When you become a model, you quickly learn the importance of a good pair of heels. Whether it’s a casting call, a photoshoot, or a runway show, you must always have at least one pair of heels with you. It is also not uncommon for models to be asked to bring their own shoes to a booking, so making sure you have a shoe that will go with any wardrobe option is crucial.
Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank when purchasing your model shoes. A lot of people don’t have the extra funds to spend on a lot of different shoes, so you want to focus on getting the styles that you can get the most wear out of.
There are four absolute must-have shoes every female (or feminine-presenting) model should own. If you have these shoes, you can pretty much get by at any casting or booking without any problems, as these shoes will be able to be paired with a wide variety of outfits.
1. Open-toe Black Heels (these get the most use!)
2. Open-toe Nude Heels
- These are a great affordable pair and come in both black & nude.
3. Basic Black Pump
4. Basic Nude Pump
- I have this pair in both black & nude. They’re comfortable and easy to walk in.
You want to make sure the heels you get are sturdy and can handle a lot of wear (my black open-toe heels have a lot of miles on them!), but it is not necessary to only purchase designer labels. You also don’t have to buy them all at once. If you can only get one pair, I would start with the open-toe heels in black and work your way down the list as you’re able to.
When choosing the right shoe to buy, there are a few styles that should be avoided:
- Short/Kitten Heels: If you are over 15 years old, I strongly suggest not getting a heel lower than 3” tall. As a model, you are expected to easily walk in a tall stiletto, so there’s no need to waste your money on a short heel.
- Big platforms: Even if you are shorter, nothing is more unflattering than having a huge platform shoe. Even though it adds height for those models who may be on the shorter side, instead of making you look taller, that glaringly obvious platform brings more attention to the fact that you are short and makes it look like you have bricks strapped to your feet. If you must have a platform, sticking to something a ½” or less is the best way to go.
- Wedges: You will rarely be requested to wear wedges, so you do not need to purchase these for your model shoe lineup. If you already have a pair, you should avoid wearing them to runway castings as they make your walk look clunky.
- Lots of bling or bright colors: Simple is always best when looking for modeling shoes. You want to invest in shoes that can be worn with various looks, so avoid heavily embellished shoes or shoes with many straps or laces, as that will limit what they can be worn with. You don’t want your shoes to stand out or distract from the garments you’re wearing.
- Patent Leather: Don’t get me wrong, I love a good black patent pump, but matte leather is best when it comes to modeling shoes. This is because the shine of patent leather can be distracting, take the eye away from the garments you’re wearing, and give the whole look a different vibe than the designer may have intended.
* Bonus Styles:
If you have extra room in your budget to invest in shoes, some bonus styles are heeled ankle boots in black & brown and heeled tall boots in black & brown. While these styles aren’t “must-haves” per se, they are often requested in the fall & winter months, so it is good to have them as an option if your budget allows! Every once in a while, you may also be asked to walk in sneakers, so having a pair of clean white sneakers as an option is also a good idea.