Why Do Pole Dancers Wear Heels?

Are heels necessary for pole dancing? – Is a question commonly asked by non-polers. This post goes some way to reveal why pole dancers wear heels. It also directs you to others areas of our site that will answer hopefully all of your follow up questions, such as the best places to buy pole shoes. 

why do poler dancers where heels


Those looking to start pole fitness often ask “do I have to wear heels?” or “can I wear heels?” depending on the student. In general, those taking pole fitness in 2021 don’t get to wear heels unless they are taking a heels choreo class. This is because about 15 years ago when the pole fitness warriors were trying to get pole sports accepted as a “real” form of exercise and sport discourage the use of heels, to get away from its “stripper” background. Also, heels can lead to twisted ankles etc when students are learning. 

However, contrary to this platform heels have some advantages for the wearers. Spinning, climbing and balance are all enhanced and assisted when dancers are performing. They also look really, really cool. So read on and find out why polers taking choreograph or heels classes wear heels?!

Pole Dancers Heels are Stripper Shoes!

The heels that those taking part in pole fitness wear are called pole dancing shoes by those wearing them, but they are also referred to as stripper shoes or platform shoes. The term stripper shoes come from the sex industry, many pole dancers working in clubs started teaching it as a form of fun fitness in the early naughties (2000’s). These strippers taught in heels because it was all they knew I guess. It attracted many girls to try it out, the heels appealed. It certainly made for a fun activity for me 17 years ago. I can’t believe it’s actually that long ago since to first tried pole dancing – does that mean that I’m getting really old? Aghhh!

The shoes have a platform sole, which makes the legs look long and lean, hence the name platform shoes.   

Platform heels come in a range of sizes, measured in inches. This range of sizes refers to the height of the stiletto heel. It’s very common to hear that girls are wearing 6, 7 or even 8-inch shoes or boots. This sounds enormous and scary at first, but when you take into consideration that these shoes have a platform sole under the ball of the foot which is around 2 – 4 inches high, meaning that the heel is only about 2-4 inches it doesn’t seem so high after all. 

These stripper heels are either boots or the shoes have ankle straps that keep the shoe in place. The platform shoes have shaped and cushioned footbeds making them comfortable to wear. I for one are one of the many people who find pole shoes more comfortable than regular high heels. 

So Why Do Pole Dancers Wear Heels?

Simply because they look and make the wearer feel amazing!

As Louboutin famously said……

Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically, and emotionally"
Christian Louboutin
A French-Egyptian fashion designer whose high-end stiletto footwear incorporates shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature.

Heel clacks, long legs that go on for miles and miles and miles (I’m sure there’s a song bursting to get out there 🙂 ), added heights, thin, elongated legs and things, sex appeal…..

They look and feel sensational to wear and once you have tried there will be no going back!

However, heels are not just for boosting moral there are many benefits to wearing and training in a pair of platform shoes or boots. 

Extra Height

The elevated platform means you are able to grip higher on the pole, giving you more space to swing and get into the tricks.

Weighted Feet

The shoes also act as weights on your feet, which helps to transition between moves and stretch out the legs in a flattering way.

Better Spins

The weight of the shoes can also help you to maintain a great spin on the pole!


The bottom of the shoes has a grip finish that will stop you from slipping over, while the rounded shape of the toe box is perfect for spinning on, and for floor work. 

Stick to the Pole

Pole specific heels are made from faux leather or plastic materials. PVC sticks to the pole and leather (faux or not) adds grip. This makes climbing the pole easier.  

Added Flare and Flow

When you travel on the platform, they make the wearer look like they are flying as they create a beautiful flow. Flare is added to the dance routine, heel bangs and incredibly popular edgework add quirks to a routine. 


They protect the feet from bangs on the floor, against the pole and toes stubs. However, if you happen to lose your balance you could twist an ankle. So they add protection and increase the risk all at the same time. 

Confidence Boosting

There is no denying the confidence boost girls and bots get from wearing heels and taking their clothes of. The long elongated legs make us feel sexy and youthful. For the most part, we’re not doing it to impress anyone but ourselves.  

Will Any Heels Do?

When polers first start they can wear any heels they want to, but dancers quickly purchase pole dancing shoes as there are many advantages to wearing specially designed shoes.

Most importantly I guess is that pole specific heels are safer than your everyday 3 inch shoes. This is because the anatomy of pole shoes as explained by Xpert instructor and advanced poler Tiff Finney allows movement that normal heels don’t. They allow for better balance when making complex dance moves. 

Pole dancing heels are also lighter than normal heels. The angle of the heel and the platform mean the shoes give the wearer more support when walking so they are more balanced than if they wore everyday heels. 

The cushioning in the footbed also means that they are more comfortable. 

Where Can I buy them

We have a couple of posts on the site that give you all the information about the best brands to buy and where to buy pole dancing shoes based on your current location. 

However, without going into too much detail the brands that polers opt for are Hella Heels, Pleaser and Ellie shoes. 

Currently, we recommend Amazon as the best place to buy pole shoes from.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Any of the brands that specifically make heels for exotic dancing, pole dancing and fitness such as Pleaser shoes or Hella Heels. The brand you prefer may depend on many factors such as the style of shoe, the width of your feet or your personal preference. It might be a case of trial and error at first. 
However, all brands listed on this site have been created especially with polers in mind so they will all be more comfortable and safer than regular heels. 

We talk about this in-depth above, but in short no, you can wear anything you like, it doesn’t;t have to be platform heels. You can wear bare feet, trainers, ballet slippers, jazz shoes, yoga shoes or anything else you like as long as they are safe to wear and won’t fly across the room and stab someone in the eye. 

Pole shoes are also known as platform heels and stripper shoes. 

We discuss how to walk in pole dancing heels in our post on “what are heels for pole dancing?” Scroll to the bottom of the page.