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Thursday, 28 February 2008


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Oh this is such a fabulous post - I've only stuck with heels for the past three years and everything you've written applies for my experience - especially these:

(a) The thicker the heels, the better to walk in.
(b) longer strides, better posture.

Thanks for thinking of this topic!


One VERY important tip when walking in heels.... try to swing your hips from side to side, placing your feet in a straight line in front of the other (like they do on the catwalk) Don't exagerate obviously, but it does make your walk more natural....
My teacher always gave that tip to the new and young models who never tried on heels before and had to walk on the catwalk in enormous stiletto's (thank god I do menswear because heels and some girls are just not made for eachother)


Also, practice! I wear new scary-high heels when I go to a huge edge-of-town supermarket. It's flat, you're only going to walk slowly, and you have a trolley to hang on to!

I also find that some shoes, particularly the cheap sort I buy, have really smooth soles which makes walking on smooth surfaces tricky. I take them to a shoe menders and ask them to stick on a rubbery sole. It's a touch less glamourous but better than falling on your a*se in a shopping centre!


Fantastic post - love it!

poppy lee

Great post. I am SO in agreement with all the tips.

The bigger and clumpier the better.

And I like the fact you mentioned the deceptiveness of the wedge. I aquired my first pair in ages last week. I fell over in them a few days later!


Love this post! I am a fan of the wedge (of sensible height) because it gives me a little lift and enables me to walk everywhere. I agree, they can be deceptively stable, but are still much better than any of the alternatives, IMO. Thanks, K


I'm just wondering Queen Michelle: how tall are you? I envy your shoes in the photos on a regular basis and was wondering. I'm over six-foot-two and to be honest, I'm sick of flats, flat booties and trainers. On the other hand, when I even have a low heel on, I literally TOWER over everything and everyone and seem to cause a sensation wherever I go (which is nerve-wracking for me, not flattering). What's your take, or anyone else's here, on tall girls and heels?

Queen Michelle

Well I'm about 5ft 7" or 8" and frequently wear 4 - 5" heels, so I can tower above people too. Obviously not quite as much as you! I personally LOVE seeing tall girls in mega high heels. You guys just OWN the floor when you do. It's just amazing. I say go for it. If I were taller, I'd still wear high heels.


My mother, a passionate lover of high heels, even her slippers have a heel, says I'm a natural, maybe it's her genes, I can trot in high heels like I'm wearing flats, the problem is and not many people mention this problem I have a bit of a flat foot and it's useless, there is only a certain limited amount of time I can wear them without having excruciating pain. The back up tip is the most precious of them all.


Another thing to note is one foot arch's height. An higher arch means an easier time walking in high heels (ask any ballet dancer). I have very high arched feet, so walking in high heels is way more comfortable than walking in flats (the pain!). As a corollary, a girl with flat feet will probably not be able to walk comfortably in very high heels (kitten heels might be an option). Very small feet might also make walking is very high heel impossible (as the slope of the foot is exaggerated because of its short length).

To the six foot tall girl: I'm 5'9 and my two closest friends are 5'11 and 6'. We all wear heels (though I'm the only one who is always on at least 3 inches of heel; they on the other hand tend to opt for kitten heels). Sure, we get noticed and tower over nearly everyone, but you can't really avoid that if you're tall, no matter the heel height. Be proud! Oh, and even kitten heels do a lot for your calves and lower back, visually speaking. Personally, I would never opt for flat shoes if there's a low heel version available (unless we're talking sneakers).

I think heels like those would look lovely on a very tall girl like you (if you like wedges):,-product.startDate&navCount=14&navAction=poppushpush&color=

Jenna (aka the tall girl)

so much input, thanks for that. I wish my girlfriends would wear heels like you gals, then I wouldn't be two heads taller than them when we go out. But here in downtown Berlin, everyone still seems to be running around in pixie boots... Yeah, it's the staring that drives me nuts sometimes. Sometimes more than the fact that I have a ridiculous time getting fashionable shoes in my size (EU 43, which is a UK 9 / US 12)! Anywho, I will continue to admire all the heels here, I adore this blog!


