Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to walk in heels!

Two common questions I get is "How do you walk in heels all the time?!" and "Do you have any tips for wearing high heel shoes?" I've been writing back individually but thought since it was such a common question that I'd just write a post for it!  These tips aren't ground breaking or anything, I'm sure you can find tips if you google for it as well, but here's just some tips of how I manage to walk in heels all day long.
Practice makes perfect 
I've been wearing heels since I was a teenager so my feet have been thoroughly trained to be in heels.  In fact, they are so used to being in heels that when I wear flats, I am clumsier and tend to fall over my feet or hurt myself.  I also get foot cramps when I wear flats.  Odd but true!  If you are just starting out, don't immediately go for the stilletos.  Get some heels between 2-3 inches and preferably with a bit of a thicker heel and wear them around the house. (these would be great)  Wear them when you are cooking, wear them when you are doing your makeup, when you are vacuuming, walk up and down the stairs, etc...  You don't need to even get dressed up, just walk around and wear them in your sweats, nobody will see you but if you wear them during normal activities without leaving the house, you will get a lot more used to them and not feel foolish because nobody will see you practicing.  I do this when I'm breaking my shoes in and it helps a lot in that aspect as well.

Does it fit?
Nothing looks worse than a girl who's wearing shoes that are too big or too small and you can see them visibly struggling to walk in them.  I wear different sizes with different brands and even within the same designer I can go up or down a half size so make sure that you are wearing the size that fits your foot and not just the size that you "usually" wear.  To help with sizing you can also get insoles.  I really like these Dr. Scholl's For Her Open Shoe Insoles or if you don't want the whole insole I also recommend the Foot Petals Tip ToesI buy these in bulk and put them in so many of my shoes.  They make my foot stay in place and not slip to the front like so many super high heels can make your foot do.  It also makes the front pad of the shoe much cushier and comfortable to walk in.  You can also buy the variety pack that will cover each part of the shoe that you may be affected by.

When you are buying shoes, walk around the shoe department in them and make sure that your heel doesn't pop out or it's not squeezing your toes or the sides of your feet.  All of that will stay the same once you buy them and take them home.  Don't think that shoes will stretch because most of the time they won't stretch enough and they'll still be too tight to wear.  Nobody likes to wear too tight shoes.  Well, I sure don't and I think most people wouldn't either.  If they are a bit loose and the half size down is too small, ask the sales associate if you can see how it fits with an insole or a foot pad.  Most often they will have temporary foot pads that you can put in your shoe to see if it will help.  I know for sure Nordstrom has them and will put a few in your shoe box for free!  They aren't as good as foot petals but good for a temporary fix.

Walk slowly and take small steps
I admit, I'm a fast walker but like I said I am pretty experienced with heels so I'm so used to walking in heels.  However when I wear super high 5 inch heels like my Louboutin Bianca pumps, I have to walk pretty slowly.  I always warn my husband that I will be especially slow on the days that I wear them.  There's just no getting around it.  Walking slow is much better than trying to keep your normal pace and then falling on your face.  Don't feel silly for walking slow or taking small steps.  I mean don't walk abnormally slow (if you do, you may need more practice) but look around you, there's always a ton of people walking slow and you probably don't stare at them weird or anything do you?  So ignore your own self conscious feeling of "dang people are probably staring at me because I'm so slow" and just take your time walking.  If you have to go up or down stairs, always hold on to the handrail or your significant other to keep steady.  It sounds silly but I've seen people take tumbles because they didn't have anything to hold onto but if you are wearing heels, you have a higher chance of slipping or getting your footing wrong when going down stairs.  I've taken a few tumbles myself that the handrail has helped me from making into an embarrassing situation!

Always carry flats with you
When I know I'll be walking a lot, I always carry a bigger handbag and put a pair of flats in there.  I have a ton of shoe bags from all my shoes so I just put a pair of flats in a shoe bag to keep my handbag contents from getting dirty.  Then when I've been on my feet for a couple of hours and I need to give them a rest, I'll just slip on my flats, put my heels in the shoe bag and my feet are back to being comfy! There are even flats out there like these Dr. Scholl's Fast Flats that are foldable flats and are really compact to keep in your handbag.  I haven't tried them just yet but seems like a good concept.

