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Test-drive high heels before a big dayAn important meeting or interview, a first date, or a wedding is not the place to break in your new high heels. So what is? "The supermarket," says Camilla Morton, author of How to Walk in High Heels and A Year in High Heels. "Get a cart and go for a spin. As you stock up on groceries, use the cart for balance while your feet get used to the new high heel."
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Prep Your SolesTweak your soles with a discreet little pad like Grippy Steps, which affix to the bottom of your shoe and help create some traction on marble, tile and carpet. In need of a quicker fix? "Scratch the bottom of your soles with sandpaper," J. Alexander suggests, or—even cheaper—head out to the street and start scuffing.
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Work your legs properly"Walking in heels is not an easy task, even for us models who wear them almost every day," says model and runway regular Ali Stephens. "Make sure when you take a step you straighten and extend your leg—it'll help you move gracefully and elegantly. Otherwise, you can look very uncoordinated, and your walk will appear choppy."
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Close your eyes while standing stillGetting a feel for where your weight falls in high heels is easier if you try it with your eyes closed first—just don't take a step. "Before you even walk in them, stand up, close your eyes, put your hand on your core and get a good feel for them," Meghan Cleary says. "Then open your eyes a little bit, then a bit more, and start taking a few steps while you focus on that core area." Your body will be forced to readjust and use other muscles to help you balance.
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Break your heels in at homeWhen you buy a new pair of high heels, you need to customize them for your feet, says Meghan Cleary, a shoe expert and the author of The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoe Says About You. "Bring them home, wear them for an hour, and anywhere you feel a bit of pain or rubbing, that's where you want to address because it will become very painful after four hours of wear," she says. "You mostly feel it on the ball of your foot, because that's where the pressure has been distributed." She recommends padding them up with Dr. Scholl's Ball of Foot Cushions and Rub Relief Strips. "Do it before the first time you wear them out."
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Be mindful of when you wear your heelsOne little-realized piece of advice: our feet swell throughout the day, so it matters when you buy new high heels or slip into your favorite pair. At the end of a long day, your feet have had enough, so if you're going out in the evening, make sure you rest your feet before strapping on those heels. If you getting dressed early in the morning, your foot won't be swollen at all so you might want to bring a pair of flats for when they do.
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Take a seat every 20 minutes or so"Whenever and wherever you can, sit, sit, sit!," says J. Alexander, the former runway coach on America's Next Top Model. "And cross your legs so that all can see your beautiful, fashion-forward, painful footwear. Think of yourself as a model on a photo shoot and stretch from the waist."
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Keep up that yogaKeeping your balance in treacherous shoes is hard for anyone, even the pros. One model we spoke to who's a regular on the runways of fashion week says regular yoga helps keep her balanced. The more aware you are of your core muscles, the better chance you have of staying steady.
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Confidence is keyThere's no substitute for knowing you look great in a pair of high heels. All our experts agree: "You have to feel good and make it work," says model Ariel Meredith. "Don't let the fear of stumbling keep you from owning these shoes," adds Ali Stephens, while Miss J. suggests you should "think of yourself as a model in attitude and presence."
