Easy To Walk in High Heels: 5 Tips to Find Your Favorite Heels
While some occasions seem to call for high heels, many women find them hard to walk in. Teetering around on 4-inch stilettos isn’t exactly a choice made for ease and comfort! There are important tips & types to know when shopping for high heels that are easy to walk in.
Wearing high heels can be easier than you may have experienced in the past, and finding the right pair of shoes will provide support and comfort no matter how long you’re wearing them. Especially when it comes to comfort, all high heels are not created equal. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at these five ways to find high heels that make walking easy and pain-free:
1. Find the right fit
Fit is really important for high heels. Heels that are too small will cause the toes to cramp and blister, which is extremely painful. On the other hand, shoes that are too big can easily slip off your heels, forcing you to concentrate on keeping them on while taking each and every step. The ideal fit for high heels will easily keep the shoes on your feet without crushing your toes. The higher the heel, the more likely your foot will slide forward, so consider buying ball-of-the-foot pads for your highest shoes. These will keep your feet in place all night.
Learn more about what is the right heel height measurement for you!
2. Go for boots and booties
The more support around the top of your foot and ankle, the more stable you’ll feel in high heels. That’s why many fashion experts recommend starting with boots and booties for your first forays into wearing heels. High-heeled boots or ankle boots are great for winter events. Buy them in leather which will shape itself to your feet and ankles for a more comfortable experience. They also often have soles with a better grip, particularly on slippery surfaces.
3. Strap them in
High heels with supportive straps, like Mary Janes and, will keep your feet in place, making it much easier to walk around. Consider the difference between a basic pump that only provides support around your heels and toes and a Mary Jane that has an extra strap over the foot: Pumps require more effort and a perfect fit to keep them in place, whereas a Mary Jane will be secure no matter what.
4. Start short
Shorter heels are much easier to walk in than those that put your feet at a more severe angle. The higher the heel, the more you’ll have to change your natural gait to accommodate the shoe. Kitten heels that are 1 to 1 1/2 inches in height are the easiest heels to wear because they’re the most similar to wearing flats.
5. Heel style matters
It’s not just the heel’s height that matters – it’s the thickness as well. Stiletto-style skinny heels provide much less support, whereas stacked thick heels have a much more natural surface area to walk on. Consider the surface area of your bare foot: When barefoot, you walk on your full heel, followed by the ball and toes. Heels that follow similar proportions make walking seem a little more natural. Wedges are the easiest heel to walk in since they have the most surface area.
Remember that every woman is different, and tall pumps aren’t the last word in style. If you feel more comfortable wearing only heeled booties or even not wearing heels at all, it’s completely your prerogative. Decorative flats can make just as much of a statement as high heels!
The Ideal Heel Height Test
Sometimes finding the right heel height just turns into a guessing game. What feels great for five minutes in the house can turn painful the moment you walk out the door. Fortunately, Alterations Needed sought to solve this problem. The blogger revamped a test already developed by a podiatrist and changed it to fit her – and the average woman’s – needs. Hopefully, it can work for you, too.
In theory, your ideal heel height will be equivalent to your foot’s natural incline. That is, you’ll need to measure the distance between the ball of your foot to the edge of your heel. To do this, you may need the help of a friend. Sit in a chair and extend your leg directly in front of you, allowing your ankle and foot to fully relax.
Then, place a ruler at your heel (this is the only part of your foot it should touch) and hold it parallel to the floor. The ruler should be situated so it looks like the heel of your shoe. Then, use your hand to create an imaginary line from the ball of your foot to the ruler. The amount of space between the ruler and the ball of your feet at that imaginary line will be your perfect heel height.
Of course, this is just one point of reference when determining which heel height should be on the shoes that overflow your closet. Each height offers its own benefits, too.
How to Measure Heel Height
A heel’s height is the measurement from the heel cap, or bottom, up to the sole of the shoe itself. It is not the entire back height of the shoe itself. This measurement is best made with a tape measure on a flat surface. In the United States, this measurement is in inches. In countries that use the metric system, this would be in centimeters.
