Robert Downey Jr. has to special order his Tom Cruise-esque 3″ high heels

For better or for worse, we (I) make fun of Tom Cruise’s lifts all of the time. Tom is a shorter-than-average man, but he really, really wants people to think he’s a super-butch action star, so he wears lifts (or high heels, as I call them) all of the time, on and off the set. This isn’t so shocking really, I just like to look at Tom Cruise photos and try to spot where the “hidden” lift part of the shoe starts, and I always get a kick out of Tom trying to pull off skinny jeans and high heels. Over the years, I’ve also noticed that Robert Downey Jr., a fellow short dude, also wears lifts, although RDJ’s lifts aren’t a Tom-Cruise-level, OCD compulsion. RDJ seems to wear lifts for his job, when he’s filming a movie and he wants to look the same height as… Gwyneth Paltrow, I guess. In red carpet appearances, RDJ either wears sneakers with an extra inch of sole, or he just wears regular dress shoes.

Anyway, Us Weekly has a funny little story about RDJ’s special-order of some 3-inch heels. They’re for a movie, for the love of God!

Robert Downey Jr. needs a raise! Us Weekly’s Hot Stuff has learned that a fashion stylist for the 5-foot-8 actor, 46, has asked a custom shoe company to create 3-inch lifts for him to wear while filming Iron Man 3 in North Carolina this spring.

“They’re working on a special pair just for him,” reveals the source, adding, “The lift insole needs to be concealed in a high-top shoe or boot. The highest that’s offered to the general public is 2 inches!”

[From Us Weekly, print edition]

So here’s a question: why am I not delighted by this? Tom Cruise’s lifts are a source of constant amusement to me, but with Robert, it just feels like… meh. Of course, I’m of the opinion that RDJ is just wearing lifts for his job, to look taller on screen, and that he’s fine with his height and his body in real life. If his height really does bother him, though? That might bug me. Short guys can be sexy! They just have to own it.

…OK, now that I’m looking at some photos of his red carpet kicks… yeah, he’s wearing really HIGH heels. Damn it, Robert! Don’t go all Cruise. Own your height.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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98 Responses to “Robert Downey Jr. has to special order his Tom Cruise-esque 3″ high heels”

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  1. Loulou says:

    The lifts are in the sneakers. Notice they’re unlaced and there’s an edge apparent midway through the high tops. Hhhmmm… I thought he was too badass to be that vain. I still love him though.

    • autumndaze says:

      Agreed. I would guess that he is closer to 5’5″.

      The height-challenged males in Hollywood add more inches to their statistics than professional athletes.

      We would have to see him (or Cruise) barefoot and standing next to a rooted object for an objective measure.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      He’s *teeny* though. I’ve met him several times in and around ever Starbucks on the Westside and while he is still a hottie (and I am totally turned off by short men so that is saying something). He’s barely taller than I am (5’3-4″). Nice guy, very down to earth, smiles, makes eye contact, will talk to you if you talk to him but he’s teeny (he and I are usually in flip flops so he was sans lifts). The lifts may not be his idea but a matter of cinematic necessity. I would be taller than him in heels. I agree with the 5’5″ maybe 5’6″ estimate.

      • red1 says:

        He is still super hot! I think he is def. much better looking now than he ever was!

  2. David says:

    Most great male actors are short.

    • pink elephant says:

      Most “great” male actors are short? I’m a RDJ fan, but you’re stretching it a little – Tom Cruise, for example, knows how to ham for a camera but is a terrible actor.

      More accurate: most movie stars are short. There ya go.

      • sandra says:

        Cut Tom some slack – he is a great actor. See 4th of July, Magnolia. I think he was cheated of an oscar for magnolia.

  3. Eve says:

    The ones he wore while shooting Iron Man 2 were even higher — but that was understandable considering that (many times) he had to be in the same scenes as The Goop (she is herself a tall woman).

    P.S.: I’m loving to see Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (third picture). He’s actually an inch taller than Downey…but doesn’t seem to give a flying f*ck about not being a tall man.

  4. lisa says:

    It must bother him or he wouldn’t do it. Danny DeVito didn’t wear them.

