Prom 101: How to walk gracefully in high heels
Spring dance season is upon us, and while we love the idea of wearing high heels, the thought of actually throwing on a pair can seem a bit intimidating. Whether you own heels that you rarely wear or are looking to buy your very first pair, it’s helpful to learn the basics and get in some practice strutting your stuff on the big night. But don't freak out—with a little poise, killer confidence and a bit of practice, you’ll be runway ready in no time!
Tip #1: Find the right pair
Walking in heels is all about finding the pair that fits you properly—and getting your feet accustomed to the height. If the shoes pinch or feel uncomfortable in the store, they’re definitely gonna hurt after you've been dancing to Bruno and Cardi B for an hour, so think carefully before splurging on those sparkly stilettos. If you're new to the game, start off with a shorter and more substantial heel (think: a block or wedge heel). As you get better, your heels can get higher.
Tip #2: It’s all about the posture
Here’s the key: Stand tall, pull those shoulders back and engage your abdominal muscles. Keep your chin up and be sure to relax your knees while walking heel to toe (just like you do when wearing flats). Remember, you aren’t a robot, so keep your arms and hands moving freely at your sides.
Tip #3: Balance it out
When you walk in high heels, keeping your balance is majorly important. Take your time and try to maintain a normal stride, but be sure to put the majority of pressure on the balls of your feet. When practicing at home, try going old school by placing a book on top of your head and walking from one end of the room to the other. P.S. If you're walking up or down stairs be sure to use the railing—always take in your surroundings and be cautious of cracked or uneven floors. It can also be helpful to only walk on the balls of your feet while heading up a steep flight of stairs, avoiding putting your heel down entirely.
Tip #4: Inserts are your best friend
If you need to add some extra cushion to your step, shoe inserts are the way to go. Sometimes adding a little comfiness to the padding of your foot or heel can make all the difference, so don't be afraid to get a little Granny for the sake of looking graceful. But if inserts aren’t even doing the job and your shoes still aren't comfy, you may need to reconsider your footwear of choice.
Tip # 5: Confidence is key
Wearing heels is all about looking good and feeling good. Keep your head high as you enter the room and always keep that pretty chin up to keep things elegant...but might we suggest keeping a pair of roll-up flats in your bag to switch into, just in case? Truth is, it’s way better to walk with confidence in a pair of flats than to struggle awkwardly in heels that hurt.
Tip # 6: Practice makes perfect
Make sure you break in your new heels and practice, practice, practice! If your heels feel snug, slip on a pair of socks with them as you're getting your stride on—they'll stretch out in no time. Just doing odds and ends around the house? Slip on those stilettos. The more you're used to them, the better, and practicing on various surfaces will be a huge help. Good luck!
Do you have any heel-wearing occasions coming up? How did you learn to walk without teetering? Share in the comments below.