I love this post! Very informative and funny : )

My top tip (me being the girl that went over on a high heeled pair of shoes 4 times in one evening and ended up spraining an ankle!) is to get plastered. that way you wont be able to feel a thing and if they do hurt, you wont particularly mind walking around bare foot whilst someone nicks your prize shoes from where you left them (this actually happened to me too!).

Maybe I should stick to flats.


I completely agree with Natty! I wear heels alot, but for some reason I always feel I walk better in them when I'm drunk, I guess it's just because I'm more comfortable and not as self conscious! I do have a reputation for falling down alot, so maybe drinking isn't the best of ideas! And I do generally end up walking home bare footed unless I've brought along emergency pumps!



I'm 6' and I wear platforms,and my motto is: the higher the better. when in the UK, I tend to tower over everyone, but I moved back to The Netherlands, so everyone is as tall as me. Nevertheless, I can imagine feeling a bit of a freak when wearing super high heels with that height. (Because sometimes I really do when being in the UK) Just opt for a medium heel without platform, and find yourself a tall guy, that always helps. My guy is 1.95cm and I can wear anything and still be shorter than him :)


I love heels, but they are not really practical for everyday wear, at least not now. They are definitely not made for walking from one class to another and all the looong (that's subjective..) way home.


I wear heels most of the time these days. I love the height they give me! I'm about 5'7-8 too, and my favourite heels are 4 and a half inches tall. I really don't mind towering over people! I actually rather like it :)
I love to see tall girls in heels. It makes them look so confident in their own skin. I have a friend who is 6' and I'm always trying to persuade her to wear her heels more. She looks amazing in them!


Video. You definitely need a video. How to trot and why not to totter - oh please!!!


My issues with heels is not how to walk in them elegantly but how to walk in them for a long time without sore/aching arches. Or maybe I just have flatter feet so heel-wearing can never last that long. I always wonder how the other women do it (quite effortlessly) who walk up and down in the city all day in heels. I wish I could be more like that and French Soles wouldn't have been my best friends.


My best advice on walking in heels is to be able to spontaneously balance-shift from your heel to the balls of your feet as you walk. Also, one must always let the heel hit the ground first and kind of roll forward on the foot.

Eugenie Bling-Bling

Thank you for this excellent article!
I love heels and wedges and am currently trying to improve the way I trot, taking inspiration from catwalks. Speaking of catwalks, the last Burberry show (FW08) was quite dreadful to watch: even experienced models seemed hesitant on their heels.


This article is basically GOLD. Down with cobbles! Up with Queens!


White Witch of the Runway

Great blog - Being a Louboutin groupie I could relate. I think the other thing to say is - find the designer who works well with your own Arch. I can't wear Jimmy's for this reason, Manolo much better but Louboutin is the best. I can wear those 5 inchers for hours as they follow the curve of my particular foot very well!

Queen Marie

Angelsrushin! where have you been hiding?


lady lisa

Jenna, please wear your heels with pride, no matter how tall you are!!!

I'm a huge fan of flats but being 5'2 and bit (don't forget the 'bit'!) I am a little on the short side (good for hiding but not very good when showing off a new frock!).

Two years ago I thought I should get into heels and gain some height (I may be small but I'm big in stature!). I started off on wedges which are brilliant but recently I've gone for 4-5 inch vintage heels and they are fab! I started off looking a bit like Jack Lemmon in 'Some Like it Hot' but I've managed to progress when I was given some good tips: "hips out, ass in and stride - big steps" I seem to be doing ok, no broken ankles (so far!), thanks for the post Michelle, top high heel tips a-go-go! xxx


Perfect warning about the SSP. Nice post all around.

Jael Paris

Know your foot limits too. Sadly, my feet are too short for a 4 inch heel, but I'm perfectly comfortable and able to move in 3 inchers. I've seen girls jump from flats to 4 inchers only to immediately declare they can never wear heels.