    I don’t mind Tom’s lifts.. I hate the way he wears his clothes. Especially jeans. Too 80’s. RDJ just has better style with his lifts. Jeremy Renner is short too. Many of these men are. they just make sure the other actors and females around them are shorter usually. All the male coStars it seems in MI4 are not what one would consider Tall.

    that is the only difference I see between Tom and RDJ. They both seem to care about the height thing. It is just that RDJ won’t get the snark that Tom does. And Robert’s wife is shorter than he is.

    • Jennifer Crabtree says:

      Ok, to be realistic Danny DeVito is about 4’8 so lifts wouldn’t really help him at all. And nothing against DD, he is an amazing comedic actor, one of the best out there. I love how he’s owning his age, his height, his passion even in his older age.

  5. mew says:

    Yes, I agree. He must special order them since he doesn’t yet have any it seems. 😉

  6. Nanz says:

    Jude Law has heels on too!

    • Bermuda Blues says:

      There are all sorts of psychological studies on tall people. They tend to be leaders, other people tend to listen to them and naturally follow their lead. I bet for an “alpha male” type, the extra height is addictive. Like a power trip. You wear the heels once, suddenly you are a little taller, you make eye contact a little more evenly, suddenly people respond more, you feel handsomer… addictive. I bet all the short men in Hollyweird wear them.

      • Jennifer Crabtree says:

        Yes, I agree that it must be addictive. I am a “tall” female actress ( 5’8) and I almost always wear flats to auditions just so I am not taller than the male actors I am auditioning with. Usually I am the same height or taller with my flats. Sometimes I wear heels just to piss everyone off or if I feel the need to overpower the other actor to direct the energy in the room towards me. it depends on the audition etc. but being tall definitely does have it’s advantages.
        One another note there are tons of tall actresses!

  7. sarah says:

    My husband is 5’8″ and so am I so whenever I wear heels (which is most of the time) I tower over him. It’s never bothered him. I think it’s cute. There’s nothing wrong with being short.

    • Erinn says:

      My boyfriends between 5’7 and 5’8″, but I’m only 5’2″ and 5’3″. So it’s not a big deal. I prefer my men at that height instead of towering over me 🙂

      • T.L. says:

        Everyone has their own preference. I am 5’8 and definitely do not want to tower over any man. 6’0 or taller for me. But RDJ is great either way. His height won’t affect whether or not I go to see his films.

    • Amy says:

      I’m 5’7″, and my boyfriend is about 5’6″. Even in flatter shoes, I’m always a couple of inches taller than him. In heels, it’s almost comical. He loves it, and I love that he loves it…most of the time.

  8. tabbyfoof says:

    I really get annoyed with that dumb attitude about the men in movies always having to be taller than their female counterparts. It’s just insulting to both sexes. I remember watching Back to School from the 80’s and being delighted by the fact that Keith Gordon was almost a head shorter than the girl his character ended up with.

    • Alexis says:

      Don’t forget the Godfather, where Al Pacino’s character is distinctly shorter than his wife – and is pretty open and obviously a short dude. I and II taught me everything I need to know about the potentiality of short men to be fierce.

  9. Hip-ster says:

    Why can’t they just embrace it? I might be in the minority of women when I say I think short guys are cute, but its true.

  10. Agnes says:

    Love RDJ, lifts and all! 🙂

  11. Eleonor says:

    He’s been wearing heels for years.

  12. Poison Ivy says:

    Since when is 5 foot 8 considered as “short”? He is still taller than me and of course does he look short next to woman/actresses that are constantly wearing 6 inch platform heels.

    • cr says:

      Courtesy of the magic of Google, the ‘average’ American male is around 5’9″ or 5’10”. So no, 5’8″ isn’t ‘short’. My brothers in law are around 5’7″. I don’t consider them short. (I’m 5’6″)

    • mln76 says:

      You actually believe the ‘official’ height from IMDB???? That’s really sweet.

