How to Walk in High Heels: 5 Expert Tricks That Work

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We’ve all seen it. A woman struggling to walk in heels. She’s obviously in pain and trying to put on a brave face. You can almost see the blisters forming on her feet and the ice pack she’ll be hunting for as soon as she gets home.

This woman doesn’t have to be you. Learning how to walk in heels is an important life lesson that can make them more comfortable and a little less scary.

Grab a pair of high heels and try out our handy step-by-step guide on how to walk in heels.

1. Heel First, Toe Second

With each step you take, you want to land on your heel first, followed by the toe. As your toe hits the ground, lift your heel into the air.

This way of walking is natural to us when not wearing heals – when barefoot we don’t stomp with our whole foot on the ground at once, and we most certainly do not walk with the ball of our foot first.

By focusing on walking heel first and toe after, you force yourself to have a more natural stride.

A screenshot from Glam, Inc. demonstrating how to walk in heelsA screenshot from Glam, Inc. demonstrating how to walk in heels (Credit: YouTube)

Make your steps look as natural as possible, and while this might take a while to implant in your mind, it’ll quickly become a force of habit.

Something else to keep in mind while you think of “heel – toe, heel – toe”, is to take small steps instead of massive strides. High heels have the tendency to shorten your stride, but you shouldn’t try to counter this by taking longer ones. Doing so will make your walk look unnatural.

Smaller, dainty steps will help reduce the pressure on your feet and allow you to maintain a better posture.

There are two exceptions to the rule though – when walking up stairs and on grass. With these you should focus more on stepping with your toe first, to shift the balance and make sure that you’re stable on stairs and not drilling holes in grass.

2. Don’t Run in Your Heels!

Heels are for walking. If you need to run, keep a pair of sneakers in your bag to change into.

German edition of Glamour magazine invited 100 women to run in high heels in Berlin in 2006German edition of Glamour magazine invited 100 women to run in high heels in Berlin in 2006 (Credit: Avalon / Chuck Yunck / Lia Toby / WENN)

This trick is something every city girl knows. If you think you’ll be running to catch a train or the subway, you need a second pair of shoes on hand. These days there are flats that can easily fit into your purse; check them out on Amazon.

Heels are for walking, so don’t rush yourself. Rushing in heels can quickly cause you to end up with a sore, twisted, or broken ankle.

3. Keep Your Head Tall

The trick to walking in heels is to imagine you’re walking along an invisible straight line. Resist the urge to have your eyes glued to your feet. You want to keep your eyes fixed ahead of you in the direction you’re going.

Keep your eyes in your direction and walk like you're on the runwayKeep your eyes in your direction and walk like you’re on the runway (Credit: Avalon / Chuck Yunck / Lia Toby / WENN)

Picture walking in a straight line, and your feet will follow. Speaking of posture, you’ll want to lean back on your heels to help balance your posture and stabilize your steps. Keep your core engaged for additional stability.

Make sure to maintain good posture so that you don’t put stress on your lower back by compensating for the shift in your center of gravity. You should keep your head aligned with your spine, and your chin should be parallel with the floor.

Relax your arms, bring your shoulders back and down, and remember to swing your arms for balance.

Bend your knees slightly – never lock your knees when walking in heels. Toes should point straight ahead, and legs should be kept close together.

4. Short and Steady Wins the Race

When you’re learning to walk in heels, take it in baby steps. No one goes from wearing flats to wearing 120mm Christian Louboutin skyscraper heels.

First learn how to walk in kitten heels and slowly move up inch by inchFirst, learn how to walk in kitten heels and slowly move up inch by inch (Credit: Avalon / Chuck Yunck / Lia Toby / WENN)

Try walking in heels that are shorter, or opt for heels that are sturdier – such as wedges.

Even when you think you’ve mastered the art of wearing heels, a higher stiletto can still throw you off balance. Start slowly and make your way up inch by inch.

5. Trust the Process

We would love to be able to tell you that learning how to walk in heels is an overnight process. But unfortunately, it’s not – it’s more like riding a bike, and it takes practice. Trust the process and take it slow.

Start by wearing high heels for special occasions. You can also practice wearing your heels around the house to get a feel for them before taking them out.

This will help you to practice your natural movements, and you’ll be able to tell if you can wear them out or not. This will also help to scuff the bottom so that your heels aren’t as slippery.

By wearing your heels around the house, you can also break them in and prevent extra sore and blistery feet.

You can then start by wearing them to a restaurant where you’ll only be walking from your car and back. As you get more comfortable wearing heels, you can increase the amount of time you spend wearing them in one go.

Walking in the highest heels can be a little tricky and takes a little practiceWalking in the highest heels can be a little tricky and takes a little practice (Credit: Golubovystock / Shutterstock)

Don’t force yourself to wear a pair of heels all day until you’re ready. Always have comfortable flat shoes on hand that you can change into if your feet start to hurt. You should also check out these lightweight gel and foam insoles which can help make heels more comfortable.

In the words of Marilyn Monroe, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”

We hope our guide to wearing high heels makes it easier for you to find the right shoes to conquer your world!