BEAUTYCALYPSE

Grace afoot: Ditch the high heels, ladies | Fitness Habits #1

Discover how to walk most graciously without high heels – or even completely naked! Oh la la

ditch-high-heels

No secret – not even to the star-news-hating Yours Truly: Mrs SJP blames those architecturally challenging, mortgage-killing high heels she wore through several seasons of SATC for ruining her feet forever. We all know just what high heels do to our legs, veins, bones, posture, back,… But just like brain-dead (but proud) addicts, a lot of us keep wearing them.

MY STORY (NOT SPECTACULAR, SCROLL DOWN FOR THE MEAT IF TIME IS TIGHT)

Growing up a tomboy, I’ve worn high heels for maybe about 6 years of my life. But dear me, have I knocked myself out:

Racing a scooter on 13 cm heels down the company floors? Yeehaw!
Climbing the Montsegur (I’m not fu… I’m not kidding you – I did, and safely so) on 8 cm heels – hell, yes!!
Getting the 10 cm heel stuck in the stairway carpet and flying down a whole staircase – gimme!!!”

And whenever my burning feet were killing me (“Dorothy please!” I hear Lorelei Lee whisper, “A lady never admits her feet hurt!”), a foot soak (warm water + 1 cup of baking soda) of some 15 minutes have always made me feel alive again.

my-killer-heel-past

“Have you been shot in the leg, darling?”

WHAT’S THE SEX-APPEAL OF TOTTERING AGAIN?

…Funnily, I stopped wearing heels in 2009. I saw no beauty in the aesthetics of tripping about like Lorelai Gilmore Lorelei Lee a newborn deer anymore.
I now had a Harley and I was a prrrrredator. Haha 🙂

But then girlfriends who watched me rock all my awesome boots told me they could never stop wearing heels because walking in flat shoes made them feel, as one of them put it: „as if I’m waddling like a pregnant duck!“

And then I suddenly knew how to help girls ditch their high heels while gaining natural walking elegance!
Which is great because you’ll walk graciously even naked.
How cool is that? 

classic-ballet

Okay, ladies – THIS is too much for us. We’ll stick with the basics of choreography. “Plié! Relevé!”

UN, DEUX, TROIS, RELEVÉ!

The ultimate HOW-TO answer is: Take ballet lessons! 

You’ll only need the basics – posture, the classic figures and the foot exercices, and you can repeat those literally everywhere, e.g. while brushing your teeth, while waiting for your taxi, while speaking on the phone. They say you can hear a smile through a phone! Hell yes, and you can hear posture!
Nothing installs as much GRACE and CONFIDENCE into a woman’s walk as classic ballet.

Once you learn to feel your body, and your legs, you’ll move in a sexy, conscious, beautiful way. All of my dancer girlfriends rock their flats like Pavlova.

One word of wisdom though: Ballerinas and ugg boots are just as bad for the feet as crazy heels, say orthopaedists. Don’t overdo. A small heel of 3-4 cm on a well-made shoe bed is believed to be the healthiest option.

LOOSELY RELATED TOPIC:
>>>My Pinterest board “BLACKENED FASHION” celebrates dark, feline grace. 

So, what is your “heel watershed”? 😉 Do tell!

29 replies »

  1. Now ballet lessons are something I would love to take. I think good posture makes someone really stand out. I remember years ago watching a ballerina being interviewed on the television. To my then young self she seemed old but the image of her is etched on my memory because she was sitting so erect and that made her look amazing and beautiful. 😉

    • I don’t mean to sound like capt’n obvious here, but ballet is of course a dangerous sport, not everything you learn there is healthy or good for you.
      but yes, the posture as you say, is exactly the point here – the posture and a feeling for your legs, one that lets you move more gracefully.

