Walking in high heels can be a pain in the you-know-what. What woman hasn’t hobbled into her apartment like a wounded wildebeest after a day in 4-inch skyscrapers? Or flung off her stilettos on the sidewalk despite an overwhelming phobia of catching every germ known to man? It’s all part of the game. Thankfully, there are some easy secrets to make life a whole lot easier on you, your feet and, well, everyone around you.
Here are eight tips on how to walk in heels like you mean it.
Invest in Support
First things first: You need backup. Stock up on toe gels, moleskin insoles, arch supports, heel pads and blister strips before you’re in pain. It sounds like a lot of prep, but once you get into the swing of things, walking in heels will become second nature to you.
Train Your Arch
Guess what? Your foot arch will mold to your shoes. So if you typically wear flats, chances are your arch is less pronounced than someone who regularly wears high heels. Your best bet is to alternate your shoe heights. For example, commute to work in sneakers and then slip on a pair of heels when you get to the office. That way you train your arch to get used to a variety of heel heights.
Walk Heel to Toe
When you’re walking in high heels, there’s a tendency to plant with your toes first since your foot is slanted downward. Don’t succumb to the urge! The key to walking in high heels is to stride in your normal heel-to-toe rhythm to prevent twisted ankles or broken stilettos.
Stand Up Straight
Check your posture while walking in high heels. Notice how your head and your body lean slightly forward? That will throw your weight on the balls of your feet and leave you susceptible to knee or back pain. Instead, tighten your core and make sure to stand up straight at all times, especially when you’re in a rush.
One of the easiest ways to spot a novice in high heels is by their eyeline. Confident women look straight ahead, which in turn helps them to walk in a straight line. Newbies often look down, which will hinder their gate and strain their neck. So, find a landmark in the near distance and zero in.
Take Small Steps
Heels naturally shorten your stride, so try to avoid taking the monstrous steps you’re used to when you wear flats. That’s not to say you have to tiptoe around. Just use your best judgment and find the right balance for you. This will help support your upright posture and your heel-to-toe motion.
Know Your Terrain
Stilettos have no business on cobblestone streets or freshly manicured lawns. When your terrain gets a little bumpy, opt for shoes with at least a one-inch-thick heel to keep you from teetering to and fro.
Swing Your Hips
A little pep in your step never hurt anyone. If you’re feeling wobbly or you notice that you plant your foot on the ground really hard, you’re probably stiffening up when you walk in high heels. Add a slight swing in your hips to ease the tension and give you some momentum. Hey, you’ll probably even turn a few heads while you’re at it.