Some of us seem to have the knack of walking in heels, and some of us gave up trying years ago, but learning how to look elegant in high heels is no different from learning any other skill. Once you get the basics right, it’s something that you can do without thinking and it’s a skill that you will never lose. So, get that pair of heels that you hardly ever wear out of your closet and start practicing. Here are ten of the best secrets on how to walk in high heels gracefully, like a pro.

1. Make sure that your shoes fit you properly

You will never master the art of walking in heels if your shoes are not the right size. If they are too small, you will be wincing with the pain and you will end the day with blisters. If they are too big, your foot will slide around inside them and you will be more likely to stumble and twist your ankle. Remember that your shoe size can change, so have your feet sized once a year and don’t just assume that you know your shoe size.

2. Walk slowly

Another good tip on how to walk in high heels gracefully is to walk slowly. You are not going to be able to walk in heels as fast as you can in gym shoes, so don’t even try. Heels will naturally make you take shorter strides, so you won’t be able to keep up the same pace as you would in flats without making it look like you are running, but with little baby steps, so slow down and take your time.

3. Put your feet down, heel first

One of the first signs that you are heel novice is that loud clomping sound you sometimes hear as someone plants their entire foot down on the ground in one go. You need to place the heel down first and then move onto the sole of your foot. It takes a bit of practice to get used it, but once you have it mastered, it will just come naturally.

4. Don’t look down at your feet

If you have ever watched someone walk a tightrope, you will have noticed that they look straight ahead at where they are going, not down at their feet. You should do the same and look at where you are going, not at your heels. It’s not only to stop you bumping into everyone; it will also give you more poise and better balance.

5. Scratch the soles of new heels before you wear them

It may seem a bit of strange thing to do, deliberately scuffing up a brand new pair of heels, but the soles of your shoes will get scratched anyway. When you get a new pair of heels home, scratch the soles with a piece of sandpaper before you wear them. It will give you more traction when you walk on slippery surfaces, like tiles or polished wooden floors.

6. Buy heels with sturdy soles

Look for heels that have thicker, sturdy soles, especially if you are new to wearing high heels. Heels that have very thin soles are more difficult to walk in and they make the bottoms of your feet sore faster. Thicker soles, or small platforms, will cushion your feet and give you some protection.

7. Keep a good posture

One of the key tips on how to walk in high heels gracefully is to think about your posture. If you are new to wearing heels, then you may find yourself leaning forward slightly as you walk, but this will make you unstable on your feet. Walk with a straight back, head up, and keep your arms held loosely at your sides. This will give you better balance and help you walk more naturally.

8. Watch the road ahead

An experienced wearer of high heels will know that heels aren’t exactly made for rough terrain, so she will be on constant lookout for any dangers ahead. Keep an eye out for anything that may give you trouble, like uneven paving, gaps between floorboards, and any slippery surfaces. Avoid these if you can, or take extra care if you can’t.

9. Take regular breaks

Heels can be tough on the feet, so take breaks and sit down, when you get a chance to. If you are out for the night and you’re dancing, sit down every twenty minutes or so and give your feet a rest. Pacing yourself, and limiting the time you spend on your feet, will stop your feet getting sore, so you will be able to last the whole night.

10. Walk to a beat

Try not to think too much about walking in heels and you will be able to walk with more confidence and look more graceful. To put a bit of a spring in your step, try singing one of your favourite tunes to yourself and walk in step to the beat. Walk with a rhythm and it will feel more like dancing and you look a lot more graceful.