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The Shoe Guide: How to Walk In Heels On Campus

People are always asking me, as they stare incredulously at the high-rised angles of my feet, ‘How do you walk in those heels?’ Mostly, it’s older female professors who usually follow up the question with comments like, ‘I wear high heels, but not that high,’ or ‘I used to wear shoes like that when I was your age,’ or (my favorite), ‘Don’t they hurt your feet!?!’

To answer that last question, yes, they do! And I’m never shy to admit that when I am asked. So, why on earth would I put myself through such torture if I know they’re going to hurt, then? To tell you the truth, I love them so much, the way they make me feel, look, and walk, that I am willing to endure the pain.  

The fact of the matter is that walking in high heels is not a born talent—it is learned skill, an artistry perfected by lots of practice and discipline and gets easier over time. Here are a few of my suggestions to make your journey an easier one:

Start Low, Work Your Way Up

Don’t attempt to go from never having worn a heel before directly to slipping on five-inch pumps. It’s not realistic and can be quite the dangerous adventure. There’s nothing wrong with beginning with a kitten heel. They offer an element of sophistication and practicality that higher options simply do not. Kitten heels look great with pencil skirts, cocktail dresses and even skinny jeans. 

Opt For Boots Rather Than Sandals or Slip-Ons
Because of the extra fabric, there is plenty of ankle support, which minimizes the pain and also increases balancing capabilities. This is why you will see most Burlesque dancers and performers wearing boots; not just because they are sexy, but because they are less agonizing and more yielding to traumatic conclusions. 
Choose Open-Toed Shoes
Your feet are already in an awkward position; having extra tightness around your toes will just add to the pain level. Peep-toes and sling-backs work too, as they bear small ‘windows’ for your feet to breathe.
Be Mindful of the Types of Shoes You Choose To Buy
All shoes were NOT created equal. Some shoes (pointed-toe stilettos sans platform) are naturally harder to walk in, not to mention less comfortable. I’ve found that shoes with a wooden heel offer more support than shoes with a plastic heels, which tend to wobble and be unstable. 
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Before going out in your new heels, take some time walking (hopefully) around your dorm in them so that your feet can adjust. Do a couple of jumps, squats (there’s always that public bathroom issue), stop, pivot, walk up and down a flight of stairs, do a little dance while you’re at it. You should also try to walk on different surfaces such as (inside) carpet, tile, hardwood, etc. and (outside) concrete, stone, asphalt, etc. 
Invest In Comfort Sole Liners/Cushions
These are simply amazing. They come in different options like gel, plastic, etc. Use generously. 
 
Stick to the Classy Three-Inch
Yes, super high, sky-scrapping numbers are in, but better safe than sorry (tripping while you strut towards the salad bar Daly’s in front of the cute guy you’ve been eyeing around campus not smooth at all).
 
Go for wedges
Wedges are cute and look cute with lots of looks and unlike regular stacked/stiletto heels they feel almost like flats because they usually have a thick platform and the heel is fully attached to the sole of the shoe. Therefore, you don’t to balance (or brace) yourself as much, especially on the cobblestone by the library. 
 
Try thick heels
It’s no secret that stilettos do not offer much support for your feet or ankles. However, thicker, broader heels provided more support and overall comfort. They’re easier to walk in and much easier to balance yourself in. 
 
Invest in your shoes
The more expensive a shoe is (with few exceptions) the more sturdy the heel is and most times they come with a pre-padded sole. Pricer shoes usually have wooden heels as opposed to plastic heels. 
 
Have you tried any of my tips? Let us know in the comments section below. 
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