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How to Walk in Heels: 10 Tips and Tricks

Apr 24, 2024

Every woman has a unique personality and style that suits her day-to-day. Some women love to turn every day into their runway by wearing pretty heels all day long. Others would rather reach for the same go-to pair of sneakers or flats on the regular. There’s no right or wrong answer for how to wear your outfits or shoes every day. However, we could all use more tips on how to best walk in heels. Learning to walk in heels without the occasional stumble or inevitable blisters can feel challenging. The good news is that we’ve put together a list of our favorite easy-to-wear heels and 10 tips and tricks to get you started!

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1. Test Your Heels

Camilla Morton, the international fashion writer and author of How to Walk in High Heels, shares that if you’re going to test drive your heels before a big event, break in your heels at the supermarket. If you’re a newcomer to wearing heels, learning how to walk around the grocery store or while running errands can be a great learning experience. Select a comfortable pair of heels with a manageable height and sturdy design. As you walk, pay attention to whether you feel any rubbing, pinching, or discomfort. Make sure to take small steps and maintain a slow but steady pace to gauge your balance and stability. Observe how your weight distributes across your footbed and if the heels feel unsteady or wobble. Practicing walking in heels in different environments can help build your confidence and ensure a comfortable experience.

2. Walk Heel to Toe

When you’re wearing cute heels, remember that you should walk from heel to toe, not toe to heel. Learning how to walk from heel to toe in high heels requires practice and a conscious effort, especially for beginners. Begin by standing tall with your core engaged and shoulders back to maintain balance. Take small, controlled steps by leading through your heel and rolling through the ball of the foot before pushing off with your toes. Focus on placing each step in a straight line, avoiding crossing your feet. Distribute your weight evenly between both feet to prevent instability and wobbling. Engaging your core muscles can help with balance and posture. Who knew that walking in heels could be such a workout? Soon, walking from heel to toe in heels will become more natural and graceful. Wear any of our cute heels to get that graceful and effortlessly chic look!

3. Take Small Steps

Don’t take long strides in your heels. As tempting as it can be to strut your stuff, you’ve got to learn how to walk before you can run. Take small steps by planting your heel firmly on the ground. Roll through the ball of your foot, push off with your toes, and keep your strides controlled and short. Avoid overextending your legs. Focus on maintaining a steady pace and distributing your weight evenly. Take your time to adjust to the height and feel of the heels, gradually increasing your stride length as you gain comfort and support.

searches for platform heels increase

4. Master the Art of Walking

Master the art of walking in heels with patience and practice. Choose heels with manageable height and comfortable fit. Research from the McKinsey & Company 2023 State of Fashion report found that searches for platform heels increased 75 percent between 2021 and 2022, and other brands are finding that more women are seeking square-heeled shoes. Platform heels and square-heeled shoes are great heels to walk in if you’re a high-heel novice. Take a look at our platform wedges for more inspiration. With consistent practice, you’ll become all the more comfortable and confident as you exude elegance and grace with every step.

5. Prep Your Heels with Soles

Our wedge sandals are one of the easiest heels to walk in. If you don’t want to deal with adding extra cushioning to the soles of your heels, slip right into our comfy, low-heel wedges. Otherwise, you can also prep any of your existing heels with soles to enhance comfort and prevent slipping while wearing high heels. Thoroughly clean the soles of your shoes to remove any dirt and debris. Apply adhesive sole grips or non-slip pads to the bottom of the shoes for more traction. You could also take them to a shoe repairer or professional cobbler to have rubber soles added. Ensure the soles are securely attached and cover the bottom part of the shoe where your foot rests. This simple step can increase the stability of your shoe while extending the lifespan of your heels and protecting them from inevitable wear and tear.

6. Lean Back a Little

Remember to lean back a little when wearing heels to improve your posture and balance. Shift your weight slightly back and focus on keeping your hips aligned with a straight spine. This small but impactful adjustment can help counterbalance the forward tilt caused by wearing heels, reducing strain on your knees and lower back. Be mindful not to overcorrect and lean too far back because that will affect your gait and cause serious discomfort. Practice finding the right balance between learning back just a bit and maintaining a natural, comfortable stance so you can confidently walk in high heels.

podiatrists share comfortable shoes

7. Feel Balanced

You’ll know you’re getting more comfortable and confident when you feel balanced while walking in heels. Every heel type is different depending on the type and height of the heel. Find high heels with a stable base and proper fit for your foot type. Podiatrists share that the most comfortable shoes to wear when you’re just starting out include platforms, block heels, open-toed shoes, flatforms, and low heels. To feel balanced when walking in any kind of heel, maintain a relaxed posture and keep your gaze forward. Enhance your balance by focusing on your center of gravity. Remember to listen to your body and adjust your stance as needed. With a little more practice and mindfulness, feeling balanced in high heels will soon feel like second nature.

