Practice Common Sense When Wearing Heels

Alright then, I received a request to write a post about how I handle wearing heels on a daily basis.
The average height heel for most of my shoes are 4 to 4.5 inches. Several years ago I started adding more 5 inch heels to my shoes collection. Most of the heels I wear to work are 4 inches.   If I feel like I’m going to be doing alot of desk/computer work (sitting down most of the day) I wear a 4 inch heel. If I’m planning an event and it requires being on my feet and running errands, then I make sure I wear kitten heels (2 to 2.5 inches) to work. If am doing a special event where am on my feet most of the day, I wear my nice Calvin Klein pumps with a 1.5 inch wedge heel!

Where I live, I drive to and from work so there is very light wear and tear on my shoes. However, I do take precautions and make sure that my heels don’t get scraped up by the parking lot or sidewalk pavement. We all know how horrible that can be on one’s stilettos. I throw on a pair of casual flats and put my good heels in my handbag. That’s how you keep your collection looking next to new with minimal wear or abuse. I also carry a dust bag with me if I’m wearing suede or satin pumps (especially if it starts raining unexpectedly).

Practice Makes Perfect.   Walking in 4 to 5 inch stilettos takes practice. You just have to keep walking in them and it will get easier, trust me!

Buy The Correct Size and Width. This is so important and may save you from years of pain or frequent visits to the foot doctor. I recommend that you always buy the correct shoe size. I suggest never going a 1/2 down or up if your size is not available. Some people will squeeze their feet into a too small shoe or try to insole-up a shoe that is too big. Bad idea! Your feet will be bothering you all day. I think the only time you can get away with going up a 1/2 size and the shoe being somewhat loose is in a flat heeled boot, since your feet will be completed covered in the boot and more likely then not, you will be wearing thick socks or padding the inside of the boot with comfortable insoles. Also, if you are buying pointy toe shoes, in order to not have your toes smashed up in the front of the shoe, you will need to go up a 1/2 size. Other then the following scenarios – I recommend always purchase the correct size and width.

Some women develop bunions when they buy shoes that are too small, too narrow or too narrow in the front of shoe. Sometimes we as women don’t do the extra work to find the correct width for their feet. Even though you wear a 7 your feet might be wide, semi-wide, narrow or very narrow. If you do not fit a standard or medium width, try buying from shoe manufacturers like Nine West that offer different widths. Also, if you are a woman who is experiencing joint stress or knee problems for whatever reason, wearing high heels on top of that may add to the problems. Consult your doctor on what heel height they recommend.    Note: When I stated purchase the correct size. Try the shoe on, walk around in the store with both shoes on, if your feet are comfortable, no squeezing of any kind, no sharp pain, toe or heel rubbing, no toes smashed up, shoe is not loose. That’s the correct size for that brand and style of shoe.

Strappy and Open-Toe Heels.   I also do not recommend anyone buying super strappy heels with little to no platform support in the front and attempting to walk around in them all day. If the shoes are so strappy they can barely hold your foot in properly or your feet keep sliding down, holding on to the edge of the shoe for dear-life; those are what I call “sitting down and looking cute shoes”. Many open toe sandals (wide opening in the front and maybe strapless in the back), and strappy sandals do not provide enough support (all around the foot), to walk in them all day — they just don’t, so I wouldn’t do it if I were you.  Peep-toe are a better alternative to wide open-toe shoes.

I also would not recommend dancing in this type of heel either. Many shoes in this style are very elegant and women do wear them for special occasions, but they really are impractical for a lot of movement and walking. In my opinion, they’re for going from the car to your destination and sitting down the rest of time you are there. They are strictly for show. I only own one pair of shoes like that and I know what they are for!

Platform Shoes. Platforms are the best heels to walk around in, especially if there is a nice 1/2 to 1 inch rise in the front – if the heel height is 4 inches and up. I’m so glad these shoes have made a comeback and looks like they are going to be around for a while. Now these are the type of heels you want to purchase to walk around in, especially if they have a thick supportive heel. The best ones to shop and dance in are platform wedges with a peep or close toe!  You get support all the way around.   Love ’em!   A word of warning though on certain platforms. Avoid the super-trendy over-the-top, Lady Ga-Ga meets Vivienne Westwood monster, 70s pimp-kind of platforms – those types of exaggerated shoes are best left for magazine shoots and the catwalk.
Tips / Suggestions:

