The complete guide to high heels

The legal bit

Warning. Although this information is provided in the best of faith, the risk of wearing high heels is yours and yours alone. Remember, high heels can cause injury to you or others, especially if you are not used to them so take care! The writer is not in any way medically qualified but does have considerable personal experience with high heels. If you develop physical problems, and you are warned this may be the case if heels are worn, then you are advised to seek qualified medical advice. Immediately. Remember, like smoking – it’s your body – your life – your choice. I am not here to encourage you to wear high heels or not – merely to provide information and relate my personal opinions. These are not guaranteed to be accurate – but as I have said, they are provided in the best of faith for your personal use and choice. OK – enough said.


Hiya – I am glad you could join me for what I hope is one of the most complete guides to wearing high heels on the net.

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world”. So said Marilyn Monroe. Well…maybe not completely true! Nevertheless, clothing and general and woman’s footwear, in particular, can project powerful imagery particularly if you possess the skill and finesse to use them to their full potential. This section is dedicated to all those women out there who love the feel, the sound, the style, and the grace of high heels. No matter how often she is told they will be bad for her feet, there is little that can suppress the teenager’s yearning for her first pair of real heels. Only she can know how intense is the pleasure of her newfound feeling of womanhood that accompanies her first clicking, tottering forays into the outside world. Only she can know how intense is the pain of blistered feet and aching muscles which will undoubtedly ensnare the unwary. It is, however, possible to enjoy the pleasure without the pain if you are prepared to temper eagerness with common sense and application. If you are a teenager starting to wear heels for the first time, someone who has tried unsuccessfully to wear them, or whether you would just like to find out a little bit more about them, then this section is for you.

While I have written this primarily for women, due to the cosmopolitan nature of the net, I am sure there will be many interested guys or TV’s who are reading this too. To you I say, “Good luck !” as well. If it feels right then Do It. May everybody get the pleasure they want from shoes – today and always.

Pros and Cons of high heels

High heeled shoes have their advantages and disadvantages along with most other things in life. Here are some of them:

High Heels – the pros

  1. They can make your legs look really great.
  2. The enhance your femininity.
  3. They can enhance the sophistication of your total look.
  4. They can increase your height.
  5. They can increase your general confidence and make you feel good.
  6. They can make you feel horny – (and more!).
  7. They enhance your image of a grown up woman – teenagers only this one.
  8. They can make you more attractive to men (and women !).

High Heels – The Cons

  1. They require learning, practice and effort so that you can wear them correctly.
  2. They can strain your leg or back muscles, especially if you don’t learn to wear them properly or are not used to wearing them.
  3. They can cause shortening of the calf and/or changes in the foot shape if you wear them incessantly.
  4. They throw too much weight forward which can cause foot problems especially with growing feet
  5. Its difficult to run in them -stick to trainers.!
  6. They can have a negative effect on your image if used in the wrong circumstances or with the wrong clothes.

Whether you are wearing heels for the first time, or would just like to like to find out more, read on. In certain circumstances, high heels can have associations with such esoteric subjects as fetishism, BDSM, and other sexual connotation, but although I might allude to them, it is not really the intention to dwell on any of those aspects here. Rather the aim is to help the woman who would like to wear them in everyday life as a natural manifestation of her femininity. That is not to say, however, that a few hints are not given later on for the person who would like to use her shoes to her advantage and make them work for her when the occasion demands.

What are High Heels?

When the term high heels are used in this text, it will refer to heels of at least 3.5in (88mm) or more. Furthermore, the height is measured up the back of the heel. There are those few who like to measure up the middle of the heel – in that case – you can subtract 1/2in (12mm) from all the figures given here to equate with your perceptions. This height varies with shoe size but the figures are given generally refer to a European size 39. That is size 6 in GB or size 8 in USA (f). I will use the European sizes generally, not only because I am committed to European integration, but also because I think the difference between GB and USA sizes can be confusing.

Heels which are lower than 3.5 in, while having a few of the advantages described above, do not require nearly so much practice or technique in order to wear them properly. It is certainly worth the extra effort involved in order to master the high heels if you want to achieve the ultimate in style and femininity. I have seen even 1 or 2in heels referred to as “high” – but none of that here – we are talking tall heels – make no mistake! The instructions given for the most part refer to the wearing of a court (pump) type shoe with a high, thin, or stiletto heel. While there are many variations on this theme, this shoe is one of the most attractive and classic designs as well as being one of the most difficult to wear. It is a fact that having mastered this type, many of the other variations will be easier to wear.

If you wear heels or would like to wear them, you are probably familiar with most of the pros listed above. Make sure though, that you are aware of the cons as well. Also be aware, however, that you can solve or alleviate some of the disadvantages by the correct application of the techniques in this text. You should aim to reach a high level of proficiency such that you can wear your shoes with style and grace. Try to think of them as natural extensions of your feet. Providing you learn correctly, others will admire your skill and poise, and it is possible to derive some considerable pleasure yourself from wearing them.

Shoe Selection

You should always buy the best quality shoes that you can afford; make sure that the uppers are leather and stitching or attachments are firm and well made. Poorly made shoes are a false economy in the long run and this is particularly true of high heels. it would be a good idea to read the rest of this text, especially the latter part, before you buy your next pair, as this will give you some idea of what to look for.

Before trying them on, grasp around the toe part ( the “vamp”) with one hand and hold the heel tip ( or “top”) firmly in the other between finger and thumb. Now, try to move the heel back and forth and from side to side – really tug on it, as though you are trying to break the heel off. Is there any sign of play or movement in the sole (specifically the metal strengthening plate in the waist of the shoe) or maybe between the heel and sole? If there is, then there is no point in even trying them on.

Try them on and walk up and down. Do they fit snugly without pinching? Does the curve follow the contour of the underside of your foot, matching your arch? Do they support you well, allowing fluid and rapid movement? Is there any in-built tendency to twist or totter as you walk? Try a few swivel turns ( see later). Then rock your foot right back, pivoting on the heel, so that the foot is almost horizontal again. Press down on the heel, feeling the curve and stiffness of the sole and “bounce” gently deflecting the heel a few mm as you press to assess the strength of the heel attachment. With your foot still rocked back, rotate it around, again pivoting on the heel to feel for any movement; repeat this exercise with the other foot.

If you feel any movement then forget those shoes – you might as well go right ahead and break the heel off for them so nobody else will make the mistake of wearing that trash! To walk well, the spike must be a firm extension of your heel. To this end, you might like to consider buying shoes that are a little smaller than usual – ½ a size to size, depending on the shoe and your feet. You are aiming for a really snug fit – they will stretch a little with wear if they are leather anyway. This is why courts are easier to wear than sandals – the extra leather and connection helps stabilize the heel in a vertical position. Sandals need to be very well made with a stiff sole to prevent undue flexing. The same applies to slingbacks or mules. With boots, it is not so critical due to the extra leather – the main thing to watch with boots is a firm attachment of the heel to the sole.

