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How to Walk in Heels (A Girl’s Guide to Heels Part 1)

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How to walk in heels - black high heels

Yes, it’s another shoe post here! We talked about winter boots last week, and today I want to talk about a classier type of shoe that every woman should own – high heels.

Even if you think you’re “too tall” or “can’t walk in heels”, think again. Every fashionista should own at least one pair of fabulous heels – they’re the perfect example a true fashion must-have, a transformative piece of clothing that adds a little extra something to any outfit.

This is part one of a new series you’ll see here over the next few days – A Girl’s Guide To High Heels. This series will cover everything you might want to know about heels – from how to tell a quality shoe, what to spend on a pair of heels, and even where to buy the perfect pair of high heels.

If you don’t wear heels or don’t have any good quality high heels, this series will hopefully help take some of the mystery away and maybe teach you a few things you didn’t know about these fabulous shoes.

How To Walk In High Heels

I’ve received a lot of emails about walking in heels, so I thought I’d write an article about it to demystify it a bit. But just hear this.. learning to walk in heels is something that takes lots of practice, and it’s not something you can learn just by reading an article!

That said, here are my top tips on how to walk in heels. With practice, you’ll be strutting like a pro in the highest heels!

* Start small. If you’ve never walked in high heels before, don’t start out learning with 5 inch stilettos – that’s a recipe for pain and maybe even injury! Try something smaller, like a 2 inch heel or wedge to get used to the feeling. You can always work your way up to your most killer heels.

* Walk heel to toe, not toe to heel. While it might be tempting to put your whole foot down at once, don’t do it – it makes your walk look strange when you’re wearing high shoes. Instead, put your heel down first, followed by your toe. This will give you more balance and make your stride look more natural.

* Take small steps. Wearing heels naturally makes your stride shorter, so you’ll need to take more steps than usual. Don’t expect to be able to walk as fast as you normally do in high heels.

* Step as if you were walking on a straight line. When you walk with one foot in front of the other, it gives your hips the sway that models are known for. Pretend you’re walking on a line on the ground, one foot in front of the other, or practice on an actual straight line at a basketball court or on a line in the floor.

* Watch how models do it. Download a video of a fashion show on YouTube and watch the professionals strut in their high heels. While models walk the runway in a way that’s exaggerated from real life, you can learn from their walks and tone it down a little to get the perfect normal-person strut. Practice in front of a mirror until you get it down.

* Practice… Then practice some more. At the end of the day, the best way to become a pro at walking in high heels is to do it as often as possible. Practice walking on carpet, slippery floors, up stairs, and outside. No amount of reading how to do it will make a difference if you don’t work at it. Walking in high heels is like any other skill – you need to do it a lot to get good at it.

More About High Heels

Now that you know how to walk in heels, check back here for the next part in the Girl’s Guide To High Heels series where I’ll explain how to find quality high heels, what to look for when you’re shopping, and how much money you should spend on a pair of heels.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment and I’ll try to answer in a future article.

Posted on on November 18, 2008 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , ,

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57 Responses to “How to Walk in Heels (A Girl’s Guide to Heels Part 1)”

  1. 1
    November 19th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Thank you! I will be looking forward to this series!

  2. 2
    November 19th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    You should add that you shouldn’t look stiff and should still bend your knees when trying to walk. So many girls on my campus have the “stiff-leg syndrome” and just look like Barbie trying to walk in heels…

  3. 3
    November 19th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Also, should also do some core strengthening exercises as well if you were to walk in high heels a lot and also, keep the back straight as well. Probably look for a leather sole based shoe, that way it can last longer and i do agree with starting out small heels. Ive seen a lot of girls who start out with 4-5 inches, only having to take them off!!

  4. 4
    November 19th, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Jaclyn – Good point – I did forget to mention that! It can’t be comfortable to walk that way anyway.. wouldn’t that put a lot of stress on your knees?

    Lyd – Core strengthening exercises are a good idea! I never thought of that, but it really does make sense that if you don’t work out your abs, you won’t walk as well in heels.

