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High heels have their appeal

KRISTEN MCKENZIE, 24 HOURS

It's time to take off those flats and embrace the glorious height of high heels. Local confidence coach Suzanne Fetting is teaching women (and the occasional man) how to strut their stuff in the soaring shoes without bailing on the sidewalk.

And according to Fetting, learning to glide in a sky-high pair of heels is about much more than just looking good.

"Confidence absolutely skyrockets," the former model and fashion show producer said. "Most of the women and the men, because I work with men now too, they come to me and they're very scared [about sporting heels] and in a very short period of time, usually about an hour, they leave feeling much better about themselves and prancing around and not wanting to take their high heels off."

The self-proclaimed high-heel aficionado began offering high-heel workshops a year ago after noticing how Vancouverites tended to struggle in them.

"We've all seen the women stumbling down Granville Street with their wobbly ankles," she said, laughing. "Walking around this city, I found that most of the women were walking [in heels] incorrectly. Either walking like they were walking on eggshells or walking like they belonged in a marching band."

Initially intending to offer a one-time class, the popularity of the seminar has led her to even create an instructional DVD.

"The response that I got from people all across Canada was that they wanted me to come to my city, so that's why I decided to put the DVD together," said Fetting, who's flying to Toronto next month in search of DVD distribution assistance on CBC's hit reality show, Dragon's Den. "I'm going to tell them how fantastic my concept is. It's very unique. There's nobody doing what I'm doing."

And what's the main thing people need to consider when getting ready to don heels?

"The biggest mistake - and I'm guilty of this as well - is purchasing high heels that are way too high," she said. "I really promote buying a lower, wider, chunkier heel initially to start off with."

Fetting's Dragon's Den episode is scheduled to air in the fall. In the meantime, her next high-heel class is May 31 at Maximum Core Studio (3433 Hastings St.). For more information, visit highheelappeal.com.