If all these tests are satisfactory, then buy the shoes. In order to wear high heels successfully, it is necessary that the foot and shoe work together in perfect harmony, offering support to one another.


Well, they say “Don’t run before you can walk”. I am going to say “Don’t walk before you can stand !” Wearing high heels for the first time can be a frustrating and painful experience because, like so many other activities, practice and correct technique are required in order to achieve success. You will find in the first instance that your body weight is thrown of balance and the secret lies in correcting this by educating your muscles to work in unfamiliar ways until the whole new posture process becomes automatic.

First, a word or two about putting your shoes on. With the court or pump type shoe, you rely on quite a tight heel cap to prevent the heel from slipping off as you walk. It is thus prudent to put on your shoe with care so as not to dent or damage the heel leather. The following sequence shows how you can ease your foot in. By bending the arch slightly and wiggling your toes right in, supporting the heel cap with your hand, you can get the heel of your foot in, and when you snuggle right in, the foot arch takes up the shape of the arched sole thus easing the heel into a firm and comfy fit position. This way you won’t push down the heel or as sometimes happens, ruche the inner lining down which can be uncomfortable on your heel. You may need to use a finger or a shoehorn as in the second picture. Always be sure to take care of your high heels like this. Treat them with gentle loving care, like your best friends, and they will take care of you.

How to stand in high heelsputting high heelsHigh heels arch

If you have an older, looser pair of pumps, and are wearing tights or stockings it can be quite grateful if you can learn to slip your shoes on and off without having to hold on to anything for balance. The first one is easy as you should leave the knee bent while the foot settles itself inside the shoe. Next, straighten your knee and raise the other foot on tiptoe before quickly lifting it and thrusting your toes inside the shoe. You may have to rock this shoe from side to side in order to ease your heel inside it as quickly as possible. The sooner that you can settle your weight on two feet, the less chance there is of losing balance. Removal is the exact reverse procedure except that you may have to flick the back off your shoe off your foot with your finger. Try to leave your shoes balanced and upright so that you can practice stepping back into them.

This action can ruin a nice firm fitting pair of pumps, so it’s only really suitable for looser ones or particularly for slides. A variation is to walk upon tiptoe and step straight in – it looks pretty cool but needs a bit of practice! Personally, I find it a very pleasurable feeling, stepping into heels and feeling the height for the first time.

The best way to learn the basics of the correct posture is to look at yourself in a mirror at home, at least initially. It is best to wear the highest heels you can manage for this exercise as moving down to slightly lower heels, if you so wish, will be easier rather than vice versa. There is a simple way to determine your maximum heel height (and here we are talking about maximum comfortable walking height without doing any foot stretching or arch training to wear real ultra heels – a slightly different subject of which more later). Stand up straight with your shoes about 2in (50mm) apart on a firm surface ( wood tiles or lino etc.). Now, without bending your knees or leaning forward appreciably, try to raise yourself the furthest you can up on tiptoe, lifting your heels slightly off the ground. You should find that that the distance between the ground and your heels in the raised position is about 1/4in ( 6mm). If it is any less, then those shoes are too high for you; any more and you should try a higher pair. When you have found the right height, you can check them by inserting 6mm of packing ( coins, etc.) under your heel tips and trying the raising exercise. You should then find that you can raise yourself no further.

Although people’s feet and shoes vary, the maximum heel height seems to be about 5in (125mm) as measured up the back of the heel, typically for a size EUR 39 shoe. You may have to shop around to get a pair at the right height or you could try modifying the height of an existing pair. Having found a pair of the correct height, put them on and stand up straight sideways on in front of a full-length mirror. Incidentally, it is best to do this in the nude or wearing just a bra and panties, This will enable you to appreciate your body positions better. You will notice that your body weight or center of gravity has been shifted forward. If this is not corrected, then you will be off-balance, especially when walking. Holding your shoulders up taut and straight with your arms flat against your sides, move your shoulders rearwards perhaps about 2in ( 50 mm), but experiment to find the right balance for yourself. Next, relax your shoulders and upper body. The best way to describe this is “letting your weight settle into your hips”. You will find that your lower back hollows slightly and your hips move forward into a more prominent position to facilitate this although, don’t allow your knees to bend too much. Hopefully, the animation below shows this slight backward shift of position after (or as) you raise up, settling and centering the body weight between the heel and the sole in a stable manner. The correct position has a satisfying feeling to it and it’s a pleasure to walk in heels if you get it right. Of course, as you walk, this will be changed, and part of the skill lies in your muscles remembering this position and adjusting back to it when your legs are close together, in order to produce the correct and graceful stride for the next step.

correct way to stand in heels

You will also find that the above actions put slight strain into your lower back and hip muscles; with practice, these muscles will develop to hold this position with ease These actions should now have shifted your weight back in line with your feet,. Experiment a little to find the most balanced, relaxed, and comfortable position for you.

You may have found the above explanation lengthy, long-winded and unnecessary for the correct posture may be automatic anyway. It is surprising how many women try to walk in heels off balance. Not only do you look clumsy but will also tire quickly. In any case, practice stepping in and out of your heels, taking up the correct position as you do so, without necessarily having to think about standing up straight or making two separate movements.

It should be noticed that some women find these shifts of weight and balance easy and natural, while others find them more awkward. It helps if you are good at sport or have had dance/ballet training. If you are one of the less confident ones, do not lose heart: practice makes perfect, and this really is one of the keys to walking in high heels in a smooth and confident manner. In the next section, I will discuss exercises that can help you develop your muscles and improve your balance.

There are a few other tips to be aware of when standing in high heels and again, these may or may not come naturally. If you move your feet closer together so that there is a distance of about 1in ( 25mm) between your shoes at the back, you will find that you can move them both inwards so that they rest against each other. This is rather like the trick of propping two bikes up against one another in an upright position. In effect, the mutual support prevents the tendency of the heels of your feet from tottering or rocking from side to side. This tendency would normally be counteracted by tension in the calf and ankles. It thus enables these muscles and tendons to be relaxed and is therefore a useful position for standing for long periods in stilettos or similar thin heels. Experiment with the distance between the shoes so that you can rock them in for support without moving too far off the vertical.

