How to Walk in High Heels… and when not to.

How to Walk in High Heels… and when not to.
Carly Jacobs

Don’t be too ambitious.

Start will little 2 inch heels or some shallow wedges. Save the McQueen Armadillos for when you’ve practiced a little more.


I can often be seen tottering around my house in my lazy pants, hoody and glittering heels. Wearing your heels around the house not only breaks them in, but it also gives you practice at walking on different surfaces. No one wants to show up to a carpeted party and immediately take a face plant because you’ve only ever walked on tiles.

Think about where you are going and what you are doing.

When I lived in a small city, I wore heels every day because I drove everywhere. Now I live in a huge city I mostly wear flats because I walk everywhere or take public transport which requires a lot of walking. If you’re making a quick dash to the train and spending the rest of the day sitting at your desk, then go forth with giant heels my friend. If you’re running all over town for meetings or your job requires you to move quickly, perhaps save the heels for dinner dates and weddings.

Walk heel to toe.

My most favourite season in Melbourne is race season. When all the die-hard spray-tan fans break out their giant heels that they never wear and attempt to walk in public in them. They do this bizarre toe balancing walk, mincing along like they have a broken pelvis and no control over their upper body limbs. Just calm down, slow down and walk heel to toe. Take small steps. Stand up straight. Place one foot in front of the other. Easy.

Don’t buy cheap, nasty shoes.

Please. Just don’t. They don’t breathe, are badly designed and they hurt. You are much better off investing in amazing, good quality shoes that will last and that you can wear for longer than five minutes. I respect a lady’s right to well priced footwear just please consider the quality before you hand over your cash.

Get assistance.

I’m totally addicted to those gel inserts that you stick inside high heels. I don’t have a particular favourite brand but I love the heel strips and the gel pads for the balls of your feet. My trick? Don’t put them in your shoes right away. Wear your heels and tuck your gel pads into your clutch. Half way through the evening when your balls start burning and your heel is developing a nasty blister, pop your gel pads in your shoes and it will buy you a few more hours. This is a particularly fantastic tip for weddings.

Talk to the professionals.

A few years ago my mother told me about these places that you can go to get shoes fixed. They’re called ‘shoe repair stores‘. It’s mental. They can reattach straps, fix holes in the soles of your shoes, stretch them, dye them. Take advantage. They take your well-worn pair of boots from unbearable to good as new.

What about you? Any wisdom to share on how you rock your heels?





  1. Kathryn 6 years ago

    Tip I got from a drag queen – rub bonjela or whatever that baby teething jell is called on your feet 🙂

    • GoddessMel 5 years ago

      Hmm, that’s interesting. It’s essentially a mild anaesthetic so I can see how it would work. Of course your feet will smell like licorice, but I’m ok with that 😉

  2. Harlow 6 years ago

    I’m going to Europe in a few months, to Russia, where it is the law that women wear high heels. Okay, so there is no law, but all of the women there have the ability to wear skyscraper heels for hours on end regardless of catching public transport. I would dearly love to be able to last even a few hours in heels so that I’m not that really tacky tourist in sneakers (gross).

    I’ve had so many bad experiences wearing cheap crappy heels that I don’t know where to look. Would you be able to recommend a brand that makes heels that are sexy and comfortable?

    • Ashlee 6 years ago

      How about areosoles?  I bought a pair on clearance and they are super comfy!!  The inside is all padded.  It is the only pair of heels that I have bought that I can wear all day. 

    • Kate 6 years ago

      If your aesthetic is a little (or a lot) tough-edgy, try anything from the Doc Marten Diva line. They seem to be phasing them out, but the ankle boots are still available, and a few shoes.

      I have three pairs of these, and I’ve worn them for all-day shopping and museum stomps around Toronto, no problem, including a climb up the stairs at Casa Loma. Sturdy, indestructible, supportive, and (IMHO) good-looking. They’re actually more comfortable than many of my flats and lower heels.

    • pope_suburban 6 years ago

      Fluevogs are a good bet for you.  They’re indestructible and stylish.

  3. Rachael 6 years ago

    Like Kathryn, my favorite high-heel tip came from a drag queen – wear your new heels to vacuum your house a few times before wearing them in public. It gets your house clean, and shifting your center of balance all over like you do when vacuuming is a great way to break the shoes in and get used to them!

