3 Things Every Woman Should Know About High Heels

When she’s not working with big names like Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Hudson, and Hilary Swank, celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger also divulges her fashion expertise in our Ask a Stylist column. From the best places to source vintage to the secret to finding your most flattering jeans, come back each week for a professional’s perspective.

Some people, including a few of my clients, are born with the ability to walk around for hours in tall heels. I am not one of those people, and I’m the first to admit it. That said, I think every woman can walk in high heels; she just needs to be armed with a little information in three key areas: construction, materials and brands. Keep reading for my best tips on what to look for when you’re shopping for heels to ensure you’re buying the most comfortable pair for you.

Pitch is the number one aspect to take into consideration when choosing a shoe. “Pitch” refers to the difference between the height of the heel when compared to the sole of the shoe. One way to alleviate pitch is to choose a heel with a platform. Not only does this lessen the shoe’s pitch, it softens the angle at which your foot hits the ground.

A shoe’s vamp is another area to pay attention to when finding a pair of comfortable heels. The “vamp” is the upper section of the shoe that covers the top of the foot. The higher the vamp, the more support there is for your feet.

Also take into consideration how your foot is built. If you have a wider foot, you may want to opt for sandals instead of closed-toe pumps. However, if your feet are narrow, you may find them slipping through open-toed sandals.

Shop my sandal pick for wide feet:

I also find that the material you choose for a shoe will impact the comfort level. Patent leather and Perspex, a new material in shoe design, are stiffer and more likely to cut up your feet. Try to stick with natural fabrics. Suede, satin, or other natural fibers are always going to be the most comfortable.

Choosing the best pair of heels ultimately comes down to understanding what works for you. There aren’t any rights or wrongs when it comes to brands, so you’ll have to do a little experimentation. Take the time to try on different styles and designers. That said, my clients look forward to wearing Manolo Blahnik and Paul Andrew all night long, since they are usually very comfortable.

Who are your favourite high heel-makers? Let us know in the comments box below…

Opening Image: Phil Oh