How to Walk Gracefully in Heels: 8 Tricks That Work

We believe Marilyn Monroe was talking about heels when she was said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” But if you can’t walk in said heels? Well, that essentially negates any potential conquests, whether you’re in the boardroom or at the bar. The thing is, as we approach the festive season, it becomes much more likely that you’re going to be wearing a pair of heels. And combined with a few dinner/party/after-work/Christmas [delete as appropriate] drinks, it could get a little precarious when walking in your favourite pair of mules. So to avoid any embarrassing mishaps, we’ve put together the seven secrets to walking in heels the right way. Scroll down to check out the tried-and-tested tips for walking gracefully in heels, and while you’re at it, why not treat yourself to a new pair of shoes from our shopping section? After all, you’ll need something to test out your new skills.

Trick #1: Walk heel to toe, not toe to heel

The easiest way to look like ungainly in heels is to put your whole foot down at once, as if you’re wearing flats. It may seem obvious to many, but when wearing a high shoe, put your heel down first, followed by your toe. This will make your walk look more natural. 

Trick #2: Take small steps

Wearing heels makes your stride shorter than normal, so you’ll have to take an increased number of small steps to go the same distance. Add in a slight wiggle, and this can work in any girl’s favour.

Trick #3: Don't rush

Trying to walk quickly in heels can not only look awkward but can end in a disastrous trip or two. Between the smaller steps and the compromised balance, it’s best to take your time in heels. Besides, walking slowly gives off an air of confidence.

Trick #4: Lean slightly back

You may find you want to walk faster than your heels will allow and end up craning your neck to compensate. So allow yourself to lean just the slightest bit back when walking in heels, as this will counteract your inclination to push your torso forward. 

Trick #5: Visualise yourself walking in a straight line

When you want to draw a straight line, you’ll get better results if you look at your end point as you draw, rather than looking at your pencil as it moves. Similarly, when walking in heels, you’ll walk more gracefully if you look at your goal point (the café at the end of the street, for example) and visualise a straight line going toward your end point, rather than staring down at your toes as you walk. 

Trick #6: Arch your foot slightly

As you take each step, or if you feel yourself slipping, arch your foot slightly to put pressure on the inside of your shoe. This will make your shoe fit closer to your foot, making it easier to manoeuvre. 

Trick #7: Make sure your shoes fit

If your shoes are ill-fitting, it makes the difficult task of walking naturally in heels almost impossible. If your heels are too big, use shoe pads for a better fit. If they are too small, consider having them stretched by a local cobbler, or try this hack to stretch them yourself.

Trick #8: Opt for a heel height you feel comfortable with

Truth is, if your shoes feel too high to walk in then they probably are too high for you. But that doesn’t mean all is lost—so many midi and low heels exist these days you can still feel the shoe love.

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This story was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.