect, but at least it would not require dismantling brand new shoes.

    Most people your height are also heavier than most men, and may appreciate the cushioning and support of more substantial shoes. Your best bet may be to accept your height, reailze that at 78 inches, half an inch plus or minus is not going to matter, and get shoes that are comfortable and please your eye.

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