Ballet Heels & Boots are NOT Ballet flats they are a fetish footwear designed to force the wearers foot en pointe.
These shoes are designated as “Fetish Footwear” for a reason, if you are not already capable of positioning your foot in the en pointe position, they can be exceedingly uncomfortable to wear, even while sitting.
Don’t despair, if you want to wear Ballet Heels or have been instructed to do so, with practice & perseverance you can accomplish what at first seems impossible.
Before you even try to walk in Ballet Heels you need to feel comfortable wearing them so we need to analyze just what makes them so painful to wear.
En Pointe Position
Your foots naturally position is parallel to the floor when standing, however the en pointe position is at ninety degrees to the floor forcing the foots instep in-line with your calf. This position is simply unnatural & unless you are exceedingly limber or an accomplished ballerina it can be very painful.
To train your mussels to accept extended periods in this position, ankle & calf muscle strengthening exercises should be performed. A simple exercise for strengthening the necessary muscles is to stand on the balls of your feet with your heels hanging over the edge of a step.
Place all your weight on one leg & slowly lower your heel as far as you can, then raise up on the ball of your foot as high as possible and hold for 10seconds. Do this 10 times per foot & repeat 3 times totaling 30 stretches each session.
You will soon find your capable of raising higher & holding longer.
Once you are comfortable just wearing Ballet heels you are obviously going to try to stand in them, with that comes toe pain! Unfortunately there aren’t any exercises you can perform to prepare you for this but you can try using lamb’s wool toe pads to relieve some of the pressure on your toes.
Choosing the right Ballet Heels for you
TIGHT! – When choosing a shoe size you are far better to go tight, this will prevent your foot from slipping forward & putting more pressure on your toes. For your first ballet heels I would recommend ballet boots in preference to shoes, the extra support you will get with the boot will help greatly when you try to walk.
Learning to Walk in Ballet Heels
Once you are comfortable with your foot extended en pointe, you can then try to put some weight on your feet. If you have never stood on your toes before then you should introduce your weight gradually. By far the simplest & best way to get started walking in ballet heels is to use crutches.
It may not be glamorous but by using crutches to reduce the weight on your feet & provide additional balance you can get accustomed to the feel of the heels at your own pace.
Practise your muscle exercises & balancing with the aid of crutches daily until you feel comfortable standing on your own.
Walking in Ballet Heels
Once you are comfortable bearing your own weight it’s time to take a few steps, but first you must understand what you are wearing..
The function of the stiletto heel is not to help you balance but to force you to stand on your toes, so stand & walk on your toes not on your heels.
With the aid of a hand rail or wall for balance take a few steps trying to place your foot, toe to heel, not heel to toe. It will feel totally unnatural & you will constantly think you are going to fall forward however you cannot lean back because the heel will prevent it, so use the wall for balance until you build up your confidence.
By practicing daily for short periods building up your muscles, balance & confidence & you will soon be walking in your ballet heels or boots without any assistance.