If there’s one thing that will never go out of style, it would be heels. Whether you’re wearing a pair of comfortable pair of boots, or towering over everyone else in a pair of dangerously high-heeled stilettos, every girl will swear by their pair of favourite heels to help them show off their gorgeous gams.
There’s no doubt that a pair of heels can be an instant confidence booster. They have the ability to make you look and feel taller than usual, which, when paired with a set of slender and toned legs, can really a girl look and feel great. Unfortunately, they can also be a one-way ticket to the doctor’s, especially if you’re not watching your step.
In fact, it might not seem obvious at first, but high heels-related injuries are more common than you might think. On average, there are at least ten to fifteen cases of high heels-related injuries being treated every week in hospitals — and that’s not even counting the number of people who visit private podiatry clinics. Sprains, bruises, swelling, and even cramps are some of the more common foot-related injuries.
When you do stop to think about it, it actually should not be that surprising. We basically spend the first two years or so of our lives simply learning how to walk – and that’s without any shoes on. When it comes to walking in heels, everyone assumes it’s as simple as wearing any other type of footwear — that you simply put them on and off you go — but that really is not the case at all. Just ask any stiletto-loving woman or when you’re tottering in them yourself, and you’ll know that the way you walk is drastically altered when you’re balancing on high heels.
How To Walk In Heels
So just what is the proper way to walk in high heels? Truthfully, there is no one-fits-all answer that will apply to everyone, as each of us will have our own unique way of walking. However, there are some general tips that might be helpful in all situations, so listen up, ladies.
Heel To Toe
An efficient and ideal way to walk is the heel-to-toe gait, where your heel hits the ground first, followed by the arch lowering a little so as to absorb the shock or impact from the ground as the rest of the foot comes down. As you move forward, the arch forms again to provide a rigid lever to propel ourselves, using the big toe joint to slightly push ourselves forward. A rookie mistake to make is to land on the balls of your feet — like how you would when tip-toeing. Instead, try to walk as though you’re not wearing heels. This means putting your heel to the ground first, followed by your toes. Once your weight is on the balls of your feet, shift your weight forward as if you’re walking on tiptoe and push forward for the next step.
Improve Your Posture
High heels can cause your lower back to arch more, to compensate for the shift in your centre of gravity. To minimise the amount of stress on your back, remember to keep your head in line with your spine, as there is a tendency for ladies wearing heels to lean forward. Try not to look down either when you’re walking or you might end up becoming unstable and take a tumble. There’s one other tip that will not only help to improve your posture, but also help to make you look slimmer — keep your abdominal muscles engaged by sucking your belly button in towards your spine. Walking tall and getting a killer ab workout at the same time — sounds like a win-win to me.
Take Small Steps
Put simply — don’t rush. Not only will you look awkward, but it also places more strain on your leg and foot muscles. Consider taking smaller steps than your usual strides, as it will help you to balance better with each step and also minimise the odds of ending up with an ankle sprain. Certain websites might suggest walking in a straight line — placing one foot directly in front of the other — but we don’t recommend it. Walking with one foot directly in front of another narrows the base of your gait, which can cause instability and increase the risk of falls.
Take Extra Care When Walking Down Stairs
We mentioned this earlier, but it’s really quite an important point to stress so we’ll say it again — do not rush, especially when you’re going down a flight of stairs or a gentle slope. High heels and elevated surfaces are already a risky combination, so don’t run and make things even worse. There’s no shame in using the railing, more so if your footing feels unstable. Just remember to look where you’re going and take it one stair at a time. If you happen to be going down narrow steps, it might even be better to turn sideways to allow your entire foot to be placed on the step first before shifting your weight on it. You might look a bit weird doing that, but hey, it’s a lot less embarrassing than tumbling down a flight of stairs, right?