Once upon a time, I walked down runways in 7″ high heels. From atop my Lucite platforms, the choice of pageant girls and pole dancers everywhere, I could conquer the world or, at least, the evening gown competition. Yes, at the age of 16, I was a pro at walking in high heels.
Then, six years later, I moved to D.C. and switched my stiletto savvy for a flat fetish. I still wear heels (4″ or less please) sometimes, and I can still strut down the hallway with the best of them. But I am not a big enough diva to wear them all day, every day in a pedestrian city.
That being said, let me just say, that there are some women on Capitol Hill who do not have the first clue about how to walk in high heels. I see them in the corridors lumbering like linebackers, stomping like the Stay-Puft marshmallow man and tip-toeing like Tinkerbell. It’s depressing. Because when you walk in high heels you should look graceful, and the stride should look effortless. That’s what makes it sexy.
Want to know the difference between the schleppers and the strutters? Watch this video. (Thank the Lord on High for YouTube.)
So what did we learn from this video? Walking well in high heels requires good posture. Something most Americans don’t have. (Even I have to make a concerted effort not to drop my shoulders and chin.)
Improving your posture is as simple as rolling your shoulders back, lifting your chest, tightening your abs (lower back support is critical) and lifting your chin so that it’s parallel to the ground. Walking this way takes a lot of getting used to, but it can help strengthen your core, alleviate pain in your shoulders and back and prevent wrinkles on your neck.
That’s right, slouchers get wrinkles. So lift that chin.
Once you have the posture down pat, you need to learn to glide through the foot. This is the tricky part. My pageant coach, Debbie, used to say that the trick is to put the forefoot and heel down at almost the exact same time. Victoria Beckham counsels the wearers of sky high heels to do the same. Needless to say it takes practice to master this technique when you’re used to heel strike walking. So put a mirror at the end of a hallway, and just practice over and over and over again.
Also, walking well in high heels requires strong legs. Leg lifts, ankle circles, yoga and other exercises can help you tone up the legs. Not only will this give you nice gams it will make walking in heels easier and less painful.
If you need more tips on wearing heels, read this article on Glamour.com.