  5. 5
    November 19th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Hi! I don’t know if it’s my computer being wonky, but there seems to be an incomplete sentence in the post:

    “Step as if you were walking on a straight line. When you walk with one foot in front of the other, it gives your hips the sway that models are known for. Pretend you’re walking on a – ”

    Just wanted to point it out! I love this series by the way, i’m one of those girls who’s ALWAYS in flats so i’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the articles! :D

  6. 6
    November 20th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Another thing you can do is wear you heels around the house, like house slippers. My cousin got me doing it and its a great way to break in new shoes before waering them out or just getting some practice in.

    You can wear them when cleaning cooking or just relaxing.

  7. 7
    November 20th, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    From personal experience, I would say it’s a good idea to break into them first by walking around in them at home. Then wear them outside.

  8. 8
    November 21st, 2008 at 12:54 am

    T, Annie…i agree

  9. 9
    November 30th, 2008 at 12:13 am

    It may come as a surprise but when trying to learn how to walk in high heels, it can be just as challenging or even moreso when you try to stand still.

    When walking, you shift your weight a little to maintain your balance, but trying standing still in high heels. You might find yourself wobbling a little if its new for you. Definitely worthwhile to learn standing still as well as learning to walk in them.

  10. 10
    December 8th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    any tips on how to dance in high heels? and not end up with bear trap feet….i can’t enjoy a night out because my feet hurt and i cant move, but hate feeling short in flats!!!

  11. 11
    January 12th, 2009 at 2:40 am

    wow i love the post,
    but i got a non angle trap shoes and it’s extremely hard to walk in it because the shoes wont stay on my feet, that’s why i hate tem so much, but they look so nice when i wear

    you know how to make the shoes stay on your feet,??
    just help me out, they are 4inches high.

    thanks for the article

  12. 12
    May 25th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    The sides of my toes and the back of my back get swollen and then bruised when I wear heels. Do you have any tips on preventing this? I love the way heels look, but I hate to get scars

  13. 13
    August 18th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Meeyoung (and possibly LIEN) – I had that problem at first too with some of my heels. Te back of my heel is narrow, so often times my feet will slip out of my shoes when I walk. Getting a smaller shoe size would hurt, but there are pads that you can place on the back inside of your heels. They’ll fill up the space and prevent the back of your heel from slipping out or getting cut or bruised.

  14. 14
    April 12th, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Hi, I have bought a metallic fuchsia sequins colored prom dress, and was wondering which color of high heels are most suitable.

  15. 15
    May 4th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    High I’m 52 years old and I just bought my first pair of high heels. Lucky for me the tips are just a little bit wider than on standard heels. They look great and I don’t have any problems walking in them. There’s a shoe for everyone out there and I was lucky to find mine.

  16. 16
    June 17th, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Great site about shoes. I wear heels for work everyday,between 2 inch to 4 inch most of the time .If you find heels that fit right you can wear them without any problems.When I come home from work I slip on another pair of heels,usally mules ,to cook ,clean or other household chores.

  17. 17
    June 18th, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Thank you very much for this informative post. Many will surely benefit from it and those tips are really useful. Some girls looks silly with their heels when they wear it without knowing how to walk with it properly. A good choice of high heels will always be beneficial for a woman to have a sexier look, but we should not sacrifice comfort for beauty. i myself do use high heels and i really love it for it makes me feel more feminine and sexy, but i don’t over do it coz i believe that our feet also needs some rest.
    Nice post you have here and will be looking forward to other parts of your series.

  18. 18
    January 12th, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Nice write ups…….

  19. 19
    March 24th, 2011 at 5:19 am

    very nice

  20. 20
    May 11th, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I agree with you when you say practice, practice, practice etc.
    However, many girls are posting here that girls who can’t walk properly in heel looks silly and comical. How can you all make fun of girls who are just taking this same advice?

  21. 21
    June 15th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    High heels, my favorite topic!!! :) Chinese Laundry has the best shoes! Comfortable and amazing price point! I just got the Drastic wedge, and they make walking in heels a piece of cake! Great post :)

  22. 22
    June 22nd, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I am a 23 year old female wearing heels for the first time! This really helped a lot!! :D

  23. 23
    July 31st, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Great advice , thank you from a 50 year old beginner!! I am looking foward to the day when I don’t look like a drunk ostrich walking in heels, practice practice practice!! :0)

  24. 24
    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I have a pair of pointed doe three inch slingback heels and I have had them for about three years. No matter how much I wear them or practice, I cant help but wobble and stumble. Can a persons body shape effect how they walk in heels. I am very busty so I am put off balance by them, even in flats.

