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.
© Tina Marie Holmboe, Sep 1995 firstname.lastname@example.org