Walking in high heels: a guide

As a result of my wildly popular post, Riding a bike in a skirt: a guide, I’d decided to continue the series to keep you, my dear friends and fans, in tune with your feminine side without looking like an idiot.

First of all, and most importantly, you should buy shoes that you’re comfortable in.  If your toes are hitting the front, you’re feeling pinched through the width, or there is space in the heel, just put the shoes back on the shelf.  I don’t even care if they’re on clearance.  If you are uncomfortable in them you’ll never wear them.  Extra features to look for include rubber (or like) souls.  If you’re going to be walking slipping is not an option.  Mary-Janes (shoes with a strap across the foot) are not just fashionable–they’re also incredibly functional.  The added material given by the strap can make a world of difference in the amount of displaced pressure on other areas of the foot.

When walking it is very important to have good posture and activate the core.  The trick is to not allow your upper body to bounce–meaning that all movement comes from the lower body, specifically, the hips.  (This should be reminding you of your marching band days).  Think: shoulders back, chin level, don’t drop the imaginary book on your head.  It is absolutely key to use the hips because it keeps you from walking with heavy abrupt steps or rigid knees.  Also–it looks hott.  ((but you didn’t hear it from me))

Once you’ve mastered this concept know that you should walk with toes forward–never do a slight cross-over step as you walk.  It decreases the fluidity of the movement, you’re more likely to trip, and you might begin to swing your shoulders with the steps (which looks like you’re trying too hard).

The heel should hit the ground slighly before the ball of the foot (never the other way around), making an even-volumed “ttpd-ttpd” from each foot as you walk.  But (marching band kids!) don’t roll-step.  As a result of using the hips, this movement should be natural.

An extra challenge is added when carrying a bag and/or coffee.  Don’t give in, though–keep the upper body still as you walk from the lower body.

Finally, if you’re in the city and attempting to master the countless ventilation grates in the side walk: stay alert!  Never take your eyes off the ground ahead of you.  It is easiest to avoid them, if possible, but otherwise a simple lift of the back of the foot, causing only the ball of the foot to touch the ground, will suffice.  After a while you’ll be able to do with gracefully enough that there is no need to worry about how frightening (and awkward!) it is if you get stuck.

Be smart. Be aware. Be stylish. Stay awkward.



Filed under Uncategorized

7 responses to “Walking in high heels: a guide

  1. Carly

    “Be smart. Be aware. Be stylish. Stay awkward.”

    Now really, aren’t you helping us to be smart, be aware, be stylish, and be NOT awkward?

  2. KJ

    Finally, I can traverse the Chicago sidewalks with confidence…

  3. phampants

    the fact that i knew what mary janes are…wow.

  4. paul

    I just read an article in Time this morning about “walking in high heel schools” popping up. Those, in light of all the dangers of high heels, are becoming popular again. So your advice is timely…….or is it????

  5. slightlyignorant

    Aha! Thank you! Now I shall buy the boots I’ve wanted for ever and I shall be confident in my steps and refer to this guide, which I shall keep in my backpack at all times, so as never to forget the important tips you have given :).

  6. There should be a section about not getting the heel stuck in ventilation grates built into the sidewalks. I have seen many people literally trapped by that mistake.

  7. Eliz

    I’m still waiting for the Riding a bike in heels: a guide edition. Keep me posted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s