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Put On Your Pole Dancing Shoes – Looking After Your Feet on a Dance Pole

Kiss-201 TG dark

Much more than just a fashion statement, what you wear on your feet can really boost your pole dancing prowess.

Think for a moment about the contact area between your feet and the pole. Tiny, isn’t it? Yet that small area is vital for getting you up the pole, keeping you on the pole and sometimes even suspending your entire body weight from it.

The right footwear will also make your pole work much more comfortable, protecting your skin from bruising, scrapes and carpet burns.

Pole shoes

pole-shoe-star
When I’m teaching, I recommend that my students buy a pair of pole shoes (sometimes called stripper shoes or porn shoes). But why should you want to invest in a pair of plastic shoes with 5 or 6 inch heels? After all, you can’t exactly wear them to the office the next morning. Well, let me tell you…

  • These shoes really stick to the pole. Pole shoes are a lot more grippy than bare feet, so you should find climbing or inverts such as Fang become a lot easier.
  • The shoes are designed for dancers and are extremely comfortable. They have padding on the insoles and a curved end to help you pivot gracefully around the pole.
  • Because they’re relatively heavy, pole shoes can help you get a deeper stretch across your legs when you invert. You should also be able to get a little extra momentum on spins when you kick out.
  • Pole shoes will improve your posture and general ‘grounding’ as you walk around the pole. They also force your calf muscles to work harder – in essence you are on tip-toes the whole time.
  • They make you look goooood. A pair of these shoes will do more for your legs and bum than 3 months at the gym!

More on pole shoes

pole-shoe-silver-cone
Pole shoes come in a wide range of heights from 3 to 10 inches (and beyond!). If you’re not used to walking in heels, start off with a lower platform. (Also if you’re a tall girl like me you’ll probably want to stick with shorter heels. I tend to go for 4" platforms to stop me towering over everyone else in the room.)

Avoid shoes with big buckles or metal studs on them as they may damage the pole or your feet.

If you choose a pair without an ankle strap, take two pieces of ribbon and thread them under the shoe arches, then up and around your ankle and tie securely (similar to doing up a ballet ribbon). This will make the sure the shoes don’t get kicked off in an aggressive spin – not good for you or any bystanders!

Respect your shoes

You may find inverts become difficult again the first time you wear pole shoes because of the extra weight on your feet. In fact it’s a good idea to take off your shoes when you’re learning The Blade, The Chopper or The Hercules – not only will it make the move easier, but if you land a little harder than you expect you won’t run the risk of spraining your ankles.

And make sure you don’t take a chunk out of your leg with your new 6" heels when you do the seated spinner or similar moves. You now have some potent pieces of footwear attached to your legs – respect them accordingly!

The emperor’s new shoes

Though pole shoes are great, many people find they are most comfortable pole dancing in bare feet. Particularly if you’re just starting out, getting the hang of moving round the pole is often enough without worrying about balancing on high platforms at the same time. And having bare feet is a good option:

  • Though not as good as pole shoes, skin sticks incredibly well to the metal pole. It’s a much better choice than fabric or many plastics.
  • You’ll get a lot more feedback through your body, helping you learn how much pressure you need to exert on the pole for each move.
  • You will get to know the ‘feel’ of the pole much more quickly, helping to build confidence in your ability to perform new and existing moves.
  • And, of course, there’s no danger of you scratching your pole.

Trainers

leather-trainers
If you going to be pole dancing for extended periods of time I’d recommend wearing plastic-coated or leather trainers. Libby and I wore these when we were filming the Pole Exercise DVD, and we often taught in them at the end of four hours of back-to-back classes when our feet were aching!

As well as being very comfortable, plastic-coated trainers do stick a little to the pole and will protect your feet from bruising. They won’t give you as much grip as bare feet or pole shoes though, so you may want to ditch the trainers if you’re learning something new. I’ve found that Adidas and Puma do a great range, though make sure they are fully plastic or leather and have no fabric on them (some like these or these these or these Geox Snakes).

Dance shoes

Professional dance shoes such as jazz shoes or blocks will give you almost no grip on the pole. They provide a great challenge for intermediate and advanced pole users, but would be very difficult – and probably quite disheartening – for you if you’re just starting out.

