Stilettos require constant balance from the upper leg, causing the muscles of the backside to tense and appear pert and ready for mating.
Pat - Kinky Boots
Walking in extremely high heels is not something that the average woman (or man) will need to do in their everyday life. However, there are times when this skill may be required, and then we will need to know what height is considered extremely high and who would be able to both wear and walk in them. Though this Entry uses 'she' and 'her' it does not assume that all extremely high-heel wearers will be women. Heel height of shoes in this Entry is measured from the floor to the bottom of the shoe, with no platform.
When learning to walk in extremely high heels great care must be taken. It is better to master the art slowly, by beginning with a lower heel, and progressing in half-inch steps as each stage is mastered. Otherwise, damage could occur. It is much harder to walk in six-inch heels than it is in four-inch heels, or even five-inch heels.
The advice in this Entry can be followed by anyone wearing any sized heel, even two-inch heels or lower, on a regular basis. It would be particularly useful to those who haven't worn heels before, such as young teenagers or pantomime dames.
To walk gracefully in high heels, take short steps, as opposed to long strides, and come down in a heel-toe, heel-toe motion, with most of the weight distributed on the ball of the foot. Extremely high heels alter the centre of balance by pushing out the backside and the breasts, and force the hips to sway from side to side to compensate. Most high-heel wearers lean forward because they feel unbalanced. Stand up straight; the heel prevents us from toppling over backwards. Keep your legs together, and try not to bend them more than usual when walking.
Six-inch heels are considered to be at the extreme end of the high-heels spectrum (although higher heels do exist and some would consider six to be merely 'high') and are too high for many women to walk in – dainty feet just aren't long enough for the heels to be raised six inches off the floor and still keep the ball of the foot touching the floor. If the ball of the foot does not touch the floor, then the heels are too high for the foot and must not be worn standing up. If all the weight is on the toes only, severe damage will be caused that could need surgery to be corrected. To be able to walk in heels this high, it's probably necessary to be an imperial (British) size seven or above. You may need to buy one or even two sizes larger than your normal shoe, so don't despair if you have small feet and really want to wear them. When buying, try on a few to see if you can find one to fit and don't expect to wear the same size as a flat shoe. The shoes should fit properly with no tight spots and have a big enough toe box that the toes aren't forced into the end of the shoe.
The wearer needs to be able to stand up straight with little or no bending of the ankles or at the knees. If she has to bend these joints to stand up, then walking will be impossible. All is not lost however, as ankle-strengthening exercises can be done which will help to straighten the ankles out. Once the ankles are straight, the knees will also straighten and walking will be possible. Ankle straps or boots that are tight at the ankle will also lend some support.
Walking in six-inch heels is very different to walking in two-inch, or even four-inch heels, so be very careful and don't rush. When wearing six-inch heels, the middle part of the foot is flexed downwards around 70 to 80 degrees.
Learning to Walk Again
Walking in heels this high is not easy, and will require lots of practice and training. Ballet dancers need to practice very hard to be able to dance on pointe, and it's not very different with extremely high heels. Don't choose backless or extremely flimsy heels to start off with. You get what you pay for, so don't try buying the cheapest you can find – your health is at risk. The heel should be reinforced, usually with a steel tube inside it. Wedge heels will be easier to learn in than a stiletto.
The first step in learning to walk in these heels is learning to stand. Simply standing for short periods will be beneficial when learning to walk. This uses the body weight to help the legs and feet adapt to the position of the heels, especially if the same pair is used. A few minutes at a time to start, building up to no more than one hour. Standing in front of a full-length mirror will help you to practise your posture at the same time. Choose a room with a hard (not slippery) floor that your heels will not damage, or a low-pile carpet. A thick pile or padded floor will affect your balance too much while you are practising.
Once you are confident standing, try walking a few steps. As you get more confident, walk slowly back and forth, and try turning in different directions, even side-stepping, always concentrating on your balance. Walk towards your full-length mirror to check how you look. There's no point in learning to walk in such high heels if your gait is awkward and ungraceful. As you get more used to it you can try walking on different surfaces.
Stairs are an obstacle course not to be considered lightly, and extreme care must be taken. It is advisable to walk down at a slight sideways angle - so your feet aren't straight out on each stair, but angled slightly sideways (your whole body should match this posture). It makes toppling forwards and therefore down the stairs less likely, as well as being the 'proper' way for a lady to descend stairs. Always stay close to the rail, and use it if necessary. A sturdy partner to hold onto can look more glamorous, but always remember that the entire foot should land on each step at once, not toe or heel first on the way down. On the way up, use only the sole.
