High heels are prized for their ability to empower women, making them feel confident and sexy. They have been worn throughout history, dating as far back as ancient Egypt and making appearances in Persia in the 9th century and throughout Europe from the Middle Ages until the French Revolution. Heeled shoes have come in and out of fashion and today they remain a staple of most women’s wardrobes. High heels not only make women taller, they also make legs appear longer and slimmer. However, as much as they are adored, high heels can be difficult to walk in, especially as the heels become higher.
In the UK, heels ranging from 10 cm to 15 cm are not uncommon, and the average exceeds 8 cm. Learning how to walk in heels is as much a matter of choosing the right heels as it is about moving correctly. High heels range in height and design, and no woman should expect to be able to move easily in a pair of 10 cm stilettos if she has never worn heels before. In addition, women should be conscious of their posture, how they carry their weight, and how they place their legs when walking. While high heels can be found at department stores and shoe shops, many women may enjoy the convenience of shopping online through an online auction site such as eBay.
Types of High Heels
High heels vary in height, typically starting at about 5 cm, but their thickness is typically what sets them apart. Common options include stilettos, which have very narrow heels, and wedges, which have thick heels that run along the entire length of the shoe’s sole. Other shoes, such as court shoes, may use a cone shaped heel, which is wider than a stiletto and tapered in a circular shape, or a chunky heel, which is blocky like a wedge, but does not cover the entire sole. Another common option is the platform heel, which can be a thick sole or stiletto style, but in general the platform describes the extra height placed on the sole below the balls of the feet. Wedges and chunky heels tend to be more comfortable that simple stilettos because they distribute the weight of the foot more evenly. Platforms, because they elevate the balls of the feet, allow women to don a 10 cm stiletto while only feeling the pressure of a 7.5 cm heel.
It is also important to differentiate a high heel from a kitten heel, which is shorter than 2 inches. A kitten heel is good for women who want a slight elevation in height, while remaining comfortable, or for anyone new to wearing high heels.
Choosing the Right High Heels
It is unreasonable to expect to begin gliding about in stilettos immediately. Instead, women should start with low and chunky heels like wedges and gradually move to taller, thinner stiletto heels as they become more comfortable walking and moving about. Always invest in a good quality pair of heels. Padding in the soles makes high heels more comfortable, and can be supplemented with gel inserts and other padding if needed. In addition, the actual heel of the shoe should be placed at the centre of the heel of the foot, which makes balancing much easier.
Also important is choosing the correct size. Remember that every designer sizes shoes slightly differently, so women who usually wear a size 7 may find themselves needing a size 6 or a size 8 depending on the designer. Shoes are sized based on the length of the foot, but women also need to account for the shoe’s width. Some designers produce wider shoes, but women should do their research before shopping for a pair of wide high heels.
Walking in High Heels
Walking in very high heels requires practice. Wear the heels around the home while building up slowly to taller, thinner models. Practicing at home means that women can master the art of moving about while also ensuring that they remain comfortable. It lets the wearer test the high heels on a variety of surfaces, as well. When feeling more confident, consider wearing the shoes out to the supermarket, where a trolley acts as a good balancing aid.
Walking on Flat Surfaces in High Heels
Many women find that walking in high heels, especially the higher stiletto heels, requires a bit of thought and focus to begin with. First, stand up straight with shoulders back.
High Heels Need a Strong Core
Women should focus on their core muscles and find their centre of gravity. This helps to encourage the body to use an assortment of muscles, which allows for a better sense of balance and improved posture. Some women may benefit from adding an exercise routine such as yoga or Pilates, which help to strengthen the core muscles and other parts of the body.
Take Small Steps in High Heels
The feet should be kept pointed straight, and the leg should straighten and extend when walking, with the knee only bending slightly. High heels often shorten a woman’s stride, and the higher the heel, the shorter the stride, so initially, there should be no large steps. Start with small steps, placing one foot in front of the other. Women can take larger steps as they become more comfortable. There is no need to rush, either. Many catwalk models cross one foot in front of the other to exaggerate the sway of their hips, but this may take more practice after women are accustomed to simply walking in the shoes.
