Do you wish you could walk gracefully in pair of stiletto heels? I’ve had a couple of comments from readers recently who wanted to know just that. It’s sometimes assumed that women automatically know how to walk in heels. But all you have to do is take 10 minutes to people watch on a friday or saturday evening and you’ll know that so many are one step away from a fall. No one wants to do a Naomi on their way to work or when out with friends. So if you’re just after a few nifty tips for strutting like a runway model or want to dust off the 5 inch stilettos you bought, but could never wear, this article is definitely for you!
Heels are a great way of making your legs look more toned, your body leaner and giving you a better posture. But if you’re not confident walking in them, you’re not going to see the true benefits.
But you’re a guy, what do you know about walking in heels?
I know! So that’s why I’ve drafted in my blogging buddy Vic from Shoe Spot to help me with the tips. She’s kick ass when it comes to anything heel related. Honing her shoe design skills at the famous Central St Martins in London. This girl knows a thing or two about women’s shoes.
When it comes to the fit, I’m a bit of connoisseur. Don’t forget, before my personal shopping days in Harvey Nichols I worked in the shoe department. Helping discerning ladies decide whether to go with a Jimmy Choo or Louboutin. I’ve seen many a toe squashed into heels and heard plenty of ‘I’ll learn to walk in them‘. Which leads me on to my first point.
1. Make sure they fit!
This is a biggy! Yet one that lots of women get wrong. Make sure your foot doesn’t slide out or move up and down when walking. This will cause blistering and also make you ‘totter’ to try and avoid your foot slipping out. The back of your heel should be flush against the back of the shoe, there shouldn’t be a gap. Also when trying on shoes, go up on your tip toes by an inch while your foot is in the shoe. If you can’t then the pitch (the place where your arch/in step rests) is too steep and they’ll be that pair of shoes you never wear because they hurt. I want to add as well, ankle straps aren’t meant to keep your foot in the shoe. If your foot doesn’t stay in the shoe when walking without the ankle strap fastened then they don’t fit!
2. Work your way up
If you’re really new to heels then work your way up from a smaller heel. Start with a 1 or 2 inch chunky heel or wedge as there’s a larger surface area of the sole in contact with the floor. This will give you more stability as you walk. Then move on up! Try a higher heel or small stiletto to get used to the correct balance, keep working your way up until you can tackle a heel height you’re comfortable with.
3. Check the time of day
Again, if you’re a heel newbie then start with wearing them a few hours a day and stretch your feet and legs before wearing the shoes. If you’re wearing brand new shoes then remember feet can swell so they may fit in the morning and become loose later in the day. Also don’t decide to break in a pair of heels by wearing them for a full day. Ouch!
4. Avoid platforms
If you’re a beginner then platforms will stop you being able to feel the floor as you walk and can make it easier for you to loose balance. If you’re used to wearing heels and want to progress to ’empire state’ heights, then platforms are a good thing. They’ll provide extra cushion and because the balls of your feet are essentially an inch off the ground, the pitch (the sloping part of the shoe) won’t be as steep. Making them more comfortable to walk in. Unless they’re Charlotte Olympia Dolly’s… I’ve seen pro models fall in those babies!
5. Heel to toe
To look graceful when you walk in heels, then walk heel to toe with one foot in front of the other. Don’t lean forward while you walk as that will throw you off balance. Keep your chest out, shoulders back and stomach pulled in, while looking forward. After a while of wearing them the easiest way to tell if you’re walking correctly is to turn them upside down and check how the heels are wearing. If it’s more worn on one side it might mean that your gait is off balance and you should take more notice of your posture and see if you can correct it. Also if your heel tips wear down quickly, don’t continue to wear them with the metal showing through, they’re difficult to balance on and not great because the tips help with shock absorption. Get them replaced! (One of my pet peeves.) For extra guidance and how to and how not to walk in heels, check out this video.
6. Get Strappy!
Strappy styles give your foot more stability. But when I say straps, I don’t mean delicate strappy sandals, look for shoes that encase the front of your foot in the shoe with thicker straps. Shoe boots are a good option because of the same principle.
7. Practice makes perfect
The best surfaces to practice walking are hard wood surfaces and carpets. So practice walking when you get some spare time. Try practising in your highest heels for 15 minutes a day. You maybe envious of women that can run in heels and wear huge stilettos, but they weren’t born like that. It took them years of wearing heels to get to that stage.
I hope these tips help you ‘sashay’ rather than stumble. If you’re still having problems leave a comment below or if you’ve got some tips of your own then feel free to share them!