Tricks of the Trade: How to Walk in High Heels

Tuesday, 19 May 2009 | Tags: , ,

If you're afraid of heights when it comes to wearing stilettos, you're doing it all wrong! We learn from an expert how to walk tall and with confidence, no matter the height of your heel.

They look and feel sexy, they give you a commanding presence, and they make you taller. There’s lots of reasons to love wearing heels, but if you can’t walk in them, it’s all moot.We invited Mz. TamAirah Standards to do a walking workshop with some not-so-graceful Beauty Call viewers to help them learn to walk like a pro a on the catwalk.Preparation Tips

  • If you’re new to heels, start with a lower pair of shoes (1-2″ heels) and work your way up once you get the hang of the walking technique. It will also be easier on your legs if you work up to a stiletto gradually.

  • Make sure your shoes fit well. If they are too big, your foot will slide around and throw off your balance. If they’re too small, it will be incredibly uncomfortable.

How high is too high?
To find out if your shoes are too high for you, follow this guideline:
Wearing your shoes, stand on a hard surface and raise up on your toes. If you can lift your heel an inch off the ground or more, they’re a good height for you. If you can’t, then your legs aren’t ready for this height of heel and you should go a little lower. If your heels are too high, you will walk hunched with bent knees, which is both unattractive and bad for your muscles.Walking Technique

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet standing comfortably as you normally would be in flat shoes.

  2. Engage your stomach muscles to give yourself a steady core balance. Make sure your back is in a straight, natural position. (No arching backs or stiff, straight boards.) You may feel the need to lean forward because of the heel height, but concentrate on staying perpendicular to the floor.

  3. Lift your foot and point your to straight ahead, slightly upwards. Avoid allowing your foot to turn to the side.

  4. Place your heel gently on the floor about a foot-length ahead of your other foot. Note that wearing heels shortens your stride, so think about taking smaller steps.

  5. Roll the foot forward so your weight is on the outside ball of your foot, and then push off with your big toe.
  6. Remember to keep your legs close together, point toes forward, and focus on placing the foot straight so that you’re walking on an invisible straight line.

  7. Once you get the hang of the step motion, start to loosen your body. Allow your hips to sway from side to side, which is your body’s natural compensation for walking tipped up on your toes. On the catwalk, you’ll notice models often cross one foot slightly in front of the other when taking each step, which gives them a little extra sway. It takes practice, but you can do this too.

We recommend wearing your heels around the house for a few hours of practice before you actually wear them outside. Once you’ve mastered walking in a straight line, you also want to practice:Sunday Best

  • Changing direction. Walk, stop, pivot on one foot, and continue walking.

  • Practice walking on different surfaces. Carpets can catch your pointy heels, wood floors can be slippery, sidewalks and streets have cracks and bumps that can catch you or trip you up.

  • Stairs can be tricky. Ascending, only place the ball of your foot on the stiar. Descending, place your whole foot on the stair. Always hold the railing — it’ll look more graceful than falling!

  • Practice dancing! Dance floors can be slippery too, so get comfortable before you kick up those heels. 

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