Heels Vs Barefoot – Are Pole Dancing Shoes Essential in 2024?

Before you take your first pole dancing lesson, this question may have come across your mind: ‘What pole dance shoes should I wear?’ how you should approach it in 2024?

You may have asked your instructor what’s the attire for the class because what you really have in mind are skimpy clothes and high platform stripper heels.
Those who are not familiar with pole fitness may be surprised if they’re told they can wear anything comfortable and nothing but bare feet.

Practicing bare feet is really recommended especially to beginners who haven’t mastered the basics yet.

As you move up the ladder and improve your techniques, you can start doing your routine on high heels.

But before you put on those ankle-breaking shoes, take the following factors into consideration first.

Consider these first

Depending on your instructor’s style and the type of class you enrolled in, pole dancing shoes may or may not have a place in the room.

Pole fitness classes may require you to work in bare feet.

Studio classes and instructors geared towards the craft’s artistic side may encourage you to wear shoes in class.

Wearing shoes really depend on your decision.

If you’re used to it, wearing one shouldn’t be a problem when you’re performing.

It’ll be easier to execute moves because you won’t have to think about keeping your balance while on heels.

On the other hand, if you’re not comfortable with it, even a 2in heel may cause discomfort and require some time to get used to.

Don’t forget to take into account any medical condition you have.

Do you have plantar fasciitis?

How about bunions or any foot injury?

Some physical conditions may prevent you from wearing heels.

Forcing yourself to wear them, even though they’re not necessary, may just worsen your condition.

Wearing Shoes For Pole Dancing A Bad Idea?


Nothing’s wrong with wearing them.

You’re free to wear what ever makes you comfortable.

We’re not discouraging anyone to wear pole dancing shoes.

We just want to tackle the pros, cons, and other information that may help you decide on the matter.

After all, dancing shoes might be one of the most expensive items you’ll purchase aside from the safety crash mat and dance pole.

It all really boils down to your preference.

Depending on your style and the effect you want to project to your audience, heels may or may not be helpful.

Just remember that pole dancing shoes are not necessary for a performance to be successful.

Dancing Bare Foot

People enroll in pole dancing classes for various reasons.

Most are enticed by its benefits in improving physical fitness and the unique ways to achieve it.

Some have their eyes on its entertainment value, focusing on the costumes they can don while performing on the dance pole.

For the majority who want to focus on improving their skills, they’re not concerned with showing off their new pedicure or shiny shoes.

Pro tip: If you are new to dancing with yoga shoes then check this out.

Many instructors prefer to have their students on bare feet especially during the first few sessions.

One of the reasons is they want their students to get a feel of the floor which is definitely impossible when they’re wearing 5in heels.

Having a good feel of the floor will let them maintain their balance better, removing one thing to think about while executing moves.

Exercising on bare feet is also safer.

There have been stories of shoes flying here and there because they weren’t strapped properly.

There have been incidents of injuries, like sprained ankles, due to poor balance.

Going barefoot has another advantage: it saves you money.

You don’t need to invest in a pair of shoes when you’re just starting.

Until you’ve mastered your basics and you’re used to wearing high heels, that’s the time we suggest you purchase one.

Wear pole dance Heels

When you’re ready to explore the artsy and sensual side of pole dancing, maybe that’s the only time to start looking for a pair of shoes to toar on your performance.

You can also partner your shoes (or boots) with gloves and possibly a costume to make things more interesting.

Playing dress up is a perfect pair for pole dancing shoes.

You can experiment with endless combinations and challenge society’s dicta of what should be worn.

You can let your artsy side ooze out and have it interpreted in your performance.

Wearing your choice of costume and shoes can be empowering.

It also lets you get to know yourself better.

Shoes can do more than just increase the aesthetic value of your performance.

Pole dancing shoes can also increase your grip on the pole for easier spins and inversion tricks.

When shopping for dance shoes, go for the synthetic variant if you prefer leather.

Real leather is slippery and will just make it harder for you to move on the pole.

Synthetic leather is excellent in providing pole grip which is what pole dancers need.

Besides, synthetic ones are cheaper and no one will care about its brand and authenticity once you’re performing.

Heavy platform shoes are also popular.

These can act as a counterbalance, allowing you to perform some moves better with the added weight on your feet.

How high Can My Heels Be?

It all depends on how much you can handle.

If you can wear 5in or 6in high heels while on the pole, then that’s great! If you can only handle up to 2in, then that’s not a problem either.

If you decide to wear shoes in class, we suggest you invest time and money looking for a good quality that’s comfortable and fits your feet just right.

Low-quality shoes made of substandard materials may get you injured.

A pair that’s loosely fit may go flying around during inversions and kicks.

Cheap shoes are definitely appealing but always consider their quality first.

Some may have a good price tag because they’re made of poor materials that may break down anytime while you’re on the pole.

These may be uncomfortable to wear in the long run, or worse, get you injured.

PRO TIP: Here is more information on how you can Easily break in your pole dance shoes, read this article.

Recommended pole dance heels 😍

Final words

To wear or not to wear one, it’s really all up to your preference.

Some instructors may require you to wear one but they definitely have a reason for this.

They won’t let you try it out without mastering the basics first.

Pole dancing shoes can add visuals to your performance, complementing your theme and improving the impact of your whole act.

Just remember there are always pros and cons to our choices and this applies to choosing pole dancing shoes as well feel free the contact us on here on our website for more advice