Pageant Shoes:
Platform Or No Platform?

When selecting pageant shoes, look, comfort (at least a little bit), and how you walk in them are definitely the most important things to look for. You should be able to move well across the stage. Seems simple and obvious enough, right?


I have seen many, many girls wearing wrong shoes for them. The most common “faux pas” I have seen over the most recent years are girls attempting to navigate the stage with 4” or 5" heel plus platform shoes. The contestant is usually shorter in stature, I’m assuming they are attempting to appear taller than they are.  Well, wearing a shoe that makes you look like your walking on stilts is not the best way to achieve a tall look.

However, finding pageant shoes that are nude or clear will definitely give the illusion of height, as well as having toned thighs, hamstrings, and a tight booty.  

So, if you are not tall by nature, embrace it, please.  You are fabulous. You are tiny but mighty, and you know great things come in small packages. Go find some fabulous shoes to match YOU!

Now, some girls, regardless of height, can rock a 4” platform shoe.  I’d rather not see them being worn, seems classless to me, personal opinion.  But, if you are the type that can handle a platform shoe, werk!

If it doesn’t fit (style as well as physically), then find a pair that does. 

So here’s  a short list of Do’s and Don’ts to finding great pairs of shoes.

Pageant Shoes Do's and Don'ts


  • Go nude (skin-tone) or clear. Whether it's swimsuit or evening gown, it is best to go with a nude or clear shoe. I have seen many girls walk on stage with black or white shoes, those just don't work. Wearing nude or clear shoes will create a seamless, continual, long look, making you look longer! And you can never go wrong with rhinstones on them! 

For interview, however, shoes are as what you would wear on a job interview--nothing strappy, no rhinestones. Taupe or skin toned is great, too.

  • Go for a platform. I am not fond of the thick cluncky platforms for pageant shoes. However, a subtle platform at right underneath the ball of the foot make 4 inch heels SO comfortable to wear, and easy to walk in. So give them a try, just don't go overboard just to gain a couple inches. 
  • Shop on Facebook. There’s a great community of pageant peeps that own gently used pageant items and they are looking for people like you who could use them! Jonathan Kayne and Steve Madden seem to be common designers of pageant shoes.
  •  Keep it classy.  I am a big fan of keeping it classy.


  • buy too high of a heel

As I mentioned before (lots of times. Because it happens so much), petite contestants should not try to look taller by buying 5" heels with platforms. But if you are not able to walk in them, it defeats the purpose of looking confident, casual and classy. Save your feet, your money and yourself, and any potential injury, and find a comfortable height that you can naturally work with. Also, if it's a long, lean look you're after, try toning up your legs and booty.

In evening gown, your gown's hem should touch the floor. If it doesn't, your heel is too high or the dress is too short. Just adjust accordingly and you're looking good.


  • Do strappy, like up-the-leg-to-your-knees strappy. Don't do that. Not for competition. 

Again, keep it simple, elegant and understated. Strappy shoes are way too distracting.  Keep them for an appearance somewhere after the pageant. 

Bottom line, the goal is to wear shoes that are not only beautiful and understated, but also must allow you to walk comfortably, and with confidence.

And remember, if the pageant shoe fits, wear it.