How did you learn to walk/stay in heels?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
4579 posts
Honey bee

I am not the intended audience as I have up heels a long time ago and am all the happier for it.  Nothing is worth injuring yourself.  I just have a lot of instability in my ankles and it isn’t worth it.  And every foot is different so the structure of your foot can play a role.

I do have two friends who only wear heels.  One was a figure skater as a kid and has enviable ankle strength.  She still complains at the end of the day though.  The other, I think just really likes the look of them (and grew up in a culture that prized stereotypical femininity and heels are just what you do) and forced herself into it until the point where she says flats are actually uncomfortable because the constant wearing of heels has caused the tendons in the back of her ankle to constrict and shorten and wearing flats results in a stretching that is painful for her. 

You can get used to anything if you make a habit of it and train yourself.  I personally have never been inclined to dress up in that way (I love mary janes and am usually in jeans) and while my job can require professional attire, my employer does not and I take full advantage of it.  So only having occasion to maybe wear them a few times a year isn’t enough practice and I gave up trying.  There are loads of cute flats out there.  You are not defective or missing out on some hidden instruction manual.

Post # 3
1749 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I think you can get inserts to make it more comfy, but Idk if it’s worth it. I sometimes wear heels to work and they always end up under the desk until I need to go somewhere. I’m totally wearing flats for my wedding. I keep hearing how comfy tieks are, but that’s a lot of money to spend on ballet flats lol. I think walking in heels is learn by doing sort of things. I have friends who live in them. I do find some are more comfy and stable then others. I know they are cheap, but I love the comfortplus heels from payless. Those I can actually wear all day.

Post # 4
925 posts
Busy bee

Calves. Strengthen your calves and it gets easier. Inserts/gel pads on the balls of the feet also help. 

Post # 5
1558 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Thicker heels, heels with platforms, and blister block. 

But I don’t rrally wear heels anymore due to pain from a car accident. 

Post # 6
583 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I get a burning feeling in the ball if wearing high heels for a day or an evening, I think gel inserts can help a bit, but they probably won’t prevent the pain as it’s lot of pressure that’s not usually on that part of your foot. I will wear about 6cm heels all day for work and manage fine, but nothing higher unless I’m at some event! Flats most days for me.

Chunky/block heels are much easier and comfier over stiletto style heels as they are much more stable, and I prefer a strap over the foot too so they don’t slip off. And don’t ‘think’ about being able to walk in heels, just…walk. Heel toe, same as flats, but heels do make you take smaller steps as your foot’s tilted.

Post # 7
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Honestly just practice. I used to wear them a lot when I was younger. Now I only wear them for special occasions. They do have to be comfortable though. Luckily there are a lot of options that offer comfort and style, so I usually just stick to the brands I know will work for me. Inserts can help as well.

Post # 8
1755 posts
Buzzing bee

A lot of practice, I wear them every day for work. I don’t have to, I’m the only female at my job that wears heels daily. I really love how they look and their femininity. I do a desk job so not as much standing and walking all day. But I definitely feel it by the end of the day.

I started practicing in a pair of high heels at home when I was about 15. My mom loaned me a pair of hers, I bought a cheap pair to learn a higher height as well. I practiced everything, balancing, standing, walking, up and down stairs, on carpet, on gravel, on our deck and grass. I did it until it felt like second nature. 

I’ve also found you need to fight a heel pitch that works for you, as well as a heel width that works for you. I find it works best for me if my heels are around 3 inches with a bit of a platform. I don’t really find the gel inserts work, though they help a tiny bit in shoes with a thin sole. I also make sure when I’m home heels come off and I go in sock feet to stretch my tendons out again. I also make sure my shoes are stretched out and ready to wear before I wear them out of the house. I will never again wear brand new shoes straight out of the box out of the house.

Post # 9
14966 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

 I think calf raise exercises will help.  I’ve unknowingly trained my calves all these years and didnt even know it.  When I do any kind of leg work out, I don’t feel a darn thing and could go on for days while the rest of the work out kills me.  My husband handed me 30 lb weights for each hand to make it harder and it didnt do a darn thing!  My arms were tired just from holidng the weights, and my calves were still going.  I’ve been wearing heels for as long as I remember, probably started in high school with the chunky platform heels that were in way back then.  And then boots with heels, and then pumps and sandals.  Not all heels are created equal, that’s for sure.  I never settle for uncomfortable heels that are hard to walk in anymore no matter how cute they are. 

