Top-of-the-World Feeling

Glam up your gams without hurting your feet with tips on how to pick the perfect pair of high heels for you

Issue: Jan 2014

High heels are the ultimate fashion statement, elongating legs, glamourising outfits and adding a wiggle to your walk
High heels are the ultimate fashion statement, elongating legs, glamourising outfits and adding a wiggle to your walk

They make you look taller, stand straighter, and put a little wiggle to your walk. High heels shoes elongate the silhouette, making legs look longer and more slender; plus they add a touch of glamour to an outfit, making them important accessories for special occasions.

However, high heel shoes are no modern inventions. They go as far back as 9th-century Near East when raised heels were worn by horse riders to hold their feet in the stirrups. 16th-century European royalty used to wear them to appear larger than life, giving rise to the term “well-heeled” to refer to people in authority or with wealth.

Of course, we have all heard the health warnings related to long-term use of high heels, but if you know how to pick them right, you can safely wear those heels without pain or damage to your feet.

1. Know Your Type

Classic pumps like this one from Aerosoles (S$178) are the standard go-to work heels
Classic pumps like this one from Aerosoles (S$178) are the standard go-to work heels
Photo credit: Aerosoles

There are several types of high heels. A classic is the pumps - covered shoes with low cut fronts that begin from two inches which are considered standard work shoes. According to Aerosoles, Cathay Pacific air stewardesses, for example, wear Aerosoles pumps as part of their uniform.

“Your foot bends when you step, so our shoes are constructed to be flexible enough to bend with your feet, making them more comfortable,” explains Ong Jinchun, Business and Product Development Executive with Complement, the exclusive distributor of Aerosoles in Singapore.

(Left) Slingbacks expose a little heel while holding the shoe snugly to your feet; (Right) Leopard print kitten heels (S$158) from Aerosoles give a little lift without too much height
(Left) Slingbacks expose a little heel while holding the shoe snugly to your feet; (Right) Leopard print kitten heels (S$158) from Aerosoles give a little lift without too much height
Photo credit for image on right: Aerosoles

“The weight is also distributed towards the heels and away from the balls of your feet for longer lasting comfort.”

This five-and-a-half inch heels (S$179) from ALDO Shoes & Accessories will add bling and height to any outfit
This five-and-a-half inch heels (S$179) from ALDO Shoes & Accessories will add bling and height to any outfit
Photo credit: ALDO

Slingbacks are like pumps except that the back is not entirely covered. Instead, a strap runs across the back of the ankle to hold the foot to the shoe.

Kitten heels are slim, tapering at the toes with small heels no higher than two inches. They make great starter-heels for the uninitiated.

Stilettos are on the opposite end of the height spectrum. They are among the tallest of heels, going from anything between two to 10 inches with long, thin heels that taper to a tiny point.

“Stiletto heels are sexy because visually elongate the leg,” says Sanam Kader from ALDO International Group.

Wedges tend to have a fun, casual feel and these with details in the heels (S$168) and in a playful mix of two tones (S$138) from Aerosoles will brighten your wardrobe
Wedges tend to have a fun, casual feel and these with details in the heels (S$168) and in a playful mix of two tones (S$138) from Aerosoles will brighten your wardrobe
Photo credit: Aerosoloes

The heels of wedges run the entire length of the shoe, starter out thicker at the heel before narrowing at the toes.

“Wedges are extremely comfortable. They offer full support to the entire foot without major points of pressure. However, comfort levels can still differ drastically amongst wedges as it depends on the construction of the wedge itself, whether they are flat-form, narrow wedges or high wedges,” says Kader.

(Left) This five-and-a-half inch t-strap with peep toe and a one-and-a-half inch platform (S$179) from ALDO Shoes & Accessories is great for weddings or a wild night out; (Right) High heel sandals make a sexy option as well
(Left) This five-and-a-half inch t-strap with peep toe and a one-and-a-half inch platform (S$179) from ALDO Shoes & Accessories is great for weddings or a wild night out; (Right) High heel sandals make a sexy option as well
Photo credit for image on left: ALDO

Platform heels have thicker soles so that although they may be high, the feet are not arched at such a punishing angle thanks to the added lift from the elevated soles.

Sandals are largely held together by straps and are sexy options for a night out.

High-heeled boots are becoming all the rage and despite the humidity in Singapore, many women are willing to encase their feet (and often a good part of their legs) in them.

