Guest Post by Cherie Izzo
Guess what the #1 most searched fashion question was in 2015?
It was “How to walk in heels?” Hmmm, can Google tell me how to do that?
1.) How to walk in heels?
2.) What to wear on the first day of school?
3.) How to fray jeans?
4.) How to tie a shirt?
5.) What should a bride wear to the rehearsal dinner?
6.) What to wear booties with?
7.) What are mules shoes?
8.) What to wear to a wedding in the woods?
9.) How to dress up like Miranda Sings?
10.) What color shoes goes with a black and blue dress?
But, the first question grabbed me. I had to re-read it.
“How to walk in heels?”
My first instinct was; I just knew how.
I read the question again.
“How to walk in heels?”
Immediately I thought …you just do!
My mind snapped back to my childhood. Inside my mother’s enormous walk-in closet: full of ball gowns, formal evening wear made of chiffon, sequins and imported lace. This sanctuary stored her collection of high heel stilettos, jewels, and furs. Some of the shoes looked like these..
Before her performances or black-tie parties, I watched her put on her makeup and get dressed. It was part of her beauty ritual which we shared. We would talk about where she was going, and with whom. She would ask me how she looked and if the shoes were just right, as she strolled around in front of full-length mirrors in her dressing room. My parents were extremely social between my father’s career as a VP of a corporation and my mother’s singing engagements. They traveled the world.
When they were away, I played dress-up in her gowns. At about eight years old, even her tiny size 6 shoes were enormous. They devoured my foot. I remember the first time I wore her shoes. I had so many to choose from; red alligator or black crocodile stilettos, feathered high heel slippers and incredible Italian sling-back heels. Somehow I found my balance on the very first try.
That same year for Christmas, I asked for a pair of plastic dress-up Barbie high heels in my size. When I put them on the first time, I knew how to walk in heels. I found my center of gravity, balanced on them and instantly gained my super-powers.
Thirteen was when I really developed my obsession with high heels. My mother and I went on a trip shopping to Miami; Platforms, stilettos, clunky heels, my cool boots in every style always had high heels.
So, How to walk in heels? The question mystified me. I wondered why would women wanted to know how to walk in heels? Doesn’t every little girl know how to walk in heels?
Events that come with age beginning about junior high, a Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera, high school prom, a debutante ball or weddings are when young women dress up, play with lipstick and makeup and begin wearing heels. I wondered why in 2015 so many wanted an answer to “How to walk in heels?” There wasn’t a spike in the female population. Or was there? Life is moving faster than before. The laws have changed about same-sex and transgender rights. Then Bruce Jenner came to mind. April 2015, in the 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner revealed himself as a trans-woman. She officially changed her name in July 2015.
My personal feeling is that Jenner transitioning freed innumerable transgender women. It might also account for the rise in curiosity on the female subject of walking in heels.
The high heel fascination is intoxicating. I know how high heels made me feel: shopping for them, the purchase and then how I felt wearing them. Instantly I’m more powerful, confident, sexy, graceful and always taller. I like taller. Walking in high heels is an attitude adjuster. They give me super-powers!
Wearing high heels pitches the body forward. It gives the appearance of longer legs. It drastically changes posture and the body’s alignment, affecting the way you walk. This causes you to change your stride. There is a balance of weight distribution and foot sensitivities which you must factor in.
So are there secrets I can share? Take comfortable strides, standup, walk heel-to-toe and learn to relax. Yes there are a few secrets.
The real key is to relax. Balance gracefully. Slow movements.
Take into consideration how steep the pitch/arch of the shoe is before you buy. Ask yourself, “will the heel height be comfortable?” Start with a thicker heeled shoe. Try a court shoe if you have always worn flats. Walk in them.
Move up to a kitten heel.
Practice. It helps to strengthen the muscles and it protects you from rolling your ankles and getting injured. Climb stairs in heels; it will build your leg muscles quickly.
Look for thicker heeled style, like Mary Jane’s with a front strap, to give support when you walk.
Move up and practice wearing a higher heel with a steeper arch. Try to vacuum in heels. You can balance holding onto the vacuum handle. As you become more confident, next time buy a thinner or higher heel. Work your way up and eventually you can transition into stilettos.
A career as a cosmetologist dictates standing all day. The body is in motion yet can be standing for hours. I learned shoes are important. Don’t squeeze into a pair too small just because they didn’t have your “size” and you just loved them and you just had to have them.
I can stand all day and night in heels. Here is how.
Wear the right size.
If your feet really hurt you won’t be able to take the shoes off and put them back on again. There is a tendency for your feet to swell when you take the shoe off, thus you’ll never get them back on. If you find yourself in this position, try using baby powder or cornstarch inside your shoes, or coat your feet and toes with the powder to help ease your feet back into your shoes. But it’s best to not have this problem in the first place, it thwarts your efforts of beautiful feet, plus if you are wearing sandals you can’t use powder without it becoming obvious.
So bring a change of the shoes a 1/2 size or an entire size larger.
If you think you can take the tight shoes off, rub your feet for a few minutes and put them back on? Nope! Forget that. Elevate them instead. They might squeeze back in, but you’ll find it’s more painful than had you just left them on in the first place. You’ll get a blister. Listen to your feet.
So here is the takeaway — to alleviated foot fatigue and foot pain, bring a change of shoes. Start out with a closed toe shoe; swap it later or during the evening for strappy heeled sandals. I found changing and alternating shoe styles and heel heights throughout the day into night is the secret to foot comfort. Relax, take the pressure off and put your feet up. If you can’t take your shoes off, elevating them will help quite a bit.
If you know you are going dancing all night, make sure you are wearing your Manolo Blahnik or Louis Vuitton sandals.
So to answer the question, if you really want to know how to walk in heels, watch a sexy Italian woman in 5? stilettos. You know the ones in the old black and white movies, circa 1960s.
Marriage Italian Style (Vittorio De Sica, 1964) Sophia Loren: Award Collection [Blu-ray] (Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow / Marriage Italian Style / Sunflower / Vittorio D / Boccaccio ’70).
Copy what she does and ignore the naysayers and articles warning you about high heels, like this one: “Reasons High Heels Are BS.”
So tell me — how do you walk in high heels? I want to know!