I Taught Myself How to Walk in Heels in One Day

"Walk" in heels.

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High heels are beautiful, and some ensembles definitely look better with a little height boost, but if you're not super-skilled at walking in pumps and platforms they severely limit the direction your day can take. You can meet your friends for dinner, but can't trek 15 blocks to get your aura read on a whim. There's no, "let's cut across the park" in heels, or taking the long way home just because you feel like that would be a lovely thing to do.

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This, coupled with the fact that I'm pretty uncoordinated, is why I've avoided shoes taller than three inches for most of my life. But that changes today. Maybe.

If I'm going to spend the day in six-inch platforms, might as well be these ones, right? Bicolor Velvet Crisscross Platform Sandals by Prada, $825, saksfifthavenue.com.
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10:30 a.m.: Heels are on! I pull the ankle straps as tight as possible and go from feeling like a baby deer to a toddler deer.

10:31 a.m.: Omg, I can see so far!

10:45 a.m.: I stand up, grip the side of my desk to catch my balance, and walk toward the kitchen to refill my water bottle. A girl who I've never seen before says, "Nice shoes." "Thanks, they're for a story! Haha, they're not really mine!" I respond, because I have zero ability to play it cool.

10:47 a.m.: Just walking down the hallway at the office, casually trailing my hand against the wall. Not for balance or anything, just want to see what it feels like.

A haiku.
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11:01 a.m.: Second compliment of the day, this time from our administrative assistant, Natalia. Heels = attention.

11:15 a.m.: I go into an empty conference room to practice walking. Toe-first feels weird, heel-first is slightly better.

11:18 a.m.: The world is like a skating rink now, and I'm just trying not to crash into anything.

11:21 a.m.: Things I did not wear heels to: my college graduation (wedge sandals), either of my interviews for this job (mules, oxfords), an Atlantic City bachelorette party (tasseled loafers).

11:42 a.m.: For current mood, see wind-dancer photo above.

11:50 a.m.: I've noticed that these shoes are pitching me forward, and I'm craning my neck. So I consciously lean back a bit to try to correct it.

12:02 p.m.: Heel-toe, heel-toe, tiny movements, lean back. Walking is taking up so much brainspace.

12:31 p.m.: My office cafeteria is across a minefield of super-slick tiles. I take lots of small, urgent steps toward the flatbread station.

12:36 p.m.: Two more "I love your shoes" compliments! Thanks, friendly strangers.

12:49 p.m.: Writing. Sending emails. Ignoring the mild thrum of discomfort.

1:30 p.m.: Looking at my emergency moccasins.

Love u, miss u.

1:54 p.m.: Blister count: one. But, to be fair, I usually get at least one blister on my first day wearing new flats, too.

2:35 p.m.: OK, after doing a few laps around the office building, this is what I know. You want to roll from your heel to your toe, except when you're going up and down stairs—then it's toe-heel, plus a death grip on the railing.

3:13 p.m.: I'm used to wearing heels in two- or three-hour increments (weddings, work events) and stashing flats in my bag, but it's been almost five hours now and I feel OK. I think the platform makes a big difference—my heels may be six inches off the ground, but they're only four inches from the balls of my feet.

Riding in the escalator slow lane.

4:27 p.m.: Contemplate getting coffee, and start mentally navigating the stairs leading down to the coffee shop I usually go to, just as cupcakes are delivered to our beauty editor, Chanel. Is this the universe's way of telling me to stay in the office?

4:28 p.m.: Heels are for living your life indoors! Down with heels

4:29 p.m.: They're so pretty, tho.

5:43 p.m.: Mild tingling in my left foot. Shake it off.

6:35 p.m.: Day's over! I didn't fall down! I didn't actually do much, physically, but that's the point, right? Beautiful six-inch heels are great for taking cabs, walking extremely short distances, contemplating buying coffee and then sending your assistant instead (or, uh, settling for office cupcakes), and fielding lots of compliments on your taste in footwear.

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