Oh, the look on his face when I stated I wanted an elevation of six inches. After he got up off the floor, I explained the nature of the outfit and both he and his wife (who works with him) understood more than I could have hoped for.
We had already talked about using both external and internal lifts. He proposed three inches to both. The three inch insoles are made of cork with a layer of leather covering them over. He understand there was room for lift inside because the boots are at least two sizes larger than my actual feet. The external sole is built up towards the back, with the toe enjoying about just over an inch of lift. He had an interesting point to make about this - Lessening the sole towards the toe assists the foot roll (no Frankenstein stomping) and the illusion of less dramatic external lift. When I went back after a few weeks, he even mentioned that the height at the rear of the sole may well be hidden by the layers of robes.
At the same time, while in the shop, I tried them on, and shot up rather impressively. In fact, when I took them off after only a minute, the floor seemed too close!
What are they like to wear? Wandering around in them a bit, a few things became evident. My heel contacts the floor quicker than I expect, something I need to get used to. Just walking about a small space, they're not so uncomfortable and, surprising to me at least, did not strain my back. Funnily enough, the boots were not made with three inch insoles in mind, plus semi-dressage boots lean forwards for horse riding. The boots were trying to 'hinge' at my ankle, biting in when I walked. I researched how to change the location of this hinging and discovered the 'cavalry method', which is detailed on the Boots page. This did the trick very well indeed!
Wearing the boots without any other pieces of the armour, I stand between 6 foot 2 inches and 6 foot 3 inches. I got myself measured at home to check - which is indeed six inches taller than my natural height! I have since worn these for an entire day, involving a lot of walking as Vader, and I learnt a very valuable lesson - do not wear such high-heeled boots without any gel insoles! I now totally sympathise with all those women who get home and just have to kick off their heels.
This customising work set me back only £50, and so in total the boots have cost me £106. This helped with the height issue, but it wasn't enough. Apart from the need to appear taller, I really needed to consider ways to look taller, and bulkier, above the waist. The problem came to my attention when I came to the chest armour. I would be swallowed whole by Prowse-sized chest armour without some further modifications - and I wasn't about to let this stand in the way.
This site is in no way sponsored or endorsed by: George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Co., or any affiliates. Darth Vader is a trademark and copyright of Lucasfilm Ltd. Star Wars © 2006 Lucasfilm Ltd. This is a chronicle of my own efforts and any action taken using my methods, ideas or advise is done so purely at your own risk. This site, layout, and contents are © 2006 Matthew Ainge or their respective owners.