Amsterdam through British eyes

How to cycle effortlessly in heels

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Dutch women make cycling in heels look so easy – simply hopping onto their bikes and cycling elegantly to their destination without a care in the World. I thought I would give it a try, as I used to love wearing heels in my student days and due to a recent operation I can now actually wear this kind of footwear without feeling a serious amount of pain. Here’s how you too can cycle effortlessly in heels.

Pick the right heels: This is so important because if you do wear the wrong heels, you could end up like I did. I didn’t make it easy for myself. I wore riduculously high, pink heels. Since I have never ever cycled in heels before (it certainly didn’t occur to me that you could until I moved to Amsterdam) this was probably not the best move I have ever made. In fact, this was my first mistake. These are the shoes I picked:

heels-pink

As you can see, the toe is slightly raised which caused me a few teething issues, including my toe slipping off the pedal, and then the pedal slamming into the heel, which if I had been putting more force into it would have probably broken the shoe.

Please, make sure they really fit. Mine are slightly too big for me (I have insoles in them, and they are still a little loose), which led to me losing a shoe halfway across a busy road with traffic waiting.

heels-flat

This heel is a much better option because the sole is flat to the ground when standing, and it has a degree of flexibility, whereas the pink shoe had none. These were much much easier to cycle in, and there was no losing a shoe on a busy road on the way to work.

Do a trial run and give yourself time to get used to it: This is important because it gives you a little time to get used to taking off and stopping before you head out into traffic and other cyclists.

Position is key: Cycle on the ball of your feet while wearing heels, like so:

heels-right-position

This is not ideal as it could cause your heel to come loose over time:

heels-wrong-position

Take a spare pair of flats in your bag: I had enough foresight to throw my flats into my bag before I left my apartment, in case I either broke the heels, or my feet started to hurt (remember, I haven’t worn them for years). I was so happy at the end of the day when we ended up going out after work to party, and I had flats in my bag.

Have you ever had problems cycling in heels, or am I the only human being on the planet that has?

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2 Comments

    • I should probably update this to include a tip not to drink and cycle in heels. Accidents happen, as I found out the hard way a few weeks ago!

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