Looking for the perfect pair of beauty pageant shoes for an upcoming competition? While choosing a great pair of pageant heels may seem trivial, this is one of the most important decisions you will make in preparation to slay your wardrobe and competition.
A great pageant shoe can really elevate an outfit and it makes a big difference when walking across the stage in front of judges. The right pageant shoes will allow you to walk with the utmost confidence throughout the preliminary events, pageant interview, on-stage segments including swimsuit, evening gown, and throughout every step of your competition (literally).
How To Choose The Best Pageant Shoes
When looking for the best beauty pageant shoe, find a shoe with the following qualities.
A. A pageant shoe should be versatile.
If you think you’ll need to spend lots of money buying lots of different shoes for all your pageant wardrobe outfits, think again. The awesome thing about a great pageant shoe is that a great pair can serve you for all the most important events and many different outfits (it’s also a smart strategy because you’ll break them in for the final night).
Pageant shoe tip: For the most versatility, I recommend a classic and timeless nude shoe to match the color of your skin (as opposed to a clear shoe which is a bit more trendy).
B. A pageant shoe should be comfortable.
Throughout most pageant competitions there are a series of different preliminary events that contestants participate in. During these events, you should always be well dressed from hair to heels. Then of course there are the highly anticipated competition events and final night. For all of the aforementioned, it’s important that you have a pageant shoe that you can walk confidently with ease. For that reason, comfort is absolutely essential.
Pageant shoe tip: When choosing a high heel for comfort, I recommend choosing a shoe with a platform. A heel with a good platform gives your foot more support making it easier to walk and stand in.
C. A pageant shoe should be stylish.
Be it a school pageant, a talent pageant, or a beauty pageant you off course always want to look your best and be very stylish and elegant.
Pageant shoe tip: For events like the swimsuit competition and the evening gown competition, I recommend a simple strappy style shoe. And for more formal events such as your preliminary interview and meeting with important people (dignitaries, politicians, etc.), a closed-toe pump is more appropriate.
My Top Pageant Shoes Picks
Here are some of the best shoes to wear if you’re competing in a beauty pageant!
1. Chinese Laundry Tippy Top
(Also known as Chinese Laundry Teaser)
For many years the Chinese Laundry tippy-top has been the quintessential pageant shoes. They have been an official footwear sponsor for Miss USA and Miss Universe contests for several years (Jojo Bragais the newest official pageant shoe as of 2021, but difficult to source outside of the Philippines). Either way, these are literally the best pageant shoes for any competition, and I can vouch for them from personal experience.
When I competed in Miss Jamaica world in 2013 and later in Miss Universe Jamaica in 2017, these are the shoes I wore to compete. I also wore them internationally when I represent Jamaica in Miss Grand International (they were also popular amongst the other competitors). I wore these shoes everywhere, and they were perfect. They’ve since come out with colors to match a wider range of skin tones (for dark skin and black girls too ).
Pageant Tip: I can say however that with these shoes, or any pageant shoes for that matter, you want to make sure you test them on the stage you will perform for the final night. Because the soles of these shoes are rather smooth depending on the stage material you may way to rough them up a bit (only if really necessary). Wearing them out and about every day will also accomplish this.
2. YSL Tribute Stiletto Sandals
Before you read on, be warned, this top best pageant shoe pick is a pricey one. If you’ve got the budget for it, this is one of my favorite shoes in the whole wide world. The YSL Tribute Sandal is such a great shoe for pageants, but also is a generally fabulous shoe for an elegant woman’s wardrobe.
I love this shoe because its so classy and timeless. This is a shoes that will last you well beyond any pageant competition and can be a staple item in your wardrobe for many years to come.
3. Chinese Laundry Wonder
The Chinese Laundry Wonder is a great closed-toe pageant shoe option. I mentioned above that a closed-toe nude shoe is a good option for your preliminary interview and events such as meeting with important people (dignitaries, politicians, etc.). Additionally, this is maybe a more appropriate pageant shoe for teens as opposed to a sexy strappy heel.
4. Diverse Styl Platform Heel
A fabulous line of heels perfect for pageantry is Diverse Style. The line was started by former dancer and pageant girl Sydni Dion. “My personal struggle of the lack of diversity in essential items for dancers and pageant girls fueled my passion to create my shoe line Diverse Style, which recognizes that NUDE IS MORE THAN ONE COLOR!” Her line features both strappy and closed-toe style shoes for pageants.
5. Queenie by Touch Ups
A great pageant shoe for beginners, teens, or those who aren’t necessarily the best at walking in high heel shoes are the Queenie platform sandal by Touch Ups. Although they are high heels, they aren’t too too high. Additionally they have a great sturdy platform which make them even easier to walk in.
6. Suntan by Johnathan Kayne
Rise above the competition with the Suntan from Johnathan Kayne, a 5-inch heel and a generous platform. Nacona Platform Sandal by Johnathan Kayne is also a great pageant shoe option by this brand.
7. Marc Tops by Marc Defang
An alternative to the Chinese Laundry Tippy Tops is the Marc Tops by Marc Defang. This popular pageant shoe is a great option as well. Additionally, Marc Defang carries an array of different pageant shoes that are perfect for competition.
To conclude, choosing a great pageant shoe is important. The wrong type of shoes can hinder you from performing your very best in your competition. There are many styles and brands of pageant shoes and I hope that this round-up of my tops picks as an experienced pageant girl will help you make the best decision for you.