      • Jennifer Crabtree says:

        I love how women can’t hide their age on IMDB (or any actor for that matter) but men can lie their asses off about their height – both of which can determine getting an audition. IMDB is LAME!! I think they hurt actors in general. I wish they would get off their high horse and give actors a break. This business is hard enough as it is! If they would just allow actors more control over the information they wish to share it would be fine! (sorry this might be for a different thread but IMDB pisses me off to no end! )

  13. Hautie says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t believe that he is 5’8? Before the lifts?

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      You think he’s SHORTER, Hautie? 5’8″ is really short for a dude, don’tcha think??

      • mln76 says:

        Most actors are short when you hear of an actor like Dennis Quaid or Arnie Hammer that’s 6 feet he’s considered a giant. I’d guess RDJ is 5’6” TOPS but I suspect like Tommy Boy he’s more like 5′ 4”.

    • mln76 says:

      No I thought everyone knew that most actors ‘official’ heights are fictional.

  14. Maritza says:

    It’s no big deal whether he wears lifts or not. I remember in the 70’s all guys wore the high heel shoes they were on style in those days. They’ll probably come back, fashion styles always do.

  15. Eleonor says:

    I think the height,and the hair loss are for men what the weight is for women, their weakness.

  16. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I would like to point out that height is irrelevant when horizontal 😉
    Downey’s still hot sh*t imo.
    I wonder if Renner wears lifts…hmmmmmm…

    • searching4grace says:

      RDJ is my ONE exception to the Must Be Taller Than Me height rule. We’d just stay at home. We’d never leave. LOL

  17. GoodCapon says:

    Guy Ritchie looks dapper!

  18. Mia says:

    I would totally date him and I am 5’10”.
    He’s witty and funny and one of the best actors around, and apparently also a nice guy.

  19. T.L. says:

    Well Jude is 5’11, so RDJ is definitely wearing lifts to looks the same height as Jude Law in the pics above.

    • mln76 says:

      Jude Law isn’t 5’11 I know someone who saw him in person and remarked about how short he is. IMDB heights are as accurate as the Tooth Fairy.

      • T.L. says:

        Hmmmm, I guess we would have to measure his height then. You hear that Jude? We need you to come to us to solve an argument. lol He stands taller than Cameron Diaz and she is 5’9. So who knows for sure. Neither of us.

      • mln76 says:

        Yes we need to inspect him closely ASAP!!!

        But seriously never believe any celebrities listed height. The men lie and the women lie in order to cover for them. And almost all of the men wear lifts on red carpets to appear taller.

      • Cerulean says:

        I spent an evening sitting next to Jude Law. Not the same table but next and he is not taller than me and I was 5′ 9 in heels. So he is no 5’11.

  20. cr says:

    Eleanor: Maybe he is short for Hollywood standards.
    Perhaps, but I’m not even sure about that, not if you’re counting actual height.

  21. Cathy says:

    Standing up, laying down, kneeling, grabbing me by my ears, I don’t care how tall RDJ is. He’s definately boinkable.

  22. marge says:

    looking at his shoes, i don’t see that’s he’s trying to hide the lifts -ala TCriuse. That white sole really pops out!
    Anyways, he’s not a deranged narcissistic slave-user, so I’m fine with him wearing lifts.

  23. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    I have dated one before, but he had a complex about it. He was 5’5 and I”m 5’6 and he was all like “will you wear flats?” when we went on group dates. This was a few months before my hubby and I decided to become more than best friends. And he was the one who made m see it.

    I love high heels and I was starting to feel like he had issues with my bestie who was 6’3. But if I’m honest with myself? I like tall guys. Anything under 6’0 is short to me and that’s pretty much because all the men in my family are over 6’0. That’s what I’m used to. So i think short men get these complexes because society doesn’t exactly make them feel manly.

    You do have to own it. If you just go witth

    • Jennifer Crabtree says:

      I agree about society making short men feel bad. There’s no reason for it at all. We are not cavemen anymore, height has nothing to do with virility or anything else.
      I also think if you are attracted to tall men that is fine. People are attracted to what they are attracted to usually for reasons dating back to being a small child, it’s all very subconscious. I don’t mind shorter men but I am only attracted to men of my own race ( white) I also am not attracted to blond men at all and really can’t imagine going out with a blond haired man, go figure. When it comes to friends and familial relationships of course this is not an issue.
      My main point is you are totally right about owning what you are because one can’t really control what he or she is attracted to so it’s really a waste of time and self esteem.