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It was a little over a week ago that I first tried my hand at outdoor dining in New York since the pandemic shuttered restaurant doors and ushered the city’s inhabitants indoors. For the occasion, I, of course, wore a mask (I like these ones from Oak + Fort). With it, I chose a pair of faded vintage jeans, a ribbed tank top, and my favorite pair of black satin mules from By Far. (They are currently on sale at Net-A-Porter.) This time last year, I was wearing them nearly every day, be it to the office, late-night dinners, or rooftop parties. Now, they mostly go untouched. Suffice to say, after months of flip-flops and sneakers, getting the chance to take my “fancy” shoes out for a spin was a big part of what made going out again exhilarating.By the end of the evening, any hesitations I had surrounding the return to restaurant dining were squashed. That is, until I stood up from the table only to realize how not ready my feet — squished into heels for the first time in five months — were for any shoes that weren’t meant for indoor wear only. My yearning for social interaction (and pasta) had kept me distracted during the walk to the restaurant. The walk back, however, was torture. Pinched, blistered, and nursing a subtle limp that I didn’t recall having pre-quarantine, I placed my fancy shoes back on the shelf upon finally making it home. Before quarantine, buying and subsequently putting on a really nice pair of shoes was the epitome of luxury, like booking a spa day after a long week at work or splurging on a Sweetgreen salad for lunch. Blame it on Carrie Bradshaw, but I always had the mentality that it was the right shoes that made an outfit, not a bag or a dress. You walk taller, straighter, and with more of a purpose when you have on a great pair of heels, even if they are just an inch or two tall. And while at five months into a pandemic, I’ve accepted that I won’t return to work, see a movie, or travel anywhere outside of the tri-state area until probably next year, one thing I’m not yet willing to let go of is my love of fancy shoes. Maybe that’s silly. After all, shoes are just shoes, and there are bigger concerns in the world than footwear right now. But, for me, as a young woman in a city like New York, they played a crucial role in helping me overcome the feeling of, “Should I really be here?” that everyone’s felt once or twice simply by living in a place like this. They acted as proof that I’d made it, even if I technically haven’t. Bar hopping and indoor dining I can live without for a year. The feeling of fulfillment that comes with being able to, on your own, buy a pair of expertly crafted shoes (even if they are bought secondhand at The RealReal) and then show them off, however, isn’t quite so easy to let go of. > Just had such a pang thinking suddenly and fondly of a pair of dress shoes I used to wear often when I had cause to go out into the world, as if it were a distant cousin I had played with as a child, our acquaintance now long lapsed> > — Matthew Schneier (@MatthewSchneier) August 6, 2020I am not alone. Last night, whilst participating in my nightly peruse of the Twitterverse, I came across a tweet from New York Magazine and The Cut features writer Matthew Schneier that said: “Just had such a pang thinking suddenly and fondly of a pair of dress shoes I used to wear often when I had cause to go out into the world, as if it were a distant cousin I had played with as a child, our acquaintance now long lapsed.” Another user named Holly tweeted: “Just bought some cute new shoes online. With my new quarantine lifestyle I need shoes like a fish needs a bicycle but I had a coupon and am trying to feel hopeful for the future.” I can relate.While, yes, I have ventured outside since Governor Cuomo gave New York City the go ahead to reopen, more often than not, I’m inside my apartment, making shoes almost entirely impractical. But, as mentioned above, impractical or not, shoes, especially those of the fancy variety, can induce a feeling of hope that’s becoming harder to come by with each passing day. If putting on a pair of kitten heels, platform loafers, or strappy sandals every now and again can remedy even some of the woes inherent in 2020, why not just embrace them? So to my fancy shoes, I’ll say this: I miss you, and even though you’re often cruel to me, leaving my feet tattered and in desperate need of a recovery pedicure, I won’t forget about you. I promise. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Sleeper Just Launched A Line Of Inside ShoesThe Internet's Top-Rated Indoor Footwear OptionsAn Ode To Inside Shoes, A Quarantine Fashion Trend
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I'm going to be honest with you: even though I haven’t paid full price for shampoo, moisturizer, or even body wash in what could easily be the past four years, your girl still loves a sale. As a beauty writer, I'm lucky to get a lot of my products gifted to me for free. But, that doesn’t mean you won't still see me surfing Sephora's sale section for coveted markdowns on Pat McGrath lipsticks or find me first in virtual line at Ulta's 50% off event. And because I'm constantly keeping tabs on the fluctuating prices of my favorite goods, I've decided to share the best of my bookmarked beauty deals with you. Welcome to The Score, courtesy of your resident R29 beauty thrifter (me!), where you can shop my premium product hit list sourced from the best sale sections across the internet. Things may feel a little uncertain right now, but you can count on me to dutifully update this story as often as the next big Sunday Riley discount or Supergoop! deal drops. Ahead, find everything from luxe value-bundled sets to price-chopped Fenty Beauty and beyond. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Our Editors' Favorite Drugstore Face MasksEvery Deal Dropping During Ulta's Big Beauty SaleHow To Shop Sephora's Half-Off Beauty Sale
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