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How to walk in high heels

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Really high heels are fabulous but not for the inexperienced wearer
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Stilettos and pumps can be killers until you know how to walk in high heels

If you are female, there is probably going to come a time when you are required to wear high heels.

You know ... such as at your inaugural ball or wedding. Although, brides have been known to wear tennis shoes under their Vera Wang gowns, even if most “fashionistas” would not recommend  that.

There is an art to knowing how to walk in high heels. You really, really need to practice walking in the specific high heel that you are going to be wearing on a specific occasion. A two-inch, three-inch or four-inch heel each feels different and will affect your balance in a unique way.

It is NOT a good idea to slip into your new stilettos for the first time a minute before you head out the door to that black-tie affair you’ve been looking forward to.

We understand that you want -- and often need -- to wear high heels because they can make all the difference in what otherwise would be a far cry from a spectacular ensemble. High heels do marvelous things for your legs and make you look skinnier, too.

But you also need to take care of your feet. When you wear high heels, particularly those that are towering monsters (such as 5 ½ inch heels) this puts a lot of strain on your feet as well as on your back, knees and ankles. If you don’t understand the severity of this note that more than $3 billion is spent each year in the United States for foot surgery on women’s feet.

A total of 15 million lost work days is the result of bad feet that often develop because of high heels. Some podiatrists refer to high heels as “cruel shoes." The American Orthopaedic Foot&Ankle Society gives the distinction of the cruelest shoes to pointed toed shoes that feature high spike heels and thin soles. Toes are crowded in this type of shoe and there is a lot of pressure put on your feet. The result can be bunions and hammer toes, neither of which is a pleasant or pretty outcome. In fact, a three-inch heel puts seven times more stress on your feet than does a one-inch heel.

The height and thickness of the heel on your high heel is going to have a bearing on stability. The higher and skinnier the heel the more difficulty you are going to have.

This is just something to keep in mind and more reasons to learn how to walk properly when you slide your feet into those enviable Loubutins.

Put your heels on. Stand up. Look in a full-length mirror. Situate your feet in your high heel. The weight of your body should be evenly distributed over the heels of your feet as well as over the balls of your feet. Start walking forward, slowly. When you step down, step down on your heel first. At that point, your body weight should move forward so that your weight is transferred over the whole foot (and shoes.) don’t take another step until you feel balanced and secure.

When you climb up stairs, walk on the balls of your feet. When climbing down, angle your feet toward the wall or banister and try to put your entire foot down flat on each stair.

A good idea is to practice walking on different surfaces to see how you do and how the shoes do.  Slick floors, thick carpets, shaggy rugs and mud are going to cause you grief.

If you are high-heel-wearing novice avoid stilettos. Stick with a shorter and perhaps thicker heel that gives you more support if you aren't an experienced high heel wearer. When going out for a night of dancing, consider wearing high heels that have straps so your heels don’t go flying off your feet in the middle of a hot tango.

It's important that you take care of your feet and your legs because they've got to last you a long time.

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