Keep blisters away!
People always wonder if I get blisters from walking in heels all day long but I never do.  Ever since I started investing in high end shoes, I have never gotten a blister from a shoe.  I think it's the way the shoe is made and the materials inside the shoe.  For cheaper shoes, you may get synthetic materials inside the shoe which after your foot has rubbed up against it for an hour or two, it just can't be comfortable.  Whereas for designer shoes, the entire insole as well as the inner lining is made from genuine leather which is softer to your feet and molds better than the synthetic materials.  If you are getting blisters from the inside of your shoes, put your shoes on and note where you think they might start rubbing and stick little bandaids there or you can also get some moleskin padding as well if you want to cut out custom sizes.

That's it for my tips!  The only thing that I want to reiterate is to practice and practice some more!  That's the only way that your feet will get used to being at a strange angle for long periods of time.  If you practice enough you might end up like me and have to train your feet to wear flats :)

My next guide will be on how to take care of your designer heels as that's another question I get a lot!  And now, a few of my picks from the spring collection of my favorite shoe designers.

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 studded denim pumps
If you are a beginner, I advise I against these ones!  The heel height plus the small toe box makes for only experienced stilletto wearers.  Aren't they amazing though?!
Christian Louboutin Bibi Pumps
With the thicker heel, these are great for the super high heel look but a bit more on the comfortable side.  I've actually tried these on and can vouch for their comfort!
Dior 'Cannage' Buckle Pump
The strap in front like these helps to keep your foot in and more stable.  I actually just bought these the other day!  Adore them but they are very high so not for the beginners either!
Miu Miu Suede multi-strap sandals
And having a platform in front is definitely helpful with balancing out the high heels.  I love these sandals, they just scream "springtime!" to me!

Hope my tips helped and next thing you know you'll be dancing the night away in your 4 inch heels without wanting to kick them off and throwing them in the trash!

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64 comments:

  1. Ohhhh thanks for the tips. I love the Miu Miu sandals.

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  2. what wonderful tips. I know a few people that I need to share this with.

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  3. Great tips! I'm a heels type of girl too. And love the spring picks...especially the pink suede ones!

    Can't wait for the "How to Take Care of Your Designer Shoes" post.


    http://artfashiontwentysomething.blogspot.com

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  4. Great tips! I always notice that you and Anh (9to5chic) are in sky high heels and I don't know how you ladies do it!

    Btw, my boyfriend showed me this article from the Economist or another magazine about how our leg ligaments become shorter from increased wearing of heels, making it uncomfortable to switch back to flats for prolonged periods of time. I wear about 3-3.5inch heels every day for work, and ended up hurting myself once wearing flats walking around for an entire day!

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  5. love this post!! i love wearing heels and hate wearing flats (i get cramps) but i discovered a silly joint syndrome i have and it kills me to wear heels longer than a few hours (hips, knees, ankles, and all the little bones in our pretty feet), no matter though, few hours is enough for any party! i love all the tips and will be forwarding to my beloved future sister in law, she has never owned heels (21 yo) and will be using heels next month, need to get her practicing now! :)

    btw - i will be dreaming of the CL Bibi Pumps for weeks now!

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  6. I also use liquid bandaid to prevent blisters when I first wear new shoes. It goes on like nailpolish so you can't even feel that its there! I just swipe it on the places I'm likely to get a blister and voila, no blisters!

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  7. Great tips!! Next time I see a girl limping around campus in her high heels, I'll direct her here :)

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  8. Great tips! My friends ask me about this all the time too, and I tell them practice and stop buying cheapo heels :)

    I've danced since I was a child, and my dance teacher also told us we're awesome in heels because of all our years of dancing on tip toes and building our calf muscles.

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  9. Great tips, and count me in as another person that (oddly) gets foot cramps when she wears flats - it's so painful, ouch! I have high arches, so I'm guessing that also doesn't help.

    And I can't recommend carrying flats in the handbag enough in case the heels get hurty- I'm always stunned at the girls I see (especially when I'm in Vegas!) that are walking barefoot on the street, carrying their heels in their hands. Ick! Flats in the bag is a must!

