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Anatomy Of A Pole Dance Shoe

There are a variety of reasons a pole dancer wears shoes or boots while practicing and dancing from aesthetics to functionality. Wearing high heels accentuates the muscle tone in the legs as well as makes the wearer’s legs appear longer. In addition to elongating the legs, wearing heels defines the calves, lifts the glutes, extends a dancer’s lines, and instantly transforms any outfit. There are many types of high heels, varying in color, material, style, and origin.


The number one question I get asked most about pole heels is:
Do I need a specific type of shoe for pole dancing or can I just use any high heel?
The answer is yes, you should purchase shoes specifically for your pole dancing adventures, and here’s why:
  1. You’re going to beat the sh!t out of them. They will soon (within a few wears) become scratched, scuffed, worn, and really just not something you are going to consider a ‘street-shoe’.
  2. Safety. It is important to purchase actual dance-specific heels for dancing. Pole dance shoes are specifically made for pole dancing and made differently than your street heels. They are equipment like any other built for the intended job of dancing. A professional dance shoe’s body is made of one continuous piece (the heel is not separate from the platform) and reinforced with metal in the heel to avoid breakage and/or injury.
  3. Comfort. Pole-specific heels are not only safer but much more comfortable (seriously, they are a billion times more comfortable than my street shoes and I wish I could wear them grocery shopping!). Fitted properly the straps and sides of pole shoes will not wear on the skin or cause blisters as street heels often do. Shoes made specifically for pole dancing are also made with extra cushioning which is very important given the force applied to the shoe and feet during use (insert heel clack here).
  4. Design/Anatomy. Pole-specific shoes are designed to dance ON – not just the bottoms but the sides, outsole, and toebox as well. The toebox (aka platform) not only adds height but is designed with a different shape and slant than a street heel. Advanced footwork in pole will have you sliding, slamming, clacking, pivoting, balancing, and pirouetting ALL over your shoe. See “Anatomy Of A Pole Dance Shoe” below for more specifics.

The second most common question I get is: How many pairs do you have?
Ummmm, I have a lot… like A LOT, a lot. The last time I counted I had 32 pairs but to be fair I’ve been dancing around 10 years now… and really, can you ever have too many? (My closet says yes.)


How do you choose your first pair of pole dance shoes?

There are many brands to choose from and a variety of vendors to purchase from. (My shoe collection consists primarily of Pleasers and Ellies I’ve purchased off Amazon.)

Most importantly, purchase heels made specifically for pole dancing. Wearing pole-specific shoes helps keep you safe and injury-free and is of utmost importance for a lasting relationship with aerials. Yes, they are expensive but you have to consider them ‘equipment’.

Begin with a short heel/platform and work your way up as you gain skill and comfortability.

In my experience pole shoes are true to size but if you will be wearing socks underneath (say a pair of boots) I recommend sizing a half-size up.

Much love and happy dancing!
💜 Ava

Shoe & Footwork Musings:
A quick (under 10 minutes) flow-based lesson to guide you through the process of learning a basic, elegant, personalized pole walk.

Things Untaught : Feet  A video to help inspire and muse creative footwork in pole dancing.

A few of the pole dancing shoes in my collection:

💜 Ava

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