Marilyn Monroe was quite right when she claimed that all women owe a lot to the person who invented high heels. Ask most women and they’d tell you that they cannot function without their heels. It's not just those wanting a little elevation, although that's certainly a factor. High heels can offer class, confidence and character to any woman wanting to look effortlessly fabulous. But effortless is one thing that high heels are not.
You may beg to differ based on how easily Beyonce sways on stage or how Jennifer Lopez does jumps and lunges in her music videos wearing stilettos. But the fact is, high heel walking is an art, one that requires tactics and practice to master. Following are a few tips and tricks to help you make strong personality statements by walking tall in high heels:
Buy the Right Heels
In order to wear the heels correctly, the first thing you need to nail down is the right purchase. A lot of times people end up compromising on size simply to get their desired look, however, high heel walking is greatly affected if the heels don’t fit perfectly. Make sure that the centering of the heel and your foot’s arch placement are correct. This may seem like a small glitch, but in the long run it can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort.
Choose The Right Heel Height
Effortless high heel walking for you might mean 2-3 inches, whereas someone else might consider heels above 4-5 inches doable. Don’t let someone else determine the right heel size for you. Always start with shorter heels and then increase the size with time. A good way to determine the most comfortable heel size is to stand on your toes with the back of your foot at least an inch above the heel of the shoe; if you can easily do that then the heel is the right size for you. High heel walking is all about practice and time. With practice you can gradually increase the size of your heel to as long as is practically possible. You may find that you need to purchase shoes with broader heels or wedges at first as they are easier to handle.
Practice, Practice and More Practice
Now that you have understood the level of your high heel walking incompetence and found the right pair of heels, it is time to get down to business. Follow these steps and you will be gliding in 6 inch heels in no time!
- Start by standing in your heels. Stand for a few minutes and then sit down. Gradually increase the time to about 40-50 minutes so that you can get used to standing for prolonged periods of time. Try standing in front of a full length mirror so that you can observe your posture and adjust it accordingly. Be sure not to bend your knees while standing.
- Take small steps at first at a slow pace on a non-slippery surface like a carpet. The stride tends to get shorter with higher heels, so don’t try to take long strides initially. Make sure that your knees don’t bend too much.
- Gradually increase the speed and practice turning, sitting, stopping, changing directions and dancing as you would do all these things without heels.
- Try wearing heels on different surfaces inside the house as well as outside. Many people only practice at home and then cannot hold the same stride and posture when wearing heels outdoors. High heel walking is even more difficult on outdoor surfaces like grass and gravel, so make sure that you practice on them too.
- It is very important to learn walking on stairs with the heels on. Make sure that your entire foot is on the step when coming down the stairs. When going up, place the ball of your foot on every step, and don’t forget to hold on to the railing!
- It is a good idea to practice several days before the event so that the sole of the heels will become less slippery and you can get used to the shoe.
- One of the best ways to practice high heel walking is to wear them when you go out to do normal errands like buy groceries, after you’ve had ample practice indoors, of course. Generally the floors are a little slippery, but you will have the cart for balance, so it will be a great way to practice.
Whether it is the red soles of Loub’s, Carrie Bradshaw’s fetish for Blahnik’s or sheer love that's got you hooked to heels, with regular practice and determination, you, too can “run the world” like Beyonce in no time!