By Lisa Finn
There’s an art to just about anything worth wearing, and heels are no exception. When worn right, heels elevate your dress from casual to classy — not to mention what they do for your height. Just like there’s a method to pairing clothing fabrics, textures and hues, there’s also a science to walking in heels. Don’t let your daughter walk on eggshells when it comes to sporting her heels. Take an hour and teach her how to walk in heels — everything from stacked shoes to stilettos. Then watch as she stays poised in pointy pumps and manages her mules.
Lean in With Love
Put on a pair of same-sized heels as your daughter. Walk toward her and slightly lean back into your heels. Have her notice your posture and how straight your back appears. The reason for this is that leaning back shifts the weight from the balls of her feet to a more even platform. Have her stand behind you and follow your lead across the room as you swing your arms a little to help with balance and give off some grace. You can also take a video of her so that she sees just how far she should lean.
Tuck That Tummy
Take a deep breath and show your daughter how it looks to stand up straight. Then ask her to keep her stomach muscles tight and focus on her core. She should feel grounded — like her feet are planted solid on the floor. Now instruct her to walk across the room while keeping her tummy contracted just a bit. Tucking her tummy like this helps fight off fatigue that occurs when heels are worn too long. It also eliminates unnecessary back strain because her core muscles are centered instead of slouched.
Bend for Straight Success
Have your daughter focus on your knees. Walk in front of her with a slight bend to this area and then do it again with straight legs. She’ll instantly notice how a little bend boosts balance and confidence. However, it she can’t stand up straight without bending her knees, her heels are too high. The key is to take a step with a relaxed hip and bent knee; then quickly straighten and extend the leg for a fluid walk. It’s also important to lead with your heels and land on your toes.
Practice Makes Perfect
Teach your daughter to stay safe on slippery surfaces, trudge on a thick rug and saunter over a sewer grate. An Italian shoe designer to the stars, suggests walking up and down stairs at least 10 times before heading out in a new pair of pumps. Show your daughter how to land the whole shoe on each stair — even if that means turning your foot diagonally. You should also tell her that staying steady on sandy or grassy surfaces includes walking on the balls of her feet. This way her heels won’t sink in the sand or dirt.
References & Resources
ABC News: Class Teaches Women How to Walk in Heels
Glamour: 8 High Heel Tips From Fashion Week Pros
High Heel Shoe Museum: 20 Great Tips for Wearing and Walking in High Heels
Glamour: 5 Shoe Designers Dish on How to Walk in High Heels
Oprah: How to Walk in High Heels