9 Steps to Walking Better in Heels

Sunday, November 9, 2014

1. Size Matters:

First and foremost, you want to make sure your heels (or any shoe, for that matter) are the proper size. If they’re too big, your foot will slide around awkwardly. Too small and your foot will feel cramped, which’ll make walking a pain literally and figuratively. For the best fit, get your foot sized frequently.

“Your foot size changes over the years, even as much as one full size, especially after having kids,” About.com’s podiatry expert Dr. Catherine Moyer told StyleCaster. ”Have your feet sized once a year, and do it if you’ve never had it done… . A lot of people think they’re a wide or vise versa, and they’re not, so definitely do that before you shop.”

2. Slow It Down:

Heels aren’t worn in gym class for a reason, so take your time when you’re walking in them. ”Wearing heels naturally makes your stride shorter, so you’ll need to take more steps than usual,” Basine wrote on College Fashion. ”Don’t expect to be able to walk as fast as you normally do in high heels.”

3. Pace Yourself:

If you’ve never baked before, you wouldn’t start out by baking a five-tier fondant-covered cake from scratch. No, you’d start with a box of Betty Crocker. The same applies when you’re trying out heels.

“If you’ve never walked in high heels before, don’t start out learning with 5-inch stilettos that’s a recipe for pain and maybe even injury,” College Fashion editor Zephyr Basine writes. ”Try something smaller, like a 2-inch heel or wedge to get used to the feeling. You can always work your way up to your most killer heels.”

4. Look For Sturdy Soles:

Paper-thin soles don’t provide great support for your feet. If possible, choose a style that’s made with a more substantial material. ”You want a thicker sole or a little bit of a platform, which will offset some of the pressure when you’re walking,” Dr. Catherine Moyer told StyleCaster. “A rubbery kind of material will absorb that pressure.”

5. Take Time-Outs:

“Whenever and wherever you can, sit, sit, sit!” ANTM’s J. Alexander told Glamour. There’s no shame in taking a seat now and then. It’ll give your feet a chance to rest so when you are on your feet, you’ll be able to walk more comfortably.

6. Be Conscious Of The Rest Of Your Body:

Victor Chu, a New York-based footwear designer who teaches a class about how to walk in high heels, boiled down the formula for Oprah.com: “Engage your abs this gives you poise and control. Walk heel to toe, which transfers impact to the leg instead of the ball of the foot.

And relax your hips and knees so you’ll be fluid and graceful.” It’s kind of like doing that thing where you pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time. It seems impossible at first but then, eventually, you get into a rhythm.

7. Break In The Bottoms:

J. Alexander gave another tip to Glamour: “Scratch the bottom of your soles with sandpaper.” It seems like a strange idea to purposely rough-up a brand new pair of shoes, but slick soles don’t provide any traction on surfaces like hardwood and tile. To mitigate this problem, scuff them up a bit. If you don’t have sandpaper, stroll up and down a sidewalk instead.

8. Let The Music Move You:

You don’t think about every step you take when you’re walking in flip flops or flats, so try not to think too hard about the way you walk in heels. Concentrating too hard will make you look awkward. Instead, think about walking to a beat. “It’s about having a little spring in your step,” model casting director Natalie Joos told Time.

”If you walk to the subway and put your headphones on and walk to music … listen to the rhythm and walk to the beat. Feel like you’re dancing, almost.” Feel like you’re on the set of your own biopic.

9. Get Some Over-The-Counter Help:

There are plenty of products available at the pharmacy that’ll give your feet some extra support. “They are called metatarsal or ball of the foot pads,” Dr. Catherine Moyer told StyleCaster.

”Especially if it’s made of silicone, it will hold your foot more steady in the shoe so your feet aren’t sliding forward as much, which will protect your toes from friction and blisters.” Fewer blisters means that you’ll be able to walk more comfortably.

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