How to Walk in Heelless Shoes: A Comprehensive Guide

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How do you walk in those things? We often get this question when we feature a celebrity like Taylor Swift wearing heelless shoes.

Heelless shoes lack a traditional heel, the raised portion at the back of the shoe that supports the wearer’s heel. Instead, heelless shoes typically have a sole extending flat from the shoe’s front to the rear, with no raised section under the heel.

We thought we’d finally clear the air about walking in heelless shoes (it’s really not as bad as you think!).

American actress Marissa Jaret Winokur shows off her feet in heelless platform wedgesAmerican actress Marissa Jaret Winokur shows off her feet in heelless platform wedges (Credit: Joseph Marzullo / WENN)

Many Your Next Shoes readers have shared their experiences with owning a pair of heelless shoes — and we very much appreciate it — but we thought we’d address the question with its very own post.

Mastering the Art of Walking in Heelless Shoes

The two very basic things to remember when walking in heelless shoes are the following:

1. Shift your body weight forward

When wearing heelless shoes, shifting your body weight slightly forward is essential. Avoid leaning backward, as this can lead to loss of balance and potential falls. Keep your weight centered over the front part of the shoe.

Heelless shoes are a type of footwear that lack a traditional heel, which is the raised portion at the back of the shoe that supports the wearer's heelHeelless shoes are a type of footwear that lack a traditional heel, which is the raised portion at the back of the shoe that supports the wearer’s heel (Credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock)

2. Put pressure on the balls of your feet

Instead of placing pressure on the back of your heels, focus on the balls of your feet or the front of the shoes. This will help you maintain balance and stability while walking in heelless shoes.

3. Practice walking on a flat surface

Start by walking on a flat and stable surface to get accustomed to the feel of heelless shoes. Take slow, deliberate steps to ensure your balance.

Jade Bryce rocks heelless heels adorned with a dazzling cascade of blue and silver sequinsJade Bryce rocks heelless heels adorned with a dazzling cascade of blue and silver sequins (Credit: Tony DiMaio / Startraksphoto)

Shorter, controlled steps can help you maintain balance and reduce the risk of tripping or stumbling. As you become more comfortable, practice walking on different surfaces, such as carpets, smooth floors, and uneven terrain, to improve your overall stability.

4. Gradually increase the heelless shoe height

If you’re new to heelless shoes, consider starting with a lower heel height and gradually working your way up to higher heels. This will allow your feet and legs to adjust to the required walking postures.

5. Engage your core muscles

To maintain stability while walking in heelless shoes, engage your core muscles. This will help you control your balance and prevent wobbling.

The Practical Side: Video Demonstrations

That’s really all there is to it, but we know it’s better to see it in action than to just read about it. Below are three of our favorite YouTube videos on walking in heelless shoes, depending on how extreme your shoes are.

We love this first video from Viva La Diva — they tasked one girl to spend one day at the office in heelless shoes like the Sole Boutique ones we featured before.

You’ll see her doing everyday things like riding elevators, going to the ladies’ room, and taking her coffee break in those shoes.

In the second video by YouTube user eteclea, the girl walks, runs, and jumps in a pair of Jeffrey Campbell “Str8up” shoes without heels. This is probably the type of heelless shoes most of us would get, so this is a must-watch!

Walking in these shoes is also not that very different from walking in inwardly curved wedges. You could also put your weight a little on the middle part of your foot since the fin-like bottom flares out toward the back.

But if you’re the type who wants a real challenge and are thinking of getting the “real” Noritaka Tatehana or Antonio Berardi-like heelless shoes, the third video is for you.

YouTube user yuanyi89 makes walking in this most extreme type of heelless shoes look the most graceful out of all the videos. These make you the most unstable, so you must be mindful of your posture and always engage your abs when wearing them!

Like everything else that you’re new at, walking in heelless shoes takes practice, practice, practice. Even then, we wouldn’t recommend wearing them for a drunken girls’ night out. Maybe not even for a day at the office!

What do you say, expert heelless shoe walkers out there?

Heelless Shoes: Elegance in Formal Footwear

Do you remember when heelless shoes were used to shock, get attention, and make a fashion statement?

It seems like that time has passed. Heelless shoes went from bizarre to accepted to passé all within just a couple of years, but we never thought that heelless shoes would actually come to this.

Today, heelless shoes are esteemed as a symbol of elegance in footwear. This sentiment is echoed by Georgina Chapman, the co-founder and designer of Marchesa.

Georgina Chapman in black Alexander McQueen velvet curved wedges at the premiere of Project Runway: All Stars at Nine WestGeorgina Chapman in black Alexander McQueen velvet curved wedges at the premiere of Project Runway: All Stars at Nine West in New York City on October 25, 2012 (Credit: Kyle Blair / WENN / Andrea Raffin)

Italian voice actress Giulia Luzi also paired the previously shocking shoe style with her croc-embossed strapless mini dress at the Rise of the Guardians premiere in Rome.

Giulia Luzi in Jeffrey Campbell Night Walk shoes at the Rise of the Guardians premiere during the 7th Rome International Film FestivalGiulia Luzi in Jeffrey Campbell Night Walk shoes at the Rise of the Guardians premiere during the 7th Rome International Film Festival in Rome, Italy, on November 13, 2012 (Credit: Kyle Blair / WENN / Andrea Raffin)

Lady Gaga must be shaking her head at the “fall” of her once favorite shoe style, but don’t worry about her — you all know she’s still staying ahead of the fashion pack with even more out-of-this-world shoes.

Georgina Chapman made this Alexander McQueen velvet curved wedge style look feminine and pretty:

Alexander McQueen Velvet WedgesAlexander McQueen Velvet Wedges, $930

They’re sold out now, but we’ve found this amazing lookalike from Privileged at a fraction of the cost of the McQueens:

Privileged Dexter Faux Suede WedgesPrivileged Dexter Faux Suede Wedges, $49.97

Giulia Luzi, on the other hand, wore the iconic Jeffrey Campbell Night Walk:

A dainty Mary-Jane strap details a dark suede pump set upon a stunning sculpted wedge heelA dainty Mary-Jane strap details a dark suede pump set upon a stunning sculpted wedge heel

These shoes are everywhere, but they’re now going for as low as $89!

Filed Under: Shoe Styles