Small feet

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    I have little feet and can’t pedal with my heels on the floor. If they are touching the floor, my toes don’t reach the pedals, at least not all of them do. I have always managed the pedals just fine…but every teacher I had when I was younger tried to convince me that with my foot floating around un-anchored I would never know what position the pedals were in and would make mistakes. I don’t think it has ever hampered my playing or performing, but was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Anything you find helpful?


    Eliza, I have seen quite a few harpists play with high heeled shoes. I would personally feel unsteady, but perhaps they also have difficulty reaching pedals and find that high heels solved the problem: the harpist’s actual heel is now several inches above the floor while the bottom of that high heel on the shoe, braces the foot just enough to steady it on the desired pedal. Try it, and talk to some players who do this; let us know how it goes!


    I’m certainly willing to give this a try, though it sounds wobbly. I’ve always played in flat shoes with thin soles. Thanks for the tip!


    I found that once you get used to it, higher heels make for easier pedaling. It’s nice being able to pivot on the heel when you’re going fast.


    It’s nice being able to pivot on the heel when you’re going fast.

    As a man I have always envied the women that they can wear high heals just for the pivot factor.

    My feet are plenty big, but I always make sure to find men’s dress shoes to play in that have enough of a heel to facilitate pivoting at least to some degree for fast peddling.


    I strongly agree with the statements above. High heels make pedaling so much easier. I really struggle doing anything fast or complex without a small heel; you can pivot your foot really quickly and easily & because you have leverage you barely need to apply any pressure to the pedals. I wear heels daily but if you’re inexperienced with heels, you don’t have to walk in them so they just need to fit well & you’ll be fine.

    Also, aesthetically it looks SO much better. Why wear boring ballet flats, especially if you’re in formal dress, when you can wear an incredible pair of heels?!


    I play with organ shoes so they have that bit of extra heel, and also thin soles for feeling the pedals. So many men’s shoes have soles that are not only thick, but also stick out a bit from the sides so that it’s easy to hit other pedals while playing. I have some other “business casual” shoes that do OK for playing, though my favorite dress shoes don’t work at all. I once had to kick a shoe off during a lesson because I forgot to wear the better ones and I couldn’t do a thing pedalwise.

    I envy the fact that female players have so many options for footwear in which you can play harp. A lot of casual pumps seem to work well. The internet is still in wonder at Karen Vaughan’s adorable shoes with the little bows.

    Linking to Karen’s amazing shoes here since the embedding doesn’t allow start time: @

    Philippa mcauliffe

    I love my red high heels. I am on my second pair and have another pair in waiting in next size up but unforunately they had to be patent grey as they had run out of gorgeous red. My mother would never have let me wear heels when I was 10 without my harp teacher saying it was a good idea! They are not a thin as the ones on the you tube clip but I fancy a pair of those too!

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