  25. 25
    September 4th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I find that lower body exercising- walking running etc, really helps with the heel walk. I’m pretty overweight and when I first started wearing heels, my ankles would wobble from weakness and my calves would cramp. Now, I don’t have that problem (started run/walking for health) but I need to get the elegant walk down :)

  26. 26
    October 31st, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Yeah I’m stuck at school and getting multiple people judging me on how I can’t walk in heels.

  27. 27
    November 26th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Awesome article, thanks it helped alot!

  28. 28
    December 7th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    i ll start little by little

  29. 29
    December 7th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    walking in heels makes u more elegant i wud love to read ur next article thanks

  30. 30
    December 16th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I wanna say the best practice is start young….i started walking in heels at ten….now im fifteen and im rocking 5 inch heels!

  31. 31
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    i have been walking in heels since i been 14, i love shoes

  32. 32
    March 17th, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    OK but I have sweaty feet :(
    When I try to walk in heals my foot keeps sliding forward jamming my toes into the front of my healr creating a claw effect lol

    So is there a solution to my problem?

  33. 33
    March 25th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Thnxxx soo much! This will reallly help me. :-)

  34. 34
    April 13th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I’m 15
    I’m the girl who’s almost ALWAYS in flats! I love them, but lately I see girls strutting around in the most amazing heels and wedges and I feel less of a teenage girl + I want my crush to drop his jaw when he sees me stutting by in my killer new heels! But I’d most likely eat the pavement Dx

  35. 35
    April 26th, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I bought this amazing golden 5 inch pump heels. I can walk in 5 inch heels. the problem is that the moment i started walking in these heels, my left ankle feels weaker. Like I’m going to collapse any moment when i walk in them. I dont know why I cant walk properly without feeling my left ankle wobbling. my right foot is totally fine walking in these heels.

    Is there any solution to solve this?

  36. 36
    April 27th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I bought some 5″ and 1″ platform court shoes and i love them, i was going to send them back as they are to high for me but i decided to teach myself to walk in them as id already fallen for them.
    Although im use to walking in 3-4″ heels i have been practicing ready for a wedding tomorrow, I will be using this advise on the day :) Thanks.

  37. 37
    May 8th, 2012 at 7:22 am

    i currrently entered a beuty contest but i cant walk in heels,i keep wobbling and i cant seem to walk straight please help.

  38. 38
    May 11th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I’m 32 n just bought my first heels so I choose wedges. However I am getting such bad cramps in my feet that I cant get enough practice. (Have a muscle condition) . Any ideas on how to stop the cramping before it starts or at least lessen it?

  39. 39
    May 15th, 2012 at 1:48 am

    I love heels but i dont wear them often bcuz my legs curve outward a little and they’re exaggerated when I put on heels and makes me feel self-conscious as well as make it uncomfortable to walk in them. Any tips?

  40. 40
    May 28th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    THANKS SOO MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE! I bought a gorgeous pair of nude 5 inch heels formy husbands boss’s wedding and was very nervous as I have been known to trip in heels.. lol. But with these tips I feel much more confident.

  41. 41
    June 6th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I am 65 and still enjoy wearing pretty heels. A friend had just sent me a pair of knee-hi boots with a high heel can’t walk in them yet but working on it. I do have a nice pair of black heels 3″ that i can walk in though so still feel girly haha

  42. 42
    July 7th, 2012 at 7:23 am

    adri, sames! i was really self conscious about it, but when i talked to my friend about it she hadn’t even noticed. I thought it was so obvious, but obviously only to me :L go for it, its hardly noticeable to anyone but you :)
    my only advice is to practice, but it wont happen overnight! ive been wearing 4 and 1/2 inches for about a year now to parties and stuff, and im still not superconfident with them – really nervous because ive bought some stunning 5inch heels for prom but they have a platform and theyre sort of difficult to walk in :S

  43. 43
    July 27th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    i really hope applying these tips work. Because i love heels, BUT CANT WALK IN THEM! =( Ive got TWO LEFT FEET and always walk the sides of my heels off before i can get the hang of walking in them, and then the heels get too uncomfortable. ANY ADVISE?

