High heels are gorgeous, and there’s nothing that changes a silhouette faster than slipping on a pair of pumps. Not only does it lengthen the leg, lift the glutes, and make you taller, people walk differently in high heels too. That delicious swing of the hips when you’re in a pair of killer heels is something we adore.

Unfortunately, high heels aren’t always great for your feet. High heels create insane pressure on the balls of your feet and can contribute to uneven muscle growth in the legs. In fact, most chiropractors, massage therapists, osteopaths, and more will suggest against wearing high heels at all.

So how do you reconcile your love for the heel with the damage it can do to you? You educate yourself!

Your first step when it comes to wearing high heels is to understand the different types of high heels available on the market and how they feel on. This is a trial and error experiment where you may have to end up with a pair of heels you can’t wear to figure out what you can wear. A stiletto will wear (and feel) vastly different to a wedge, as will a peep-toe to a Mary Jane. Try and see which style fits your foot best and makes you feel most at ease.

High heels wear differently than sneakers, because of this, finding the right fit in a high heel is a bit different. JJ’s House designer Jessica helps brides find wedding shoes for their big every day, and she has the following tips:

Go bigger

“High heels can make your feet swell over the course of the day, so you’ll be more comfortable if you err on the side of slightly larger.”

Use a narrow heel

“A narrow heel will prevent your foot from sliding forward or sliding out. I get women to walk around in the heels quite a bit first to make sure they like the way their foot feels in them.”

Use a thicker heel for stability

“If you’re going to be on uneven ground or aren’t 100% comfortable in heels, I always recommend a chunkier heel to add stability to the shoe.”

If you’re new to wearing high heels, there’s no shame in starting low. Shorter heels may not have the drama of the 4-inch stiletto, but they will help teach you how to move your body in high heels so you can graduate to those stilettos (if you so choose). Straps can also be helpful for people new to wearing high heels. The straps serve to anchor your foot into the shoe and will prevent you from feeling unbalanced when you walk in them.

Personally, we think summer is the best time of year to start practicing wearing high heels. There is a considerable variety of chunky-heeled, strappy summer sandals that are easy to wear, affordable to purchase, and surprisingly comfortable that will help you get used to the feel of high heels.

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