A slightly different weight shifting trick is to stand with your feet close together or one slightly in front of the other, and distributing the weight equally between the sole and the spike, gently flex your right knee ahead slightly and your left knee back. This just relieves the weight off your right sole a little, where pressure can build up. After 20 seconds or so, reverse the flex in your knees, thus resting the pressure in the left sole. Shift your feet around with gentle movements, resting on the inner and outer edges of the sole, not allowing the pressure to build up. Change position every 20 seconds or so.

Another relaxed position is achieved by moving your feet perhaps 10 in ( 250mm) apart. Shift your weight onto one foot and then bending the other leg slightly at the knee, cant or tilt the shoe inwards so the remaining weight rests on the inner edges of the sole and the heel. Then, holding this position, more or less weight can be transferred on to the tilted foot to achieve a relaxed and stable placement. These actions can of course be reversed by transferring all the weight onto the opposite foot and then doing the bending and tilting with the other side.

There is an important development of the above position. Starting as before with your weight on one foot, place the other about 12in (300mm) away and slightly in front. This leg should be bent a little at the knee. Next, rock the foot backward, pivoting on the heel, bringing the foot to a more natural horizontal position and holding it there. Don’t put any weight on the heel- this could bend it – just gently ride back on it, using it to balance, as your weight is on the other foot. This action achieves two things. Firstly, it takes all the weight off the ball of the sole for a few moments and letting the blood circulate freely. Secondly, it exercises and returns the calf muscle to its normal length. An adverse side effect of wearing high heels is that the calf muscle is shortened. This can take a semi-permanent effect if heels are worn all the time and the calf muscle is not exercised properly. You can rock the shoe up and down a few time to exercise the muscle. This exercise can and should be repeated by transferring your stance and resting/exercising the opposite leg. The figure to the left shows how this is achieved. Sorry if the text is a little long-winded, but this may be necessary if your browser does not display images or animations.

All these can quickly relieve the pressure on your soles and relax the tension in your ankles. Never stand around till your fee are numb and aching. Take it slowly and shift your weight. If you are not used to heels, sit down or take them off. The regular short practice is much better than long sessions.


Well, I bet you never thought I would be talking about how to sit in high heels did you 🙂 ! You should always take the opportunity to sit down when possible when wearing heels as this gives you the chance to rest your feet and exercise your calf muscles. These procedures can be carried out while standing, but the advantage when sitting is that you can do both feet at the same time and thus avoid putting any extra pressure on the foot that you are not resting. As you get used to heels, you will find that you can go longer periods without sitting anyway, but its always a good idea to let the circulation flow and relax you muscles, even if you don’t feel tired as such.

The actual procedures for sitting itself do not differ markedly from those used when wearing flats. Start from a position with your feet together and the backs of your calves lightly touching the front of the seat. Lower your self gently into the seat whilst smoothing your skirt forward from the backs of your thighs with your hands and controlling your movement with your thigh and hip muscles. You will find that having sat down, your knees are naturally a little higher than usual . You can counteract this by angling your legs to one side or towards the front and crossing them at the ankle which is a comfortable and relaxed position.

If you have been walking or standing for a period before sitting down, then you should make it a priority to exercise your calves. Both feet can be done together or just one foot at a time. Using a similar motion to that described under the standing section, rock back your foot, pivoting on the heel, so that the foot returns to a natural horizontal position for a couple of minutes. After this, rock your foot ( or feet) forward again so that both the sole and the heel of your shoe rests on the ground. Now, rock your foot back and forth between these two positions approximately ten times. You should aim for the full range of movement so that you can really feel your calves lengthening and shortening.

If you have experienced any toe jamming ( see later), or if your toes feel a bit numb, it is a good idea to lift your foot out of the shoe and waggle your toes around to take any stiffness out of them and let the blood circulate properly. You can also rotate your foot at the ankle, moving it smoothly in all directions. The idea is to make sure that your feet are kept supple and not fixed in any particular position for too long a period. These last two exercises can be also be carried out when standing (one foot at a time), but unless your balance is particularly good, then you will need to lean against something or steady yourself with your hand while you are doing this.

Another common position when sitting down is to cross the legs at the knee. The free foot and lower leg can now be exercised as necessary. A variation is to twine the free foot around the back of the leg which is still resting on the floor. You will find, depending on the type of seat, that there are certain feet and leg positions that would not be possible when wearing flats. For example, many bar stools or other chairs have horizontal rails running across their fronts. It can be quite a comfortable position to clip your heels over the back of this rail and rest your legs in the suspended condition. Similarly, by crossing your legs at the ankles and moving your feet to one side, it is often possible to clip one of your shoe heels around the back of the vertical chair leg. You should experiment a bit to find the positions that are most comfortable for you.

When getting up, don’t use your hands to help you out of the chair; it is much more graceful to draw your feet together and straighten your body through legwork alone. Finally, always remember to work your calf muscles when sitting down. Provided you make a habit of it, you will soon find yourself doing it without necessarily having to think about it. A word of warning that rocking or playing with your shoes, especially taking the foot out, can be taken as a bit of a flirtatious measure by some people, so do it out of sight if you don’t necessarily want to attract attention. Of course, if you don’t mind the attention, go ahead and do it openly, thus killing two birds with one stone!

Training Exercises

If you just want to wear your heels to the odd wedding or two, then don’t bother with all this. Just stick to 3 in (88mm), be prepared to suffer a bit and kick them off with a grimace at the end of the day. However, if you really want to be proficient in heels and glide around on a regular basis in 5in (125mm) stilettos like they were no more than slippers, then you need to be prepared to put in a bit of groundwork.

These exercises should help your muscles become accustomed to high heels. They are important, not only for the general conditioning of your legs and back, but also to keep them exercised and supple while you are wearing heels at other times during the day.

The general principle of isotonic/isometric exercise is a series of gentle movements in which the muscles hold the body in one extended position against the resistance of gravity/weights for a period of five to ten seconds or so, before relaxing and repeating. This is the way to strengthen you muscles and improve their flexibility. We are not talking about pumping iron, rapid, or aerobic movement here.

As with all exercise, build up gradually, and stop if it hurts. A series of gentle regular sessions is infinitely more effective than one or two frantic ones. Don’t expect miracles. It will probably take from three weeks to three months to see real results, depending on your age and starting condition.

1. Heel raises

If there is one important exercise for strengthening the calves, feet, and ankles, it’s this one. Standing in bare feet, raise yourself up on tiptoe as high as you can, and hold for 3 seconds. You can hollow your back slightly as you do this, moving into approximately your posture that you adopted wearing heels as explained in the standing section. Then, relax and repeat 3 times. Slowly build up over days and weeks to 10 repetitions and holding the raised position for 10 seconds. Even 10 at 10 seconds only takes 2 minutes or so and it should not waste any of your time. You can do it while brushing your teeth or hair for example.