  44. 44
    August 24th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Ive only worn heels (2″ or less) a few times in my life (I’m 41) and every single time I’ve attempted it, I sound like a horse clopping down the street. So needless to say I always end up bringing a pair of flats and switching over because I sound so terrible in them. What m I doing wrong??

  45. 45
    August 26th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I love seeing all the struggles from women of all ages with these shoes. I can’t find a comfortable pair to save my life and I’ve spent everything from $20 to $200 on shoes trying to get something I can stand in for a few hours. (so sad, I used to wear them day in and out without problem when I was in my teen years)

    I always feel as if my heel toe walk makes too much noise. It’s more like a click/ slap sound… so not the alluring sounds I envision when wearing heels.

  46. 46
    September 30th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Lisa Ligan– I felt the same way, but what I noticed was if I have a song play in my head it helps me to walk in a rhythm that makes it sound like a “heeled walk” should. My favorite is the pink panther theme ^_^ Try that one out or find a song that’s rhythm makes you feel sexy to walk to. Hope that helps!

  47. 47
    November 4th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I b very scared to walk n high heels they hurt my ankles n i think ima fall n look stupid walkn lol

  48. 48
    November 10th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I really do think that the best advice for walking in heels is to start low, no more than 2 inches or so. Then practice like mad. Wear them for short trips to the store, wear them around the house, just wear them When you can run in those bad boys, then take it up a notch, try a 3 inch with a small platform. Some people will never be able to rock a 5 inch heel, I am one of those people too, so keep in mind this…you will look much more chic, sophisticated and sexy walking with confidence in a lower heel than wobbling around like the town drunk in a heel that is way too high for you to master. Confidence is the most sexy thing of all.

  49. 49
    November 19th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Dana, thats the point, practicing wiyh your heels at home makes you perfect. why others walk proper? meaning anyone else can!!!!!

  50. 50
    November 19th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    My parents got me doing this when I got my first few heels

    @T
    “Another thing you can do is wear you heels around the house, like house slippers. My cousin got me doing it and its a great way to break in new shoes before waering them out or just getting some practice in.

    You can wear them when cleaning cooking or just relaxing.”

  51. 51
    December 3rd, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    i’m a tv and have to say that this post is brilliant. I’ve taken all advice given and can now walk in 5″ heels all day. They make me feel far more like a real women, so thank you all for the advice. xx

  52. 52
    December 28th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Hi I’m daisy I just bought new heals that we’re on sale brand name everything they are 6” and when I walk my one ankle feels like it might roll I walk in heals most the times I went from 2 to a 6 in a few years but never felt this till I started to wear these ones my feet hurt really bad after the day is done I need help can you help me with my problem ….. Daisy

  53. 53
    March 30th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks a lot.I now understand what heel to toe means

  54. 54
    April 3rd, 2013 at 12:51 am

    yes start with shorter heels – with spring coming/here short heels and summer dresses are super (1-1/2″) then go higher specially for u girls that have been wearing tennis/or flats all winter – yes practice have fun the more relaxed the sexy-ier u look

  55. 55
    May 9th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I recently bought my second pair of high heels in my entire life and they are 4inch heels for prom…but my first pair is like 2 inches high and after attenpting to go down stairs in my 4inch ones I found this article. THANK YOU! I now practice in my 2inch heels and have a better walk

  56. 56
    July 14th, 2013 at 4:33 am

    I think this is extremely helpful and gives some really good tips, even just within the comments!
    I have had to learn over a course of only 2 days to walk in heels as I am a 15 year old model and have to walk in 5 inch heels almost everyday. These tips helps me as well to walk in heels properly

  57. 57
    June 8th, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    This may sound funny. But being a big girl, is learning to walk in heels harder? I’ve always dreamed of wearing high heels but am scared

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