  24. for real? says:


  25. Theuth says:

    Well, he has such an absord sense of style, so heels are almost cute on him – he also doesn’t seem to “mask” them, especially on set, he has more an attitude like: “To hell, of course I’m short, I’ll use high heels just like my wife!”. TC actually tries to “look” taller and use them sure nobody will see them, and is offendend if somebody say: “Darling, you’re short” “No, I’m still growing!”.

  26. DenG says:

    Hey, wait–Iron Man 3?? Justin Theroux (a.k.a Smilin’ Bob from Enzyte) isn’t writing the script? I remember reading that RDJ wasn’t pleased with Iron Man 2, although I’m not sure if the script was the primary reason. Lots to think about.

    • The Original Mia says:

      He recently praised the 3rd film’s script as a return to the greatness of the 1st film. Take from that what you will.

      IM2 was nowhere near as good and fun as the 1st film.

    • Sophie says:

      I think Iron Man 2 suffered because of the demands of setting up The Avengers.

  27. Ginger says:

    My ex is 6’6 and my new husband is 5’7…I am 5’6…I see value in both taller men and shorter men so there is nothing wrong at all if RDJ is 5’8. I get it that being tall is a desirale trait if you’re a man…however, to me it is not a qualification for dating or anything. When I was with my ex I liked the fact that I could wear the tallest heels around but I was still shorter than he was…BUT with my hubby…it’s a heck of a lot easier to kiss him passionately and to look him directly in the eye…somthing to be said for that with short men in the romance department 🙂

  28. ladybert62 says:

    Short guys are not sexy.

    Tennis sneakers with suits? Mr. Downey just went down a notch in my opinion.

    • Jennifer Crabtree says:

      Just went down a notch? Where have you been darling, RDJ has been wearing sneakers with suits since the 80’s lol!

  29. atlantapug says:

    He shouldn’t use white soles on his “big boy shoes”. It makes them stand out as lifts.

  30. The Original Mia says:

    I always thought RDJ wore his heels with pride, which is why he doesn’t get the snark that Tommy does.

    Tom thinks no one knows he’s rocking the Ronald McDonald shoes and everyone does. It’s pathetic.

    • Kate says:

      Tom might just think that white soles look crap and concealed lifts make for better looking shoes.

  31. Kiki says:

    Mr. Ruffalo must be tiny!!

    • Eve says:

      He’s not tall but he’s definitely not shorter than Downey Jr. In fact, he’s an inch taller (Downey is wearing lifts in that picture — just take a look at Ruffalo’s flat shoes and compare).

  32. ShanKat says:

    He could wear 6″ stilettos, and I’d still hit it, perma-.

  33. truthful says:

    RDJ has worn lifts for yrs–its just something annoying about Cruise and his hundreds of lifts.

    Jude Law is just sexy to me, I can’t stop w/him.

    me, I prefer tall men, my current is 6’5 and I am 5’5..the 2 loves of my life were 5’8.

  34. Girl says:

    Meh, he doesn’t seem to be trying to hide it in his public life. That sounds very different than TC.

  35. Jayna says:

    Robert Downey, Jr. can do no wrong in my book, even when he’s being a prick.

  36. Jayna says:

    Most of the celeb guys I am hot for are dark-haired and around five eight, not skinny. So, Yes, short can be sexy.

  37. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I think average height it kinda regional in the US. The Coasts tends to have shorter people, while the Midwest and Texas have much taller people. Probably because certain ethinicities/nationalities tended to settle regionally (Italians in NY/NJ, Germans in PA, Hispanics native to SoCal & Southwest, etc). As a 5’10” woman I felt like a freak of nature growing up in Los Angeles County, but am practically average in West Michigan which has a large Dutch population. My husband is from the Netherlands so his entire family is quite tall (he’s 6’4″). When I go to New Jersey or Connecticut I felt like a giant. LoL Tom Cruise and RDJ are both from NY (as is fellow shortie Stallone) so they’re bringing down the national average (or us beanpoles are bringing it up).