2. Tiptoe walking

This is simply an extension of the previous exercise, walking high on tiptoe starting for 3 minutes a day and building up to 10. Start with the heel raises to build up the strength required for this. Just do it around to the house – its no big deal – walk to the bathroom on tiptoe – fetch the post – make the breakfast – all on tiptoe. If your calves feel a bit strained or you are tending to drop – don’t overdo it. Just drop right down, relax for a bit, and then do some heel raises, safe in the knowledge that these will improve your endurance for the next attempt.

When I put on some pretty clothes in bare feet, I tend to go on tiptoe anyway – it feels natural to me – just makes me feel nicer. There’s a psychological side to this as well – you will find how easily and naturally you can move around on your toes- even without your shoes on. Also, you are making up for some of those ballet lessons you never had!

3.Calf stretches

If you want to wear 5″ or even 6″ heels and nothing else, then go ahead; ignore these exercises. After a year or so, you will probably develop a permanent arch, shortened calf, and it will be painful to wear flats. That suits some people – its up to you. However, I like to maintain my body and play tennis and golf (hmmm – I got chucked off the first green the last time I wore stilettos – and yet there was a notice which said you must wear spikes on the course 🙂 ! ). This exercise is more prevention than an aid to walking.

Standing in bare feet, about 3ft( 900mm) from the back of a chair, step forward towards the chair with your left foot and grasp the chair with both hands. Lean forward further, bending at your elbows, and at your left knee while your right leg remains stretched out behind you with its sole and heel still firmly on the floor. As you bend forward, you should aim to make the angle that your right foot makes with your right leg less than 90 degrees and hence stretch your right calf muscle. If you cannot feel your calf muscles stretching, then adjust the positions of your feet until this happens. You might have to move your right foot a little farther back. Hold the stretched position for a few seconds and then repeat. Build up to about ten repetitions. Repeat the exercise with your feet reversed thus exercising your left calf muscle. This exercise can be done without the chair if you rest both palms on the knee which is outstretched in front of you as you squat down. It stretches the calf and hamstrings, helping to combat the contraction that can occur if you wear high heels a lot. You will often see athletes performing this one before a race.

4. Balancing practice

Take a broomstick and hold it out in front of you vertically, balancing it on the palm of your hand. Are you skillful enough to move your hand from side to side as required to keep the broomstick balanced in the vertical position? This is an illustration of what your ankles must achieve in high spikes with all your bodyweight coming down on them. They must be not only strong enough but also quick enough. There have been many instances of broken ankles with inexperienced legs and also in situations where the wearer has been caught off balance. If you are going to fall, try to fall back on your bottom and cushion it with a hand on either side as you go down. You will also see the importance of having spikes in good condition with the heel dead vertical and firmly attached.

Standing on both legs in bare feet, raise one ankle, bending at the knee so it comes into a position in front of the opposite thigh, where you grasp it with both hands. Now try to raise yourself on tiptoe and balance on your remaining foot, holding the position. Repeat with the other side. Practice until you are proficient and can maintain these positions with ease.

You can also do this wearing heels. Try raising the foot into the position described and also lifting it up behind you where you grasp round the stiletto with just one hand this time. You can then pull up on the spike raising that leg higher and leaning forward as you outstretch your other arm to maintain balance. There are also a variety of exercises you can do just by lifting one foot off the floor slightly and maintaining balance on the other stiletto.

Standing on both spikes, I find it is quite pleasurable to rock one of them slowly then rapidly from side to side – but only do this if you are in control of it. If you are new to stilettos you should practice this while holding on to something to make sure you dont overbalance at first. Just try deliberately rocking them sideways off balance at varying speeds and get used to the correcting motions your ankles have to make to bring them back vertical. I still do this sometimes when standing, even though I am used to heels. It helps you to sense the height of the heel which is a nice feeling and also it relieves the tension a bit in your ankle.

5. Half crouches

Here is a final one that you can also do wearing your high heels. with your feet slightly apart, bend at the knees, and lower your hips. At the same time, raise the tips of your spikes as high off the ground as you can manage, while half squatting down. You should aim to bend your knees to about 90 degrees and hold this position for 3 initially up to 10 seconds when you are good at it. Build up gradually and if you feel any strain, stop and try more gently a few days later. This bend strengthens your knees and lowers back.

The golden rule is to start slowly and build up gradually. Proficiency at all these exercises will strengthen and tone your lower body, giving you the twin advantages of legs that are not only more shapely but can also handle high heels with greater ease, grace, and comfort than would otherwise be possible.

Try to practice the posture, standing, and other exercises for about an hour a day for three or four weeks before you go out any appreciable distance in heels. You could do it while watching television or listening to music, or making breakfast – it needn’t take any extra time up. This practice is especially important if you are a teenager learning to wear heels for the first time. Incidentally, if your body and feet are still growing, appreciably, you should not wear heels for longer than one or two hours a week. Growing bones are much softer and serious deformities can develop much more easily, which you might regret later in life if you ignore this advice. Certainly, girls below the age of 12 or 13 should not wear heels over 1 1/2in(30mm) under any circumstances. Remember to wear the highest heels you can manage for training where required, and as outlined earlier, build up your exercises slowly and gently with the emphasis on short but frequent ( e.g. 3 or 4 times a day) sessions.

Walking Techniques

Well, this is it! I hope you are still with me.

There are few more pleasurable feelings than walking gracefully in really high stilettos and also few less pathetic sights than someone stumbling along in obvious pain. This once more emphasizes the Jekyll and Hyde nature of these sometimes absurd but nevertheless magical icons.

If you have followed and mastered the exercise, standing, and posture techniques, then walking correctly should be a relatively easy and natural progression. The most important consideration is balance, especially when wearing stiletto heels. These have two balance aspects to them. Firstly, the small scale issue of transverse balance (side to side movement of the heel) which is adjusted by small movements in your calves and ankles to keep the heel vertical. Secondly, there is the larger issue of longitudinal weight distribution – that is adjusting your body weight back and forth with the larger muscles in your hips and back. This has a fundamental effect on your walking style. With more chunky, stable, (but still high) heels, only the second of these aspects is really present, transverse rocking not really being a problem because of the larger heel area. You may decide to start with a chunky heel – its certainly easier – but on the other hand you will then lack confidence in the thinner heels. It’s better to master the balance exercises in section four previously – then you can concentrate on the distribution of weight and wear any type of heel.

