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Unread 09-13-2017, 09:29 AM   #1
Schuldig_
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How much visible heel for men?

I've been browsing invisible heels lately (because I'm tiny ), but of course, it's also possible to get away with a tiny bit of visible heel on a man's boot/shoe. What I'm curious is, how much is "okay" if one still wants to keep the shoe looking like a man's? Crossplayers and guys, any ideas? At 5"5, I need all the help I can get, lenghtwise. What's the maximum heel height I could get away with?
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Unread 09-19-2017, 07:49 AM   #2
walkerofdarknes
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Well, it really will depend on the cosplay you're doing. For example, all of my cosplays, including my Gundam, were essentially "un-augmented" in that the cosplays did not have any lifts. The actual design for the Gundam DID include using some lifts, in its case a couple of bed risers bolted together and to some old shoes. I just didn't do it because I thought at 6'1" I could pull off the look without it. Turns out I might have needed the extra height, but anyway...

So like I said, it's about the cosplay you're doing. IF you're doing something that is unique for its height, like...Marvel's Groot, then you'd need to consider some lifts. But nearly 99.95% of all cosplays don't require the size. Shoot, I was at Metrocon this year and one of the contest winners was a woman who barely topped out at 4'10". Her cosplay was from Horizon Dawn, and it wasn't her size that sold it, but the details and the way she presented it.

That being said...how much lift could you get? You could probably find boots that add in 2 or 3 inches without too much trouble. You could even MAKE them with enough materials. Sorry, I'm a fabricator by nature on projects. But once you get past 3 inches, you have to start worrying about your sense of balance. Past 6 inches, and depending on your cosplay, you might start ruining your arm/leg perspective which can ruin a cosplay effect or give you extra problems in your construction.
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Unread 09-19-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
fabrickind
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I would look at some men's shoes and see how much heel they tend to have, and go from there. I would also recommend buying men's shoes (or boy's shoes if you have small feet and can find some in the style you need, or unisex shoes if that's available) instead of women's shoes for a more realistic look.

Shape is just about as important as size here. Mostly, men's shoes, even ones with a small heel, tend to have a wide base to the heel. Think of a typical men's dress shoe -- the heel area is the same size as the entire base of the shoe, vs. a women's heeled shoe where mostly the heel is smaller (thinner) than the shoe base. I would say that maybe 1" or 1.5" is the highest you'll find in men's shoes.

I would look into lifts instead of heels if you want height. Lifts are worn inside the shoe and are invisible on the outside, but can give you a couple more inches worth of height.

There's also a lot you can do with angles in photography -- if photoshooting with other cosplayers, you can stand on objects or manipulate angles to make it look like you are taller, etc.

Also, 5'5", at least in the US, isn't all that short. I've known plenty of cis men who are that height or shorter, and when walking around the halls, most people won't really notice or care. (I've also known plenty of trans men who are that height or shorter and they 'pass' perfectly fine, as sticky of a concept that is)
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Unread 09-28-2017, 07:45 AM   #4
Schuldig_
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walkerofdarknes: Yeah, I was thinking along normal shoes/boots. Sorry, should have made that clear. The idea is to add some lift and, like you say, make it look natural (ie not absurd leg/arm proportions).

fabrickind: Most men's shoes don't come in my size, alas - the smallest ones I've seen so far have been two sizes bigger than what I can comfortably wear. But yeah, I've been looking into lifts as well, I just wanted to add what I could. The character is like 6'3", so in comparison I have some growing to do.
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Unread 09-30-2017, 05:18 AM   #5
walkerofdarknes
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Well, I do have some boots for my Archer cosplay, and it has...I could measure it, but I think 1" heels on it. As for men's shoes being too big, just add in extra layers of shoe inserts. I had to replace my work shoes once or twice, and the only designs that were acceptable to dress codes came out much too big, even with my size 13 foot. So I put in a couple layers of the cheaper padding and it made it tight enough to wear. And it worked, even if I had to replace the padding a couple of times before the shoes died.
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Unread 10-02-2017, 05:44 AM   #6
Schuldig_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerofdarknes View Post
Well, I do have some boots for my Archer cosplay, and it has...I could measure it, but I think 1" heels on it. As for men's shoes being too big, just add in extra layers of shoe inserts. I had to replace my work shoes once or twice, and the only designs that were acceptable to dress codes came out much too big, even with my size 13 foot. So I put in a couple layers of the cheaper padding and it made it tight enough to wear. And it worked, even if I had to replace the padding a couple of times before the shoes died.
My problem is mainly in the toes (they're always too long), and I'm not so keen on stuffing the toe of a shoe to make it fit... ouch!
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Unread 10-02-2017, 06:40 PM   #7
walkerofdarknes
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You don't need to have the toes to fit right. None of my shoes are ever that close to my toes. I mean, seriously I've got at least an inch of space between my toes and the tips of my shoes. You just need the pads to bring the vertical closure (the space between the arch of your foot and the top of the shoe) down to a comfortable fit.
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Unread 10-03-2017, 06:28 AM   #8
Schuldig_
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Originally Posted by walkerofdarknes View Post
You don't need to have the toes to fit right. None of my shoes are ever that close to my toes. I mean, seriously I've got at least an inch of space between my toes and the tips of my shoes. You just need the pads to bring the vertical closure (the space between the arch of your foot and the top of the shoe) down to a comfortable fit.
My shoes tend to crinkle at the toe part when I walk if the toe section is too big. It's not too comfy...
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Unread 10-03-2017, 10:21 AM   #9
walkerofdarknes
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So what cosplay are you thinking of doing? Maybe there's another way to get the height you want than using a man's shoe.
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Unread 10-04-2017, 03:03 AM   #10
Schuldig_
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Originally Posted by walkerofdarknes View Post
So what cosplay are you thinking of doing? Maybe there's another way to get the height you want than using a man's shoe.
I'm just refreshing my Alucard (Hellsing) costume and was thinking of ways to boost my height a little. My Integra is a wee bit taller than I am, so I was thinking that if I can get away with, say, 5 cms invisible heel and 5 cms visible, I'll have a good shot of at least being taller than her, even if I'm still not exactly tall.
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Unread 10-04-2017, 05:13 AM   #11
walkerofdarknes
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Okay, that actually works. How tall are you looking to make yourself in it? And which version of Alucard: the street version or one of his release states?
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Unread 10-10-2017, 03:35 AM   #12
Schuldig_
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Originally Posted by walkerofdarknes View Post
Okay, that actually works. How tall are you looking to make yourself in it? And which version of Alucard: the street version or one of his release states?
I can add about 10 cms to my height without all proportions going out the window (the height thing is actually part of the reason I'm doing a light revamp; I didn't know of invisible heels the first time around, and now I need to re-scale the guns to fit my "new height").