Out and About
Before you go out in your heels wear them around the house a little, as you watch TV, or make yourself a cup of tea. Carrying a full glass of water without spilling it shows that you have reached the height of beauty and grace in your heels. Be aware of any hazards such as loose rugs, 'Welcome' mats and even the slightest difference between flooring levels, because these can trip the unwary.
Heels this high are not meant for clubbing or walking long distances in. They are mainly used for getting from the living room to the bedroom, from the car to the restaurant, or for a short stroll along the catwalk. Avoid anything that you will slip on or sink into, such as ice, slush, mud, grass, sand, gravel and grated surfaces. If you cannot avoid dangerous surfaces, take off your shoes and walk barefoot, or make your partner carry you across.
A good tip for the dominatrix is to blindfold your partner and then replace your heels with some comfortable slippers, only putting them back on just before the blindfold comes off. For the submissive, well, you're not likely to be on your feet for long anyway.
Under no circumstances drive a car with your heels on. Not only do you have less control over the car, but it will damage your shoes - and they aren't cheap at this height. Keep spare shoes in the car for driving, or have someone drive you.
Doing exercises before wearing any size of heels warms up the muscles of your feet and calves and can make the experience less stressful on your body. Take a few minutes to stretch your toes, spreading them as far as possible, and then relaxing them, repeat a few times. Point and flex your feet to stretch your Achilles heel and circle your feet round in both directions.
Wearing extremely high heels can damage the feet, especially if the toes are pointed, or the shoes are too tight. Damage can sometimes be so extreme that the sufferer can never wear any high heel ever again.
Shin splints can happen when very high heels are worn. The anterior tibial muscle1 tears away from the bone causing pain when the muscle is used. Starting with lower heels and practising for short lengths of time, gradually building up the height and time will help to prevent this happening, as will warming up the muscles before each session. Treatment for shin splints involves gentle stretching exercises, doing some non-weight-bearing exercise such as swimming, and shoe inserts to support the foot (although professional opinion is divided on whether these actually help or not). You should consult your doctor.
Wearing very high heels to excess can cause the calf muscles and Achilles tendons to become permanently shortened. Other tendons and connective tissues can also become permanently disfigured, and the whole area reshaped for high-heel wear only, even to the exact measurement of one pair of heels. Various tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues in the lower body can then become easily sprained, strained and injured when wearing flat shoes. To help avoid this, the calf muscles should be stretched and exercised on a regular basis. Before putting heels on have a brisk walk, jog or run on the spot for a few minutes to warm up your muscles. After wearing your heels for an extended period, stand with your legs apart barefoot on the floor. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips and try to touch your toes. It is good to get into the habit of doing the warm-up and cool-down exercises every time you wear them.
Standing for long periods of time in high heels can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT), although standing even in low heels carries this risk. This is a condition in which blood clots form in deep veins, mainly in the legs. DVT has also been linked to sitting for long periods of time, especially when there is not much room to move the legs. Any movement of the legs can help to prevent this.
Making sure the shoe fits properly is essential. Toppling over on shoes this high can cause a broken ankle, wrist fractures and worse. A strap across the front of the foot or round the ankle can help to prevent falling off the shoe.
If the skin on the bottom of your feet gets hard, try to treat it. It can become as painful as walking on glass eventually.
If you feel any pain in your ankles or feet while wearing your high heels, take them off immediately. You will miss the ability to stand and walk comfortably much more than you miss wearing your heels.
With all the weight of the body on the balls of the feet every little speck of gravel can be felt through the shoe, even walking on hard surfaces can be painful. Known as metatarsalgia (ball-of-foot pain), a burning sensation can sometimes be felt after wearing heels for a long time, or they can make an existing condition worse. Try using an inner sole in the shoe, or a gel filled cushion under the ball of the foot, making sure this doesn't make the shoe too tight.
Wearing tights or stockings can look very sexy with high heels, especially if they have a seam running up the back of the leg. Many high-heel wearers do wear socks for comfort under their heels, especially if they are wearing boots or fishnet stockings. With fishnets the sock goes under the stockings to avoid cutting off the blood supply to your toes.
If clothes are long, extra care should be taken when walking, as the hem of long dresses or coats can get caught in the heel. This can lead to rips and tears in the clothes and can cause a nasty accident.
Extreme high heels can be an object of sexual desire in themselves. They change the posture of the wearer and lengthen the legs, emphasising the calf muscles. The curve of the arch and the naked ankle are vertically penetrated by the slender stiletto. Buckles and straps tying the foot into the shoe can imply sexual bondage. Feet point during orgasm, and high heels mimic this, high heels to extreme.
Foot movement, and even movement of the entire body is restricted in such high heels, meaning that the wearer can be considered to be in the power of her partner, as running away is impossible. They can also make the dominatrix superior to her partner, as she suddenly towers over him, making him feel small and powerless.