Claire Clottey talks about the not so simple art of walking, and looking good, while wearing stilettos.
Like a lot of girls, I tried on my first stilettos at the age of three and had mastered the art of walking in high heels by the age of six. So how on earth has my ability to walk in heels digressed to that of my three-year-old self?
Ok, my first pair of heels didn’t actually belong to me. They belonged to my mother. As a child, strutting around my parents’ room in my mother’s colourful heels gave me sheer joy. I would often select a pair out of her unnecessarily large collection and run downstairs, just to walk around our kitchen and enjoy the echoey acoustic sounds of the click-clack click-clack on the tiled floor.
I speak for most women when I say, even as little girls we recognised a woman’s power when she was wearing heels.
To walk into a room and be heard without speaking click-clack click-clack, and then of course the looks that the woman would receive which always went from toe to head then back down to toe.
Surely every woman remembers her first pair of high heels, whether they were sixties/baby spice inspired wedges or sparkly special occasion shoes from Ravel, our first heels were special and were a significant step as we propelled toward womanhood.
As soon as I started to earn my own money, I drowned out my mum’s lectures about twisting my ankle, getting corns and bunions, spoiling my back posture or ‘damaging my womb’ insert heavy African accent. I mean, did she really expect me, to listen to her, she who had the second biggest shoe collection I had ever seen outside of Russell & Bromley…Purleaaaaase!!!
Eighteen years old and working on Oxford Street in Central London, my shoe fetish was fully thriving. And I, along with many other women would turn into fiends when shops like Shelleys Shoes (remember them?) had a sale.
We would rationalise that the tight leather which would be rubbing on our baby toes, ‘Just needed breaking in’. We would ignore the pain in our big toe which was trying to readjust to their new environment aka the heels that we’d shoved them in: ‘My big toe nail needs cutting, that is all’. And we would dismiss the wobble in our strut on the carpeted store in our new ‘babies’ aka heels: ‘I just need to practice walking in them when I get home’.
I’ve got one simple question for you, and I want you to you answer honestly…
How many beautiful stilettoes have you purchased that have only ever been worn outside of your house once? Twice? A maximum of thrice?
Don’t kid yourself, you’re not really saving your stilettoes for a special occasion!
You probably simply haven’t mastered the art of walking in heels and instead of feeling like the powerful women in heels that you used to admire as a child, you now feel awkward, self-conscious and often in pain attempting to parade your beauty with a little added height.
The great news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. By learning to walk in stilettos using the Alexander Technique, you can glide around in a more relaxed and comfortable way. It’s not too late to learn this simple and practical method of improving your balance, support and coordination while walking in stilettos.
The ‘High Heel Guru’ aka Chyna Whyne, an internationally acclaimed artiste, actress and model hailing from Jamaica and South London has revealed all of the secrets to walking in heels through her book “Master the Art of Wearing High Heels’ and her team even delivers classes on ‘Walking in stilettoes’ to help women step out in their heels safely, elegantly, confidently and with ease.
“As much as women love heels, many have never been taught how to wear the heels properly, so they continue to end up in pain and have all sorts of problems.”
Once a sufferer of chronic lower back pain, following the demands to look glamourous in heels whilst on tour with Seal, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, Chyna sought chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy support, yet all failed to deliver long-term results.
After studying the Alexander Technique in depth for three years, Chyna is now a fully accredited teacher of the world renowned programme.
Chyna passionately believes that walking in heels needs to be taken seriously:
“Hundreds of thousands of women around the world — businesswomen, models, etc, have to wear their heels every day for work and just as people do research before taking a mortgage or buy new cars, women need to come and learn to walk in high heels and get it right.”
Ladies, if not for the sake of your splendid stiletto collection that needs resurrecting from under your bed, I urge you get out there, reclaim your title from the six-year-old princesses and strut straight back into your grandeur with a little bit of help from Walking in Stilettos.