As you walk, you must continuously adjust your center of weight to maintain your balance. The correct position when standing is a slight backward lean and relaxed position so that the weight is evenly split between your heel and sole. Try to imagine your center of weight coming down your legs in line with the heels, but just forward(1-2in(38mm)) of them. Another way to think of this, is the first movement up on tiptoe puts all the weight on your toes, but then you just shift it back slightly, settling half of it onto the heel. A common fault is leaning too far forward which causes small mincing steps in order to prevent over-balancing. The remedy is to lean back. Of course, leaning back too far will have disastrous consequences too. You should try to imagine your weight settled into your hips and a smooth even stride leading from your hip and pelvic region which are more prominent than when walking in flats. Try not to exaggerate this movement and keep your bottom still – unless you particularly want to project a sexy image.

Your arms are an important means of balance. Hold them slightly out from your body and swing them gently in time with your legs but on opposite sides. That is, the left arm swings forward with the right leg in order to maintain balance and vice versa. Again try not to exaggerate this movement too much. The arms are also useful balancing aides to move out sideways should you get the heel stuck in a crack etc. Most of this should be second nature as the motions are similar to walking in flats. They are though, slightly more prominent and it is more important to get them right when wearing high heels.

You will find that the way that your leading foot makes contact with the ground is related to your posture and stride length. I have seen it suggested in quite a number of places that the sole of the foot should come down first or perhaps together with the heel – this is pretty crap advice. In practice, this leads to you leaning too far forward and taking short steps. It can also be a strain to try and twist your foot further forward so that the sole comes down first, not to mention being uncomfortably off-balance in the process. The best way is to make sure that your heel contacts the ground first, but the sole follows through very shortly afterward. Try not to put too much weight on the heel as it contacts the ground and make sure that the sole follows through quickly and smoothly. Bring your foot down at such an angle that the sole does not have far to travel to make contact; this avoids the long rolling motion which is characteristic of the male walk and thus prevents excessive pressure on your shoe heel, also minimizing the time in which your muscles must maintain the heel straight without any support form the sole. If you lean too far back, then you will develop a large swanking stride and will tend to land fairly heavily on the heel, which is a good way to bend or break it.

There shouldn’t be any appreciable bend in your knees. That is another good indicator that the heels are too high for the flexibility present in your ankle. Your ankles can’t straighten up enough which leads to a bend at the knees as you lean back too far and struggle to cope with the height – remember my test for height with the 1/4in(6mm) of free play under the heel. If you transgress that rule you will certainly end up with this problem.

Another important tip is to keep your toes pointing directly ahead and your legs should swing together in a line exactly parallel with the direction that you are walking in. This may be unnatural for you but you should practice until the above procedure is second nature, at least when wearing your high heels. If you allow your legs or feet to splay out when you are walking, then you will be thrown off the delicate balance you are trying to achieve. Furthermore, your heel will contact the ground at an awkward angle and the sole will not be able to follow quickly in the correct fashion. The best way to practice is to walk toward a full-length mirror eliminating any tendency to twist your legs and feet. You might also like to ask an experienced heel wearer to look at what you are doing for the first few times, but if you follow all the advice here, there should be no need for that. You should also practice walking barefoot and make sure any foot splay is eliminated. As stated above, this may not be your nature walk, but with practice, it can be achieved. If you find the “toes straight ahead” part very difficult, an alternative is to let them splay out ( never in) just slightly. However, much better results will be had with the straight-ahead method or as close as you can manage to it.

Walking in high heels may be likened to driving. It is difficult to concentrate on everything at first, but as bits become second nature, you can give more attention to the overall effect. To continue the driving analogy, the difference between high stilettos and flats is like is the difference between diving a highly tuned racing car and a normal road car. You cannot get away with sloppy gear changes or steering errors in a race car. If you do anything wrong when walking in heels, your balance is upset and extra strain is put on muscles that are already working in unfamiliar ways if you have not practiced and trained them correctly. This loss of poise will result in stumbling at worst, and at best, pains in the back, legs, and feet which will quickly counteract any pleasure or benefits you might get from wearing heels.

There are many things to remember, but here is a short summary of key points.

  1. Lean back slightly.
  2. Relax.
  3. Hips slightly forward.
  4. Smooth even stride.
  5. Gently swing the arms.
  6. Heel down first.
  7. Sole follows quickly and smoothly.
  8. Don’t put extra weight on the heel at first contact.
  9. Toes straight ahead ( preferably) or slight splay out ( 2nd choice).
  10. Legs to be straight, close, parallel.

As you walk, get used to adjusting your posture into the right position for yourself to achieve the above things. Everything is closely linked together, so an error in one place will lead to errors elsewhere. It is best to practice at home, walking around for maybe an hour a day. After a few days you could gradually increase this to two hours. After this, you could try walking outside maybe for two or three miles, on flat surfaces at first, and gradually build up to five or six miles which is typically the sort of distance you might cover in a day’s wear, be it at school, work or shopping. When you go out, you could take a pair of flats with you in case your feet or back start aching badly This should not happen if you have trained your muscles and built up slowly.

After a couple of months (this period may be longer or shorter for some women) you should be able to wear your high heels all day without too much discomfort. Remember when you are standing or sitting to rock back your foot to exercise your calf muscles as described earlier. Also, if you have been wearing heels all day, then it would be wise to go barefoot for a couple of hours before bedtime and try the calf exercise and stretches from time to time.

If the above procedures are all followed, some women have found that they can wear high heels all day every day without adverse effects. It would be a good idea, however, to reserve perhaps three days a week for wearing flatter shoes in order to give your back and legs (especially your calves) a rest. You could try varying your heel height throughout the day. The problem with this is that you have to carry two or three pairs around with you or go back home to change. Also, if you have truly mastered the art of wearing high heels, you will probably enjoy wearing them and not want to take them off anyway.

Remember, many girls have tried to wear very high heels, but because they have not practiced properly or appreciated the techniques involved, they have soon given up and decided that heels were not for them. Provided you take things slowly, and follow the procedures given, there is no reason why you should not succeed. You may have to settle for a little less than 5in(125mm) – they don’t completely suit everyone – but 3-4in(75-100mm) should be fine – and also easier to spend longer periods in them. If you experience aches and pains, then stop but do not lose heart. Try again one or two days later, gradually educating your muscles and building up your technique. Remember – don’t give up, practice makes perfect.

Problems and errors

In spite of correct shoe selection, practice, and wearing technique, some problems do nevertheless occur especially when wearing high heels for long periods. These are dealt with here together with some of the solutions to them that may be adopted. Some of the problems have already been alluded to in the walking and standing sections, but we will now examine them in more detail.

