Figure & Bikini: What Shoes Should I Get?

Over the years, I’ve held a lot of Contest Prep seminars and at nearly every one someone asks about shoes. Where should I get them? What kind should I wear? Is there a heel height requirement?

For Figure, the bottom line is that you need to have clear shoes. You can get these online, Snaz75 has a huge selection, at local lingerie shops like Venus in Uptown Minneapolis or possibly from your suit maker (locally, Perfect Fit Gear).

From there you have some style options. The two that matter most are heel height and platform size. While there is no heel height requirement, a 4-5 inch narrow (not chunky) heel is your best choice. It just looks the best on and is what most of the girls wear. As far as a platform goes, you should find a shoe with a 1/2″ platform or less. The judges are always sitting below you, which makes your legs look longer as it is. When you add a high platform shoe in to the mix, it just adds to that distortion, making the physique asymmetrical. So, unless you have short legs and a long torso, forgo the platform. If you’re not sure, have your trainer or a friend look at you and help you decide.

The other style options are up to you. Some girls prefer shoes with an ankle strap because they find it easier to walk in them or because they worry less about the shoe falling off on stage. The strap is clear, so it really doesn’t make a difference appearance-wise, it’s more about what you’re comfortable with. Your final choice is how much bling do you want on your shoes? There is nothing wrong with saving some money by picking a plain clear shoe, the Ellie brand shoe shown in the photo above is a very common style for figure competitors. If you want to go all out with the rhinestoned shoes, that’s just fine too!

Bikini ladies, all of the above applies to you too except that you don’t need to wear the clear shoes. Many competitors do go with clear shoes, but feel free to have fun with your shoe choice and match them to your suit, just make sure you stick with the heel height and platform guidelines above.

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On Track Training is run by Christine Bongiovanni-Stiff, Minnesota's first IFBB Pro Bodybuilder. Christine offers diet & training programs, group classes and seminars to help the physique competitor reach all their on stage (or off stage!) goals. On Track Training also promotes the NPC Gopher State Classic, NPC MN State Classic and the NPC North Star competitions.

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