  2. From barefoot to ballet and then ultimately ice skates – now there’s a foot challenge – 10 years of lambs wool lined boots, cutting an edge… and bruises and dancing on glass at a million miles an hour

    • Gosh. Could be my story. But I couldn’t endure ice skating for a long time really. At the age of 13, tennis seemed so much more sophisticated to me 😀

  3. Totally agree with you about the wonders of a good walk–not to mention that it makes you look ten pounds thinner to boot (and I need that one right now!).
    In my acting training at Yale, there was, understandably, a lot of focus on movement. Our hero and my mentor was a former dancer with Martha Graham and has taught so many famous actors it is crazy. Each class at some point or other we would have to “come across the floor”–not leap, not dance, just walk. It took a long time to finally own it but by the end I felt like a queen casually strolling across the Serengeti with the lions in my wake. 🙂
    The principle is simple and similar to walking well in heels (in the theatre you have to be able to do some crazy things in heels–sprint, go into the splits from a high kick…)–spine straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed down, tummy in, pelvis slightly tucked–then simply transfer the weight heel to toe and one foot to the other. Go slowly to break it down until it feels natural and you are just being yourself…walking.
    Although of course, certain women have signature walks. The famous story goes that at a photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe at the beach, her footsteps lined up in a straight line in the sand…

    • WHAT.
      A.
      STORY.
      And what a picture! Heather, Queen of the lions!

      What always has fascinated me with trained actors is how you learn to do “normal” things properly: to walk, to speak… so that when you perform, you’re aware of everything. That’s such a beautiful art!

      Oh, and I am taking voice coach lessons for my readings right now and I feel like a baby! And I even have a rather nice voice and have studied phonetics… But still. As my trainer said “You’re not speaking in a wrong way, you’re just being inefficient.”
      GOD KNOWS I hate that.

      • Heehee–that must drive you batty! 😉
        I think you do yoga too, yes? Have you ever noticed that after a really good class, your voice sounds different because you are so relaxed and open? That is where you want to be with your voice…all the time. I am sure that you are doing excercises like talking with one hand on your belly, one on your heart–feel the expanse of your breath and the resonance, then move one hand on your throat and one on the “third eye” area and feel the same–there should be vibrations shooting out everywhere–sound truly does not come out of only our mouths–think of a soprano singing opera and how she will shoot the sound out of the top of her skull to hit the high notes–the body is one big instrument! But hello??? Talk to Miss Jules Berlin about this!!!!
        And ps. Don’t be afraid to take.your.time. when you speak too…

        • this is great advice. taking my time. I can be so bloody bubbly with the most substantial stuff, people need a holiday after we’ve talked 😀

        • oh and as for the speaking exercise – we do the weirdest stuff! all the sounds a human body can produce, so amazing.

  4. I Bambi-walked around the old towns of Liguria last week in 12cm killers. Loved every minute althought feared for my life. For sure the local wine bances the wobble effect. And this week it’s ballets to make up for my sins. Hail Mary, take mercy Shiva, I bow to shoe Mecca – forgot my sins. And bless me for the weekend in südtirol when I do it again!

  5. Great post, I’ve done ballet, jazz, yoga and god knows what else but still have 2 flat feet from years of going barefoot in Australia as a child! I love the idea of sit-shoes (and being chauffeur driven around 🙂

  6. What a great well written and humorous ( and true) post. I still love my heels though I wear them less. I have been a toe stander since I was very young (short person) but never realized it until you wrote it : )

    • 🙂 thank you very much!

      In fact, the day it dawned on me one day that my relaxed feet looked like Barbie’s = toe stander type, was the first day on my way to improvement and out of the tottering addiction 🙂

      • Soooooooooooooooooooo..you are now a Berkenstock babe? Somehow I cannot fathom it but you go girl : )

        • Haha, certainly NOT! 😀
          As I said, a bit of a heel is good fot the feet. Just as much as my biker boots have, hehe 😉

  7. Sleepless nights?! Well, I am currently writing about natural running shoes… Totally love them, but love love love my heels, too. Need to admit that I have some in acrylic boxes (as said, I love them) and they are not made for walking! In German I say: ‘sit-shoes’. Perfect office shoes if the only walk is the way to your tea.

    • Tis the power of prescheduled posts. But I’m online, yup 🙂

      I think I’ve heard the expression “cab shoes”. I wear heels occasionally but exercise every time before I wear them and after I’ve worn them! otherwise the feet adopt the unnatural position and I walk in flats like I’ve got two left feet or something…