Breaking into high heels


Dear Makeover,

I’ll be turning 21 in a few days. A family member has offered to buy me high heels as a gift but I’m worried about wearing them because it would be my first time. Can you offer me some advice for breaking into new heels. Thanks.



For many women, especially those for whom high heels are not a familiarity, wearing them for the first time can be tricky. In spite of the many negative reports about high heels, they are also beneficial in the sense that they help you to maintain good posture and balance, they help to exercise your legs and give you a sense of confidence. Even renowned designer, Christian Louboutin, acknowledges the benefits of high heels, stating that: “high heels empower women in a way.” However, for ‘virgin’ wearers, a few things should come to mind before venturing into public with high heels.


Pick the right pair

For someone trying high heels for the first time, there are three main challenges: losing balance, feeling discomfort and developing muscle pull. However, these fears take flight when you have the perfect pair of heels. If you can, ask that you be present when the high heels are bought so you can get the best for you. It is advisable to try on the shoes before purchase to ensure they fit well. If possible, take a more knowledgeable friend along and don’t hesitate to ask questions, whether from your friend or the sales person. See the picture below for types of high heels. Choosing the right pair goes beyond just knowing your size when it comes to shoes.


Comfort is everything

When trying out your high heels, ensure you’re very comfortable, especially if the occasion would not permit taking them off for hours. They can become quite an inconvenience when you’re tired. Since it’s your special day, pick the most comfortable pair of heels. Try wedges or if the heels have to be pointy, platforms pumps with ankle straps that secure tightly are a good choice to begin with. They not only give you the benefit of extra height, they are more comfortable as they do not strain the legs. When you get better with time, then you can work with stilettos.


Invest in quality

No matter how good the deal seems, especially if you cannot personally vouch for the supplier, then it really is too good to be true quality. Ensure you invest in quality high heels, else you risk the three main challenges of a ‘virgin’ high heels wearer mentioned earlier. As beautiful as the heels may seem on the outside, always do a thorough inspection of the inside and the heel before buying. This rule applies even for wedges. Sometimes, the heels of wedges are padded with soft wood that may break unexpectedly. As such, you should endeavour to get good value for your money.


Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!

Since it’s your very first time with the spiked companions, give yourself a few days’ practice. It’s not just enough to try them at the store and expect not to feel a little discomfort afterwards. Go beyond the comfort of your rugged or carpeted bedroom and wear the shoes around for a while. Wear them to do household chores, and even outside the house on uneven ground, since you may have to move around a lot. Walking in heels is different from other shoes, especially if the heels are tending towards the slim side. If you can watch videos of models on the runway in high heels, try to imitate their steps just to have an idea of getting the right posture. When you strut, start with small steps and always balance on your heel first before your toe.



Hard as it may seem for a first time wearer, high heels are one of the best fashion items ever known to ladies. The trick is to stand without slouching and imagine yourself walking along an invisible straight line, with your head held high and your toes pointing forward. Just relax and let your confidence take over. Welcome to the real world of classy women!