    While I think RDJ is adorable, knowing he’s so short (slightly) diminishes his sexiness. I haven’t been able to date someone shorter than me since I was 14 & 5’8″ and couldn’t find any boys taller than me. I dated a boy who was 5’4″, was teased mercilessly and it scarred me for life. Tall man fetish is my excuse for liking Ryan Reynolds. 😉

  38. Jayna says:

    Well, I am five four. So RDJ is perfect for me. LOL

  39. lisa says:

    As I said before RDJ is doing the exact thing Tom is doing. the only difference is the style in which they are doing it. Tom does not nor has ever had any style. If he was dressing like Robert then it would not be noticed. But he can’t do that because it is not his personality. But looking at Jeremy, Sam W, or many others, you don’t really notice the height because they have a style about them.

    I like RDJ find him cute, but he plays his roles the same over and over to me. Same quirky mannerisms. I find that boring.

  40. whatevs says:

    that guy in the three spiderman movies (forgot his name, like the rest of the world did) he was short also but he played spiderman without any criticism. so why can’t rdj own his own height? he’s a good actor and should be above this. i wish short people would stop having complexes about their heights

  41. NYC_girl says:

    Never discount a guy who is short, or chubby, or bald. If they treat me well and bring it in bed, I don’t care.

  42. lrm says:

    Um, I’m sure the movie set requires the lifts, for some actors. It’s easier to film for the director, i’m guessing…..and yea, it DOES look odd on screen if a woman is 6 ft like goop or nicole kidman, and the dude is 5/7 like many actors. [and Danny Devito has never been a male romantic lead type of actor, so i dont think he counts!]

    i’m just sayin’-i’m sure it’s part of ‘costuming’ on set. as for off set and red carpets,well, carry on with your discussion, people! (:

    btw, there are plenty of teeny women-like it my family, [4ft 11, 5ft 1, etc]though i am about 5ft 6in…but anyway, 5ft 8 is a tall man for the many women under 5ft 5!

  43. paranormalgirl says:

    I’m 5’10” and my husband is 6’5″

    I’ve dated shorter men and have no issue with it, though.

  44. novaraen says:

    I think the lifts are ridiculous and OBVIOUS. So you’re short…get over it!

  45. Em says:

    I’m really short (barely 5′) so most men I date usually are taller than me anyway, but it’s funny – I’ve found that the shorter ones are the ones who are better bfs…more attentive…better listeners…better in bed…etc. I think it’s b/c they get discounted a lot by women so they learn to hone their skillz more. Which is fine with me – my 5’7″ bf is awesome as hell 🙂

  46. MAMAKOWALSKA says:

    I really like his style, he’s growning old with cool grace…..As for the lifts so what! Women put in extensions or pad their bra because it gives em a thrill to have what they don’t for a bit. Jude Laws shoes are available all over europe with a little heel (IT IS A STYLE OF SHOE) it’s got a heel it’s not a lift I don’t think.

  47. FingerBinger says:

    Guy Ritchie looks horrible in that pic.

  48. Jaxx says:

    So what? RDJ can do no wrong.

  49. Cerulean says:

    I don’t like short men as a rule but it’s no deal breaker as who he is means more than his height. My hubs is 6’4 and I like it. But lifts are a deal breaker. Totally and irrevocably. But he still has the kittens so he gets to wear lifts without being completely written off.

    But lifts….ugh….

  50. Anna says:

    Hollywood is full of short men so I don’t understand the need for so many tall women in the industry they should hire shorter gals then these men wont needs lifts!

  51. Violet says:

    The rule in Hollywood seems to be that men can’t be short and women can’t be less than a c-cup. The elevator shoes are basically a part of his work costume.

  52. WOM says:

    I don’t give a flying fig if a man is short, but I do find vanity (ie RDJ’s lifts) off putting. I just can’t find a man sexy if he’s preoccupied with his appearance.

