Pole Dancing Heels - Why We Wear Them

Pole Dancing Heels - Why We Wear Them

As pole dancing instructors, we often hear a common question from beginner pole dancers that never fails to be asked - “do I have to wear heels?”. The simple answer to that question is no, not at all! In fact, there may be some classes at your studio that prefer to leave your heels in your pole bag, such as a Lyrical choreo class or an intense tricks class. However, here’s why we recommend pole athletes incorporate pole heels into their learning. 

Pole Heels: The Origin

Pole heels, alternatively referred to as ‘Stripper Heels’, are a characteristic in pole dancing today inspired by sex workers and exotic dancers who explored the art in their respective industries. You may find that some studio owners and pole instructors have formerly worked in the sex industry, and as a result, have brought the same cultures to mainstream pole dancing. We could say that a lot of the tastes and vibes we find adopted in studios today are thanks to the sex workers. 

1. Amplify our Choreo

Heels are a statement piece in choreo - they add flare and finesse. Stylistic movements such as heel bangs, kips, or the recently trending edge work make performances outstanding and add a different flavour to the dance. 

2. Style and Fun

You will find so many different styles of platform heels today that there would be no way you wouldn’t buy a pair, even if it’s just to match your set and look cute in class. From sandals to boots, in patent, suede or matte, heels with fluffy feathers on the edge, heel sizes up to 10 inches - the options are endless! We love to pair our Alina Pole sets in Cosmic Latte with patent beige boots by Pleasers. Not only do they sync beautifully with each other, but the slight undertones make each piece pop. 

Pole outfit and pole heels

3. Extra weight, length and padding

If you’re a drill sergeant and love conditioning on the pole, add some heels to your practice. Heels can act as additional ankle weights, and really challenge you in moves that require aerial inverting. You can also use heels to your advantage with new flexy moves that you are experimenting with - they will give you additional inches to grab your foot in crazy moves like a cocoon or extended ballerina. And if you practice your floor work and kips but don’t have a soft, padded floor, add some boots in for that extra padding and protection. 

4. Safer than regular heels

Stripper heels are made specifically for pole dancing and aerial arts to help us create art safely. The heel’s anatomy differs from regular heels, with designs that make it easier for a dancer to move around the pole. Pole heels have grippy rubber soles, straps that secure your ankles and toes, a slope and summit for ease of movement when on pointe, and a raised platform with soft cushioning for a comfortable fit. 

Tips for Beginners: 

For beginner pole dancers that are looking to purchase their first pair of heels, here are the tips we have for you.

  • Start small - don’t be too intimidated by the students that sport the high 8-10 inches, start small with a 5 or 6 inch heel and work your way up. 
  • Boots over sandals - if you feel unsteady through the ankle, begin with some boots. The laces or zipper will strap around your ankle and provide extra stability. But, if you prefer the sandal look, ensure to strengthen your ankles by doing some exercises, including tracing the alphabet with your foot, or resistance band training for pointed toes. 
  • Get the right fit - loose shoes or shoes with a bigger fit will not play in your favour. Your feet will slip within the shoe and this may cause an injury. Look at trying to shoe and practice walking prior to using them in class to ensure that they fit right and break in (if you have sized down). 
  • Be confident, create your own style and find your rhythm. Most importantly, have fun!