Walking style mistakes

When one sees models walk, they do it in a certain way. Adoption of their practices leads to a common fault in walking style is what I would term, the catwalk sashay. Placing your feet one in front of the other in a straight line leads to a pendulum-like, walk with the buttocks exaggeratedly moving up and down and a definite side to side sway of the body. It could be likened to waddling like a duck. This is exemplified by the foot placement shown in the following diagram:

foot position diagram

The correct placement for a more natural walk is to position the feet on two parallel lines as shown in the following diagram:

wrong foot position for heels

Of course, if you want to attract attention, then go ahead and do the first type of walk. However, it is very tiring; you might get up and down the catwalk like that, but for a day’s wear, forget it ! A far more useful application of this knowledge of foot placement is to go for something in between. If you want to just lightly accentuate your walk and emphasise you are wearing heels, then just put your feet slightly further in so that the lines are still parallel but closer. This could be for making an “entrance” or walking up to meet someone for the first time. Its a powerful technique and a walk that oozes confidence and femininity. It only really works in at least 3-inch heels – in flats, it looks a bit prissy and pixie-like – you can fine-tune the degree of accentuation by how close you move the lines of your feet.

Another mistake relates not to foot placement but to balance. The importance of correct weight distribution has already been dealt with. Tacchi a spillo (see www links on the home page) refers to the walk where you are leaning back with excessive knee flex as “the goose”. Your buttocks tend to be low and strain is required to hold this position. Think of a skier or a golfer – there is too much knee flex in their setups compared to what you need for walking in heels. There should be little flex at the knees but no more than that. To reiterate, this can be caused by three main sources. 1. Incorrect weight distribution, 2. Heels too high 3. Insufficient flexibility in your ankles.

Finally, remember to relax your muscles and concentrate on a natural posture. At first, you will be tense as you are not used to holding the positions, but tenseness like that in the calves and ankles takes up a lot of nervous energy, soon leading to fatigue. It also makes the calves and tendons stand out when you are presumably aiming for a softer silhouette. To continue the ornithological theme, not relaxing creates legs like those of chickens. You can hide this a bit with stockings, but it’s best to learn the correct feel.


This a problem that is generally confirmed to the court type shoe of the slip-on design. It is not possible to walk properly when this happens, as the movement of the heel slipping out of the shoe tends to throw you off balance and upset your rhythm, not to mention that the shoe is not presented to the ground in the correct fashion, which as we have seen is essential. It is also a problem that goes hand in hand with toe jamming. There are several methods to counter this problem. Some women buy their high-heel courts half a size or even a size smaller than they would with similar flat shoes so that a snug fit is still guaranteed when the toes work forward a little and the shoe is well worn in. If you are wearing thin tights or stockings when slipping occurs, then a possible solution is to take them off as bare feet offer some additional friction between the foot and the shoe although you may find the problem reoccurring if your feet sweat a little. It is possible to go in the opposite direction and wear a thicker pair of woolen tights or even socks, thus filling the gap with the material. Ankle-length socks and court shoes don’t go together, so use thigh-length ones with garters if necessary.

There are also some proprietary solutions which can be found at the foot-care selection of the chemists. Heel grips can be effective and unobtrusive. One disadvantage with them is that their self-adhesive qualities are not particularly good and they soon end up curling down or slipping themselves. If this happens, don’t discard them. Instead, stick them on afresh with some stronger leather/cloth adhesive and this should cure the problem. Also available at the foot-care section of the chemist are little pads that are supposed to prevent toe slide and jamming, thus ultimately slipping at the heel.

However, I have to say that all of these methods can be somewhat of a compromise. They don’t always work and once slipping has stated with a particular pair, it is sometimes not possible to cure it effectively. The only certain way is to have some well made and very snug fit pumps.

I have rejuvenated certain pairs that were slipping by adding an ankle strap. You can do this very easily using a couple of those elasticated terry bands which are used to secure the hair in a ponytail. Get two of matching colors to the shoe and put the loops so they overlap slightly, thus forming a figure of eight. Now pull one of the loops under and through the intersection of them, so that the two bands are linked together. One loop goes around your ankle, and the other either around the foot and shoe or as I prefer, down the back of the shoe, and is secured around the spike, so you just have a band around your ankle showing. OK, I prefer shoes without ankle straps, but it can look quite neat, and it’s a shame to discard a pair, especially when they have molded to your feet nicely.

Here is an illustration of how to stop slipping pumps using the double terry band technique as described above. The bands are shown in red for clarity, but obviously, for these shoes, you would choose black, and you would hardly see them against the shoe – I promise! If you cant find terry bands, then you can use shoelaces. Thicker laces are best as they don’t dig in so much, but of course, they lack the elasticity of the bands and you will need to tie them in a nice neat bow to get a good fit. If you are artistic with the bow then you can even improve the look of an old pair of shoes. My preferred configuration is the one on the foot in the foreground as there is only the one strap around the ankle that shoes and I think it is this minimalism that enhances the look that courts create. Fixes like this enable you to wear the shoes with the hose again which increases the usefulness and flexibility of the pair.

Toe Jamming

Toe-jamming and toe sliding have been mentioned above in connection with heel slipping. The majority of the foot in a high-heeled shoe lies on what is effectively a steep vertical slope. Gravity dictates that the foot tends to slide down the slope especially when the weight from above is applied with each step. The higher the heel, then the greater is the force to make this take place. The consequence is that the toes are jammed into the front of the foot and a gap opens up at the heel. This jamming process can also cause hammertoes and bunions. Heel gaps are more likely with cheap and poorly made shoes where the uppers stretch or distort more easily. or the uppers pull away from the sole at the front.

In general, this is a difficult problem to alleviate completely, as it is inherent in the very nature of the shoes’ construction. There are pads and inserts that you can buy to stick inside the front of the shoe which are supposed to provide the necessary friction to stop the foot sliding forward and these can have a beneficial though sometimes limited effect. It is best to buy a good quality pair of shoes to lessen the chances of toe-jamming taking place. If it does, take place to a small extent, lift your foot out of the shoe, wiggle your toes to take the stiffness out of them, and reposition your foot correctly within the shoe. If toe-jamming takes place to a larger extent or happens frequently with a particular pair, then discard that pair because foot deformities or bunions can easily develop if your toes are forced into unnatural positions.


Twisting is a problem whereby the heel twists over to a diagonal position instead of remaining vertical. A corresponding twist is induced into the inclined part of the sole. This is a problem normally associated with mules and sandals as in these types of high heels, the heel if the foot can offer little support to the lower part of the shoe and vice versa. It can also occur in the other types of shoes when, for example, the fixings fastening the heel to the sole loosen or are defective in some way. There is not much that can be done about this. Even shoes that were all right when they were bought may eventually develop this problem if the metal stiffener inside loosens, or the inclined part of the sole loses its strength. If this happens, then repair or discard that pair. Never wear high heels that are badly made, worn, or defective in some way; it is bad for your feet and bad for your image.


