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How To Walk in High Heels

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Feet in high heels
Matt Henry/Stone/Getty Images

Though many of us love high heels, others don't wear them very often. Some are intimidated by high heels, while others have just never had the occasion to wear high heels.

Either way, when a "high heel occasion" rears its ugly head, many will stay home with their trusted friend, the sneaker. If fear is keeping you out of the high heels you covet, set your phobias aside! Walking in high heels is not that difficult, and with a bit of practice, you'll stepping out in high heels in no time.

Difficulty: N/A

Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. First practice just standing in high heels. In front of a full length mirror, stand for a while, then turn slightly to each side. Not only will you be able to check your posture and profile, but the act of merely standing in high heels will help remove some of your apprehension, and let you get accustomed to the added height of the heel.
     
  2. Take a few steps in your high heels. If possible, do this at first on a hard floor (not too slick), or in a room with low carpeting, as really thick or padded carpeting can throw off your balance.
     
  3. As you walk in high heels, remember to keep your legs straight and as close together as possible. With each step, point your feet as straight in front of you as you can. Start off with slow, determined steps at first, being extra conscientious of each step. As you build confidence and experience walking in high heels, it will become much more natural.
     
  4. Continue walking back and forth across the room, turning different directions, and stopping without wobbling on your high heels. Once you're comfortable with this, try the same thing on different floor surfaces, and remember to start off slowly with each one.
     
  5. When it comes to actually walking comfortably, practice, practice, practice. If you haven't ever worn high heels, or you are already comfortable in high heels, this sounds silly. But trust me, the first time you put them on, you'll see what I mean. Wearing high heels is a totally different walking experience, and if you take it for granted, you'll not only end up with sore feet, but possibly an injury. And, if you have a bad experience first time out, you'll be doomed to flats forever.
     
  6. As you grow more confident in your abilities to walk, turn, and do all the other things you might need to do in high heels, you can move up to the height of shoe you'll be wearing on the day or night of your event - but remember to start slowly with each bit of added height. Jumping from two inch heels to four inch heels probably will not be quite as disorienting as your first step in any high heels, but it still will require patience and practice.
     
  7. When wearing high heels on a staircase, always use the rail if it is available, or at least be close enough to a rail that you can reach it if you need to. When climbing steps, your entire shoe heel and sole should land firmly at once on each step.
     
  8. If you know you'll be slow dancing in your high heels, you should practice side-to-side stepping, as well as turning slowing in your high heels before actually hitting the dance floor.

Tips:

  1. If high heels are not your thing, or if this is the first time you'll be walking a lot in high heels, you may want to consider "working your way up" to the heel height you'd like to be wearing. Start with a lower heel than the high heels you'll be wearing on the day or evening of the event, and practice walking in them first, using the above steps as you work your way up through to higher heels.
     
  2. Consider starting out with a chunkier high heel, as opposed to a stiletto. If the high heels you'll eventually be walking in have a thinner heel, you can at least adjust first to the "added height" element before adding balance to the equation.
     
  3. If possible try to limit the number of obstacles in the first high heels you'll be wearing - for example, a pair of high heels with rounded toes will probably be more comfortable than pointy-toed shoes, and you can concentrate more on walking gracefully in high heels if your toes aren't being pinched together.
     
  4. Try at first to avoid backless, or extremely flimsy high heels. Opting for a pump, or a sandal with an ankle strap will add support for your ankles, and will definitely help in your attempt to walk in high heels.
     
  5. Fast dancing in high heels can be extremely dangerous, and should be avoided. But don't think it's okay to simply throw off your shoes and head barefoot onto the dance floor. This can be equally or more dangerous if you were to step on broken glass, or have someone else's spiked heel come down squarely on the top of your foot. If you have a chance to remove high heels before dancing, do! When clubbing, opt for a lower heeled shoe that you can dance safely in - or go to the club, and don't dance.
     

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