Ballet flats are great for getting you through an entire day while keeping your feet comfortable, especially when they’re genuine leather shoes. Truly, they don’t have as much of an effect as high heels do when it comes to flattering your figure, but wearing them has its own advantages. For example, knowing you’ve got on a stylish pair of flats and being able to move quickly around the office without the shaky instability of some heels can really boost your confidence level. You’ll march right into your boss’s office with your head held high rather than looking down to watch where you step.
Plus, they can be worn with pretty much any outfit. Do you have an interview coming up? Wear them with a slimming pencil skirt. Are you going out to the mall with your friends? Pair them with stretch skinny jeans. There are tons of colors and styles that will really showcase your personality.
1- to 2-inch heels
Often called a “kitten heel,” this height is low enough to enable stable walking and high enough to add dimension to your footwear. If you work at an office where you’re constantly walking from department to department, these are a great option and easier to walk in than a higher heel. They can provide all-day comfort but still deliver a fashion-forward style. Additionally, they provide a more conservative look than sky-high stilettos, which may better match your office environment.
3- to 4-inch heels
The middle ground of heel heights, 3- to 4-inch heels are perfect for ladies who want to lengthen and elongate their bodies without feeling completely unstable on their feet. It’s great for the workplace or dinner dates, and the height will instantly make your legs look lean.
5- to 6-inch heels
A power shoe, 5- and 6-inch heels will give you towering confidence. They’re great for looking absolutely elegant at a formal affair, but they aren’t always the most comfortable or feasible to walk in. If you’ll be sitting for the majority of the time you’re wearing these high heels, you won’t have a problem. However, you’ll have to be prepared to get up on your feet otherwise.
Also, don’t be afraid to try a block heel in this length. You will still get the benefits of the high lift, but will also gain stability and traction with the wider surface area.
If you’re heading to a wedding, for example, you can definitely make it through the ceremony and dinner with these shoes. When it comes to dancing, that’s another story. Bring a pair of flats or kitten heels to get you through a night of hitting the dance floor. Your ankles and big toe will thank you!
Here’s even more tips on how to wear heels more comfortably
Walk like a model
We all love wearing heels because they make us feel sexier. Pair a chic heel with your favorite career dress and leather purse and you’re sure to feel invincible. However, that effect is quickly diminished when someone walks like a baby calf in their heels. Walking with bad posture can make not only your feet ache, but your whole body. According to Bustle, when you walk in heels, you should keep your head and spine straight, while completely lifting your legs towards your center while you walk.
Don’t take your shoes off
If you’re wearing heels to work, it can be tempting to kick your shoes off under the security of your desk. However, this can actually make your feet ache more when you put them back on. Your feet swell throughout the day – which is why you should never go shoe shopping in the morning – so taking them out of the shoes that you wore in the morning, only to squeeze them back in in the afternoon can make you feel like one of the stepsisters in Cinderella. Believe me, sitting with your shoes off isn’t worth it!
Fight the urge to take your shoes off throughout the day.
Shoe shape is key
If you have long toes, realize that pointy-toe heels may not work for your foot. Sky-high heels may be more painful for someone with low arches, too. There are other shoes that’ll work better for you. For example, a chunky heel will be more comfortable than a stiletto, and you should always opt for a heel with ample padding for the ball of your foot. Sometimes, shoes with proper padding can be more expensive, as higher-end designers tend to use this little trick, but your feet are worth the extra money.
There are a surprising amount of ways you can use various adhesives to make your heels more comfortable. Invest in a sheet of moleskin, a soft cotton with a sticky back, and adhere it to areas of your feet that rub uncomfortably on the shoes. Moleskin is made for this, so it won’t fall off or slip around throughout the day like a bandage would. Another way to wear your heels more comfortably is to tape your third and fourth toe together. This sounds like a strange tip, but according to She Knows, when these toes are supporting each other, stress on the nerve on your foot is alleviated.
High Heel Break-in
Don’t forget to break in your new high heels before the big event. Nothing can take the glamour and celebration faster than sore feet. Wear your new shoes around the house a few times, ideally with an extra pair of socks on. The wet sock treatment works well, but ensure the heels are made out of material that won’t be damaged by moisture.
Also, taking time to learn how to walk in your new pair of heels may save you from an embarrassing or dangerous mishap. Practice walking on the balls of your feet and learn what surfaces the sole has a good grip on. Make sure you are confident and comfortable before venturing out in your new heels!