  • If you have lots of walking to do, DON’T wear stilettos, especially the ones with no platform support in the front.
  • If you have lots of walking to do, DO wear a pair of arch support flats or sneakers and carry your stilettos in your bag, change into your heels once you reach your destination.
  • If you are going to be standing for a long period of time, DO wear sensible heels (2 inches or lower) with a padded foot bed or insole.
  • DO use good quality insoles in your shoes whenever possible.
  • Platforms with thick heels are great for walking (especially if they have a 1 inch platform in the front) and provide a lot more support then stiletto.
  • DO wear platform wedges, these are the perfect shoes for shopping, dancing and looking extra cute with no pain added!
  • Monster platforms with a 2 inch or more platform in the front are dangerous and should be left on the catwalk with Lady Ga-Ga unless you want to twist your ankle or bust your behind!

In conclusion, ladies just be smart. I don’t wear stilettos for any type of mall shopping or super casual outdoor events, etc. I will wear heels with a good supportive platform or closed-toe shoe that covers most of my foots (not strappy or wide open toe)  and has a thick heel. Wear good insole in your shoes, buy the right size, wear the correct heel height for the things you have to accomplish that day. Buying shoes with a platform in the front and a nice sturdy heel makes strutting your stuff a lot easier. Protect your investment by carrying a extra pair of flats and a dust bag to cut down on scratches, scrapes, stains, scurf marks, etc. whether you are purchasing $500 and up shoes or not. Who wants to walk around in beat up shoes!

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14 Responses to Practice Common Sense When Wearing Heels

  1. Shoe Smitten says:

    I identify with you completely! All of my shoes, except for a few pairs of flats and boots, have 4 or 5 inch heels. I need to be better about wearing flats when walking on damaging surfaces to save my heels.

    Platforms are definitely lifesavers!

  2. Anusha says:

    Waaaah, I wish I could wear heels!

    I’ve tried all my life to ease into heels, but it just never worked beyond a 1 1/2″ to 2″, and that 2″ is pushing it. My mom’s the same way. We both could never figure out why we just can’t walk in heels higher than that. It might be a balance thing, I think.

  3. sharon rose says:

    Hi there-an excellent post my dear!! I do have high heels, but just don’t wear them-I need to take a leaf out of your book I think! Some real great tips here-thanks for sharing!

  4. kor1000 says:

    thanks for that, thats very good info to have, because I dont do all of that and I suffer for it, but i never put two and two together…

  5. Kim Brown says:

    Praise God For Heels!!!

  6. Sal says:

    A great primer on stiletto wearage … but I’ll admit to being too chicken to try ’em myself. I have all the physical grace of a spooked wildebeest and just KNOW I’d break my neck.

  7. tanyetta says:

    Great information and I just googled dust bag. You know I’m not up on things all the time! I love learning new things :)

  8. La Couturier says:

    great post! :)

  9. rm says:

    i love you for this. i only started recently wearing heels (this year!!) and the way i got used to walking was by wearing them around the house when i was doing nothing. that way i got used to moving around in them, going up and down stairs, etc, and nobody had to see me looking like a prat, falling all over the place. except my cat.

  10. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    @ rm – Great idea, I took the hard road and I remember one day I busted my butt in the drugstore parking lot trying to walk in 4 inch wedge heel platforms.

    My ankle got twisted from those frankenstein shoes. Another thing I forgot to post is stay away from the wedge heel platforms with a huge platform rise in the front because they are killers! I seen many a model on youtube fall flat on their boney butts behind those things!

  11. Fab50Plus says:

    Great tips!

    I can’t wear high heels anymore, but I’ve pointed to your post from my blog – for all the 50+ ladies that can still rock those heels!

  12. Lurker in the City says:

    Great post. I also have a pair of perching shoes (for show) and to walk in them is a b****. However, while sitting luxuriously I am like a queen holding court!!!

    FYI…the shoes weren’t intended for that, but I’m getting my money’s worth out them.

  13. sharon says:

    OMG! Thank you so much for writing about this topic I requested. You’re the best! I admire the pics u put up seemingly to wear heels with no trouble and I perplexed as to how some women can strut there stuff in heels over 3 inches as effortlessly. Now I know it’s platform fronts, insoles and practice practice!

    Oh yeahs, fyi, flats can become an enemy if wore everyday year round. I wore flats everyday in the summer and part of this fall and when I transferred to wearing my 3 inch heel boots or pumps, my feet were screaming! So I had to retrain my feet to walk in heels again! I heard about this prob with my co-workers to!

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