Do I have the answers—no. Am I catwalk perfection, the hip waggling vamp of the runway—absolutely not. Can I walk femininely in a pair of 5″ heels—first, define walk. From as early as I can remember I’ve had a fascination with high heels. I love seeing them on others and I love wearing them. Walking in them is another thing. I should say up front, I’ve spent my life trying to raise others up. So, if you read anything you think might be negative or critical always assume that I’m trying to be compassionate and helpful.

My journey as Brina really began after the divorce. I was single and had an opportunity to build a complete wardrobe and to let her discover herself. Prior to that, Brina mostly stood on her excitingly high heels or sat prettily with legs crossed (after forcing one leg over the other.) I watched endless videos and researched how to walk from the experts. Why? I was determined to achieve grace in the highest of heels possible, and 2-3 inches wouldn’t cut it. Plus, I love the look of feminine legs on perilous spikes.

I’m a people watcher. I study their facial expressions, their body language, and their movements. Someone else on this site said that their infatuation with women had more do with wanting to be like them—I concur. Here’s a little of what I’ve learned, tried, and mastered. First, most women aren’t perfection on heels either. Go to a wedding and watch ALL the women walk and you’ll see many who struggle on their heels. Your age, sex, and hours spent wearing heels doesn’t make you naturally better. Now watch the ones who shine and you’ll notice two important things. They have balance and are fluid. Neither are attributes that I possessed in my learning days. Balance—I couldn’t walk down the hallway without shoulder bumping one wall or the other. Fluid— only if stumbles and lurches count and that was without wearing heels.

Learning to be graceful walking with heels starts without the heels. Many men and women have a normal walk that is counter-productive to an ideal gait for walking in heels. Do your toes and foot point outward as you walk? Are you leaning forward and using your arms to propel you forward? If a police officer asked you to walk the line, could you do it sober? After video tapping my high heel strut, I needed to change how I walk, oh, and delete the videos. My answer—power walks with the dog.

After three years of morning power walks and evening strolls, I can’t remember the man-walk I used to have. I also have learned that this newer walk doesn’t draw unwanted attention or comments that I’m girly. No one notices because I’ve only moved to the center of the spectrum of how all people walk. Can I get down and really swing it girl—yes, but at my age, strutting isn’t becoming. Let’s be truthful. Some of us want to stand out as seductively feminine, others want to blend in, and most of us don’t want to be called out. I use my walks to work on my footwork, my leg and body position, and most importantly, my balance and fluidity.

Learning good posture, balance, and grace is like learning to improve your golf game after a pro tells you 5-7 things to concentrate on in your swing. Your mind can only handle so much frustration in changing years of bad habits. It takes months of doing it right to undo doing it wrong. Good habits are learned just as bad ones are. You are going to feel it, muscles will be sore and you’ll have a few choice words for me. You won’t be able to do everything I suggest all at one time. If you try—do it in the dark of night or someone might send in a recording to AFV. The power walk helps to get you into a rhythm and it’s much easier to maintain good posture and footwork. This isn’t the time to worry about the length of your stride. When the heels are on, they will help dictate a shorter gait and allow for a more natural hip wiggle.

You might have to work on one leg, or one foot, and then the other. There is no way to get a hip wiggle if you walk with your toes pointed outward. The essence of the feminine walk comes from using your legs to move you forward and putting one foot in front of the other. You have to retrain your legs and feet. I couldn’t do it with both feet at the same time. It takes time. Point your toes straight ahead, keep them relaxed and try to step closer to center. Keep your head up, shoulders more back and walk with your legs. Your eyes and head are up. Imagine your hips leading the way (this is where you are going to feel it in the muscles. It takes stamina to walk without using your arms). The inside of your elbows should point forward and stay close to your body. This will cause one or both arms to develop that mesmerizing arm swing, which is important for balance, grace, and being fluid. Thumbs and hands opened outward and not closed.  Walking down slight inclines is the best way to put it all together and feel more synchronized. My legs and my rear have reshaped themselves after years of walking this way. I’m lucky, in that I’ve always had nice legs, but it took, and still takes my daily walks to help me with my balance and stability when I don my highest of heels. It also doesn’t hurt to wear a nice pair of pink satin panties to help with the mood as you walk.

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Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish

Brina is from Iowa, and she is steadily learning how to merge her two halves into one whole. Still closeted after 40 years, she hopes to one-day walk freely and confidently in the open. She spends most of her time working as a self-published novelist under both personas.

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Morgan Staar
Morgan Staar (@morganstaar)
1 year ago

Im still waddling around in 4″ heels..My BF loves it….He says it looks like Im afraid to flex my ankles and bend my knees…

Celine Fache
Celine Fache (@celine)
1 year ago

Great points Brina. Practice, practice, practice. Step on a centerline with toes pointed ahead. Let hip shift/wiggle make needed adjustments. Proper arm motion is a factor. Relax and allow your body to sway naturally with each step.

Brandy B
Brandy B (@brandyb)
11 months ago

Oh my I understand this completely. For years i have strutted around my hotel room in heels thinking I had it down. When I finally got up the courage to go outside for a walk several months ago..I found my male self caused some initial problems. I was dragging my heels and struggling and that only made my nervousness worse. After about 20 steps I stopped..took a deep breath and said “Slow down and take small steps.” Quite an improvement..though I did struggle a little.

Jessica Scarlett Ray
4 months ago

Yes! It’s very true practice makes perfect. I am a dance teacher so quite accustomed to varies bad habits which inhibit good movement.

Alzena Jo
Alzena Jo (@alzena)
27 days ago

This sounds like really good advice. I’ll have to try it. Honestly, I probably need to record myself walking but that’s just so hard. One more disappointment, ya know?

Julie Green
Julie Green (@juliegreen52)
20 days ago

Hi Brina, So glad that I found this article. I’m not able to dress these days but I’m working on changing my walk as you have suggested and it feels almost as good as being dressed – what fun! Only I know how different I feel – with my back straight and looking ahead rather than down at the ground and my feet no longer at “ten to two”. I’ve even tried the classic “finishing school” balancing a book on my head whilst walking as suggested – fortunately a book with a strong binding! I’m working on strengthening my calves… Read more »

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