Thursday, 8 February 2018

4 Tips for Walking in High-heels (from a former Dancer)


As a dancer I spent a great deal of my childhood and early adulthood on both the balls of my feet and my toes. As such, high-heels are quite comfortable for me, and always have been. What follows is a simple list of tips & tricks for walking with ease in what some feel are a form of patriarchal bondage and others find a symbol of empowerment. If you are of the former mind, please stop reading. You will hate this post or at the very least it will be of no use to you. If you are of the latter... enjoy…

Please also note, I am a fan of flats (I agree with Oscar Quine) and in general of wearing whatever you want, when you want. Fashion choices are personal and we all have the right to don ourselves in whatever attire makes us feel good, but I digress... 

Back to the heels, which I (sometimes) adore wearing...

Tip 1. - Invest in quality

My nana, the most stylish woman I have ever known, taught me that there are two items in ones closet which are always worth investing in: coats and shoes. You need these items to last, and take a beating, so it’s worth spending a little 'extra' to have them with you longer. 

Heeding her advice, I still wear a cream-coloured dress-coat that felt like an extravagant purchase when I was a teenager. Its beauty and durability has withstood the test of time (15 years-plus).

When it comes to heels, invest in a pair that feel well-crafted, sturdy and reliable.

Devote some time to their purchase too. When you try them on in the store walk all around. Keep them on your feet for at least the length of a good chat with a friend (or the salesperson) before buying. Ideally you should be able to stand in the heels comfortably enough that you can get lost in conversation and forget about your elevated height for a moment or two. 

I can’t stress enough that they need to feel comfortable in the store, because once you leave, and the novelty of your purchase wears off, all you’ll be left with is your big toe screaming at you..., and if that's the case, you’ll likely never wear them again.

Tip 2. - Walk heel-to-toe

Now that you’ve invested in a good pair it’s time to put that shoe to work and trust that heel. 

Walking toe first creates a doe-like movement, where you feel and look as though you are a Bambi on thin ice. Instead, same as you would if wearing a flat shoe, place your heel first. A good quality stiletto will support this movement. 

A well crafted shoe can handle heel-to-toe weight exchange, so trust the shoemaker, they’ve got your back. 

Tip 3. - Pop your hip

Walk heel-to-toe and allow the follow through of your hip to sway as your weight transfers from one foot to another. This hip swivel is why heels feel so sexy to wear. Free those hips. Trust me, popping your hip makes Tip 2 so much easier to master. 

For inspiration, check out Marilyn Monroe’s famous walk in the 1953 film, Niagara.

For extra fun, here’s an interesting article on, "the longest walk in cinema history".

Tip 4. - Wear them at home

I advise friends trying to master the heel-to-toe deal, to wear their new heels around the house while in their lounge wear and relaxing. It’s a trick I’ve stolen from my time as a ballet dancer. When first getting a pair of pointe shoes ballerinas do a myriad of crazy things in order to ‘break them in’ (i.e. form the shoes’ generic blocks to their individual feet). This is one of them. 

We also used to sleep with them on but I don’t advise doing that with heels - no, no, no.

There you have it! Those are my top four tips for rocking some artificial height. 

Walking in heels ought to be a pleasure. It ought to make you feel utterly fabulous, powerful and gorgeous. Invest in quality, trust the heel, channel your inner Marilyn and rock them with sweats at home. If, despite all this, they still don’t deliver on those feelings, toss ‘em and break out the comfy converse because anything less than amazing-feeling isn’t worth your time, money or closet space.

"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." - Marilyn Monroe

- J


*J, That's it, I'm sleeping with my heels on tonight. The kittens and the hubby will not be pleased :D - M

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Maira Gall