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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breaking In Heels for Modeling: Why It's So Important

(This blog post will be mainly useful to new/inexperienced female models.)

Heels and modeling go together like Oreos and milk. Regardless of the type of model one wants to be, knowing how to walk properly in heels is crucial. Ladies, have you ever put on a pair of heels and automatically felt like a more elegant and grander version of yourself?

Wearing heels--for whatever reason--transforms us. It causes us to walk differently and makes us super aware of how our bodies are moving. Don't ask me to explain this phenomenon--it just is what it is.

However, nothing is worse than being in a pair of heels that haven't been broken in. It is vital that models of all experience levels--but mainly newbies that may not know any better--start strutting their stuff in any pair of heels they've just bought. Trust me, by doing this your feet will thank you!

So what's the hubbub about breaking shoes in? For one thing, it makes wearing the shoes themselves much more comfortable. You don't have to deal with that stiff and tight feeling that makes you walk funny. The shoes will feel roomy enough and will eventually mold to the natural shape of your feet. This is so important when it comes to doing a runway walk in heels.

If the heels hurt your feet, you're going to walk like they hurt. Very few people can pull this type of painful experience off without giving some hint of their discomfort. It sucks having to walk in a casting for a fashion show and trying to put forth your best performance, when all you want to do is take your heels off and chuck them out of the window. When your heels feel right, you feel right.

Another advantage that comes with properly breaking in your heels for modeling is that it'll keep your feet from looking like they've gone a couple rounds in a UFC fight. Water blisters are among the most common side effects that result from wearing heels that haven't been broken in properly. When shoes haven't been worn in, they tend to fit too tightly and when it comes to the shoe rubbing up against the back of your heel, this typically turns into a sore. This happens when the shoe actually rubs off layers of the skin, leaving it red, raw and painful to the touch. Not only does this hurt like the dickens, when it heals it's going to turn into an ugly, dark scab.

Without proper treatment (like applying ointment to speed up the wound healing), it will leave a discolored mark/scar. One of the easiest ways to tell whether a girl is a model and/or wears heels that haven't been broken in is by how damaged the skin on the back of her heels are. It's not pretty.

One of the most painful sights I continue to see while out on the job is how horrible a model does her runway walk because she's wearing heels that she's just purchased. 99.9% of the time when I see a model walk funky and ask her if she just bought her shoes, she'll say yes. While on that subject, NEVER buy brand new heels and wear them to a shoot, casting or fashion show if you haven't had the time to break them in. Sometimes this can't be helped but avoid it if at all possible. It will not only lead to pain, it will mess up your walk.

I've found that wearing my heels around the house while doing everyday stuff is the best way for me to break my heels in. And you don't have to only wear them while practicing your runway walk--wear them while going up and down the stairs, while you're sitting down eating a meal, walking from room to room, etc. Try to wear your heels at home (and outside whenever possible) for at least 1-2 hours straight each day. Bare minimum: 30 minutes daily.

In the event that your heels end up rubbing horribly against the back of your heels, prep beforehand by applying Band-Aids to the area for protection while you're breaking them in. Other alternatives include wearing thin socks or leggings while walking around in your heels. This will help with making them more "roomy" so that blisters are less likely to occur. There are also a slew of foot products available at drugstores like blister cushions and special adhesive gel strips that are placed inside of the shoe where the discomfort is.

The actual time it takes to break in heels varies. Each person's experience will also depend on the fit and style/design of the shoe. Simply put: the more you wear them, the faster you'll be able to break them in. It will hurt at first and you may end up getting blisters but that's part of the process. It's so worth it in the end when you can slip on a pair of 4 of 5 inch Stilettos and they feel like sneakers.

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