Footwear Newcomer Aims for Higher Ground

When wine importer Eddie Lee, a modest 5 feet 6 inches tall, would look for shoes that discreetly gave him a lift, he often couldn’t find any that met his style, comfort and quality standards. So he decided to step into the business with a men’s line of his own.

“I had the idea for so long,” said Lee, 42, who came up with the concept during his college days. “I wanted to gain some extra height without anyone knowing.”

His Insolito Terra label — Italian for “uncommon ground” — soft launched for fall ’12 with a range of luxury classics designed in Italy and produced in South Korea. The shoes incorporate a patented technology in the heel and insole that add several inches to one’s height. The Toronto-based brand will expand into wholesale for fall ’13.

To reach a broader audience, Lee also addressed the comfort consumer by offering the same styles with brand’s proprietary Accupressure Insole Technology, designed to help stimulate the acupressure points on the soles of the feet to relieve muscle and joint pain, as well as improve circulation.

Retailing from $230 to $250, the line will be targeted to independents, specialty stores and e-tailers in the U.S. and Canada.