View Full Version : Ladies shooting in high heels

January 9, 2006, 06:40 PM
I'm looking for some pointers. This weekend two ladies came with us to practice handgun shooting. One of them had never handled a handgun in her life. I started her out on my Official Police, showed her how to handle the gun, load it, stand either with one hand in dueling position or with both hands with the left hand bracing the right? It was tough for her to learn to sqeeze each shot. Hard to get used to the trigger pull jerking the trigger. I told her to just try to pull the trigger as slow as possible. The main problem in relation ot that, is that she kept bracing for the shot once discharged. The reason being is because she was leaning back while holding the gun. I kept telling her to lean into it and position her feet as though she was resisting a push from the front. right foot as a brace and the left foot leaning forward. This works for me, but she had a problem that I don't have. She had high heels on. The heels kept causing her to almost stumble back after each shot (it was actually kind of fun) Any pointers to this? Yes you can say "next time at the range don't wear high heels." But, that helps little if you wear them all the time and you have to use a gun for real at some point during the day.

January 9, 2006, 07:17 PM
The reason being is because she was leaning back while holding the gun. I kept telling her to lean into it and position her feet as though she was resisting a push from the front.

Leaning back (and not into it) is a problem for beginners, whether men or women, regardless of footwear. I've run across this problem almost everytime I try to show someone who has never shot how to do it.

January 9, 2006, 07:21 PM
First, make sure they have proper hearing protection. My observation is the muzzle blast is far more disconcerting than recoil. Have them use plugs and over the ear 'muffs'.

Then, do you have a 22 pistol they could use? The reduced recoil and noise is more suitable to a new shooter. Once they get to feel comfortable with that, move to a .38 Special with wadcutters. Then 'up' as appropriate.

Last, suggest they wear flats or athletic shoes the first couple of sessions. Then put on the heels and resume. The whole program should be one of 'easing into it'.

You're not in the Los Angeles area, are you? I could help...

January 9, 2006, 07:24 PM
Well...if she insist on wearing heels, maybe she needs a counter- push from the rear to balance things out.

January 9, 2006, 08:31 PM
She can put the strong leg forward a bit, perhaps a foot or so. Makes for a bit of a twist on the old weaver/iso, but it should help move her center of gravity forward enough to balance out the shot.

January 9, 2006, 08:34 PM
A crouch (knees bent, weight on the balls of the feet, shoulders forward, balancing with the hips slightly back, NOT the shoulders) should be more natural to women wearing heels, since they already stand/walk with weight forward on their feet.

It also makes for a very attractive sight.:)

January 9, 2006, 11:15 PM
Hot chick in heels shooting a gun = SEXY!:D

January 9, 2006, 11:15 PM
oh you're a baaaad man, shep....


January 9, 2006, 11:20 PM
Hey, it beats a beergut...:eek: ;)

January 10, 2006, 10:16 AM
My wife (5'2" 115lbs) started seriously shooting about a month ago. Since then, we've been at the range every afternoon ( I said she was serious) for about 50 rds. She wears high heels daily. Her biggest problem was trigger control and recoil anticipation. She kept shooting under the target. Dummy rounds helped bring that home to her. She has finally mastered the trigger pressure and no longer jerks the trigger. She now reliably puts 6 rds into 3" at 30 ft. She started with a 1911 5" and has now graduated to a .45 SA Micro Compact lightweight. She will do her CCW training in Feb. without worrying about embarrassing herself. About the high heels...she instinctively went into the forward leaning crouch after the first round out of that .45 government. It's kind of funny to watch the reaction of guys at the range when this petite, cute blonde starts blazing away with that 3" .45 lightweight.:D

January 10, 2006, 10:36 AM
Darn, I was hoping for pictures...

That aside, the anticipation problem is one thing. All the posts suggesting using a 22, checking hearing protection, etc. are right on the mark.

The heels problem is something else. From a load distribution standpoint think of how the load works its way through the body of a person wearing high heels and in an isocoles type stance. The recoil will transmit all the way down the legs and resolve itself on the heels of both feet. Those heels supported by two small contact points on which all the forces are resolved. It is no wonder that they have a problem. Leaning forward will make no difference in how the load is resolved on the heels, you need to find a different way of transmitting it. (Though they SHOULD still lean forward).

I would suggest a weaver type stance for them. The rear leg should be turned almost 90 degrees and perpendicular to the line established by the front foot (which should be in line with the target. Then tell them to put their weight on the front/balls of their feet. The recoil will now transmit itself down the rear leg (which is also more in line with the force of the recoil) and down to the solid FRONT part of her foot which is firmly planted and has far more surface area than the high heel.

