Almost anyone can learn how to walk in high heels. Wearing heels can be scary for many who don’t wear heels regularly. But with a bit of help, wearing high heels can be learned, even for those with little experience.
Here are a few steps I learned from my friend Leslie who owns a modeling agency.
To learn how to walk with high-heels, first, I had to learn to walk on the balls of my feet in a straight line with small steps. I practiced walking at a slower pace until I could get my balance for about 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Once I became comfortable walking on the balls of my feet, I then practiced walking wearing high heels with even smaller steps to start with until I felt more stable to take bigger steps.
Within a few weeks, I gained the confidence to walk in 5-inch heels.
How to start?
Start wearing lower heel shoes or even wedges to start wearing high heels. Watch YouTube tutorials or ask a friend who wears high heels daily to get insight into how they started being comfortable in them. It might take someone watching you how you walk to identify what needs work when you have a pair of sexy heels.
Wearing high-heels is not just about walking in them. It’s also walking in heels gracefully and confidently. Training may seem demoralizing since there is so much difference between your feet when you switch to new shoes. Exercise with your feet and legs will speed the process allowing you to wear shoes quicker without the risk resulting from injuries.
Wearing High Heels What did I learn first?
It has been a little while since I wore high-heeled shoes. In 2019, I lost a bunch of weight, and in 2021, I had this crazy idea to say yes to a request that my neighbor and friend Nikky asked me to make. She was getting ready to do a bikini competition. She said I should do the transformation division.
Of course, I had to walk on stage in a bikini and then a gown with high heels. Four-inch heel shoes are ok, but apparently, the higher the heel height, the better it is.
Occasionally I would wear high heels, but they’re usually wedges. When I mean high, I mainly meant less than 3 inches or those block heel shoes or anything with a chunkier heel. After long 12-14 hour shifts, I usually had sore feet, so I preferred wearing flats, flip flops, or sneakers over any high-heeled shoes.
Pay Attention to How You Walk
Before my high heel training started, Leslie, my coach, asked me to walk as I usually would so she would have a baseline. I had a lot of work to do since I had not worn heels in a long time. For me, anything over 3 inches might as well be sky-high heels.
The first thing we did before putting on my high heel shoes was to walk on the balls of my feet. A lot easier said than done in my case. She reassured me that it was ok to feel awkward, but I will eventually get better.
Walking in a straight light with one foot directly in front of the other felt like I had compromised balance. We did this for a while, and my feet hurt. After the walking session, she told me what I needed to do before meeting again. These were her instructions:
- Keep your arms relaxed.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and stand taller.
- Put one foot directly in front of the other foot.
- Keep toes pointing straight ahead.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Don’t look down (eyes forward).
- Don’t let your heel down when you’re walking.
Second Meeting: Wearing High Heels
I could not remember which one was worse, to be half-naked on stage or fall on stage because I had forgotten how to walk in heels! As I got older, I would prefer to wear flats rather than heels. I was not too fond of low heel shoes.
I grew up wearing flip-flops in the Philippines. And living in Florida, well, we wear flip-flops even in winter. And when I joined Crossfit, brand new shoes only meant I bought new workout shoes.
The following week, she has asked me to start walking in high heels. She also told me to practice walking with the shoes I would wear for the show. I went from walking on my toes to a pair of 5-inch heel platform shoes. I’m walking heel first this time, ensuring I’m not putting down the entire foot simultaneously. I still needed to work on my balance, but I could stand and pose this time without being too shaky.
Practice Walking in Heels in Front of Friends
I practiced walking in heels in front of her, and she critiqued my walk again to make sure I understood what I was doing. She also demonstrated the proper way to walk. First, she walked on the balls of her feet, and then she put on a pair of stilettos. Eventually, I started to feel comfortable.
The funny thing about it was that my biggest problem was not the walking heels. I had practiced so much walking on my feet that walking in heels was just the next progression. I practiced walking on different surfaces as well.
Be Conscious of your Posture
My biggest problem was my posture, and I kept raising my shoulders, making me look stiff or robotic. I looked like a stick trying to walk in heels. How I looked did not seem natural.
I looked like I was in pain. I also moved my hips as my legs moved forward. Walking in high heels is one thing; walking gracefully in sky-high heels is another issue.
Straight Line and Walk Heel Toe
Heel-toe was the way to go. I needed to practice on my own and spend several hours a week cumulatively if I would pull it off. I practiced almost every day for about five to 10 mins in front of a mirror. Initially, I looked like I was marching, so I had to tell myself constantly, “heel-toe, shoulders down, core tight, swing your hips, sway your arms and have confidence in yourself and walk that imaginary straight line.”
Walking Slowly When You Wear High-Heels
As a nurse, my concern is always safety first. It’s better to be slow and purposeful when you’re walking in your first pair of heels than to put them on haphazardly, only to slip and injure an ankle. Keep the knee slightly bent when taking a stride, and do it slowly when you first start. Speed will eventually come the more you practice.