Post # 10
888 posts
Busy bee

youngbrokebride :  Fit is key. If they are too big, they flop off, if they are too small, they pinch, cause listers or squeeze your toe box which causes pain for the ball of your foot. Start with a medium heel height, 2-3”, get comfortable walking in them and them move up to 4” +. I’m also a BIG fan of high quality shoes, I find European made shoes sizing are more precise and the materials are higher quality. Fabric shoes don’t have any give like leather will and I find it takes about five wears to break in a shoe before it is truly comfortable. Luv me a great, iconic, luxury shoe and have a decent collection. When you try on a new shoe, make sure that you spend enough time in them for your foot to adjust to the shoe, then see how comfortable it is. If it hurts or rubs new, it will always hurt or rub. A strap – ankle strap, etc may help you to keep the shoe on – love the Valentino rock stud collection for their adjustable straps and different heel heights. Hope that helps

Post # 11
1578 posts
Bumble bee

Practice and finding the absolute best fit.  I still have about 5 pair of the perfect fit for me, target brand from about 8 years ago.  The perfect width, my toes never felt squished, not too loose, and my feel didn’t feel sore after 8 hours.  These days, I get to dress extremely casual, no ripped jeans is the most extreme lol. 

Post # 12
1558 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Also, not all heels are creative equal – it is worth the cost to may for good quality leather and materialis. Naturalizer and their ilk can be very comfortable. I tend to like alot of brands Anthropologie carries, particularly their in-house brand – Miss Albright, if you can find it. And check out Chie Mihara! These are my favorites by them (not my picture):


Post # 13
2798 posts
Sugar bee

I semi-unintentionally worked myself up to it. Not just by increasing height, but also the type of shoe. A 5″ chunky bootie is often easier to walk in than a 3″ stiletto pump. 

Ways to make your heels comfier:  
– Chunky heel
– Ankle/foot Support – booties, straps, buckles etc. 
– Sole Inserts (i sometimes get multiple types for one shoe even – a gel for arch or toe support + then a full sole one)

Once you’re used to heeled booties it makes other types of heels easier as well. 

Post # 14
2967 posts
Sugar bee


Happy International Women’s Day!

High heels are definitely out. I have short feet – UK size 3, US size 5 1/2, European size 36. Of course, the heel heights of smaller shoes are the same as those of larger shoes. They don’t diminish in proportion with a reduction in size. This means that my feet have to bend more than someone with longer feet. As a result, high heels are even more uncomfortable for me than for most people.

The manufacturers of women’s shoes are cheapskates (the shoes are usually of poorer quality than men’s shoes) and frankly rubbish. My SIL was brought up in India and spent part of her childhood barefoot. This means that she has perfect feet, beautiful with wonderfully straight toes. Because her feet are perfect she can’t find shoes that fit her. 

It’s also all very sexist.

Western women’s shoes are the West’s equivalent of foot binding. We are encouraged to wear things that hurt our feet in order to walk like a stork with a wiggly bottom. These shoes also prevent us escaping from unpleasant men in an emergency.

Wouldn’t you all rather run like gazelles?

The way to make high heels comfortable is to take them off and put them in the bin.

Post # 15
6507 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Honestly, some people wear heels naturally and some people can never wear them comfortably. If you had an accident wearing heels on stairs, it is likely to make you even more tentative and fearful (understandably so), which will definitely not make walking in them any easier. 

I used to wear heels all the time, but I changed careers and now I teach. Wearing heels to work is impractical and just plain uncomfortable. I don’t mean that in just the physical sense, but no one else in the building wears heels, so they stick out, and they are very loud in the halls. Additionally, I need to crouch next to students, sometimes work on the floor, and I easily walk about 12K steps a day.

But I still love shoes! I now have the most amazing collection of flat and low heeled shoes that are beautiful AND comfortable. I often wear flats or low heeled shoes even when I could wear heels (going out with Darling Husband, for example) simply because they actually look better. But if you’re determined to wear them, I agree with PPs that lower heels are easier, as are wedges and thicker heels. Stilettos are without a doubt the most precarious – generally more difficult to walk in and more likely to slip or get caught and throw you off balance.

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