  53. Mourning the Death of Music says:

    I’m too distracted by the deliciously naughty manwich visions I’m having of RDJ and Jude Law to be bothered with frivolous things such as their height.

    Jesus Christ, do those men do it for me.

    Like TheOriginalKitten said: Height is irrelevant when horizontal.

  54. Newtsgal says:

    Heck if yoiu think that’s short, just go to a NASCAR race and take alook at the drivers…..I’m 5’9 and I was like the jolly green giant next to them boys!

  55. jes_sayin says:

    I always wonder if RDJ and Jude have a thing..

    They could totally be a believable couple.

    • Donovan says:

      Yea they have a “thing”. Susan likes to watch and Indio supplies them with condoms. oh and Guy and his new girlfriend join them in sometimes. and they call in Tom Cruise sometimes too

    • Abbs says:

      I believe there’s something up with them…cracks me up tho how it totally ticks some people off to even SUGGEST that. (Like the person who already responded to you…LOL!)Or that they have to ridicule the idea. It’s possible, and they just always give off that vibe. I don’t think it’s all an act, no matter how much people say, “Get a grip…” Beides, RDJ’s said in the past years ago that he’s bi, and Jude’s got a pretty relaxed sense of sexuality as well, so… 😉

  56. dd says:

    Uh, if a guy that f#$ing cool and hot crossed my path and showed interest in me, I wouldn’t give a crap about his height or footwear. Just sayin’.

  57. nlb979 says:

    Is that wax figure Guy Ritchie? Terrifying!

  58. only1shmoo says:

    5’8″ isn’t terribly short, and in RDJ’s case, it doesn’t make him any less bangable, trust me! Time just seems to make him even more awesome.

    On the other hand, if you look at actors who are 5’6″ or less than that (i.e. Tom Cruise, Shia LaBoeuf, JTT), they appear to overcompensate by being nauseatingly irritating and smarmy. How unfortunate.

  59. LEX says:

    Robert Downey, Jr. is roughly 5’8″. Maybe even 5’9″ish. I’ve seen him standing next to Keanu Reeves, who is definitely 6’0″+ (it’s hard for me to gauge heights precisely when I’m 5’10” myself) but I met him on a trip to Los Angeles 6 years ago and he (Keanu) is taller than I am, and somewhere near the height of my husband who is 6’3″.

  60. Josh says:

    I’m 6’1, but my 28 yr old brother is 5’6. Funny how all of these women tell short men to ‘own their height’ and then elucidate on their tall men fetishes, short men dating ‘horror stories’ and poke fun of short men in the same breath.

    Wonder why all of these short men do everything they can to look taller now? Better hope none of you ladies birth short sons.

  61. Susie #1 says:

    Jude; the hat, the pants, the jacket, the vest, even the hankerchief, why? None of it works. Have someone look at you before you get in the limo. You have fans who love you. Do it for them.

  62. Luise says:

    I love RDJ. He’s an incredible actor. Don”t care about the lifts.

  63. joeblow says:

    5’8 Is not short enough that a man would be considered short at that height by most people. 5’8 does not look short to me. Guys have told me they were 5’8 and they did not even look noticaby shorter than average.
    The average guy is 5’9 or 5’10.
    Id Say if a guy is 5’8 he is an inch or a little more shorter than the exact average.
    I would say although people might say 5’8 is short when they read the number if they had to describe a 5’8 guy they would not desribe him as short. If somoene were to notice that he is a shade shorter than average they still may not desribe him as a short guy.

    You guys are delusional.

  64. Michiem says:

    You know this is pretty sexist. So guys can’t be vain at all? Yet women in Hollywood (and middle america) wear spanx, get tucked and pulled and get bolt ons all the time. Not sure about Cruise, but at least it seems to me RDJ isn’t wearing these when he’s not working. Just like women wear designer duds and crazy heels and jewels for work, they wear them because of movies, red carpets, and promo work because of the stigma of being a short man and their co-stars being taller. Honestly it’s snark like this that has them running out to get lifts anyway. Give them a break. -Signed, sister to a wonderfully cool 5’5″ brother that I just adore.