Learn to Balance in High Heels
By keeping legs closer together, it is easier to maintain the balance. Letting the arms swing slightly can also help women with balance. Most importantly, steps should be heel to toe, where the weight is transferred from the back of the foot to the front once the heel is securely placed on the ground. Make sure that the foot does not bend too far backward: the toe should not point towards the ceiling. Also keep in mind that balance is affected by the shape and height of the heel. A 7.5-cm wedge heel is likely to feel different than a stiletto of the same height.
Surfaces for High Heels
Keep in mind that surfaces vary in how slick or smooth they are. Moving on a dance floor is different than moving on carpet or tiles. Similarly, outdoor surfaces may be softer, or have cracks or cobble stones that require focus. Step carefully and look out for obstacles.
Walking on Stairs in High Heels
When walking up and down stairs in high heels, do not be too proud to use the stair rail or banister for balance. One way to make this look effortless is to maintain a tight grip on the rail while keeping the arm relaxed. However, the heel-to-toe rule for walking on flat surfaces goes out the window when tackling stairs. The placement of the feet depends on whether a woman is going up or down the stairs.
Going Down Stairs in High Heels
When going down a staircase in high heels, always set the entire foot down evenly on the step. Make sure that each foot is firmly placed before shifting the weight and moving the other foot.
Going Up Stairs in High Heels
When moving up the stairs in high heels, place the weight only on the ball of the foot, and keep the heel off the step. This is an effective exercise for strengthening the muscles in the feet to make walking in heels more comfortable.
Walking with Confidence in High Heels
Whether walking indoors, outdoors, up stairs, or on a flat surface, there is one remaining factor to consider: confidence. As women become more comfortable moving about in high heels, they will become more confident, which will allow them to walk faster and more gracefully, without having to worry about taking a tumble. The key is a strong core, balance, and practice.
Buying High Heels on eBay
When you are ready to buy high heels, visit eBay’s home page. You can enter whatever you are looking for in the search box, such as “metallic stilettos” or “size 9 wedge heels”, and then filter the results. You can easily keep within your budget by selecting a price range, and looking for items with free postage and packaging. When making a purchase, check the shoe size carefully, as international sellers may use UK, US, or EU sizing conventions. Also research the seller by checking his or her feedback history. Good ratings and positive feedback are both signs of a reputable seller. The seller should list all of the details that you need to make an informed purchase, such as the colour, height, and material of the high heels, as well as the delivery costs, accepted payment methods, and returns policy.
eBay offers a variety of ways to enhance your shopping experience. With the My eBay service, you can easily track your purchases, manage correspondence with sellers, and monitor items that you are interested in.
Heels come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and thicknesses, so women have a wide variety to choose from. However, for women not used to a very high stilettos, may need some help. Posture is an important factor: women should strengthen their core muscles, stand up straight, and pull their shoulders back slightly. Practice walking in heels before wearing them out. The key is to wear a variety of shoes and slowly work toward taller, skinnier heels as the level of comfort grows. Take smaller steps than normal because high heels shorten the stride. Keeping the legs close together and swing the arms gently to help to maintain the balance.
When walking on flat surfaces, it is best to move heel to toe, quickly transferring the weight to the balls of the feet when the heel touches the floor. The process is different for stairs. For going down steps, place the entire foot evenly on the step, rather than using a heel-to-toe movement. When going up stairs, place the weight on the ball of the foot rather than the heel. Finally, choose an appropriate pair of heels. This includes making sure that the high heels fit and are of good quality. Consider adding cushioning or inserts to make them more comfortable and to alleviate pressure points. eBay is an excellent place to start the search for the perfect pair of high heels.