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Breaking in (and Walking in) Wedding Heels

We have all had the misfortune of buying a new pair of shoes, then, forgetting to break them in or practice walking in them before the event for which they were purchased. Don’t make that mistake with your wedding shoes. Blisters or a turned ankle on your wedding day are not fun. Follow these tips and you will float elegantly (and foot-pain free) through your wedding day.

A few hours’ wear around the house will certainly help, but most experts recommend a longer break-in period, especially if you are not accustomed to wearing the type of bridal heel you’ve chosen. Techniques that have helped others break in their high heels and become comfortable walking in them include:

* To prevent slipping on slick church or reception floors, scuff or put rough tape on the soles.
* Wear your shoes off and on around the house for three or four weeks. This will help break them in gradually.
* For an even better breaking in, start with wearing your wedding shoes an hour at a time while you complete light chores inside. (Avoid the outdoors; you don’t want to soil the shoes.) When the shoes are comfortable after an hour’s wear, begin keeping them on until they hurt. Gradually increase the time over a month until you can wear your bridal shoes for several hours with no blisters.

Practicing Moving and Walking

If you are uncomfortable with walking in heels, take this opportunity to practice while breaking in your shoes. Here are some tips for learning different maneuvers.

Skirting obstacles

Invariably, there will be a few surprises on your wedding day that will require a bit of quick-stepping: a child will fall in your way, or you will have to move around a mess or rain puddle, for example. Avoiding these obstacles will require stepping sideways, altering your stride, or even moving backwards without stumbling. Practice these moves at various speeds until you can confidently complete them in your heels. As an added bonus, if you plan to wear your high heels at the reception, these same motions will prepare you for the dance floor.


Because your back will be “on stage” facing your guests during the ceremony, you must be able to gracefully turn before walking back down the aisle after the finale – when your groom kisses you for the first time. Depending on your ceremony, you may not need to make a full 180-degree turn; but, by practicing a full turnaround, you will be prepared for all eventualities.

Imagine it is your wedding day and you are facing the person who is conducting the ceremony. First, pivot halfway around, so that both feet, as well as your body, are facing your new husband, and your weight is on the leg closest to the officiant. Complete the turn by stepping toward the aisle with the foot closest to your guests. At that point, you will be facing your guests and can safely continue walking back down the aisle. If you would like visual demonstrations, study fashion models as they turn at the end of runways. A search on YouTube or other video Websites will provide several examples.

Walking up and down stairs

Falling, as you walk up or down steps, can mean much more than an embarrassing moment. To avoid an unscheduled trip to the emergency room, get plenty of practice before your wedding day. When at all possible, hold on to a railing for added support and balance. Whether you are ascending and descending, be sure the entire sole and heel of your shoe are completely over the stair before placing your foot. As you go up the stairs, place your sole and heel on the stair at the same time. As you go down, focus on firmly placing your sole on each step.

If you follow the above tips for breaking in and walking in your bridal heels, your feet will thank you with a pain-free wedding day!

About the Author

Bobette Kyle-Wagner is publisher at — a Website helping engaged couples get the most use from Internet wedding resources. The site includes online wedding tips, original articles, tutorials, and shopping sections. Read more about or buy wedding shoes at:


Friday 14th of November 2008

Great article, Bobette. I've published it on my site for everyone to read! You really nailed it.

Bobette Kyle-Wagner

Tuesday 22nd of July 2008

Thanks for the sensible voice, Larry! Unfortunately, societal norms sometimes scream louder than common sense. On the plus side, there are a lot of wedding flats being offered by wedding shoe manufacturers these days.

Larry Green

Monday 21st of July 2008

Once again, it's that same old subject: it appears in the wedding industry, folks are SO concerned with the appearances, i.e. the looks of the wedding reception INSTEAD of the experience of the wedding celebration. For God's sake, weddings are all about celebrating the joining of two hearts! Why be distracted by something as petty as hurt feet just because the shoes have to match and look pretty? Of course it's the commonplace occurrence to see most members of the wedding party going around WITHOUT shoes, and for good reason.