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How To Stay Balanced &#151 In High Heels

Avoiding High Heel Mishaps 02:26

The evening gown competition during the Miss Universe contest is supposed to be about elegance and grace, but it didn't work out that way for Miss USA Crystle Stewart. The beauty queen tripped on the train of her gown and crash landed on the runway, just like Miss USA Rachel Smith did in last year's competition.

The likely culprit? High heels.

Meaghan Cleary, author of "The Perfect Fit, What Your Shoes Say About You" visited the Early Show Tuesday to give advice on how to navigate the world in stilettos. She brought along a collection of shoes from Bloomingdale's so she could demonstrate a few techniques.

"Shoe heel height has increased exponentially over the past three to five years," Cleary told co-host Maggie Rodriguez. "Three inches (used to be) the high point. Now three is the starting point. We're seeing three to five."

Cleary likens her approach to walking in high heels to Pilates, a form of exercise that strengthens the core of the body by conditioning the muscles of the stomach and lower back.

"It's all about the core," Cleary said. "The minute you step into high heels you are going to change the balance of your body. Your legs and your feet are not going to be your balancing point, it's all in right here (in your center)."

Cleary recommends trying the following exercise:

  • Take a moment and shut your eyes.
  • Just visualize for a minute your core, your power center.
  • Try to open your eyes just a tiny bit. Not too much, but obviously enough to see where you're going.
  • Then use your center when you walk.
"When buying shoes, you should focus on fit not size. We get really caught up in size. I was an eight in this and nine in this," she said, pointing to the collections of shoes. "Buy the shoe that fits your foot."

Cleary said the best time to go shoe shopping is during happy hour.

"At the end of the day your feet are the largest they will be all day," Cleary. "So it's good to grab your girlfriends, a little champagne, and do the shoe store."

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