You’re ready for your first pair of pole dancing heels, but you’re confused about where to start. There are so many choices!
Do you want glitter, rhinestones, UV, or light up? Clear straps, patent straps, or no straps? Sandals, ankle boots, or thigh highs? 6 inch, 7 inch, or 8 inch?
Everyone is different, so it’s really going to depend on your foot shape, ankle strength, and personal preference. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow to choose the right pair of pole dancing heels when looking for your first pair.
1. Keep it simple.
Yes, rhinestones are pretty, and glitter looks gorgeous. But you are going to beat the hell out of these shoes on your first class. The first toe drag you do, you’re going to be devastated when the rhinestones come off, and glitter is the herpes of craft materials. You never truly get rid of it. And the ones that light up with the battery pack? Destroyed after one heel clack. If you are shopping for your first pair of pole dancing heels, your best bet is to get basic black or clear heels as your trusty first pair.
2. Choose regular buckle straps.
At my studio, we have lots of pairs of heels decorating the wall, and a few were donated by people who quickly learned that what's cute isn't always what's functional. Some have straps that tie up the leg with ribbon, some have straps that crisscross, and some have no straps at all. People eventually ditched these heels because the straps aren’t practical. The first leg wave you do will send that strapless shoe across the room! Stick with a regular looking buckle strap. Your ankles will thank you.
When choosing straps, you’ll encounter patent leather or plastic. I have a narrow foot, so I prefer the plastic ones; they are tighter on my feet and ankles so I feel more secure. Patent leather straps tend to stretch out over time, which is good if you need a wider fit. Pro tip: you can shrink the plastic straps with a hair dryer to make the heel better conform to your foot.
3. When in doubt, add an inch.
If you’ve never worn pole dancing heels before, the height can be intimidating. But if you are flirting with going up an inch, just do it. I started in 6” heels, and upgraded to 7” almost immediately. Now I exclusively wear 8,” and I’m happy there. Some of the heels on the studio wall have no platform at all. People bought them and immediately upgraded to a taller platform. The taller the platform, the more surface area you have at your disposal when doing floorwork. The 1 to 2” heels barely have a platform at all, which isn’t super helpful when you need to drag your toes on the ground.
4. To thine own self, be true.
Pleaser, a popular brand of pole dancing heels, only do whole sizes, so if you are half size like me, you have to roll the hard six on whether to go up or down. I’m a size 7.5, and I’ve found that in open toe heels, I like a size 7, but in closed toe boots I’m a size 8. But that’s just me. I don’t like my toes to feel squooshed.
I’m also not a fan of ankle boots, but a lot of people I know are. They say they feel more secure around the ankle, and they love a good vinyl finish because it helps with grip when climbing. Again, just a personal preference.
It doesn’t hurt to ask around at your studio who likes what. But you know your feet and ankles better than anyone else, so when it comes to sizing and fit, trust your gut.
In short, keep it simple. I mean, it’s your first pair! There will be many more pairs of shoes to come. There are so many colors and styles, there’s no way you can have just one pair. Kind of like Bee’s Knees Knee Pads, actually! I mean, The Bee’s Knees Knee Pad with its hook and loop straps was born because we all forget to put our knee pads on before our Pleasers, so the two pretty much go together like peanut butter and jelly. Bee’s Knees Knee Pads come in so many fun colors and patterns… and yes, GLITTER. So you can have fun mixing and matching your pole dancing heels with your Bee’s Knees to create the perfect pole dancing outfit.