This stance should help them resolve the recoil much better. Having them shoot in flats may be an idea but it is a stop gap only. The real solution is to teach them how to shoot in any shoe they may be expected to wear. My experience is that you will have an easier time getting a pretty lady to give up carrying a gun than to give up wearing her favourite shoes which do great things for her legs and other "assets."

Now post some pictures!

January 10, 2006, 11:03 AM
This thread caught my interest.
The back leaning thing seems to be an issue that as trainers we will have to deal with from time to time.

I have never figured out the mind set that causes it either. I was taught to shoot as a youngster and never went through it?????????
My Business partner has shot for a lifetime and she never went through the leaning thing.
I have had young people trying to get through their qualifiers after going through the police accademy do this stuff from time to time.
The High heels should make no real difference in being able to control even the nastiest of magnum handguns let alone a standard variety carry/duty gun.

I am thinking about doing a video on handgun shooting howto and maybe we will get a couple of the girls to wear heels and tight skirts. The need to be able to shoot defensively can't be dependent on wearing any certain kind of clothing or shoes. The shooting world is not just made up of macho guys that wear boots.
In fact the shooting world is very diverse and we as trainers need to do our job to make it all work for everyone.

I get gentlemen in my classes from time to time that have never shot and many are downright nervous the first time out.
I work real hard to make them feel quite comfortable with what we are doing.
As a Lady trainer I have some obstacles to deal with that many of the guys dont, guys in some cases feel uncomfortable taking a gun training class from a woman but this usually goes away after we start tossing some lead down range and they find that I know what I am talking about and that they can do real well if they follow instruction.
As far as the heels thing I am ammussed. I personally dont think I have evershot in heels but thats no biggy.
Hey guys keep up the good work.

We will be at the Cloud Mt Armory booth in the LE section of Shot show next month.
If you are there come and see us.
Best to ya
Colonel Rivers

January 10, 2006, 12:39 PM
Musketeer, I like the Weaver stance idea...I'll lay it on her and get her to try it out. She did start out with a Walther P22, but it was too much fun, I think. She did more serious work with the Ruger 22/45. She' a real deadeye with that one, but that ain't what she's going to carry.
I'd take a picture, but I think the range would object to a flash going off.:-)

January 10, 2006, 11:55 PM
Someone already mentioned the plugs with the earmuff thing, it worked well with my wife and her flinching. Also I agree with others saying she should to put her weight on the balls of her feet and not the heels, regardless of her footwear.

January 15, 2006, 07:25 PM
I personally would never go to a shooting range in heels since it seems a tad out of place but if she must -- I agree about bending at the knees. I typically shoot with one foot forward to brace myself for the kick (not that there's much). In all likelihood, it may just be a matter of getting used to firing the gun as it's never been a problem for me.


January 15, 2006, 08:51 PM
I have heard, and believe, that many women practice in shoes with heels because that's the condition they're likely to be in when attacked. That makes a LOT of sense to me.

Also, I have a daughter and I hate to think that one of you yardbirds might one day bother her at the range over her choice of footwear. It's your funeral, though.:eek:

January 15, 2006, 10:34 PM
If you wear heels, occasional practice can be very enlightening. If nothing else, you can become aware of problems they might cause.

In a similar way, I shot wearing my cold-weather gloves this evening. The trigger pull seemed much harder; in fact my forearms started hurting. I also had to pay extra attention to the trigger reset and function problems due to the gloves absorbing recoil, causing some failures to feed.

January 15, 2006, 10:44 PM
I've practiced martial arts for the better part of my life. I don't wear heels for several reasons: uncomfortable, not healthy for your feet, limits your mobility, prevents you from running from a prep, etc. I think women that practice in heels at the range - which I've personally never seen - probably do so because they're ignorant. I don't mean this as an insult. When I go to the range, I don't dress up because I plan to wash those clothes when I get home since lead is all over me. I don't go there with my best clothes but my casual clothes as I plan to shower when I'm back home. You also don't need to train in heels to use a gun. If you don't develop good habits whatever you're wearing, you won't fare well in slippers around 2:30 in the morning either. In my opinion, the smart thing to do in fighting or shooting sports is wear comfortable shoes. You don't see martial art students training in heels do you?


January 15, 2006, 11:35 PM
Good points, Laura. I should have further qualified my comments to "realistic" clothing for the individual. If a woman had to wear heels, some shooting with them would be advisable; the same for a businessperson in his/her work or street clothes, to be familiar with possible problems from their dress. After all, suppose a woman had to defend herself while wearing heels? As you well know, they will complicate movement to cover/concealment as well as balance while shooting; what if she has never tried to move while wearing them? After all, you fight like you train.

