High Heels - and how to walk in them

On the 8th of july, 1994, I am hereby rewriting this text entirely. It has
 now been over two years since my first full-day in heels, and I have found
the advices that WAS in here, taking from a Fantasyland Info. text, to 
be mostly un-useful. This text is hereby declared to be fully MY views :)

High-heeled shoes can roughly be separated into three cathegories,

   * Everyday wear ones, with heels from 1 - 3 inches.
   * Shoes for more special occations, with heels from 4 - 5 inches.
   * Fetish type shoes, with heels between 6 and 9 (!) inches.

Some people will, of course, use 5 inch heels in the office, and 1 inch for
a party, and soforth. This is not meant to be a strict division, merely an
indication on how most manufacturers view heels. In the general public, the
shoes that get above 3-4 inches are very often viewed as "cheap", something
worn by showgirls and those in the worlds oldest profession. For those of
us who enjoy high heels this, n'est pas, seems abit silly.

Enough rambling, how then to walk in heels that are above the average
height ?

First, as in so many areas, you get the shoes you pay for. A pair of REALLY
cheap shoes might become the most expencive ones you've ever bought. Even
flats can, if real bad quality, damage your foot. So, when buying shoes
with heels that are a) high, and b) thin, make sure the heels is
reinforced. This is usually done with a steel tube inside it. This gives a
better chance of not loosing it whilst walking / dancing / etc., and
subsequently a better chance of not breaking your ankle. Also make sure
that the shoes are of a general good quality.

Secondly, if this is your first pair of HIGH heels, buy a pair that has a
ankle-strap. These shoes have a better support, and by all means, STAY AWAY
from the Hollywood Style Mules when learning to walk in 5 inch heels !
Mules *can* look good, but they offer no support for the foot. Leave these
to a rainy day - when you have laid down some miles in heels with support.

Sandals with no heel-cap have some of the same problem, but here the straps
tend to overcome some of it. The best advice for a novice is to start
gradually, pumps with ankle straps, regular pumps, sandals, THEN mules.

Walking

When I first put this info-text together, I used information given to me by
the owner of Fantasyland, Canada. I soon found, however, that even in my 4
1/2 inch heels it was quite impossible to follow her advice. When I asked
my mom, ( who, in her marriage photo, wears higher heels than I've EVER
worn :) she told me that it was, simply put, gibberish. My apologies for
this, and to anyone that says differently. Taking into account the rather
long time my mom has used heels, and NEVER broken her ankle... I trust her.

Now, for the heels between 1 and 4 inches, it is simply a matter of
balance. As always, you put your heel down first, and what you must learn
is to stay on the .3 inch wide tip of a heel whilst setting the REST of
your foot down.

When you get to the 4 1/2 inch heels, something strange happens. A ( GG )
friend of mine and I have discussed it some times, and watched eachother,
and for some reason it is VERY hard to walk on these. Putting the heels
down first, we seems to get a twist in the ankle, making the steps looks
very strange. ( It is HARD to explain ! :) Once the heel-height reaches 5
inches, this problem is gone again. ( Explanations are encouraged !!!! :)

As for heels of the style 6 inches and more, things get abit more
complicated. My experience has been, to date, with everything from flats to
9 inch ballet boots. Up to about 5 inches, the rule is to set your heel
down first, and walk 'normally'. Balance is important, as is learning not
to slam that heel down - the so-called 'military walk'. Don't do that...

When the heel goes above 5 inches, 6-7, set the foot down first, and then
the heel - walk, litterally, on the tip of your toes. These are not easy to
walk in; lots, and lots, and lots of training. Take small steps, and be
careful at first.

Let us then, as a finale, 'discuss' the high heeled shoes... I've yet to
try 8" pumps, but I have tried 9" ballet boots. That was hard work... !
When wearing a pair of these, my size 8 feet leave me with around .5 inches
of sole to stand on. The same trick applies, put your foot down first, then
the heel. Lots, and lots of balance is required, but it is possible to walk
in them !

Damage prevention

Many people have had their feet ruined - and lots of blame for this has
been put on high heeled shoes. Without attempting to know more about
medicine than the doctors, I hereby claim that much of that blame is bs...

Firstly; high heeled shoes do not have to squeeze your toes into that
famous arrow-shaped form, and thereby damaging them. This only happens if
the high heeled shoe has a pointy toe... sigh. If it does not, there is
nothing to squeeze your toes. Pointy toed shoes, flat or high heeled, will
damage your toes - BUT : you will not damage your toes if you wear pointy
toed shoes from time to time. If you wear them constantly, no matter what
heel heigh, then you WILL damage your toes. This has been a problem, but
has originated from the shape of the toe, not from the height of the heel.
It is rather obvious, however, that high heels with pointy toes do more
damage than flats with pointy toes, but again - it is not the HEELS that do
the damage.

Secondly; high heeled shoes will, if worn constantly and no precaution is
taken, damage the tendons in the back of the calf. Again, this is only of
you wear high heels constantly ! Even so, some of the damage can be
prevented by a simple exercise. Stand, without any shoes on, on a flat
surface. With legs kept straight, bend at the hips and try to touch your
toes. A good piece of advice is to do this after wearing high heels period
- and ALWAYS after wearing them for some time.

For further info., take a look at the Alt.Sex.Fetish.Fashion FAQ, in which
there are several small texts on high heels.

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 Tina Marie Holmboe, Sep 1995

tina@ifi.uio.no