8. Break in Heels at Home

Ensure comfort and prevent blisters when wearing high heels by breaking in your heels at home. Start by wearing your heels for short periods around the house, allowing the shoes to mold to your feet. You can stretch tight areas by wearing thick socks or applying a shoe stretcher. Walk on carpeted surfaces to minimize wear and tear while giving your feet plenty of time to adjust to the heels. Gradually increase the wear time as you get more comfortable with the heels. Taking the time to break in heels at home allows you a greater chance to get that customized fit and pain-free wear.

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9. Consider When and Where You’re Wearing Your Heels

If you plan on going all out in your heels this season, check out our selection of chic wedges and pretty dresses from our resort wear for women collection to get all dolled up this spring and summer. To select the best heels for the occasion, consider any dress codes and the time of year. Prioritize comfort and style so you’ll look stylish and feel comfortable wearing heels for extended periods of time, especially if you’re wearing them at work or a special event. Opt for wedges or lower heels for daytime and casual events, while higher heels are best for formal occasions. Assess the terrain because, as cute as stilettos are, they may not make the most sense for outdoor events and uneven surfaces. Heels should offer cushioning and proper support for longer wear. 

10. Give Yourself a Break

Most importantly, give yourself a break when wearing high heels. If you don’t have to wear them every day, don’t. Alternate between wearing heels and flat shoes to give your feet a rest. Check out our fun and fashionable flats to give your feet time to lay low. When you do wear heels, use cushioned insoles or gel inserts to relieve pressure points and provide extra support. Stretch and massage your calf muscles and feet to regularly alleviate tension and prevent stiffness. If at any point you feel discomfort, take off your heels and take a moment to sit and stretch. Listen to your body and prioritize comfort above anything else when you feel tired. Kick off your heels from time to time so you can take a break whenever you need it.

Our Favorite Heels at Charleston Shoe Co.

Our Favorite Heels at Charleston Shoe Co.

Now that you know how to confidently walk in heels, take a look at our list of some of our favorite heels. Have problem feet and think walking in heels is out of the question for you? Fear not — that’s why Charleston Shoe Co. has specially designed shoes for women with bunions so you can rock heels without the pain or discomfort of traditional heels. Here’s our selection of heels you’ll love wearing and how to confidently style them.

Look and Feel Fabulous in Our Shoes for Women with Bunions
  1. The Backless Cannon — Our best-selling wedge heel meets our most comfortable strap. The crossover straps of the Backless Cannon allow your foot to stretch as much as you need. Ladies with problematic feet love this bunion-friendly shoe. Pair your wedges with distressed jeans and a tucked-in blouse or a graphic tee for a relaxed look. Wearing the Backless Cannon to the office? Style the wedges with tailored trousers, a crisp button-down, and a structured blazer for a professional ensemble.
  2. The Backless Cooper — Check out the Backless Cooper in our latest watermelon color! This slide comes with double straps and an espadrille wedge heel. For additional comfort, we’ve designed it with a padded insole. Create a nautical-inspired outfit by wearing your slides with white jeans and a navy and white striped top. For a casual day out, style these espadrilles with a simple sundress or romper and accessorize with dainty jewelry.
  3. The Debi — For those chilly nights when you want a closed-toe shoe, wear the Debi. It’s a great fall transitional shoe with a 3.5-inch heel and a 1-inch platform. To style this closed-toe mule heel, wear it with skinny jeans and a fitted sweater. Wear it on your next date night out by wearing a sleek jumpsuit or a little black dress. Ramp up the glamour with statement jewelry, a clutch and a bold lip color.
  4. The Fishburne — The Fishburne is a feminine and flirty strappy wedge sandal. Pair these sandals with distressed denim shorts and a breezy, off-the-shoulder top as you complete the look with a straw tote bag and oversized sunnies. 
  5. The Joy — Take your style to new heights with the Joy. It’s a 6-inch wedge with a 3-inch platform that acts as a bold statement whether you get it in a neutral-colored linen or pretty Primavera floral pattern. Allow the shoes to be the focal point of your outfit by pairing your shoes with minimalist pieces. Opt for a monochromatic dress or tailored jumpsuit in a neutral hue like black, white or tan. That way, the beautiful Joy can stand out without overwhelming your look.
  6. The Lynda — Strut your stuff in the Lynda, the perfect complement to any casual or cocktail outfit. If you’ve been searching for a heel in an ideal height, you’ve got to get the Lynda with its 2.5-inch heel, a wrap-around ankle strap, and signature ruffle strap for a dainty look around your toes. No matter the occasion, you’ll love the easy, sturdy block heel in a dark Onyx, fun Flamingo, or neutral-toned Champagne. Add feminine flair to your heels by wearing a floral midi skirt and matching blouse. For a cool and casual look, dress down your heels with cropped jeans and a sweater.
woman in pink dress and heels

Just like us gals, every heel is unique. Depending on your style and the shape of your foot, you may need to consider different heights to suit your comfort. When in doubt, there’s nothing wrong with starting out with lower wedge heels. Walking in lower heels like our wedge-style heels can help you learn how to evenly distribute weight across your feet. Once you get used to walking in heels, you can switch them up and start wearing higher and higher heels. Happy walking!


Image Credits

Tanya Syrytsyna/