Az Qkr
January 15, 2006, 11:39 PM
How about kicking the heels off and running barefoot? Might hurt but you would be able to move quicker right?

You wouldn't normally be wearing those things in inclement weather or snow would you?

Toughening the feet in anticipation of this scenario might be a thought.

Robin Brown

January 15, 2006, 11:47 PM
It's less about what to wear to the range and what not to wear...it's about familiarization with as many scenarios as you can imagine.
If you familiarize yourself with as many variables as you can, then the unknown factors of any situation are somewhat minimized, and you are also more mentally prepared to deal with them.
Kicking the heels off is a good idea...so maybe those women who prefer to shoot with heels should also prepare themselves for the situation where they lose the shoes and hightail it out.
Preparedness is the key.
And, Laura, I know of more than one woman who DOES occassionally practice martial arts in heels. Granted, it's not a dojo full of women in skirts and heels, but it's not a bad idea to give it a test drive once in a while...you might be surprised at what you find.

As always, people....situation dictates.

January 21, 2006, 02:04 PM
My girlfriend likes firing shotguns... Topless and in heels.
I shall now consider myself king of the forums :D

Seriously, though, most of what needs saying has been. Best way is a low crouch (that means the butt gets stuck way out there) or tactical weaver. Not a full weaver, because there's a high chance of breaking the right heel while going into it. That heel, if not lifted and set down properly, is struck along its weakest support at about an 80 degree angle at anywhere between 20 and 60 pounds of lateral force, depending on several variables including her weight. Don't land evenly and theres additional force generated through the 'lever' effect.

Az Qkr, FBI studies have found that it takes approximately 1.2 seconds for someone who has just realised they NEED to pull the trigger on someone to actually DO so. Knowing that it only takes about two seconds to traverse a space of 20 feet, if youre moving while doing so, if the perp moves downwards or towards your weak side while moving you may never get a chance to fire a second shot. So what makes you think that she would have even MORE time to kick off her heels, and that then she'd also be able to outrun the perp?

Musketeer, a rear leg at exactly an exactly 90 degree angle is the weakest Weaver you can hold. Make it either slightly acute or slightly obtuse, depending on how perpendicular vs. parallel the target your body is. Where did you learn to shoot?

January 21, 2006, 05:06 PM
My girlfriend likes firing shotguns... Topless and in heels.

No, I don't believe you. I think you are lying. There is no way that is true. This is a forum that holds such things as honesty and integrity of utmost importance. It is shameful that you would come on here and disregard the high standards of this community, by making up such obvious lies and deception. How dare you insult our intelligence!

... :D

January 21, 2006, 05:29 PM
My girlfriend likes firing shotguns... Topless and in heels

KNJoe - Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I expect you will be posting numerous photos ASAP;)

January 21, 2006, 10:50 PM
I believe you because I WANT it to be true. :D

Az Qkr
January 21, 2006, 10:59 PM
Az Qkr, FBI studies have found that it takes approximately 1.2 seconds for someone who has just realised they NEED to pull the trigger on someone to actually DO so.

I'd need more information to believe that myself. Where in the bell curve is the person who takes that long would be a start.

"Knowing that it only takes about two seconds to traverse a space of 20 feet, if youre moving while doing so, if the perp moves downwards or towards your weak side while moving you may never get a chance to fire a second shot."

It's not "about two seconds", it's 1.5 seconds in the studies, and less dependant on the one doing the moving. Being in my fifties I can move from dead stop to 21 feet in the 1.5 seconds all day. A banger thats 16-18 on the streets certainly would be faster than that I'd think.

"So what makes you think that she would have even MORE time to kick off her heels, and that then she'd also be able to outrun the perp?"

Again, it depends on where she is in the loop of the scenario. If she has time to even think of moving, I'm quite sure if I were a lady who was wearing heels I could step out of them on the move and in so doing gain even more speed on the fly as they left my feet.

If she doesn't have time to shoot, she sure as hell won't have time to move, so the heels would be irrelevant at that point.

Robin Brown

January 21, 2006, 11:24 PM
...So what makes you think that she would have even MORE time to kick off her heels, and that then she'd also be able to outrun the perp?

Situational Awareness. If the girl is in a position that won't allow her to even ditch the shoes and run (while drawing, of course!) then I would say that the situation has been pretty much been decided at that point. She's either going to shoot him or he's got the drop on her and she's gonna have a very sh**ty evening.
If you argue that running is moot, then so are the reaction time stat you quote and the heels she's wearing..