Walking in high heels is beyond challenging for me. It feels like a challenge straight out of the Hunger Games, formulated specifically to ensure I don’t wind up the winner. I’m always amazed by the girls that run around the city in the stilettos and still look effortless. (I’m looking at you, Chris Pratt.)
I can barely move around NYC in my slip-ons, let alone 5-inch heels. Every time I bring up the subject with friends, the immediate response is they have drivers & cars waiting for them. And I can agree to that. A certain population has transportation waiting for them. But I’ve seen plenty hop on and off the train in their heels, making me wonder what I’m doing wrong.
I used to model, and somehow it seemed easier back then. Maybe it’s age? I’ve seen many older ladies that can keep it together a lot more than I can. It has to be practice. I fell out of the loop when I started wearing only flats. As much as I love my non-heeled friends, I’d like to wear my heels out more often and for longer periods of time. I’m on a mission to make next year my leggiest year ever.
I’ll be doing the following things to make things a lot less painful:
1. Get gel insoles
I already use insoles in my flats to make things a lot more comfortable. These things make a difference. Having proper arch support is crucial in maintaining balance and ensuring the least amount of pain at the end of the night. Not to mention, they’ll keep your foot in place and prevent ugly blisters from forming. You can get a silicone gel under the ball of the foot, or a high-heel version for under your arch.
2. Adjust your posture
The higher the heel, the higher your center of gravity. The center of gravity needs to be readjusted as your calf muscles stiffen up, and you pelvis and chest thrust out. Make sure to stand up straight, with your shoulders back. Imagine a little string pulling you up from the top of the head as you walk. This technique will help in keeping you adjusted. Also, according to Victor Chu, an instructor of a class called “How To Walk in High Heels”, make sure to engage your abs, walk heel to toe, and relax your hips and knees.
3. Choose your proper size
Improperly sized shoes are a nightmare! If you’re having trouble, make sure the shoes you’re wearing aren’t too big or too tight on you. if they’re too tight, take them to a cobbler to get them stretched. If they feel slightly loose, you can try a heel pad that wraps around the inside of the back of the shoe. Also, keep in mind that as you grow older, your foot size slightly changes. It’s worth making sure your foot size is still the same every time you decide to splurge on an expensive pair of heels.
4. Schedule recovery
As much as you love feeling like Carrie Bradshaw, wearing heels every single day will wreak havoc on your feet. Take a break every other day from wearing heels entirely. If you absolutely must wear a heel, choose a shorter, chunkier one for added support.
5. Look for thick heels
Thick, stacked heels, especially ones paired with a platform on the shoe, are much easier to walk in. They don’t require as much effort in balancing since there’s greater surface area. A platform with a heel will offset the heel height since the distance from ball of foot and heel are reduced. So if your shoe platform is 1″ and your heel is 5″, it will feel like you’re walking on a 4″ heel instead of a 5″.
6. Strap yourself in
A shoe with straps, more top coverage and/or with ties are easier to walk in since your foot isn’t sliding around as much. Making sure that the foot won’t slide out of the shoe reduces an additional headache and relieves the tension in the calves.
7. Shave the heel
You can shave down an inch from your heel at any cobbler! If it’s a favorite pair of shoes that you simply can’t get used to walking in, take them to your cobbler and ask for up to an inch to be taken off. The heels will be more comfortable and more wearable as a result.
Walking in high heels has never been easier. I’m ready for this.
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