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  10. I love this post! I must share with my little sister :)

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  11. I read an article about wearing heels recently. It said that over the years wearing heels causes your calf muscles to shorten, which is why some people feel discomfort when wearing flats. Just thought it was interesting knowledge to share, even though I could never give up my heels!

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  12. Awesome tips Tiffany!! You have definitely mastered the art of high heel walking. I mean, you shoe collection is amazing, so of course you know how to strut your stuff!

    Haha. I have those days too, where I warn the hubby that I'll have to walk slower than normally, because of the shoes I'm in. Thank goodness for a patient man. ;) And I also agree about carry a pair of flats. I do that too (and now I put them in a little bag, instead of having them floating around my purse. lol!).

    xx Love & Aloha

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  13. As you said, practice makes perfect! I know some people think heels are bad for your feet but flats without arch support are actually worse, not just on your feet but on your entire body! (I've had this discussion with my chiropractor.) If heels are worn often, as long as one does some leg stretches every day, there really is no problem with the "shortening" of calf muscles or ligaments...(if you're a gym person, this should be part of your workout anyway. Just saying...

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  14. Smart post! Wearing heels can actually be "dangerous" (and sure, it sounds silly to write that) but it's good to know how to best avoid injury.

    http://adoretoadorn.blogspot.com

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  15. Great tips!!!
    xoxo Cybelle & Fabi

    http://www.fromustwoyou.com/

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  16. Thanks for the tips! I want those hot fuchsia Miu Miu heels!! OR - the Christian Louboutins. A girl can dream, right?

    visit http://runningonhappiness.blogspot.com/

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  17. Bless you, woman. Seriously. I'm 4'11", but I DIE in heels. This is going to be good motivation to stand tall at 5'2". :)

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  18. ha! I am the same exact way in flats ...especially ballet flats, just can't do it. And I feel like a little girl instead of a woman. Lace-ups are easier for me. Fab post ...love that you said your tips weren't ground breaking, lol.

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  19. these are great tips! i've started wearing heels, and these will really help. :)

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

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  20. those miu miu fuchsia colored heels are so you! adorable

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  21. Great tips, Tiffany - I have to concur.

    Whenever people ask me, 'How do you WALK in those things?!' (yes, they call them 'things') I ALWAYS reply, 'Practice makes perfect' - ha! Because like, how else do you respond to that?! AND it's true.

    A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

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  22. great picks. x


    p.s. I'm having a valentine's giveaway on my blog if you'd like to check it out. xx
    devorelebeaumonstre.com

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  23. ...what are your thoughts on heel tips replacements?...

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  24. YES! this was awesome, this shows your experience walking through life on your Loubies this comes out so helpful! ... People laugh at me cause I carry my flats on my bag, but then I laugh back when my friends get tired of walking, glad to know I'm not the only one!

    http://blog.cessoviedo.com

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  25. You are bad for my wallet Tiffany! LOL I always want more shoes after reading your posts and Loubie's are NOT cheap! hehehe

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  26. I find that with cheaper shoes, to prevent blisters is to rub a little bit of vaseline on the spots where you normally get them. Seriously works to keep them away!

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  27. Great post, beautiful shoes! I am a heels girl through and through! Practice does make perfect! :)

    Angela @Whatcha Find?
    http://whatchafind.wordpress.com

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  28. Great tip about the insoles and sizing! It's so frustrating when sizes are all different for different designers. And it's impressive to me that you can wear heels all day like that--I live in a small town so I can't even imagine what it's like to walk everywhere in the city in heels!

    Also, I love your blog! And your hair is gorgeous. I wish I had the patience to let mine grow out...I always give into the impulse to cut it every few months!

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  29. Wonderfully informative. Thank you.

    sequinsandsoliloquies.tumblr.com

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  30. Band-Aid Blister Block is excellent for preventing blisters in shoes.

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  31. i really like your post. i want to wear heels all the time but i don't like the feeling of my feet killing me at the end of the day. but your tips are really great for beginners like myself. thanks

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  32. I've been waiting for this post! Now that you've written it, it's time for me to give my heels a dusting.

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  33. Great tips - The practice part definitely helps. I've been finding it a lot easier to wear heels now that I wear them daily at work, but I don't do a whole lot of walking at work, so I can sport pretty shoes - I did almost take a nasty tumble down the stairs my second week; thankfully my coworker caught me!

