A lot of gym rats aren’t working out in sneakers anymore – they’re doing it in stilettos! “High heel” workouts – where you do everything from jumping jacks, to sprints, to sit-ups in heels – are the latest fitness trend. And experts say the workouts have a 2-in-1 appeal: They help women get in shape and master walking in skyscraper heels, stumble-free.

For example, the Crunch Fitness chain offers “Stiletto Strength” classes, where stiletto-wearing women do lower-body exercises, like squats, which strengthen your leg and abdominal muscles – making it easier to walk in heels.

Another type of high heel workout? “Heel Hop” classes in Los Angeles. It’s part-exercise, part-hip-hop-dance and you do exercises that boost your cardiovascular strength and balance. Like re-training your foot to decrease the amount of shock impact on your feet, and learning the best way to align your spine and distribute your weight so you walk comfortably – even in the highest heels. 

So, is trading your sneakers for heels a good idea? Podiatrists say……ouch!  When you exercise in heels, you force all of your body weight onto the balls of your feet.  And that can cause serious trouble, like stress fractures, ligament damage, and knee and lower back injuries.

But if you’re interested in checking out a ‘high heel workout’ experts suggest trading skyscraper stilettos for the heels dancers wear – like the Rockettes. They’re called “character shoes” and look like Mary Janes with a chunky heel. They’re flexible and designed for intense activities……like dancing, jumping.