Sunday, February 3, 2013


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Drawing (used with permission) by celebrated fashion illustrator Michalis Christodoulou
Walking in high heels almost parallels walking on a balance beam over hot coals.The trick to keeping balance is to strut confidently with a healthy infusion of grace and poise. A lot goes into creating seamless style and mastering a steady stroll--Keep reading for tried and true sky-high shoe walking tips.

Walking in High Heels
Limit your time. Change into flats when possible and alternate wearing high heels, low heels and flats. Wearing high heels every day can damage your feet and shorten calf muscles.

Take care of your toes. Bandage your big and little toes before slipping into pumps to prevent chafing. Open-toe high heels will relieve pressure on corns and calluses and reduce pressure on inflamed areas. Round-toe shoes allow your toes to be more spread out than pointy shoes. Keep a couple band-aids in your purse, just in case.

Customize! Skid pads prevent embarrassing falls, slips and skids. Ball Pads can ease the impact of walking and heel liners keep heels from being rubbed raw. One or more of these may help make for a more comfortable walk. Keep in mind—some brands are better than others!

Acknowledge age. Feet change with age and can make wearing high heels less comfortable. With age, comes depletion of the fatty deposits that protect the ball of the foot. Some of the fat ends up sliding towards the toes, leaving less protection for the spot all your weight rests on.
Break in those bad boys. Before wearing high heels for any amount of time, break them in first. Wear brand new shoes around the house for 10-15 minutes a day—for a week—before wearing them around town.

Perfect your Posture. Carry yourself gracefully and walk with little steps. Keep your shoulders back and your pelvis tucked. By contracting your lower abdominals, you lift the body to resist gravity, lifting pressure off your feet. Remember to Breathe!!

Pay attention to Pitch. For a more comfortable walk, choose shoes with a more gradual slope. While some 4-inch heels will give you a straight drop down to the flatbed portion of the shoe, others will have a more gradual slope. This relieves pressure on the ball of your foot.

Not too narrow. Make sure your shoes aren’t too narrow in width and that they don’t constrict your feet unnaturally and uncomfortably. Additionally, a thicker heel will allow for greater stability and better weight distribution.

The Day After
Soak your feet. Fill the tub, sink or baby basin with warm soapy water. Start reading a new novel or monthly magazine as you soak soreness away. Soak for 30-40 minutes. 

Stretch away stiffness. Roll a golf ball under each foot for at least 5 minutes. If you’re feeling adventurous, try slowly standing with a golf ball under each foot. Next, sit on the ground with your legs extended. Loop a towel, belt or stretchy exercise band, around your feet and pull back (keeping your legs straight) until you feel a stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.

1 comment:

  1. This is great! It's so nice to see this approached from a foot-and-leg-health perspective! I have had surgery on both my legs (and a foot injury following a car accident) and I have to wear heels to work. My trick? I look for gum sole wedges. Wedges are a little easier on the feet since thy distribute pressure evenly and the gum sole absorbs shock.



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