How to Walk Gracefully in Heels: 7 Tricks That Work


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When Marilyn Monroe supposedly said, "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world,” we’re fairly certain she was talking about heels. But if you can’t walk in said heels? Well, that essentially negates any potential conquests, whether you’re in the boardroom or the bar. Lucky for you, we have assembled a few extremely helpful tips for how to walk in heels with ease and grace. We suggest taking these tips to heart and trying them out. What do you have to lose?

Accordingly, we’ve put together the seven secrets to walking in heels the right way, in addition to a fresh selection of our favorite heel styles we are loving right now. From affordable basic styles to fashion-girl favorites, there isn’t a style you won’t see here. Scroll down to check out the life-changing tips, and while you’re at it, why not treat yourself to a new pair of killer heels along the way? After all, you’ll need something to test out your new skills.

Trick 1: Walk Heel to Toe—not toe to heel


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The easiest way to look like an amateur in heels is to put your whole foot down at once as if you’re wearing flats. When wearing heels, put your heel down first, followed by your toe. This will make your walk look more natural.

Trick 2: Take Small Steps


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Trying to walk quickly in heels often ends up looking quite awkward. Between the smaller steps and the compromised balance, it’s best to take your time in heels. Besides, walking slowly gives off an air of confidence.

Trick 3: Don't Rush


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)

Wearing heels makes your stride shorter than normal, so you’ll have to take an increased number of small steps to go the same distance. We’re not recommending baby steps, but don’t try to take your usual long strides either.

Trick 4: Lean Slightly Back


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)

You may find you want to walk faster than your heels will allow, and end up craning your neck forward to compensate. This ends up looking strange, so allow yourself to lean just the slightest bit back when walking in heels, as this will counteract your inclination to lean forward.

Trick 5: Visualize Yourself Walking in a Straight Line


(Image credit: Raymond Hall/GC Images)

When you want to draw a straight line, you’ll get better results if you look at your endpoint as you draw, rather than looking at your pencil as it moves. Similarly, when walking in heels, you’ll walk more gracefully if you look at your goal point (maybe it’s the podium at the end of the stage), and visualize a straight line going toward your endpoint, rather than looking down at your heels as you walk.

Trick 6: Arch Your Foot Slightly


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)

As you take each step, or if you feel yourself slipping, arch your foot slightly to put pressure on the inside of your shoe. This will make your shoe fit closer to your foot, making it easier to maneuver.

Trick 7: Make Sure Your Shoes Fit


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)

If your shoes are ill-fitting, it makes the difficult task of walking naturally in heels almost impossible. If your heels are too big, use shoe pads for a better fit. If they are too small, consider having them stretched by a local cobbler. 

Next, 20 Jeans-and-Heels Outfits You'll See Everywhere in 2023

This post was published at an earlier date and has been recently updated.

Editor in Chief

Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings worked on styling projects for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.