Culture August 4, 2016
Whether you fell in love with the perfect pair of shoes for a special occasion or just want to feel more confident wearing pumps at work, try these four tips to learn how ooze elegance and poise while walking in high heels.
If you purchased a pair of sky-high, five inch Louboutins for a big gala event but don’t normally wear heels, it’s time to take a step back. You must learn to walk before you can strut; that’s a basic rule for any kind of growth. Practice with “starter shoes,” such as two inch kitten heels or small wedges before working your way up to your dream pair of tall, skinny stilettos. If you’re a true beginner, look for shoes with a short and chunky heel; these will be the easiest to walk but still offer plenty of glam.
Once you find the perfect high heels, master the basics of your runway walk: step with the heel first, and then put your toe down. Keep your shoulders back, and stand tall (you are wearing high heels, after all).
High heels shorten your stride and change your center of gravity, which might make you feel off-balance as you learn how to walk in heels. So slow down, sister – there’s no rush. Take petite, deliberate steps to stay in control. Who What Wear suggests, “It’s best to take your time in heels. Besides, walking slowly gives off an air of confidence.”
Keep in mind you may have to take more steps than usual to cover the same distance in heels – not ideal for a rushed morning commute. If you walk several blocks from the subway to your office, bring a pair of polished ballet flats as your “commuter shoes,” and then slip into your power pumps once you arrive at the office. Beauty and practicality!
If your high heels don’t fit snugly and comfortably, get ready for wobbly steps and painful blisters. For a realistic fitting, NY Mag recommends trying new shoes on in the middle of the afternoon, when your feet are likely to be a bit swollen.
Certain materials, such as authentic leather, will stretch over time and mold to your feet for a supple, custom fit that feels like butter. Otherwise, your local shoe repair person can help file or stretch your favorite pumps to perfection.
For a DIY hack to fix your too-tight heels, fill a leak-proof plastic bag with water and place it in your shoes. Then, pop the pumps in the freezer. The water will expand as it freezes, stretching your shoes slightly. Alternatively, if you find your high heels are a bit too loose in certain areas, you can purchase inserts and insoles to adjust the fit.
Take precautions to avoid slipping before you stride into a waxed marble lobby wearing your elegant, smooth-soled high heels. Runway diva extraordinaire, Miss J. Alexander recommends scratching the bottom of your shoes with sandpaper to gain more traction. If you do start to teeter, arch your foot to increase the pressure on the sides of your shoes. This gives you better stability so you can regain your balance.
With a little practice, you will not only look elegant, but also confident as you strut in heels. Keep your head held high and your heels higher.
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