Knowing how to walk in heels may stave off foot pain


One surefire way to separate the girls from the women is to put them in a pair of high heels. The latter will instantly gain a regal stature and a graceful gait, while the former are likely to lean forward when they walk and develop what I call "Bambi legs." But fret not, my kittens, as Bunionella is here to help teach you how to walk in a pair of big-girl shoes.

The first step is knowing your feet, as well as being aware of what constitutes a well-made heel. In an article in Australian news source The Sydney Morning Herald, Edeltraud Breitenberger, a trainer who teaches people how to walk in pumps, explained that there are specific rules of thumb to follow.

First, the German instructor told the news source that the heel should stem from directly below the sole, as this position provides the best support. If the heel is positioned too far back, the body will naturally lean too far forward when standing or walking, which can be a real pain in the feet, not to mention the back, knees and hips.

She also said that ladies with small feet should choose a shorter heel, and that a strong big toe is key to balancing in high heels. (This means that bunions are likely to interfere with stability while walking in heels. As such, it's recommended that women with the bony foot deformity pick shoes with a low, stable heel and a roomy toe box.)

"The big toe is the boss of the high heels," said Breitenberger, quoted by the news source.

Once you've found cute, comfy heels that suit your feet, it's time to get walking. InStyle magazine outlined four steps to exhibiting a graceful gait in pumps.

1. Be mindful of your posture, keeping head and shoulders back and engaging core muscles to take some strain off the feet and legs.

2. Take short steps and avoid trying to roll your foot from heel to toe, as this may result in a twisted ankle. Instead, try to land with the bottom of your shoe striking the ground evenly.

3. Spread the toes as you step down in order to maintain stability and distribute pressure on the ball of the foot.

4. Let the hips sway in a gentle figure-8, rather than keeping them stiff, which can wrench your back and make you look unnatural when you walk.