Hoka External Shoe Lift-L

Shoes to Correct for a Leg Length Discrepancy

Usually, a leg length discrepancy (LLD) of 2 cm or less is not a functional problem. But when this gap becomes uncomfortable or causes pain, surgeons often recommend external shoe lifts as an alternative to surgery. Shoe lifts can a help equalize leg length and are the best non-surgical treatment for leg length differences. In many cases, a shoe lift can bring the difference back to a even level. Elevation can improve a patient’s ability to walk or run, and can reduce back pain associated with a leg length differences.

Although there are no health risks associated with shoe lift, it can be an expensive treatment option when every shoe that is worn needs to have a lift added. If the height is 1 cm (1/2 in) or less, a heel lift can be inserted inside the shoe. This type of shoe lift is called an internal heel lift and can be changed from one shoe to another and not seen by anyone else. For lifting more than 1 cm, it will need to be added to the outside of the shoe.

The Different Types of Shoe Lift

Internal Shoe lift: may work best if they are 3/8″ or smaller. The lift can be inserted in almost any shoe. For functional purposes, a 3/4” length shoe lift is better, and a deep shoe makes this easier. The best thing is that the lift can be moved from one shoe to another, making it more versatile.

External shoe lifts: are recommended for heights greater than 3/8″. Whenever possible, the original sole is removed, the height of the discrepancy is added and then the original sole is put back on. We also will contour the lift to match the design of the sole. Then we will paint the lift to match the colors of the color of the sole as close as possible, which gives a beautiful appearance. Most of the time, no one will notice that you have a shoe lift.

Keep in mind that it is best to put a shoe lift on the outside of new and high-quality shoes. If you’re considering paying for a shoe lift, you’ll want the shoes to last a long time.

Heel lifts are used for various diagnoses, such as post-polio, cerebral palsy, short Achilles tendon and others. Please consult your doctor first to find out if you only need a heel lift or a heel lift alone.


Shoe lifts for leg length discrepancy are my most common modification. Some people have had their shoes lifted for years and others developed a leg length discrepancy later in life, after an accident or surgery. The goal is to compensate for the shorter leg so that walking and standing are less uncomfortable. The height of the lift varies, but once set it is usually the same, making the lift installation process more predictable and easier to communicate. Sometimes the first step can take a bit of trial and error to find the size that works best for you. The shoe lift most of the time is the same at the heel and front of the shoe, from mid foot to toe. The lift is reduced to a slight roll to make walking more natural. In most cases, we will remove the outer sole of the shoe and build the rise between it and the top of the shoe. We can lift almost any shoe you want, although we do recommend new shoes that support your feet laterally. Lace-ups are best, but slip-on shoes will also work. Sandals with more straps are better than less, but we have also put the height on the flip flops and house shoes. You should be able to walk confidently in your shoes without worrying about falling. In most of the lifts we will use EVA foam, which comes in various colors to match the shoe. We also have a few different densities to lighten the lift without compromising the stability. We will use our own judgment to determine the best material for your height and shoe type. We do a great job of combining the lift with the shoe. Our talents with your expectations may be another matter, but our goal is to hide the lift with contouring and paint, but the final product will not unfortunately be an exact match of the other shoe.


Most frequent questions and answers

Starting the day, we receive your shoes; most cases take about week to 14 days to have them ready to ship back to you. *Please check our hour of operation for any holiday closings that may affect the turnaround time on your shoes.

No, you do not. You simply need to know how high of a heel lift or shoe lift you require.

We are accredited by The American Board for Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics. They did an external, independent review of our organization against nationally accepted standards and its own policies, procedures, processes and outcomes.

We always recommend seeing a medical professional to get the correct amount that is going to work best for you. A doctor or chiropractor can measure your leg length difference or you can use blocks of known height to even out the pelvis. This method will give you your functional leg length measurement, but could be different to your actual leg length difference. You can check out our Blog post about it or if you are in the area please stop by and we can measure for you.

Yes, we can remove and restore the shoe to close to original condition

 A Pedorthist is the to title of a professional who has specialized training to modify footwear and employ supportive devices to address conditions which affect the feet and lower limbs.

Your credit card will be charged only after your shoe to build up has arrived at our shoe lift facility and your order has been evaluated and any pricing adjustments approved by you.

Our Pedorthist have so much experience that it is very rare we get a shoe we can’t add an internal heel lift or an external custom shoe lift too. You can email a picture of the shoe and we can let you know if it’s a good chose or not.

Yes, we do a lot of external custom shoe lift or internal heel lifts less that 1/4″. Mostly on sandals or flip flops.

In most cases we try to match the existing color of the sole. Adding color incorporates into the lift colors matching the upper or part of the upper. (See picture gallery). This works well on athletic shoes and dress shoes. This is used more in higher lifts to minimize the appearance of the lift itself. This is more effective in light colored soles, as the lighter colors tend to be more noticeable. Black and darker colors are less noticeable and, in most cases, don’t require color but can be more attractive if the color matches part of the shoe.

Our craftsman is a Certified Pedorthist with over 30 years’ experience as a shoe repairman as well. A Pedorthist is the title of a professional who has specialized training to modify footwear and employ supportive devices to address conditions which affect the feet and lower limbs.

No, unfortunately custom shoe lifts are not a reimbursable expense from insurance companies.

No, we offer free shipping on all of our services accept shoe repair.

Yes, but you would be responsible for shipping.


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