timberland cheap boots How to walk in high heels
The first time I meet Chyna Whyne she is dressed in Minnie Mouse heels, skin tight red leggings and a red T shirt embellished with black stilettos. In a sultry voice she is telling a group of women, all over 40, to be the that they are. and be you, she says, strutting up and down in sky high platforms in a room above a Caribbean restaurant in Camden, north London. that inner thigh! Flex those legs!
I am here for a class on how to walk in high heels. In my bag is a pair of 5in platforms bought in Paris in a moment of madness. I have never been brave or foolish enough to wear them. Despite all the things heels stand for sex, power, glamour, longer legs I find wearing them such agony that I have never learnt to walk in them.
Doctors have been warning of the dangers heels pose for years but Chyna Whyne (pronounced Wine says it all about technique. women are out of balance, she says. lead with their hips, some lead with their chests, others stick their bottoms out.
A British Jamaican singer who happily wears stilettos all day, Chyna has perfected a way of wearing heels based on the Alexander Technique. It all started during a tour with Eric Clapton. was flying around the world in killer heels and just loving it, says Chyna. I was battling with excruciating back pain. Desperate for a remedy, she tried pills, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic work but the pain kept returning.
Eventually a friend suggested the Alexander Technique. The results were so positive that Chyna decided to train as an Alexander Technique teacher. Refusing to ditch the heels flat shoes, she says, make her and depressed she turned up for class in leather pants and 6in stilettos. heels seemed perfectly natural, given I wanted to learn how to master the art of wearing them, she says.
There are seven of us in tonight class. Chyna instructs us to line up our shoes on the table. do the rocking test in shops, she says, tapping the back and sides of each shoe (see below). they rock, walk away. My Paris platforms pass just but a French girl designer stilettos are written off on the spot. When Chyna taps them, they swing like pendulums. my God, can you see them rocking, honey? says Chyna. an absolute hazard. Just look at the way that heel leans.
Minutes later we are barefoot and sitting by the wall in a mass of bags, shoes and umbrellas. I want you all to say, ‘I love my feet at the top of your voices, says Chyna, beaming at us encouragingly. We release a series of groans. on, says Chyna, bursting into gospel like song. love my feet! Send them love and they do what you want.
It all a bit New Age but our spirits lift when Chyna switches to 10 minutes of aeroplane type exercises. These, we told, are the essential prelude to any lengthy wearing of heels. your toes and span them like a fan, says Chyna. the ankles to the left and right. Finally we point and flex our feet several times. It hard work but feels good.
Always do the ‘rocking test’ before buying new shoes, says Chyna [PHOTO: ANDREW CROWLEY]
Muscles warmed up, we are now ready to put on our shoes. Chyna lines us up at one end of the room, then sends us up and down in pairs. Back and forth we stagger, stiff legged as newborn giraffes. Chyna holds my hand. you feel that natural swagger, darling? Yes? Oh honey, I so proud.
Soon we start to get the idea. We strutting, legs extended, balls of the feet touching the floor first, inside thighs just as we told. I walking unaided. let up that swagger, says Chyna. that feel hot?
Under Chyna tutelage hips start to roll and everyone looks taller and slimmer as they strut past a startling nude called The Bride Who Ate Her Husband. A Dutch woman strides up and down as if she could conquer the world boardrooms and the French woman, who been told to save her stilettos the bedroom (she has switched back to her espadrille wedges) is now pouting alluringly. go, girl, says Chyna, clapping delightedly. tap into that sensuality. Be the flower that you are, honey.
My second (private) session with Chyna kicks off with 20 minutes of Alexander Technique. All I do is sit in a chair while she places her hands on my upper body. There is no pulling or tugging, no obvious manipulation, but I have an immediate sense of wellbeing, followed by a feeling of lightness. Without me even noticing she has somehow realigned my spine.
By her second session, Casilda is confident enough to strutt with purpose [PHOTO: ANDREW CROWLEY]
This time I determined not to be brainwashed, even though I itching to put on my pink platforms. Aren heels all about slavery, female subordination etc etc? Chyna hands me my shoes. they empowering. You at an advantage immediately job interviews, on stage, everything.
Heels are, she says, dynamite to the opposite sex. men are very visual. We need to keep their attention on us 24/7. Never, she says, underestimate their killer charms. I in the mood I cook my boyfriend dinner in heels, she says. me, it works every time. He mesmerised.
Soon we are strutting in unison and talking about everything from how Lauren Bacall had and elegance to Chyna son, Jordan, who a professional footballer with Dulwich Hamlet. Amazingly I have no back pain or burning in the balls of my feet. Ludicrous as it sounds, I feel as if I could climb a mountain.
Later that evening I wonder if Chyna classes are somehow touching us on a deeper level. Is she teaching us to be more feminine and self confident, to go after what we want in life? says Chyna, when I ring her days later. you can walk in high heels the world is your oyster.
Feet first: Chyna buying tips
For stable, well priced high heels, Chyna recommends the high street chain Aldo. Heels from 89.50.
High and dry: how to wear them
Make sure your shoes are stable. Stand them on a table with both heels facing you, then tap the heels. If they rock, don buy them.
Always perform warm up exercises first to strengthen feet and help prevent discomfort and injury.
Check your posture. Make sure your head is on top of your spine (don jut your neck forwards) and your weight is anchored evenly in your heels.
Turn the foot out and lead with the ball of the foot. It should touch the ground a split second before the heel.
Carry a tennis ball in your handbag. On a dinner date or at work, slip your shoe off under the table and massage your feet with the ball. This helps release tension and keeps feet supple.