High heels can help make legs look longer, creating a graceful and elegant silhouette. However, teetering around in uncomfortable shoes is not always so graceful. Although experience can make anyone look chic and stylish, first attempts at wearing heels can make anyone look like newborn fawn learning how to walk. A bit of practice and proper posture can help even the most inexperienced woman learn to walk in high heel shoes. Heel choice and preparing the shoes can also go a long way.
Choose the right heel height
Sky-high 15-centimetre heels may be fashionable, but they are not the best shoes for beginners. Women with little or no experience wearing high heels should choose a shorter height; 5- to 8-centimetre heels are usually comfortable for beginners. Foot size also plays a role in choosing the right heel height. A 10-centimetre heel feels taller to a person with size 6 feet than it does to a person with size 9 feet; shorter feet have less space to distribute the extra height, so keep foot size in mind.
Break in the shoes
Comfort is key when it comes to walking in high heels. Stiff shoes can rub, causing pain, so always break in new shoes before wearing them out. A great way to break in new heels is to wear them with damp socks and then drying them with a hair dryer. This warms up the leather and helps it mould to the shape of the feet. If soles feel slippery, add some traction by scuffing them with rough grit sandpaper.
Add extra support
Sometimes, high heels can still feel uncomfortable, even after a bit of wear and practice, especially when the heels are very high. Add footpads to the balls of the shoes to lend extra support to the soles, or apply cushioned insoles to the entire shoes. This helps offset some of the strain that high heels place on the balls of the feet. Also, keep an anti-blister stick and a few blister plasters in a handbag, just in case.
Practise walking in heels
Practise walking in the high heel shoes. Start with small distances first because it can take some time to get used to balancing in tall shoes. Practice runs also help break in the high heels a bit more, which makes them more comfortable for walking.
- Wear the shoes around the house in small spurts the first time wearing them. Take off the shoes to give the feet time to adjust and to prevent any foot strain. Wear the shoes while watching television, tidying up the living room, or doing the washing up.
- Practise walking slowly, taking short steps to adjust to the change in stride length. Heels make strides shorter, so pay attention to the difference.
- Keep wearing the shoes for longer periods. For example, try wearing them on short trips to the shops or on quick walks around the neighbourhood. Walking on pavements also helps add a bit of traction to the soles. If the heels are a pair of strappy evening sandals, pretend to be a glamour girl taking a quick grocery run.
Work on posture
Pay attention to posture while walking, as slouching can put extra stress on the lower back and can undermine balance. Some women lean forward while walking in heels, which can offset the gravity centre. Keep the back straight, and draw extra support from the abdominal muscles while walking.
Keep even pressure on the feet
Pay attention to the position of the feet. Keeping the centre of gravity on the heels can throw off balance and can cause a twisted ankle, so be sure to keep the pressure even between the balls of the feet and the heels. It also helps to arch the feet slightly while walking, which adds a bit of extra stability to the stride.
How to buy high heels on eBay
If you are looking for the perfect pair of practice shoes, you can find an excellent selection of high heels on eBay. Because the inventory is so large, it is a good idea to use specific search terms, such as "black stiletto pumps". You can incorporate shoe size, colour, brand, and shoe style into your search terms. You can also use filters to narrow down your results by size, shoe type, price range, material, and colour. While you are shoe shopping, take the time to order some new socks or footpads.