Monday, 25 July 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Wearing High Heels

'Stiletto Whisperer' Victor Choo holds classes in New York for women to learn how to walk in high heeled shoes properly because he says 95% do not know how. (See exercise section after this article).

By Aneliya Vasilieva, 28 August 2015

Linda Darnell, 1946

We’ve all been there: we’ve left the house feeling like the epitome of glamour in our new heels only to end up a hobbling hunch-back within an hour — or one hour, six minutes and 48 seconds to be exact.

Kitten heels

Stepping into a pair of high heels makes us feel more confident and walk taller — literally. But there are ways to make it easier.

First things first, shoes have to fit properly, if they’re tight or rubbing, even just a tiny bit, don’t buy them. You will not break in the shoes — they will break you. This is why you should never buy them online, as you’ve got to try them on.

The right fit should be snug but with some room for your toes to wriggle and not be squashed. Too small and you’ll get blisters and deformed toes — a condition called hammer toe. Too big and your feet will slide down and put more pressure on your toes. Where possible, ask to try a half size up or down to see if that helps. If the shoe is pointed, the point must come after your toes end so they’re not squished together.

The important thing is not the style or thickness of the heel, it’s the position of it. It needs to be right under the heel bone, not at the back of the foot, as is the case with some shoes. If the stiletto is positioned too far back, you are going to be thrown off balance and everything will hurt.

Avoid the temptation to buy cheap heels for a night out. Chances are they will be made of plastic, which will make your feet sweat and swell — making the shoes pinch.

Imagine walking along an invisible line. Catwalk models will often cross one foot slightly in front of the other to give their hips more sway. A lot of women wear high heels to look sexy, so adding a little shimmy to your walk is a good thing. The best way to achieve a sway while walking in high heels is to pretend that you’re walking down an imaginary straight line, or tight rope.

Break in your heels. If you fail to break in your heels before your first time wearing them, you’ll be destined for blisters. Breaking in your heels is important as it removes stiffness from the shoes and helps mold them to the shape of your feet. Just wearing your shoes around at home should be enough to break them in.

Different categorizations of heels

Use cushions and insoles. Add cushioning wherever there’s a lot of pressure and/or friction. There are cushions made in various shapes and from different materials that you can stick on the inside of your shoe for more comfortable walking, thus preventing bunions and blisters. If your shoes are slightly too big and you find them slipping off your heel, get some insoles which can make the shoes smaller by half a size, while also adding comfort value. Use these these innovative items generously – there’s really no need for discomfort!

Walk from heel to toe. The aim is to walk as normally as possible in your high heels. When walking in flats, you don’t walk on the balls of your feet or put your whole foot down at once, do you? So don’t do either of these things in heels. Put your heel to the ground first, followed smoothly by your toes. Then, once your weight is on the balls of your feet, shift your weight forward as if you’re walking on your tip toes, and push forward for the next step.

Put your feet on ice

Forget soaking your feet in a hot bath after a long day — you need to ease the pain with cold.
After wearing high heels your feet get swollen, so when you come home put them in a cold bath for 15 minutes to reduce the swelling. Then before you go to bed apply some foot cream. This restores the suppleness of the skin, which will help prevent it from cracking and blistering.

Useful Tips
  • The bigger your feet, the higher a heel you’ll be able to wear comfortably. So don’t assume you need to wear the same heels that models do; many of them have large feet to match their tall stature!
  • If you have open toe shoes try to put cushions around the area where your toe meets your foot. This will keep them from sliding out the open toe and your feet will not slide out. This helps if you have small or thin feet/toes.
  • Buy a quality pair of shoes. Shoes in the $150 and up range will last longer and be better for your feet, but you’d do well to pay more—buy the best heels you can afford, and remember an old-school rule: the higher the heel the more you should pay as the heel will be stronger—scrimp on your flats if needs be, but never on your heels as it’s just asking for trouble. If you can only have one high-end piece in your wardrobe, make it your heels, for there more than anywhere else, quality really matters, and makes a huge difference… and remember, quality is not necessarily ‘designer brand’—you want to source your heels from expert shoemakers, not clothiers and/or cosmetics companies! The better brands make their heels with a sturdier spike, better quality leathers, a more padded insole and they are simply more well-made all round.
  • If you are looking for shoes to dance in, check with your local dance instruction school for recommendations on stylish shoes that are designed for dancing.
  • Wear your heels as often as you can. This will help your feet and ankles get accustomed to the feel of your heels, and will help with your balance. The more hours you put into it, the better your feet will feel.
  • Best tip is: walk with confidence
  • Always make sure you are confident in your heels. If you are not, you are more likely to fall over.
  • Focus on one step at a time.
  • Boots with heels may be easier to start with. They give your ankles more support.
  • If you have sandal heals be sure not to wear them too much because the band around the back of your heel will wear out or break!

Editor In-Chief of Fashion Style Magazine, Aneliya Vasilieva is an international fashion editor and stylist with a passion for coffee, travel, European culture, long walks and puppies. Born in Bulgaria, she has also lived in USA and Canada. Vasilieva edits and styles looks that enhance brand positioning and messaging. Owing to her fashion experience and remarkable taste level, she has become well known. Her enthusiasm, attention to detail and professionalism are qualities she brings to corporate styling projects for many clients in the industry. Aneliya helped transform the way fashion is presented in social media from weekly frequency into a daily and hourly proposition. She also consults for brands across the luxury and high street sectors, advising them on digital editorial strategy. Aneliya has a great perception of fashion and beauty, of what’s happening on the runways and the street, and a keen sense of how to create dynamic images for her readers. Aneliya’s life includes trips to Paris for fashion shows, meeting with stylists, photographers, and designers. What she always wanted was to live a wide-ranging, fascinating life that allows her to see the world and meet interesting people and maybe even affect a little bit of change in women's lives.

Photo by Nina Leen


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