High Heels Survival Guide

Ever struggle walking in a pair of stilettos? Well Tina Karr can help. With extensive experience in body movement from her career as a ballerina and author of a French book on heels (L’art de porter des talons hauts), Tina Karr’s teaches women to maintain confidence when wearing heels. So don’t throw your heels to the back of the closet just yet.

Heels are difficult to walk in because they disturb the natural verticality of the body. When wearing heels, your weight is pushed 30 to 100% onto the balls of your feet depending on the height of your heels, says Karr.  This naturally distorts the body’s upright position and can lead to negative effects on your body including an accentuated spine curve, blocking of the knees, muscle tension and of course immediate pain. 

Karr’s easy tips and lessons on pesky heels will let you walk confidently each time you step out in high heels.

Maintain Grace and Composure
Becoming graceful later in life is more challenging than in childhood, however by learning how to breathe properly (deeply through your abdomen) the tension and stiffness in your body will naturally dissolve away when walking.  Shallow breathing causes stiffness in the body, which in turn leaves no room for grace to be expressed, says Karr.  Finally pace yourself when walking, although walking in heels is difficult, by taking smaller and slower steps you will automatically make the walk easier and look more attractive and empowered doing so.

Keep Your Balance
Staying steady on your heels can get tricky, but Karr’s three fool proof  tips can do wonders. First, choose a sturdy pair of shoes. If the shoes you want are wobbly on the store shelf when you lightly tap them, imagine how your ankles and knees will need to compensate. Second, keep your body straight by avoiding slouching over at the shoulders and back.  The weight in your body will remain evenly distributed and will help you to keep your balance.  Finally, stop looking down whether it’s at the floor or your phone!  By keeping your head up and looking straight ahead your chin and chest will naturally come up giving you an assured posture.

Start Simple
If you are a novice when it comes to the world of heels, don’t jump straight into a 6-inch pair of stilettos! Start slowly with lower and larger heels, and then as your confidence grows gradually raise the height.  Practice makes perfect, so try wearing your heels out for small errands to get used to walking comfortably in them.

Elegance over Vulgarity
Choosing the right pair of heels for an outfit is always about being aware of the image you are creating.  Apart from simple factors, such as the shape of your feet, your body and where you will wear the heels, also keep in mind your personality and the sense of style you project: Today many designers bombard us with porn-chic style heels that make women look like professional call girls. It’s important to  control the message your heels send out, says Karr.  So choose wisely.  Elegance is always a better choice than vulgarity when it comes to heel style. 

Prep Your Feet for the Night
Save yourself some pain and take a few preventative measures before a night out in your heels.  Always wear a pair of heels that doesn’t cause you pain, the idea of breaking in a pair of heels is ridiculous, says Karr.  As a rule of thumb. favour leather over any other material and insert a leather sole for comfort. When standing stand sturdily on both legs, instead of bumbling from one foot to the other, says Karr. This will prevent tension from building up in the legs.  

Give a little TLC
After a night in heels the pain in your feet and legs is bound to happen so pamper them to revive your muscles.  Bathe your feet in warm water with a few drops of lavender for a soothing effect. Then massage your feet with lotion to calm the burning sensation and rejuvenate the skin.  Finally stretch your calves and massage the Achilles tendon to prevent any cramps during sleep.  Take the time to take care of your feet when you come home and you’ll wear your heels happily the next time.


Tags: high heels, how to walk in heels, pumps, stilettos, survival guide, walking in high heels

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