  4. DestrehansDaughter/Sarah 6 years ago

    It’s refreshing to see someone offer sensible advice about heels.  I wear certain pairs to work when I know I won’t be traipsing all over the building but on weekends it’s usually flats.  It doesn’t help that I live in New Orleans where you have to walk to get to everything even from the car to the restaurant or the bar.  Really like your site!

  5. Sarah Wayte 6 years ago

    I do NOT rock heels. I can barely cope with wedges and in a pair of platforms or stilettos I walk like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost. I have become used to the hunt for pretty flats for any social occasion and have managed to do this quite well now for the last few years. As much as I love cooing over a gorgeous pair of heels, I don’t see the point in subjecting myself to them or shelling out for them anymore because I know I don’t have the determination or finesse to ever wear them. My relationship with high heels is well and truly over!

    • Zannia 6 years ago

      Oh my gosh I was just about to say, does EVERYONE suffer at first before you get used to them? I’ve been trying to train myself to wear heels since I was 17 and still, I’ve probably only managed to stay in them for a whole night about 5 times… 
      They certainly look gorgeous, but yeah, have to weigh up how much its worth in terms of pain, awkwardness, and not to mention damage to your bones 🙂 

  6. Elise @ Stuff That I Bought 6 years ago

    Great post C! I have been wearing my wedding shoes around the house for months with my pyjamas, trying to slowly and carefully break them in before the big day. I also have gel inserts, gel heels, three different types of bandaids and a pair of havaianas packed in the bag for later in the evening haha. Good advice on not putting the gels in straight away. 

  7. Carla 6 years ago

    Heels are one of those things. When I wore them all the time (to work) they stopped hurting, but I found I tripped more too (cobblestones in Brisbane CBD). Now I stick to a nice safe medium height wedge-heel for work and only crack out the stilettos for special occasions.  

    Harlow – I don’t know about anyone else, but the most comfortable heels I own are from Nine West. They fit right, are sturdy and never hurt, unlike other similar brand shoes I’ve had.

  8. Shawna G 6 years ago

    they can stretch them, too? this may be a lifesaver as i forked out for a gorgeous pair of steve madden’s to wear to a wedding. felt great in store, wearing them down the aisle as a bridemaid i’m glad i wasn’t limping! ouch!

  9. Cynthia 6 years ago

    I can’t really wear heels anymore due to a nasty little thing called Morton’s Neuroma, but for me, the thing that made it really possible to walk in heels like it was no big, was taking ballroom dance lessons.  If you can hold up your core and not drop your weight onto your partner while spinning across a dance floor in them for two hours, walking in heels really is no big.  Of course pro dancers tend to stick to 2.5″ to 3″ heels, you don’t really need more than that.

  10. lisa 6 years ago

    Great tips, especially “don’t buy cheap, nasty shoes.” I only have a couple pairs of four-inch heels in my collection, and they’re by Pour La Victoire, Prada, and Maison Martin Margiela. All very comfortable even worn over a long period of time.

    If you have a problem with your feet sweating and rubbing in your shoes and causing blisters, apply some antiperspirant or Dr. Scholl’s Anti-Blister Stick to your toes, heels, and the balls of your feet before putting your shoes on. It makes a huge difference.

  11. Charlmarjo 6 years ago

    Aerosoles are the best!  My feet do not like heels so when I discovered them, I fell in love!

  12. lorena 6 years ago

    I have been working on getting rid of my cheap shoes….. and i have found a great place where to repair the ones worth keeping !

  13. Nessbow 6 years ago

    The best advice I can add is: buy a pair that fit you properly.  I hate seeing girls shuffling along, their heels slipping out of their too-big shoes with every step.  They look like little girls who have raided their mother’s closet. You can’t walk properly in heels if you have to expend buckets of energy just to keep them on your feet.

    • Gillian Milburn 6 years ago

       and to make sure the “curve” of the shoe fits the sole of your foot – if there’s a massive gap between your sole and the shape of the shoe then your tootsies will be tired quickly.

  14. Sugar4ulips 6 years ago

    This sounds really silly…but I swear it works!  When I wear heels I purposely sake my rump.  You know, kind of swagger.  You still stand tall and put one foot in front of the other, just shake it a little.  Something about the motion keeps my equilibrium straight and keeps my upper body from looking choppy.  Makes you feel pretty sexy also:)  Try it, it just might work for you.

  15. Adri 6 years ago

    I love heels but i dont wear them often bcuz my legs curve outward a little and they’re exaggerated when I put on heels and makes me feel self-conscious as well as make it uncomfortable to walk in them. Any tips?


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