Stilettos For Beginners

by Jennifer Blair
Walking in stiletto heels takes practice, so you should break your shoes in before wearing them on your big day.

Walking in stiletto heels takes practice, so you should break your shoes in before wearing them on your big day.

There's something undeniably sexy about a pair of high heels -- particularly if you opt for an ultra thin stiletto heel style. But while the shoes can offer plenty of sex appeal and make you look taller and thinner, wearing them can definitely be challenging. If you're new to the world of stilettos, it doesn't mean you're doomed to stumble around uncomfortably. By selecting your shoes carefully and preparing a little bit, you can rock a sexy pair of stilettos without any problems.

Choose Right Pair

Walking comfortably in stilettos can seem impossible if you don’t choose the right pair, the most important element of which is the proper fit. The arch of your foot should also be fully supported by the shoe’s sole, and there should be at thumb’s width between your longest toe and the front of the shoe to give your toes space to move. With stiletto heels, you may need to go a up a size from your usual shoe size to ensure a comfortable fit. Select a well-made style where the heel of the shoe is centered directly beneath your natural heel to ensure proper balance. For more stability, check that the stiletto heel is reinforced.

Walk the Walk

Walking in stilettos can be tricky, so you may need to change your gait when you're wearing them. When you take a step, put your heel down first and follow with your toes instead of putting your entire foot down at once. You'll also need to walk more slowly since stilettos naturally shorten your stride. High heels also shift your weight forward, so proper posture is key; keep your head up and shoulders back to stay balanced.

Do a Road Test

If you’re planning to wear stilettos to a special event or occasion, don’t wait until the big day to slip them on. Wear them for a couple of hours while you’re cleaning the house or cooking dinner to help stretch the shoe's material and break them in so you don’t get blisters at your event. This will also help you become more comfortable walking in stilettos so you won’t be teetering around when you wear them. When you intend to wear stilettos, put them on about 20 minutes before you plan to head out the door to soften up the shoe material and help them conform to your foot shape.

Get Comfort Where You Can

If you’re worried about your stilettos being comfortable, take help where you can get it. Purchase gel inserts from the drugstore that provide cushioning and support to maximize your comfort. Place the inserts in the toe box of your shoes to cushion the balls of your feet where most of your weight will be shifted. You can also add gel strips to areas inside the shoe that might rub uncomfortably against your skin. When wearing stilettos, try to sit down every 20 to 30 minutes or save them for occasions where you’ll be sitting for most of the time.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images