Shoe emporia

Some online footwear outlets to get you started.

  • BananaShoes [UK] (aff.) Site with a huge range of shoes, boots and other gear too (recommended by Shelly)
  • Pleaser USA [US] Manufacturers of the pole shoes featured above and many, many more besides, all illustrated with lovely pictures (wholesale only)
  • Pleaser UK [UK] Same shoes, less good website
  • Heels For You [US] Another US company with a wide range of shoes (and lots of yummy pictures)
  • Amazon.com [US] Pleaser shoes on Amazon
  • High Heel Place Not a shop, but a “place where all the people in the world who like high heels can come together and share their thoughts.” Reviews, galleries and an active forum. Definitely worth a look if you’re seriously into your shoes.

What about boots? Well, we realised we had too much to say about them to fit in here, so we’ll be devoting a whole post to them soon. Stay tuned, or subscribe today to get the latest pole news, views and moves delivered straight to your inbox.

Update: Click here for the post about boots.

Shoes update: We’ve had quite a few people asking about the black starry shoes in the article and where to buy them. They are the Pleaser KISS-201LT4 and are available with blue and pink stars.

If you’re in the UK, BananaShoes has them in both blue and pink for £62. Fantasy Heels sells them for £70. Wholesale Erotica has them at a much more attractive £40, though unfortunately that’s wholesale only. Strangely, their public shop (on the same site) doesn’t seem to stock them, though they may be able to point you in the right direction. Pleaser’s own UK shop doesn’t seem to have them either, though again they may be able to help.

There are a lot more shopping options in the US. Even if you live elsewhere, ordering from the US is a possibility and probably cheaper too. Heels For You have them for $61, or just over £30, (plus postage) and say they will ship to most countries. Amazon in the US also stocks them (and currently for just $44, or £23), though I don’t know if they will ship internationally. A couple of other US stockists I found via Google are Snaz 75 and The Red Door. Stacy also found them at DesireShoes.

If you’ve bought a pair or know somewhere else that sells them (particularly in the UK), please add a comment to let us know.

49 Responses to “Put On Your Pole Dancing Shoes – Looking After Your Feet on a Dance Pole”

  1. I love the shoes at the top of the page!!!

    Edit: Added another pic; these are the black starry ones.

  2. Yes, they’re quite delicious aren’t they? According to the blurb, the shoes are KISS-201LT4 from Pleaser USA. They’re about half way down this page on Heels For You (edit: they’re now here; may move again), though I’ve just seen that you can also get them from Amazon too. And in pink. I’ll add some more links to the list above actually.

  3. Jamie Taylor 7 July, 2007 at 12:18

    I love it that you are using shoes, keep Pole Dancing Pretty :)
    (Totally addicted to your tips by the way)

    Defy Gravity Pole School

  4. I just wanted to let everyone know that Pleaser shoes are awesome to dance in (even for a beginner like me!) and look deliciously sexy too! :)

  5. Glad you agree Michelle, thanks for all the support ladies, I’m pleased you are enjoying the tips!

  6. hey i love the shoes on here im a dancer and im looking for a new pair any ideas on where to buy???

  7. Another great website for shoes is BananaShoes, they also have a sale on at the moment! xx

  8. Shelly – Looks like a really good site; I’ve added it to the list in the post. Thanks!

    I also found High Heel Place via their links section. Looks like a pretty comprehensive resource for those who are seriously into shoes.

    falon – Sorry, I missed your comment. There are some links at the end of the post above to various online shoe shops in the UK and US. If you’re looking for something else, please let me know and I’ll try to help.

  9. they are all nice boots i love them i wud love the last ones they are the best lol

  10. I NEED those black Kiss shoes with blus stars but i can only find them on Pleaser US where they don’t sell to the common (wo)man . Can ANYONE tell me where to get them from the UK!

    Cheers !

  11. Stacy – We’ve actually had quite a few people ask about those! I obviously chose the right image to illustrate the post. :)

    I’m afraid I haven’t been able to find many places in the UK that stock them. There’s a much better choice of outlets in the US, and prices are a lot lower too, so you could consider ordering from overseas.