Good Practice Makes Perfect
I’ll never forget what my 6th-grade science teacher said once in class. It stuck with me, and I use it all the time. It’s not “practice makes perfect.”. It’s “good practice makes perfect.” So do “good practice” by starting slow. Watch yourself in front of a mirror. First, get yourself a good pair of heels. Stretch those calves and ankles and practice on different surfaces.
Don’t Forget about Balance.
Get your balance while you’re walking in that straight line or while standing. Also, keep your eyes looking forward. Rest when you start to feel pain.
Practice going up and downstairs. You don’t need any injury here. Before you know it, you’re ready to take yourself out wearing the sexy pair of heels you’ve been practicing. You’ve got nothing to lose when you practice daily, even for 10 minutes at a time. You will only gain confidence.
Keep Those Shoulders Down
Why is this even a thing?
Because walking in heels is not just about walking in heels. It’s the overall package when someone walks in a pair of sexy stilettos. I couldn’t tell you why I always hiked up my shoulders close to my ear, but it was enough to be distracting. I’m almost positive it’s due to a lack of mobility exercises. I should know better.
When I first walked in high heels, I gave the impression of someone uncomfortable, uptight, and stiff. Quite frankly, I was everything I was trying not to be while wearing high heels awkward, inept, unsophisticated, and quite unattractive.
Have you ever seen a runway model with elegance and beauty as they gracefully walk across the runway with shoulders hiked up to their head? I haven’t either. To know how your body looks while walking is just as important as walking with those high heels.
A Guide to Buying Your First High Heels
Remember the advice here – do not try wearing very high heels or high stiletto heels first! Keep them for another purpose. The next step will guide you to the most comfortable shoes to walk in.
Avoid those thinner straps that go across the toes as your first pair. It will make your feet hurt before you know it.
Wearing heels for long periods will cause pain eventually. I don’t know anyone that ever owned a pair that never complained about their feet hurting after wearing and walking in them after a while.
Get the Right Size
You might get blisters. It depends on how they fit. Make sure you get the one that is your size to prevent unnecessary blisters. With the ease and accessibility of online stores, it might be tempting to buy some online, but I highly encourage you to first go into a shoe store and try different sizes and styles.
Depending on the shape of your legs, some shoes may dig into your skin, and other styles or sizes may not. When you first try it on, it may not matter as much, but when you’re going to be in it for a few hours, you might regret it.
Get the Ones With Ankle Straps
I’ve heard from many of these fitness girls that shoes with ankle straps are better because they’re more secure. I believe them. Good thing for me, I think ankle straps are sexy, so I’ve always preferred heels with ankle straps.
Also, I feel more support when I have ankle straps. My husband says all the time that I have duck feet because I don’t have arches, and having hyperhidrosis (fancy name for excessive sweating) and flat feet makes it a bit more challenging for me to keep my high heels in place, and those straps keep them where they need to be on my feet and not in the air.
I once made a mistake buying regular three-inch heels without the straps, and let me tell you, and I don’t know how they didn’t end up in the air while I was walking, then hitting some in the face and knocking them off. It was like a slip and slide party in those heels. I kept on slipping inside my shoes; I eventually took them off.
I’m sure I gave a lame excuse like, “I’m too tipsy to be walking in these heels,” when in reality, I couldn’t keep them on my feet. Awkward.
Those non-slip pads for traction help
Nurse here, and I say safety first when wearing fancy shoes for any occasion. Sometimes, more often than not, you will encounter slippery floors. I’ve used those grip pads on my platform shoes, and trust me, they help. They’re inexpensive too.
Unless you’ve mastered the many different types of surfaces to walk on without getting hurt, I will always recommend doing everything you can to promote safety for yourself and others. When I say others, I mean what if you were walking by a pool, you slip, grab onto someone else and inadvertently send them flying into the pool.
I know you’ve seen those embarrassing videos. If you haven’t, Youtube can hook you up with some of those videos. Don’t let that be you *wink*
Feel Confident and Sexy
If you’re nervous about wearing high heels, start wearing them for shorter periods. As you get more comfortable in your shoes, you can gradually increase your time wearing them. Before you know it, you’ll be able to wear high heels all day long.
Every time I met with Leslie, she reminded me that I’m a “grown-ass woman and need to own it.” It took a while for me to get comfortable. It took me about three months of daily practice before I felt confident wearing them. Naturally, I questioned myself in the beginning.
I had a constant barrage of self-defeating thoughts, but it slowly disappeared as I kept pushing myself, constantly reminding myself of what I was up to in life.
Loosen Up and Relax
Learn how to relax while practicing. It will come. Honestly, you don’t need sexy shoes to feel confident. You don’t need anything fancy to feel confident.
Confidence is an inside job.
The structure is there to help you gain confidence when it’s not yet available. Continue to push and continue to practice. It only gets better.