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How to walk gracefully in any pair of heels

Be confident and comfortable in even the most sky-high pair of heels

From SheKnows Australia

Love heels but don’t feel confident wearing them? No problem. With a few nifty tricks on your side, you’ll be able to nix any pain and walk gracefully in even the most sky-high heels. Before too long, you’ll be thinking like Victoria Beckham, who once famously said, “I can’t concentrate in flats.”

Get the right support

Be confident and comfortable in even the most sky-high pair of heels
Image: AliExpress

Before you take a single step, let’s talk about those pretty shoes on your feet. Do they fit properly? Are they comfortable? If you’re slipping and sliding around or feeling stabbing pains on the balls of your feet from the get-go, your chances of walking effortlessly are pretty slim. But with the help of a few sneaky heel-helpers, you’ll get there. Head to a department store or shoe shop, and ask for the support you need:

  • Toe gels — these cushion the ball of the foot, so use them if you're feeling pain when your foot strikes the ground.
  • Weight shifters — these shift weight off the ball of the foot and onto the heel, which is useful when wearing stilettos or heels that don't offer much stability.
  • Heel pads — pop these into too-big shoes to prevent feet from moving around.
  • Arch supporters — for those women with naturally low arches, these supportive pads fill in the "gap" between the foot and shoe and relieve pressure from the ball of the foot.
  • Blister pads — keep these handy to prevent and heal blisters usually caused by rubbing on the back of the foot, which can happen with new or stiff shoes.

On the flip side, if your heels are too small, get them stretched out by a local cobbler. It will be money well spent, promise!

More: 13 Ways to make high heels more comfortable

Perfect your posture

Be confident and comfortable in even the most sky-high pair of heels
Image: SheKnows

Now that your shoes are ready, it’s time to work on looking elegant — and that comes down to posture. Plus, heels pitch your weight forward, so you need to balance that with some clever body movements. When you’re walking in heels, you want to stand tall, strong and confident. To do that, roll your shoulders back and down, and make sure your head is in line with your spine. Gently engage your abdominals (like you would in a Pilates class) to protect your lower back, and bend your knees ever so slightly. Lastly, place your heels directly behind your toes.

Find a rhythm

Walking in heels is a whole new ball game. When you’re wearing flats, you put your whole foot down at once — but this is the quickest way to give away your amateur status in heels! When you’re wearing shoes with a bit of height, put your heel down first, followed by your toe. Place one foot in front of the other, and try to get into a rhythm: heel, toe, heel, toe. This is called the “heel to toe” method (crazy, we know), and it’s the most natural way to walk in heels.

If you're donning a pair of skyscrapers? Take extra care, and spread your toes in the shoe you’re putting down on the floor. This will help to distribute your weight evenly and prevent any teetering.

Lean back a little

When wearing heels, you may find yourself leaning forward. This usually means you’re trying to walk faster than your heels will allow. To counteract this, lean back a little. If you’re standing still, shift weight from one foot to the other to alleviate pressure. Model-of-the-moment Kendall Jenner relies on this trick, telling, “I switch from one foot to another a lot, like this. [She crosses one foot behind the other in her now-signature pose.] You have to keep moving your feet!”

More: 5 Yoga poses to improve your balance

Take small steps

While we’re on the subject of striding, do so with small steps. Wearing heels makes your stride a little shorter, so you’ll inevitably need to take more steps to go the same distance. Think small and dainty, not baby steps — we are busy women with places to go and things to do! Try not to rush, though. Between the extra height and small steps, walking quickly in heels looks a little awkward.

Toned legs make wearing heels much easier, so spend a little time stretching and working on your legs, particularly your calves.

Walk a straight line

Be confident and comfortable in even the most sky-high pair of heels
Image: houstondwiPhotos mp/flickr

Finally, don’t look down at your heels while you walk. Instead, find your end point (a coffee cart, colleague’s desk, shop), and visualise an invisible, straight line leading there. Then, walk it. One foot should come down directly in front of the other, with your toes pointing straight ahead. With a little bit of practice, it’ll become second nature.

More: How to keep high heels from cramping your (running) style

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