Tottering is the process whereby the ankle oscillates from side to side when standing or walking. This is often the fault of the wearer, who has not developed enough strength or technique in her calves and ankles to counteract this. It can sometimes be a shoe fault, usually when the heel tap ( “top”) has worn unevenly on one side so it presents a slope to the ground, or maybe the heel has actually bent out of a vertical line. Be sure to get the shoe fixed if either of these has happened.

Sole Pressure

It is an inescapable fact that much of your weight is thrown forward onto the front part of your foot when you are wearing high heels. If you choose to wear heels of more than 3 inches (75mm) or higher for a long period, the front of your foot will suffer most. With these shoes, it is essential to wear the foam insert pads in the front part of the shoes. These pads are available at the foot-care section in the chemist. They will help to cushion the pressure on the balls of your feet; it is often possible to provide greater cushioning by putting two pads on top of one another if desired. They also help to prevent toe jamming. Surprisingly enough, even some very good quality shoes don’t come with any padding as standard at the front. The selection of a shoe which matches well the curve of your arch in the raised position will also help spread the weight out along the whole of your foot and alleviate sole pressure at the front.

It is also possible to accustom your feet to this new weight distribution by regular practice although the extent to which this is done is a matter for the individual. Certainly, good sole padding is essential for the new wearer, before the balls of the feet have really toughened to any extent. This type of aching is one of the most discouraging things about wearing heels at first. Also important if very high heels are worn regularly, is going barefoot, performing the heel raises, tiptoe walk, and other exercises as detailed earlier.

Shoe Deterioration

It has already been mentioned that it is useless trying to walk in defective shoes. Not only does this put unnecessary strain on you feet and back, but it also presents a shoddy appearance which ruins your image. Here is a summary of some of the most common faults which may be present in the shoe initially, or which can develop as the shoe deteriorates with wear. All of these defects can be attributed to either poor shoe construction, incorrect walking technique, or general wear and tear. There is not much that can be done about the last of these, but to minimise problems, always buy the best quality shoes you can afford, and make sure that you have mastered walking correctly in them.

Cosmetic faults

  1. The heel is top is serviceable but worn.
  2. The heel is scuffed, scratched, or the covering is worn.
  3. The uppers are scratched.

Structural faults

  1. The heel top is loose, or has worn badly and needs replacing.
  2. The heel has bent out of a vertical position (usually toward the front).
  3. The fixings between the heel and the sole are loose or defective.
  4. The metal stiffener in the sloping part of the heel has broken or become loose.
  5. The sloping part of the heel has developed too much torsional flexibility, allowing the heel to move off the vertical.
  6. The heel exhibits a tendency to twist as a design fault or as a result of deterioration.
  7. The shoe uppers have become stretched, detached, or damaged in some way so that the foot and shoe cant work satisfactorily together.

If any of these faults are apparent, you can either repair them yourself (a later section of my website), have them repaired for you, or discard them if they are well past their best. If you really cannot bear to part with a favorite pair (and I am more attached to some of my shoes than anything else I own !), then have them repaired and keep them for indoor use only.


This is not recommended for obvious reasons as it is a good way of breaking your ankle, heels, or both. The problem is that both feet tend to leave the ground at the same time and then your landing foot strikes the ground with considerable, uncontrollable force. This could damage your Achilles tendon or, if you are wearing thin heels, the shoe could twist from under you. There is no satisfactory way of overcoming these problems. I can run in shoes up to about 3″ with more chunky heels. That is what I am sure some people mean when they ask, “can you run in high heels ?” I would not recommend even this.

If you are in a hurry, the best thing is to practice a fast walk. To achieve this, lean back slightly more to help lengthen your stride. Now bring your arms through faster, again leading from your hips. Remember to swing your arms faster and a little further to help maintain your balance. This quicker stride should come quite naturally with a little practice, once you have mastered the basic walk. It is only a little slower than the arms flailing semi-jogging motion ones sometimes sees attempted in very high heels. It is also considerably more graceful and safer to boot. However, don’t attempt this until you have truly perfected the basic walk and educated your muscles. The reason is that the tip of your heel will naturally contact the ground with a little more force and if your leg muscles are not used to dealing with these situations, your shoe could keel over, twisting your ankle in the process.



If you raise the back of your shoe such that the heel just clears the ground, the sole of your foot presents quite a small contact area which can easily be swiveled: the shoe facilitates this action. This is the basis of one kind of turn in high heels which is effectively made on tip-toe. There are several techniques.

Swivel turns

The first of these is the swivel turn proper which can be made while standing or when you come to a halt during walking. It is 45 to 180 degree turn. Suppose you wish to turn to the right (clockwise). Place your left foot just in front of your right foot and raise yourself higher on tip-toe so that your heels just clear the ground. Swivel round to the desired position, pivoting on the tips of your soles. If you turn right round (180 degrees), you will find that your right foot ends up in front of your left. To make an anti-clockwise turn, just start with your feet positions reversed. Practice this turn trying different angles and directions. Do not, however, try this until your legs are used to the heels, as this twisting puts extra strain on the calf and ankles which untrained muscles may not be able to cope with.

Slow turns

The second technique is the slow turn which can only be executed while walking. Suppose you wish to turn towards the right. Just before your left leg contacts the ground (as you walk), the right foot is in a position where the toe is still in contact with the ground but the heel has left it. At this very moment, slightly swivel your right foot, pivoting on the toe perhaps 5 degrees (although the exact amount will depend upon how fast you wish to turn). Repeat this action the next time your right foot is in this position – or you could do it every other stride or every few strides depending upon the tightness of the turn. The actions for a turn to the left are exactly the same except the swiveling must be done at the left foot just before it leaves the ground.

Heel turns

Another turning method, possible only when stationary, is the heel turn. This is not particularly recommended, but I have seen it done by some women and is included here for the sake of completeness, although I don’t really practice it much. Basically, the weight is rocked back onto the heels just enough to clear the soles from the ground, and then a twist of the upper body carries the legs and feet pivoting on the heel. In stilettos, this puts considerable strain on the shoe, making the heel dig into the ground, so it is only really suitable for outdoor use. Furthermore, it is only really possible to turn a few degrees. The best way to use this kind of turn is one foot at a time – keeping your weight on the other foot, using a stepping motion first pivoting on one heel, then the other. It is, however, more graceful and more effective to use the sole swivel turn as outlined above.

Simple Turns

Without a doubt, it is possible to turn just by positioning the feet and not resorting to any pivoting or such, This really needs no explanation and is the method that the novice wearer should adopt. Nonetheless, once the necessary confidence and strength is acquired, then the above turning methods will prove to be much more stylish and graceful. Of course much of the time in normal day to day wear, you might not want to bother with any of the swivel techniques. However, be aware of what is available. There are times when you might want to show of your poise and skill a bit. Wearing high heels can be an art-form; that is part of the fun and the challenge of them. The higher they are, the more looks of admiration you will get if you are skillful with them – if you want that happen, the effort is worth it in the end.