Oh that is great. I'm going shoe-shopping in Paris in a few weeks (actually it's a romantic trip with my boyfriend, but he doesn't need to know the real agenda, does he? Ignorance is bliss) and I am very prone to buying shoes that I just. cannot. walk in. Will think about this post when trying on fabulous stilettos.

Am loving the blog in general, by the way. I'll be applying to design school in a few weeks (right after Paris, in fact) - quite a spontaneous decision, considering I haven't drawn anything in 2 years. So this is a great read for me. :) Thank you!

Trine xx


I've been wearing them since the second grade (no joke, my first pair were brown, snake-skin womens heels because I had such big feet even then, lol.)

I've talked to people who say they can't wear them and I never really understood it. Posters here posited the theory of bigger feet = better ability, and now it all makes sense!

My tips? I don't really have any to add except the build of the shoe can make a big difference. Placement of the stiletto under the foot's heel, strength of the arch, width of the toe etc. make a huge difference in how wearable a shoe is. I've worn many 3+ inch heals no problem, but wobbled on less because the shoe build was crap.


Hi, love this site! Hope someone can help with this problem! My feet are killing me! I was wearing 2 and half inch heels, not too high I know, and the balls of my feet got very sore very quickly, despite me having those gel pad things that are supposed to help. They are now extremely sore and swollen, what can I do to wear heels without this happening? I only had them on for a few hours, I am UK size 5. Thank you!!

Queen Michelle

Polly, you could have flat feet. I know, that doesn't sound like a nice thing to say but it can cause many problems for people when it comes to wearing heels. I have quite a pronounced arch which is why I can wear heels easily, but those with fallen arches, or flat feet, can suffer pain even on the smallest of heels. I'd perhaps check that out because you don't want to do yourself a damage. If you don't have any arch problems, then your best bet is to keep practicing to train your feet into getting used to them. I'm afraid there is no easy answer xx


Hi Queen Michelle, thanks for your response. I used to wear heels up to a few years ago when they started hurting and since then I have been living in trainers. I decided I had too many gorgeous shoes in my cupboard to not wear them so I am practicing wearing them again. How would I know if my arches have fallen? I don't think I have flat feet, but maybe I haven't been doing myself any favours by constantly wearing trainers. Once my feet heal and the swelling goes down I will try to get used to wearing my heels again, maybe an hour or so at a time at first. Lucky you, wearing killer heels and no pain! :)


WOW, great article!

Here is my problem, okay, I get feet sweat....bad and I can't help it! I am about 5'6 and when you have been walking in heels for a long period of time, your feet start to get slippery. Your foot then slides down the heel making them too big! I don't know how to solve this problem. Also, I have narrow feet so sometimes a heel will fit awkwardly. . .

Any advice?


Queen Michelle

JJ, you need these gel cushion things inside your shoe. That's the only way I can usually stop my foot slipping when I'm not wearing tights/socks. Or you can buy amazing little lace half socks which actually add a lovely decorative touch and don't look like socks at all. Try Sox Populi and Tabio.

Margaret Ellen

Contrary to normal beliefs people with high arches are more common than the foot study would call out. And in fact, high arches are much better than the medium arches AND low arches-ballet dancers and MANY others LOVE high arches. Out of nearly 324 million in the US, high arches happen being owned through 80-150 million United States residents/citizens. And high arches are better for high heels and for the high heeled strappy sandal. My residence is Madison Wisconsin-I'VE got high arches myself and these arches ARE extremely gorgeous EVEN though they MAY sometimes cause trouble.

budget chic

This is very good advice, I totally agree


Great article! However, I wear wedge heeled boots a LOT and like them for many reasons:

1) I walk a LOT, and they heels don't wear out too fast on the wedges.

2) I find better stability on uneven surfaces in wedges.

3) If I have to walk very fast or run, I have better success in wedges.

Mine were custom made because I hated the LONG pointed toe style boots which were all I could find. The place where I had them made later decided to make them part of their normal line up:

Good luck everyone!

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