Valley’s Guide to Wearing Heels

Zucker_heelsguideHeels. We all wish we could rock them like the Victoria Secret Angels. As little girls, we would steal mommy’s favorite pair to parade in and pretend we were grown-up. And I know your dream purchase is a pair of red-soled Louboutins — don’t lie to me.

But does anyone take into consideration the heel-inept? Those who stumble and fall in simple flip-flops? (That would be me.) Those who look but are scared to touch? Not until now. For the ladies out there who dare to dream and are ready to make the commitment to heels – let me break it down for you.

There are four basic heels every girl should be familiar with: pumps, stilettos, booties, and wedges. Engrave them into your mind. Each has a different type of heel and shape, perfectly catered to your shoe preference. We could go into all different types of heel heights, straps, toe point, material, colors and fits – but we’ll save that for the big leagues. For now, let’s stick with the basics.

“Pumps usually have a platform on the balls of your feet, to give you a bit more stability and height,” says Barefoot employee Mia Greenleaf. “Stilettos typically have an extremely skinny heel and a flat base. The booties and wedges have a thicker heel that are easier to walk in.”

For heel-wearing beginners, the safe bet is to ease your way into stilettos. The skinny (and often sky high) heel can prove difficult for the balance-impaired. We don’t need any broken ankles or any Carrie Bradshaw wannabes.

Start your transition with a pair of wedges or booties – the thick heel Greenleaf mentions offers stability to help get your feet off the ground. (Pun very much intended.)

“Comfort wise, booties are the way to go. They’re easier to wear because the shape and height of the shoes doesn’t push your limits,” says Greenleaf.

Once broken down, heels don’t seem all that scary. But now that you know what to buy…how exactly do you actually walk in them? Greenleaf let’s us in on a not-so-secret tip.

“I always use the trick ‘Toe-heel, toe-heel.’ It’s important not to walk heel to toe. Also, keep your posture. It takes a lot of practice, but once you get it, you will never forget it.”

Bless the shoe gods! There is hope for those of us who have yet to put on our big girl pants. If you feel ready to take the plunge, follow these basic tips to make sure your heel game is on point, and avoid any Jennifer Lawrence-style face plants.

Photo by Ashley Zucker