Crouching down is another area where the wearing of high heels actually facilitates the action. If you try crouching in bare feet, you will find as you bend your knees and lower your body, your feet will naturally arch and the heels will raise off the ground to a position similar to that taken up when your are wearing your high-heeled shoes. Now try this with your shoes on. It will be apparent that the angle between your foot and leg returns to a more natural one and the whole position is quite relaxed. This fact can be used to your advantage. For example, when shopping, crouching down to extract or examine something on the bottom shelf stretches your calves and allows you to rest your legs for a few moments.

The crouching position can also be used as a precursor to sitting or lying on the floor. It will be readily appreciated that it is not simple to achieve the above actions in a graceful and feminine manner when wearing a tight skirt and heels. However, these problems are solved by adopting the following technique. Place your feet together and lower yourself into a crouching position with your bottom resting just above your ankles. Rock your whole body forward, pivoting on the tips of your toes, so that you come to rest on your knees. Relax your feet by contracting your calves, so that the tips of your toes slide backward and you are resting on the top of your toes. Now stretch our a hand and fall on to it, lowering the weight onto the side of one of you legs. You can now sit, lie, and stretch your legs out as desired. Getting up is the exact reverse procedure. Bring your legs together and close to your body by bending at the knees. Push yourself onto your knees using your supporting hand. Extend your calves and tuck your toes in under your ankles. Finally, rock back onto your heels, pivoting at the toes, and continue straightening your legs to stand up in one smooth movement.. If you think that all this is pretty obvious, watch how many get this wrong and end up with skirt wide open or shoe heels splayed out at crazy angles.

Driving in heels

It is possible to drive satisfactorily in even very high heels after a little practice; indeed some women seem to make a habit of it. However, my advice would be not to do it for two reasons.

Firstly, even if you perfect the art to the best of your ability, you will never have quite the degree of control as when wearing flats. That extra 1% of car control could easily make the difference between having an accident and avoiding one. Secondly, the back of the heel is rubbed against the floor of the car thus scuffing and spoiling it. I like to keep my high heels in tip-top condition, as the effect is ruined by shoddiness. If you wear heels a lot, it is a good idea to keep a pair of flat slip-ons in the car for driving. I also like to drive in bare feet if the car is clean, although this doesn’t suit many people.

However, if you must drive in heels (and it’s your decision alone) then I have one or two tips. I must say I am naughty and have driven in heels quite a bit.

When getting into the car you can put one foot in first, but a useful technique when wearing very high shoes is to slide your rear onto the seat first and then swing your legs in together. Remember that metal heels are sharp and will cut and scratch the rubber door seal/paintwork, so be careful. Also, if you have an adjustable steering wheel, think about putting it a bit higher so that your knees have more clearance, not only for getting in, but also for operating the pedals, as your knees will naturally be quite a bit higher because of the heels, and this may facilitate you to sit a little closer which may, in turn, help pedal operation. Raising the wheel also helps with adjusting your skirt. I hate driving with a ruched skirt, but getting in by the bottom first method helps with this I think.

For the clutch and the brake, you need full control, especially the brake, so this is best operated by the sole of your foot alone. Wearing flats, Some people operate the pedals with the heel on the floor as a pivot, especially with the clutch, but this is not easy using heels as the forward movement at the ankle has already been taken up by the elevated position. You can move the ankle back, but then the sole doesn’t rest squarely on the pedal. Its best to use the sole only, moving the leg up and down from the thigh. This takes stronger muscles and more practice if you are not used to this technique, so beware.

For the accelerator (or gas pedal to you US guys !), a slightly different technique can be adopted. This pedal has a lighter action and you will need to rest your foot on it for long periods especially on the motorway. Using the sole only method can be uncomfortable for a long time. Buy one of those driving mats with a soft wool pad under the accelerator. This stops your shoe back getting scuffed on the floor. Depending upon the accelerator configuration and angle, you can sometimes move your foot back at the ankle and operate the pedal half on your sole and half on the steeply sloping bit of the shoe that goes up to the heel. By sliding your foot forward on the pad and maybe rotating your ankle a little forward again, you can usually floor the pedal quite well. Be sure to practice coming off the pedal fast by sliding your foot back and then lifting so the heel does not get caught. By adopting this technique and making sure the seat is not too far back, it’s possible to avoid sliding or stretching in your seat to get the full reach on the pedal.

An alternative technique is to sit a little further away from the pedals and have your leg is an almost straight line, flooring the pedal by straightening your leg, pushing back against the seat. This isn’t my favored technique, but could be effective in certain pumps or if the wheel is not adjustable, meaning that if you get a bit close, then your legs are too high and can foul the wheel. Make sure your pumps are straight on the pedal and not at any sort of angle. Again, you could be operating the pedal half with your sole on the stalky bit of the pedal and a half with the sloping bit of the sole on the pedal proper or a combination, depending upon the exact configuration of pumps and pedal.

I think the point about the type of pumps is an important one. Before you drive in a new pair, practice flooring the pedal and operating the controls with them while stationary for fifteen minutes or so, adjusting the seat and the wheel, if you can, to find the best positions. Then reverse up and down the drive for a bit before you go out. This will perhaps highlight the best set-up but you may also decide those pumps and that car do not match. Never compromise safety if you are unsure.

Well, there you have it. It’s up to you. If you have an accident, don’t set your legal people on me. I warned you not to do it above, and these paragraphs are not encouragement but for information only that is used at your risk.

Training videos

High heel body language

Heels for flirtation – Playing with your shoes – Heels for sound – Heels and height – Heels and authority-Heels in the bedroom- Heels for negative emotions – Heels as weapons – Heels for crushing – Heels to show off-balance agility and skill – Clothes to wear with heels – When (and when not) to wear high heels.

Heels are essentially ostentatious items; they can transmit different messages via body language depending on how you use them. The images that heels are best at reinforcing are those of femininity, sophistication, confidence, authority, or sexiness. Part of the appeal and mystique of heels, however, is that they are a double-edged sword. Compare these sets of images or emotions:

1. *Sophisticated and Classy image *Slutish and tartish image.

2. *Power and authority *Vulnerability and submissive emotion.

These are completely contrasting states – the ying, the yang, the black, the white- and yet both can be reinforced by high heels depending upon how they are used. This explains why so much has been written about heels. To the initiated, it is a fascinating psychological subject. The experienced wearer knows that her high heels are worth far more to her than any ordinary shoe.