Boots need not be boring black as demonstrated by the two-tone ankle boots (S$188) and the blue suede ankle boots with whimsical laces (S$198) from Aerosoles
Boots need not be boring black as demonstrated by the two-tone ankle boots (S$188) and the blue suede ankle boots with whimsical laces (S$198) from Aerosoles
Photo credit: Aerosoles

2. Style It Right

If you are just starting out your high-heel collection, consider a pair of pumps in a basic colour like black or nude. Being a classic, pumps can take you from night to day. Black is good for the workplace while light-coloured shoes make legs look longer. Meanwhile, slingbacks are great if you have thicker ankles. They also accentuate the calves.

On that note, pointy-toed heels also help to create the illusion of long legs and make the body appear slimmer. The pointed toes can also make broad feet seem narrower.

“But make sure that there is forefoot room for your toes,” warns Ong from Aerosoles Singapore. “Otherwise, the constricted toes won’t give enough support. This will make your walk unstable, affecting your knees and eventually your hips.”

(Left) Open-toe sandals in matte gold from Aerosoles; (Right) T-strap with a glossy finish from ALDO Shoes & Accessories
(Left) Open-toe sandals in matte gold from Aerosoles (S$128) is another way to create the illusion of leggy gams; (Right) T-strap with a glossy finish from ALDO Shoes & Accessories (S$159) is the perfect for the little black dress but should only be worn if you have long limbs
Photo credit: Aerosoles and ALDO

T-strap heels, though, cut the legs off at the ankles and, unless you are particularly leggy, can make you look stumpy.

3. Find Your Fit

Getting the fit right for your heels is paramount
Getting the fit right for your heels is paramount

Getting the fit right for your heels can make the difference between comfortable and killer heels.

To determine fit, good arch support is paramount. The arch of your heels should hold its shape and not wobble when you wear them. Another way to test arch support is to hold the shoe with the heel in one hand and the sole in another. If you are able to twist or flex the arch, the shoe does not provide enough support.

Toe room is important as well. If you are getting point shoes, make sure the tapered portion begins after your toes. A deep toe box is important to allow for ample room for toes.

Next, check if the heels are too high for you. Stand in your heels with your knees straight. If should be able to raise yourself on tip toes with at least an inch between your heels and the ground. Otherwise, the heels are too high for you and will make you walk and stand with bent knees.

4. Walk It Out

A good posture will go a long way to helping you walk right in heels
A good posture will go a long way to helping you walk right in heels

The right way to walk in heels is with shoulders back, head high, and chest out. In other words, good posture is key to looking good and walking right in heels.

Because of their smaller base and height, heels do not allow you to take large strides. In fact, the higher the heel, the smaller your steps should be. And, always land heel first before transferring your weight to the toes. This gives better balance.

5. Take Your Time

Do not be taken in by the design, style or colour of any shoe and end up making a hasty decision. Walk around the store in the heels, and stand in them to make sure you are comfortable before you make a purchase. If the shoes are uncomfortable or do not fit well, things will not get better in time.

Once you have bought the heels, take them out for short practice runs before you commit to wearing them for a longer period of time.

Heels can be the height of high fashion and be comfortable for you as well. Now that you know the secret to finding the perfect pair for you, go right ahead and get a pair of shoes that will put you on top of the world.

Shop with us:

Aerosoles Singapore
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#03-91
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6835 7411
www.aerosoles.com
ALDO Shoes & Accessories
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Shopping Centre
#01-07
Singapore 179103
Tel: (65) 6336 2533
www.aldoshoes.com
ALDO Shoes & Accessories
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B2-02
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6509 1198
www.aldoshoes.com
ALDO Shoes & Accessories
4 Tampines Central 5
Tampines Mall
#01-08/09
Singapore 529510
Tel: (65) 6782 7063
www.aldoshoes.com
ALDO Shoes & Accessories
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#01-31
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6884 4750
www.aldoshoes.com
ALDO Shoes & Accessories
9 Bishan Place
Junction 8
#01-01/02
Singapore 579837
Tel: (65) 6258 9598
www.aldoshoes.com
ALDO Shoes & Accessories
200 Victoria Street
Bugis Junction
#01-39/40
Singapore 188021
Tel: (65) 6338 8604
www.aldoshoes.com
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