This is the street version.
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Unread 10-10-2017, 05:46 AM   #13
walkerofdarknes
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Okay, after reading that last and doing math, never a good thing early in the morning, you're trying to add 4 inches?

The good news is that the street version of Alucard is usually wearing riding boots. What you can do is to make your own boots, with 1 inch heels and the extra 3 inches you want hidden in the material. So basically (and I apologize, I can't figure out entirely how to upload stuff):

|LLLLL|
|LLLLL|
|LLLLLL\
|LLLLLLL\
|LLLLLLLL\
|FFFFFFFF\
|TTTTTTTT\
|RRRRRRRRRR\
|RRRRRRRRRRR\
|SSSSSSSSSSS\
|SSS| |SSS|

Where F is your actual foot, S is the sole of the shoe, and then R are the layers of riser material. I would probably make the riser material out of layers of EVA foam with some wood like fir sandwiched between it. There wouldn't be any space in the riser, you would attach the boot itself to the riser and the only space would be near the top where your foot is.

The pro to this idea is the cosplay design is simple: you can copy it from any standard horse-riding boot.

The cons: It's a moderate fabrication, requiring some basic skills used in a VERY specific format. Adding 4 inches like this might make it more difficult to move, so you might have to practice walking around to get a feel where your feet are now.
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Unread 10-10-2017, 06:14 AM   #14
Schuldig_
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Originally Posted by walkerofdarknes View Post
Okay, after reading that last and doing math, never a good thing early in the morning, you're trying to add 4 inches?
Yup (which I can only say because I used a converter. It's quick and easy, LOL).

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerofdarknes View Post
The good news is that the street version of Alucard is usually wearing riding boots. What you can do is to make your own boots, with 1 inch heels and the extra 3 inches you want hidden in the material. So basically (and I apologize, I can't figure out entirely how to upload stuff):
Ah, that's okay - I know what you mean. Thanks for taking the time to sketch it out for me. I've never tried walking on EVA foam, wouldn't it get quite... springy?
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Unread 10-10-2017, 05:15 PM   #15
walkerofdarknes
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EVA foam will have some bounce to it, which is why it's largely used for anti-fatigue mats you see used in some stores for the employee comfort. Shoot, I've walked across it plenty and never noticed too much spring. BUT that's not the same as using it as a padding like this.

Otherwise, you need the wood to give you more stability and keeps the EVA foam from sinking too low and letting you "shrink". On the pic I sketched out, the T part of the design would be the EVA foam, probably in one layer or two. Shoot, I took a scrap of my mats from this year and walked on it with it taped to one foot. At 107kg, it felt to me almost the same as my usual shoes, except it was a little too thin for my preference. A double layer would have felt more comfortable to me, but that wasn't part of the test. Would it be springy after a longer test (I walked for maybe 5 minutes)? Hard to say. I also don't know how long the EVA foam would continue to support the weight without flattening out, which is why most of your riser material is wood or something equally durable (I'm unfamiliar with other substances that might be used, like some sort of plaster).

In thinking about it a little longer if you were making these boots, you could probably have it rigged in two parts for replacement's sake. At the "top" of the boot, where your actual foot is would be a long sleeve of leather/fabric that makes the whole boot look like it's one piece. The "bottom" part, where your riser is, would be strapped on (if you used wood, you could have belts/thongs from an old pair of sandals) to your own foot and ankle. Then if you needed to replace the foam, you wouldn't have to tear apart all the stitches.
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