I've been living in Germany for a few years now, and one of the differences in style between German women and women from Southern Europe, like myself, is the preference to wear high heels.
Of course, we Southern European women are generally shorter than German women, and we are always happy to wear high heels that give us a few extra inches. And we are still here, alive and healthy, with full legs and feet and no broken hips.
But whenever work colleagues or friends in Germany saw me in my stilettos, I knew the topic of the dreaded high heels in Germany would come up. "Oh, your shoes are beautiful. I wish I could wear those heels, but I can't" - if I earned 1 euro for every time I heard that, I'd be in the Bahamas right now enjoying the early retirement of a millionaire :)
In the years I worked at Adidas and occasionally wore high heels to work, a humorous colleague liked to tease me and say, "Wow, you could even stab someone with that heel."
You don't have to be afraid to wear high heels, and of course you can wear them without hurting yourself, without being in pain, and without walking like a duck. For that, I'll give you the same tips and advice I've given to so many friends who have been afraid of the heel monster.
Why wear high heels?
Apart from gaining a few inches in height, high heels activate various muscles from the leg to the thigh so that they are under tension. This creates the wonderful effect of slimmer, longer and firmer legs. The posture itself changes, you stretch your hips forward a little more and feel more haughty - without realizing it, this also affects your posture and self-confidence.
And you don't have to risk a 12-centimeter stiletto heel right away. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's not really worth wearing a heel like that in your life. Just like when you just got your driver's license, you don't necessarily speed up to 200 km/h on the freeway in a Porsche, and you never need to do that unless you enjoy it.
High heels that no one needs
There are so many different types of heels and different heights that will give you ALL the benefits.
The trick to start with is block heels.
Even better if your first shoe with this heel is a boot. The block heel gives you the stability you need while walking, and if it's a boot, you feel like your ankle is supported as well. This will alleviate the fear of a sprained ankle (admit it: you can't get that out of your head). Start with a 5 cm block heel. You won't need more in the beginning. Do a first test run, for example on a short walk to the bakery.
"And won't it hurt?" - you ask. It's normal for your leg muscles to ache the first two or three days you wear high heels - just like when you go to the gym after not exercising for a while. But that's just because you're activating muscles on a permanent basis in your leg that you didn't before, so the soreness will go away.
What about pain in the foot? This is where the insole plays an important role. Always opt for shoes with a cushioned insole, it makes all the difference. If you don't wear high heels, your weight will be distributed more evenly on your feet. When you wear a high heel, the front part of your foot is forced to bear more weight, so foot pain usually occurs there. A cushioned insole is essential here!
Thick socks are not a substitute, they usually make it worse. Because when you wear a boot or shoe with thick socks, the shoe presses down on your entire foot, and after an hour or two you experience discomfort or even pain - not because of the high heel, but simply because your foot is as tight as if it were in a straitjacket.
And that's about it. It doesn't take much more than that to start wearing high heels. If you feel comfortable with 5 cm, you can start buying 8 cm high heels.
Another trick: a platform under the front part of the shoe. An 8 cm heel with a 2 cm platform in the front, is actually a 6 cm heel. But you still gain 8 cm in height :)
Block heel, perfect for begginers