    I’ve updated the post above with the stockists I did manage to locate, which I hope is of some use to you. Please let me know if you do buy a pair, or if you find out any other useful info.

  12. Andrew – Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am a very happy girl!

    I just bought mine from Fantasy Heels for just under £59 with FREE delivery!

    There are a couple of US sites (desireshoes.com) that, with the current exchange rate, come to approximately £50 including postage but it’s a 3-6 week wait and for the sake of a tenner, i get mine next week! can’t wait!!

  13. That’s great! Glad I was able to help, and thanks for the info – I’ve added DesireShoes to the text above. Hope you enjoy your shoes. :)

  14. Hi there,

    I have opened a shop selling pole dancing shoes and clothes, we offer free delivery and returns for any reason with 5% off after your first order for life! We will soon be adding more shoes to our range. I would be very grateful if you would let your customers know. Thank you.

    http://www.GetYaFreakOn.com

  15. Hi, im looking for a pair of pole dancing shoes/platforms but with a smaller heel?

  16. Hey Nadia – First, really sorry for not replying sooner. I’m afraid we’ve been unable to respond to things here for a little while unfortunately.

    I had a look around, but without that much success. The Pleaser Belle has a 3" heel and is in a similar style to most pole shoes, though it hasn’t got a platform (reducing the amount of sticky plastic you can press against the pole). Heels For You also list the 3 1/4" Pleaser Romance.

    If you can stretch to another inch or so then there’s a much wider range of shoes available. Again, if you haven’t already, you may want to check out Pleaser for this – their huge range should give you a good idea of what’s out there, even if you go for something else in the end.

  17. Found a great supplier of really sexy shoes in Nottingham at http://www.glamour-heels.co.uk
    The best bit is that they have the shoes in stock that they advertise – not waiting, shipped the same day and the owner is really helpful on the phone with lots of confirmation emails etc. Excellent service!

  18. can i use you shoes to make them into graphics for my page. its a free web site i dont make money on it but if you let me use them ill put your link it your site i get peole wanting to buy the shoes and were to go. so i might get you some biz. please let me know. thanks

  19. gothkytten – Most of the pictures on this page are ones from Pleaser. So you’d have to ask them for permission, though
    pretty much every shop that sells Pleaser uses these images to illustrate the shoes.

    I assume that Pleaser don’t particularly object to their images being used to promote their goods, which is effectively what we are doing here too. (It’s also likely that the images on this page would qualify as fair use.)

    They have an image release form which you could try, though it’s not really aimed at people making graphics like you want to. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  20. thankyou so much. that was helpful:)

  21. Hi,
    I have 2 pairs of ‘pole dancing shoes’ which have the clear perspex platform soles. I can’t actually use either on the pole though as they don’t stick at all. Does anyone know where I could find some nice heels/platforms with latex covered heel/bridges? Also, any idea where I could get some boots with concealed inside zips? I can’t find any on websites! They all have bare zips which scratch my pole!
    Thanks for your help
    xXxXx

  22. Shannon Williams 27 November, 2008 at 22:20

    Need to purchase wholesale dance shoes for my pole dancing studio.

  23. michelle do u do salsa in minehead? the shoes are reli hot \!!

  24. I’d recommend Alternative Footwear – I saw a pair of shoes on the Pleaser USA site and couldn’t find anywhere online that delivered that style to the UK. I called up Alternative Footwear and they entered my order and the shoes arrived within 5 days! Their website is http://www.alternative-footwear.co.uk but if you see a style you like anywhere else, you may want to call on 01706 829955 as it may not be on their website yet but they can put an order through for you. They also have a great sale on at the moment!

  25. where can I buy the shoes that are second down, the ones with the stars in? they are amazing!!! X

  26. great range in the UK now at jagerstore.co.uk

  27. Love those pole shoes

  28. Someone mentioned that I shouldn’t buy a pair of pole dancing shoes with any kind of buckle on as they may scratch the pole. Is this true??? The majority of the them seem to have buckles so I’m not too sure how seriously I should be taking this advice.

    Does anyone have an opinion??

    Many thanks!!

  29. I have quite a few pairs of shoes that had buckles, and I have cut them off with an exacto (sp?) blade and I use garter belts wrapped around them.

