#TipTuesday – Swimsuit Shoes

This is one of the most asked questions I get, and one of my BIGGEST pet-peeves as a Judge.

Swimsuit Shoes. They should be nude strappy heels, preferably platform. Not gold, not silver, not sparkly, not rhinestoned. NUDE, plain nude!  They should not be a “heavy” looking heel, so no thick straps, or even peep-toe pumps.  They should have a “light” feel to them and if possible should not have a strap straight across the ankle, because it “cuts” the leg off instead of lengthening it. Plus, if you are wearing a nude strappy heel, your feet disappear into your leg line making your legs look longer – Yay!  I added no rhinestones, because I know there are some very popular shoes out there with the crystal straps across the toes.  Those are great for evening gown, however, as beautiful as they are, I am not a fan of them for swimsuit.  You don’t want something shiny or sparkly drawing attention to your feet. Always think less-distracting. In almost every case, your feet are at the judges eye-level and the last thing they should be focusing on, or even seeing are your shoes.

Nude platforms have become more and more popular these days for swimsuit, so they shouldn’t be hard to find.  Many are available with a super high heel and platform. Please, PLEASE do not buy super high platform heels if you can not walk in them. Please. Either practice until you are 1,000% comfortable walking, turning, posing and standing in them (which you should be doing anyway), or buy a lower heel. That is another HUGE pet-peeve of mine as a judge, and every other judge I know – Please learn how to walk in your shoes! We are begging you! If you aren’t comfortable and confident walking and posing, it shows on stage, and it is a problem. (If you would like guidance on walking and posing, contact me for a lesson, I am more than happy to help!)

Side note – nude heels are usually a perfect option for evening gown as well and makes your life a whole lot easier when it comes to quick changes on finals night. Simpler = better! ( Stay Tuned for a post on ‘packing smart’ for pageant week and to and from the theatre.)

Below are some suggestions for swimsuit shoes, all of which are less than $100 and readily available at DSW, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Online, etc.

Chinese Laundry – Tippy Top/Teaser – $80

(These are the official swimsuit shoe of Miss USA)IMG_6530

Steve Madden – Feliz Sandal – $50 at DSW


Madden Girl – Jager Sandal – $50 at DSWIMG_6537Sam Edelman – Annabelle Sandal – $60 at DSW


I hope this post was helpful – and also gave you an excuse to go shoe shopping 😉


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