    I haven't put them in my current heels yet, but I've found weight-shifting inserts help a lot - Rather than just pad the ball of the foot, they shift your weight back so it's more evenly distributed. I walked ~40 minutes in a day before (which is A LOT for me in heels), and my feet didn't hurt at all. Insolias make them - They had Christmas sale, so I stocked up! They come in sizes too (Down to "Petite", 4-5.5) so they're perfect for my tiny feet - And about the same price as normal cushioned insoles.

    Do you have any tips for making -larger- shoes work? I'm a size 4, but I can pull off SOME 5's - But I have a pair of black pumps with ball and heel padding, and they're still too big unless I wear 2 pairs of socks! :(

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  34. @Twenty.Something I know, those suede ones are so yummy :) I'm thinking about doing the "how to take care of your designer shoes" as a vlog so will have that up sometime later this month.

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  35. @Janine aka J-Ezzy @ *La Dolce Vita* oh no! but better to take care of yourself than pay the price later. But yeah, a few hours is all you need! :)

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  36. @Allison Oh I've never tried that! Thanks for the tip!

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  37. @petiteinthecity.com Yes, those are my top tips too! And totally, I think dance classes helped me too!

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  38. @Chloe I feel the same. I would never go barefoot in public, no matter how much my feet hurt. Being prepared with flats is definitely the way to go!

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  39. @sharonlei don't we have the best most patient husbands to put up with our slow walking days? LOL!

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  40. @J. I know and how some people only wear flip flops during the summer. Those are even worse than any heels!

    And I've never thought about it before but you're right. I go to the gym often and do stretches before and after working out so that probably helps me out a lot!

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  41. @Nancy It's true! If done wrong, you could seriously hurt yourself like sprain your ankle or fall over. There definitely is a "right way" to walk in heels.

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  42. @Fashion Momma oh yes, I'm a shorty as well so I love the 4 inch heels that make me feel "normal" height!

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  43. @...love Maegan I already look young so in flats I think people think I'm about 12 years old. haha.

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  44. @A.Co I agree, it's like "um, because I have skillz and you don't?" haha just kidding!

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  45. @itzlylabaybee Definitely! I'll cover it more on my next "how to" post but yes I replace them on almost all my shoes.

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  46. @CessOviedo It's so true! Having flats in your bag is way better than trying to limp walk the rest of the day.

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  47. @Really Petite haha, I try my best to make you shop even more ;)

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  48. @Bri the holes/cracks and grates in the ground are the biggest obstacles of walking in heels in the city but I've mastered them after years of experience :)

    And thank you! It takes awhile to grow out your hair, I had to resist cutting it a few times too!

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  49. @LaLaaLove I've never heard of those but they sound awesome! Will have to go find them and try them out.

    I don't have the best advice for making shoes fit because I haven't had the best luck myself. I thought my feet were small (size 5) but yikes, a 4! I feel for ya! If I have to buy a size up I usually just do two insoles and maybe a padded insole at the heel. It doesn't always work but it helps!

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  50. Are the Bibi and Bianca heels regular/classic styles of CLs? I tried on my first pair of CL and my feet were crying to get back in them! But Saks Fifth Ave didn't have the Bibi in my size and in the black suede. I'm hoping and praying that it comes back in time for my 30th birthday [when I plan to gift myself a pair].

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  51. What would you suggest regarding to wearing pad with sandals? I got these very pretty Prada sandals and they are about 4-5" high in heels. It was my size but for some reason this style was big for my feet. I wore them to work one day and they were killing me. I bought them back to Saks but they wouldn't take them back because they have been worn (I thought Saks customer service was a little better than that). Now I stuck with the shoes and trying to figure out a way to make it works. any tip is greatly appreciated. thanks!

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  52. Thanks for these wonderful tips. I'm still practicing but doing progress.

    Ieshy S

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  53. I just got my wedding shoes in the mail and they're about a 1/2 size too big. I went back to the website and they don't have them in a smaller size. I absolutely adore these shoes and they took forever to find and I REALLY don't want to send them back. They're open toe so stuffing something in the front won't work. Any advice?

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  54. there are pros and cons but high heels are GREAT!

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