    Put the gbelt on around your ankle and cross them and then put under the front of the shoe, if they are too loose, cross them again and wrap around the heel. There should be an X on the front of your ankle and then another under the shoe between the heel and platform if you do it correctly.

    I prefer these because the straps can be uncomfortable, these are softer. I have never had a problem with the buckles/zippers scratching my pole, it is more of a problem of being hard on your skin if you are gripping where they are.

  30. My issue is I have narrow/thin feet and wear a size 9-10 and the part that goes over the toes is usually an 1″ or so above my toes on a lot of shoes making it way too loose. They are usually too wide too. Does anyone know of any brands MADE for pole dancing that run narrow or are adjustable? Or have a good return policy w/o spending a fortune in shipping? Thanks.

  31. While thos shoes are amazing…any chance of some ideas about shoes for guys?

  32. iv been dancing 4 almost 3 years an love boots but i just bought a new style of pleasers with open heal an toe so cute but sadly they slide right off the pole like ice big mistake i guess it must be a diffrent material

  33. hi….where can i get the star shoes!!! i love love love them but carnt find them any where!!! xxx

  34. @Natalie We’ve had a number of people asking about those shoes. :) If you live in the UK or US, I’ve added a number of links to places that stock them to the bottom of the post – look for the starry pink shoe picture. If you live elsewhere then tell me which country you’re in and I’ll see if I can track them down.

  35. Don’t the mules pole shoes fall off the feet when you’re dancing? Would love a pair but scared they’ll fall off?

  36. Hey Vixen, Check out what Alley wrote about garter belts, I use ribbons around mule pole shoes wrapped under the shoe and around the ankle to stop me kicking them off mid-dramatic-move! Hope that help! Happy shoe shopping! x

  37. Lucy,

    Thanks for the info. :)

  38. Please could you kindly inform me as to where I can purchase the McKenzie trainers you have on your website (black and pink ones). I have searchedon numerous websites but do not seem to be able to locate them.

    The link on your website does not appear to work, as JD Sport states unavailable.

    Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

  39. @ Rosey

    I’m afraid those trainers aren’t made any more. Sorry for the dead link.

    Lucy has a pair of Geox Snake trainers that she really rates (though unfortunately only in black, not pink and black :). Geox seem to have discontinued her shoes now too, though these are similar. They come in other colours and styles too if plain black isn’t your thing.

  40. please send me the best sites going for pole fancing shoes gear poles etc. professional pole dancer here and looking for discounted goods but the best!much appreciated. p.s can only buy via postal order

  41. i pole dance professionally and i have tried all types of pole shoes and i have found the most durable ones are pleasers. if you are having trouble finding where to get them ebay has several stores that sell pleasers. Be aware that the patent leather shoes far better when it comes to climbing the pole, so make sure that is what you are getting

  42. If you live in the UK and want professional pole dancing shoes that are also actualy made in UK, then please visit my site at http://www.dancingheels.com. We try to keep our prices as low as possible while maintaining a high standared on our footwear.

  43. kelly barbie pink 28 April, 2010 at 18:10

    could i order via postal order?

  44. @Kelly If you’re looking for shoes, then BananaShoes say they do accept postal orders. They also have a great range, so I’d definitely take a look at them.

    None of the other sites on our list above explicitly mention that they take postal orders, but if you find some shoes you like elsewhere then it’s certainly worth asking – we’d be happy to take a postal order for stuff in our shop. (Though of course we don’t sell shoes, so that’s not much use to you. :)

  45. Hi, wanted to know if you know about wide width? Most of the shoes are tiny in the front and I can’t seem to find any that allows us chubby feets to get in. Thanks!

  46. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but I wear shoes with a straight last and have trouble finding any in general, but a LOT of trouble finding any for pole dancing. Basically, if you draw a straight line from the center of the heel all the way through to the other end of the sole, it normally ends up somewhere between the third and fourth toes. I would need to find shoes where that line would end at the second toe or somewhere between the first and second toes…..does that make sense?

    With all the open toe and really strappy models I tend to fall off the outside edges of them, or because they curve in toward the center line of the body, my little toes just get smashed. Has anyone else encountered this and found a brand/model of shoe that works for them?

  47. I will tell my friend about your article.Meaningful message.

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