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How High Should Your Heels Be for a Pageant?

28, January 2017

Miss Oklahoma USA 2017 contestants relaxing before the show. Photo/Miss Oklahoma USA Facebook page. Miss Oklahoma USA 2017 contestants relaxing before the show. Photo/Miss Oklahoma USA Facebook page.

There are heels aplenty in stores and online, and picking the right shoe for your pageant is way more difficult than a Fairy Godmother enchanting the perfect shoe onto your foot. Your heels are not to be a fashion statement and should not be distracting. They are there to provide height so the stage doesn't appear to be swallowing you. (Read: Should You Wear Nude Heels or Clear Pageant Heels) Yet they also must be age appropriate.

How High Should Your Heels Be for a Pageant?

PreTeens

international-junior-miss-oregon-jr-princess-opening-number International Junior Miss Oregon Jr. Princess in opening number dress.

"Preteens and younger should be only one inch tall," explained Hester Fletcher of Final Touch Consulting. "They need to be children." For swimsuit/swimwear, pageants usually require the younger girls to be barefoot when onstage. Teens

miss-california-teen-usa-2015-swimsuit Melanie Mitchell, Miss California Teen USA 2015, competes in Sun Kitten swimwear and Chinese Laundry shoes during the Swimsuit segment of the Final Competition of the 2015 Miss Teen USA Pageant at ATLANTIS, Paradise Island, Bahamas on Saturday, August 22, 2015. HO/ Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

"After they are in teen they can wear a heel," Fletcher said. "But watch platforms are not too much." The platform style is popular, but you don't want to look too much like a Miss when you're in Teen. "Platform shoes are easier to walk in so that is a catch 22," Fletcher acknowledged. Many Teen pageants are switching from swimsuit to fitness wear with sneakers, but there are still areas of the competition where heels will be necessary.

miss-arkansas-teen-usa-2013-abby-floyd Miss Arkansas Teen USA 2013, Abby Floyd, is named one of the 16 finalists as she walks the runway in a Sherri Hill dress and Chinese Laundry shoes during the opening the 2013 Miss Teen USA Pageant at ATLANTIS, Paradise Island, Bahamas on Saturday, August 10, 2013.

Try a style like the Savannah by Johnathan Kayne. This shoe profile is popular among pageant titleholders like Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell when she was traveling and was also worn on stage in swimsuit during Miss Teen USA 2015 and opening number at Miss Teen USA 2013. Many of the girls wore these heels in all areas of competition. Miss/Ms./Mrs.

Suzi Roberts, Miss Coastal Islands 2016 and 1st Runner Up to Miss South Carolina 2016, wearing Suntan by Johnathan Kayne in the Swimsuit competition at the Miss South Carolina 2016 pageant. Photo courtesy of Suzi Robert's Facebook page. Suzi Roberts, Miss Columbia 2017 and 1st Runner-up to Miss South Carolina 2016, wearing Suntan by Johnathan Kayne in the Swimsuit competition at the Miss South Carolina 2016 pageant. Photo courtesy of Suzi Roberts's Facebook page.

Miss/Ms./Mrs. contestants can certainly get away with the taller and sky high heels as seen on televised pageants. The popular Chinese Laundry Tippy Top features a five and a half inch heel with a one and a half inch platform.  The competitor to the Tippy Top, Johnathan Kayne's Suntan, features a five inch heel. If you need a thicker heel to feel more sure footed but still want the height, Queenie by Touch Ups has a four inch heel and platform. This shoe profile is often worn in all areas of onstage competition by pageant girls in these divisions. Going Forward When it comes to choosing the right shoe for your pageant, not only does appropriate heel height to age division matter, but your comfort and ability to walk in them also come into consideration. (Read: 5 Ways to Pageant Proof Your Heels) "When you are practicing, always practice in higher than you should wear heels," Fletcher advised. "It's like training wheels getting ready for the next step." (Read: How to Walk in Every Phase of Pageant Competition) Make sure to practice walking in your heels not only on carpet but also on tile or hardwood. Same goes when trying them on. The carpet makes you feel a bit more sturdy and you may get the wrong size shoe as a result, so step onto the tiled portions of the store to try them out. Visit our TPP Store for a variety of pageant shoes at various heel heights. Now, go strut your stuff!

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