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Regency International Pageant

A Queen’s Guide to Pageant Shoes!

By: Cortni-Cheyenne Risley

Regency International Miss United States

A Queen's Guide to Pageant Shoes!

Step Up Your Pageant Game With The Right Shoes: A Queen’s Guide To Choosing The Perfect Pair!

There are hundreds of pageant shoes on the market, so how do you know which ones are right for you? Picking the wrong pageant shoes can distract from your perfectly planned outfit. Likewise, picking the right pageant shoes can give you that polished, royal appearance that you’re looking for. To help you make the right choice in pageant shoes, I’ve created the ultimate guide to pageant shoes.


Interview Competition


A contestant should strive to be trendy and professional. This can be a hard balance to maintain because professional attire does not always follow trends. You have to know your pageant and what it prefers to choose the right pageant shoe. More conservative systems prefer something like the Wonder by Chinese Laundry, which is a closed-toe patent pump.

More fashion-forward systems allow you to wear pageant shoes that push the traditional idea of business attire. Even if your pageant allows for fun footwear, you want to stick to pageant shoes that won’t distract the judges. They should be busy listening to your ideas and getting to know you,, not staring at your distracting pageant shoes.


Evening Gown


In the evening gown competition, your pageant shoes should actually not be seen – in most gown styles, your dress should be long enough to cover your pageant shoes. However, while you are walking, the judges will catch glimpses of your pageant shoes, because they typically sit lower than the stage and are at eye level with your feet. It is important that your pageant shoes don’t distract the judges from your dress and overall look.

You should aim to look tall, graceful, and royal. You want to choose pageant shoes that help you achieve those long, clean lines and that height. If you are taller, you may be able to opt for a shorter heel while shorter women may go for a platform pageant shoe.


Fun/Open Fashion


Fun Fashion is the ultimate time in the pageant to be outlandish and creative with your wardrobe, and this includes your choice of shoes. This will likely be one of the most enjoyable pageant experiences for you because you are not restricted in the same way that you are in other phases of the competition. So, feel free to have fun and express yourself here and show the judges that you are an individual.

In this category, you really want to be able to carry the style or the feel of your outfit of choice all the way down to your shoes, so let your imagination go crazy. Don’t just choose a shoe because it matches the rest of your outfit. That’s boring. Remember, it’s called, “Fun Fashion” for a reason.

This phase of competition varies greatly depending on the pageant system that you are competing in, so make sure that you understand the criteria.

Fun Fashion might consist of something that you would wear on the red carpet or to a dressy celebration, but it is far more fun and flirty than a formal look. At other pageants, it is a more informal, casual, or laid-back style of dressing, and then in some pageants, anything goes.

Regardless of the fact that Fun Fashion, or Outfit of Choice, as it is also frequently called, is the most diverse of all of the areas of pageant competition, you mustn’t forget the basics of being able to walk well in whatever shoe you choose.

If you select the most incredible and original shoes on the planet, but you cannot walk in them, then it’s really pointless. Just keep in mind that whatever footwear you decide on must complement your outfit well and must also allow you to be graceful on stage.



In the swimsuit competition, I recommend gracing the stage in a pair of high nude or see-through heels. The heel should be at least three inches and should be a skinny heel (no chunky heels or wedges). This height and color of the shoe will elongate your legs, helping you feel more confident on stage. I also highly recommend choosing a pair with straps because they make it much easier to walk in so you don’t have to worry about having a mishap on stage in your swimsuit!



I hope this guide helped you come up with ideas for your next pageant! I can’t wait to see all the shoes you choose to wear at your next competition!

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