Learn to Walk Like a Supermodel in High Heels

Get Tips to Strut Like a Modeling Pro

High heels are a girl’s best friend. They make you stand taller, look slimmer, and give you that extra boost of confidence that can only come from wearing a killer pair. As a model, being able to walk gracefully in heels of all heights is an absolute must. Whether you’re working the runway or not, it’s a skill that’ll keep you at the top of your game. After all, versatility is key!

Learning how to walk in high heels can be a little tricky, but these helpful tips will bring out the Gisele Bündchen in everyone.

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Slip on a Pair You Love

View of woman wearing high heels
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Do you have a pair of heels that you are obsessed with, but can’t quite get the hang of? Great! Slip them on. Like everything in life, learning to walk in heels is way more fun when you love what you’re wearing. Just be sure they’re the right size. If the fit isn't quite right, try slipping an insole inside, which can prevent your foot from sliding too far forward, or stick a padded insert in the inside of the heel to prevent your heel from slipping out when you walk.

If you’re a little nervous about starting with the sky-high stiletto of your dreams, you can always start with wedges. They give you the height of a heel but are a little easier to manage. Once you’ve mastered those, you can keep on adding those inches.

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Break in the Bottoms

Pillar of style
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As America's Next Top Model star, Miss J Alexander, told Glamour Magazine, “Scratch the bottom of your soles with sandpaper.” While it may seem sacrilegious to scuff up a pair of shoes you’ve barely worn, it’ll give you extra traction—and that’s always a good thing.

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Test out a Variety of Surfaces

Businesswoman in high heels walking through the city with her purse in hand.
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It would be great if the entire world were carpeted, but it’s not. That’s why you need to leave the plush confines of your bedroom and explore a variety of different surfaces. Try walking on hardwood, tiles, concrete, grass, and any surface you can get your feet on. A great place to practice is the supermarket. While the floor is slippery and you may have an audience, you can use a grocery cart to stabilize you as you glide up and down the aisles.

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Be Conscious of Your Body

Young businesswoman walking outdoors
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Walking gracefully in high heels is a head-to-toe experience. Relax your hips and knees, engage your abs, keep your shoulders back, and hold your head high. It might seem impossible at first, but you’ll eventually find your rhythm.

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Take Small Steps

walking in high heels
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Be careful not to overextend yourself with long, quick strides. Wearing heels naturally makes your strides shorter, so you’ll need to take more steps than usual.

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Look Tall and Elegant While Sitting

how to walk sit in high heel shoes
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There’s no shame in occasionally taking a seat. As Miss J added, “Whenever and wherever you can, sit, sit, sit!” It’ll give your feet a chance to rest and allow you to walk more comfortably. Plus, if you sit in a cute way—stretched at the waist and legs crossed at the ankle—you’ll be able to show off both your legs and shoes.

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Heel First, Then Toe

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When walking, step with your heel first, and your toes last. It looks the best and gives you more balance. The exceptions to this rule are when you’re walking downstairs (heel and toe together), or up the stairs (all of your weight on your toe). No matter how ready you are for the Paris runways, it’s still a good idea to hold onto the railing.

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Practice, Practice, Practice

Legs of woman walking in red high heels
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The only way you’re going to master the art of the high heel is to practice continuously. Wear them around your home whenever possible, and don’t be afraid to venture out in public once in a while. Getting out of the house in your heels makes you extra aware of your posture, stride, and technique, and it never hurts to take notes on how professional models are walking.

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Know That Accidents Happen

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Even Naomi Campbell couldn’t help but smile when she bailed in the middle of a Vivienne Westwood show in 1993. If you take a tumble, you’re not doomed to a life in flats. Just get up, laugh it off, and keep on strutting. You’ve earned it!