Why Are Pole Dancing Shoes So High?

Pole shoes have high heels to give you enough ground clearance and help you grip higher on the pole, thus giving you more space to swing and perform your pole tricks. Pole dancing heels also increase your height and enhance your spin, climb, and balance, making you look more graceful on the pole as you move from the Superman pose to Ayesha and to the knee hold.

In addition, the heels also act as weights on your feet, helping you transition fluidly between moves.

The anatomy of a pole dance shoe is designed for functionality and aesthetics. The bottom part is made from a grip-finish material that protects you from slipping over, while the rounded toe box area makes it easy to spin on your toes during floor work and in between dance moves.

This article is for you if you’re ever wondering why these heels are so high and if you’ll ever learn to wear the heels correctly.

Why Must Pole Dancing Heels Be Super High?

Pole dancing shoes do not need to be super high. In fact, I advise beginners to start barefoot or with something light and comfortable.

As you move from beginner to intermediate, you’ll learn some more dance tricks and moves that require a lot more grace, poise, and tact. You’ll also notice other dancers have at least one heel, and it makes their performance beautiful to watch.

Getting a heel doesn’t have to be a hard task. In fact, you don’t have to start from a 9-inch pole dance heel. I recommend going through the works, starting with a 5 or 6-inch heel and moving your way to 7 and 8-inches.

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What Heel Height Is Best for Pole Dancing? 

Pole shoes are available in different heel sizes, from 5 inches to 10 inches. Beginners who aren’t familiar with heels or pole dancing should start with 5 to 6-inch pole heels until they’ve strengthened their ankles and are able to perform decent tricks with the heels on.

Intermediates can try 7 to 8 inches heels, while professionals can try 9 to 11 inches heels, depending on their preferences.

StagePole Shoe Heel Height
Beginner5 – 6 inches heels
Intermediate7 – 8 inches heels
Professional9 – 11 inches heels
Table of Heel Height

I recommend that you experiment as much as possible until you find what works best for you. As a beginner who loves heels, try the 7 – 8 inches heels just to see how good you are at handling them.

It’s always good to try on some height and feel combinations, as it’s the fastest way to discover what works best for you and what feels the most comfortable.

But note that dance heels with 9-inch platforms and higher often come with warnings on the box to say they aren’t meant for dancing in. This is why it’s mostly restricted to professionals who can distribute weight accordingly to avoid falls or injuries.

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Anatomy of Pole Dance Heel & Benefits

Anatomy of a pole dancing shoes

Curved Insole

The curved insoles keep your toes from getting crushed between the floor and heel during sweeps, floorwork, and slides.

Padding Lining 

They provide comfort for your leg, making it possible to wear your pole heels for as long as you want.

Angled Toebox

The angled toebox makes moving your legs easy, especially when your toes are pointed.

Curved Outsole

The curved outsoles help you rock back and forth while also supporting your glides, pirouette, and spins.

One-Piece Shank

Helps you get up from the floor or down with ease. They also provide support in areas where your regular heels are lacking.

Angled Heel

The angled heels keep the heel of your leg supported while absorbing the weight of landing on your heels during dance moves.

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Can You Wear Normal Heels for Pole Dancing?

You can wear normal heels for pole dancing, but it won’t deliver the same feeling and ease as wearing a pole heel designed for dancing.

The rounded toe box on the pole heel is designed to help with your floorwork and spin. The grippy floor material helps with friction to reduce fall, and the heel height improves your ground clearance.

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Tips for Wearing Heels as a Beginner

Start with a Lower Heel

Start with a lower heel height (between 5 and 6 inches) if you’ve never used a heel before. It’ll help you learn the ropes of walking and using a heel.

Bigger heel sizes are often heavier, which may affect your carriage and confidence.

Get The Right Heel Size

Similar to running shoes, you want your pole heels to be the perfect size so it grips perfectly and give you the confidence needed to glide between moves.

Slippery, bigger, or loose pole shoes can cause trips, falls, and injuries.

Practice Walking in Heels

Start your heel experience by practicing your walk. Do the walk repeatedly until you have mastered it before approaching the pole. Once at the pole, learn to walk around the pole and start with some basic moves like basic inverts, slides, and more until you’re able to land perfectly without hurting your ankles.

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Do a Lot of Ankle Exercises

Ankle exercises are important if you wish to learn faster and avoid injuries.

Here is a guide on ankle warm-up exercise to get you started.

Point Your Toes

You’ll hear this a lot because it’s true! Always remember to point your toes whenever you’re dancing. Doing this distributes your weight and helps your glutes.

It may hurt at first, but you’ll become better for it.

So, don’t forget to point your toes!

But if you’re not ready to dance in heels, your bare foot is okay too.

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Start with Boots, Not Sandals

Boots are an excellent choice for beginners. This is because boots are more protected, while sandals increase the risk of twisted ankles, loose finishes, and others.

With boots, you’re more protected.

So, that’s it for your question and curiosity.

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