That's a pretty staggering figure and points to a super simple change that can make a huge difference in how you walk in heels — not to mention that wearing the proper size shoes will improve your overall foot health.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Here's some expert advice from around the Web that'll help us all walk a little better in heels.
First and foremost, you want to make sure your heels (or any shoe, for that matter) are the proper size. If they're too big, your foot will slide around awkwardly. Too small and your foot will feel cramped, which'll make walking a pain — literally and figuratively. For the best fit, get your foot sized frequently.
If you've never baked before, you wouldn't start out by baking a five-tier fondant-covered cake from scratch. If you’ve never walked in high heels before, don’t start out learning with 5-inch stilettos — that’s a recipe for pain and maybe even injury. Try something smaller, like a 2-inch heel or wedge to get used to the feeling. You can always work your way up to your most killer heels.
Be Conscious of the Rest of Your Body
Engage your abs — this gives you poise and control. Walk heel to toe, which transfers impact to the leg instead of the ball of the foot. And relax your hips and knees so you'll be fluid and graceful." It's kind of like doing that thing where you pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time. It seems impossible at first but then, eventually, you get into a rhythm.
There's no shame in taking a seat now and then. It'll give your feet a chance to rest so when you are on your feet, you'll be able to walk more comfortably.
Let The Music Move You
You don't think about every step you take when you're walking in flip flops or flats, so try not to think too hard about the way you walk in heels. Concentrating too hard will make you look awkward. Instead, think about walking to a beat. If you walk to the subway and put your headphones on and walk to music . . . listen to the rhythm and walk to the beat. Feel like you’re dancing, almost.
Look For Sturdy Soles
Paper-thin soles don't provide great support for your feet. If possible, choose a style that's made with a more substantial material. You want a thicker sole or a little bit of a platform, which will offset some of the pressure when you’re walking. A rubbery kind of material will absorb that pressure.
Slow It Down
Heels aren't worn in gym class for a reason, so take your time when you're walking in them. Wearing heels naturally makes your stride shorter, so you’ll need to take more steps than usual.
Break In The Bottoms
Scratch the bottom of your soles with sandpaper. It seems like a strange idea to purposely rough-up a brand new pair of shoes, but slick soles don't provide any traction on surfaces like hardwood and tile. To mitigate this problem, scuff them up a bit. If you don't have sandpaper, stroll up and down a sidewalk instead.
Get Some Over-The-Counter Help
There are plenty of products available at the pharmacy that'll give your feet some extra support. They are called metatarsal or ball of the foot pads. Especially if it’s made of silicone, it will hold your foot more steady in the shoe so your feet aren’t sliding forward as much, which will protect your toes from friction and blisters. Fewer blisters means that you'll be able to walk more comfortably.
Stick these soft pads on your feet to reduce a bit of the pressure that's placed on the balls of your feet.