Tip #1. First aid is most important when starting out. Here is a small list of things you’ll want to have on hand..
Band aids- get the stretch fabric kind as the clear one’s actually glow in the black light.
Super Glue – As you wear down the sole, you’ll need to glue the bottom rubber back on your shoe. Note: If the body of the shoe breaks never try to glue it back together and continue dancing! Its an accident waiting to happen. If there isn’t a girl there who is willing to let you borrow shoes for the remainder of your shift, go home. No amount of money is worth twisting your ankle or falling and getting hurt. Cut your losses and get another pair ASAP.
Spray Deodorant – Whether open toe or closed, your shoes will begin to smell as your feet sweat. Spray your feet lightly with Arid Extra Dry Regular/Unscented before your shift to keep away the funk. Make sure to put band-aids in place before spraying or they wont stick.
Gel Inserts - these have the ability to save your night. Less than $10, slip these into your shoes for added comfort as you build your calluses.
Tip #2. When first starting to dance, you’ll want to get 5 – 6 inch heels. Going for the 7 and 8 inch heels is a very bad idea if you’ve never walked in them. Wobbly ankles is not attractive. Starting low and working your way up builds stability. The muscles on your shins will need to strengthen also so be prepared to feel pain when simply standing as you use them to balance.
Tip #3. Recognize that your feet will be molding into your shoe. My first recommendation is the solid sole with 2 clear plastic straps. As your feet sweat, the straps stick and keep the shoe on. This has been the most comfortable shoe for me right out of the box, however, I still got a few small blisters. This is where band-aids come in handy.
Tip #4. When I first started dancing I learned in 5 inch stilettos and I ended up pinching the nerve in my feet. I couldn’t feel my toes until I started wearing 6 inch platforms. I recommend platforms 10 out of 10 times.
Tip #5. When getting a pedicure, ask them to not remove your precious calluses. Expect your feet to get somewhat beat up as this job is hard on them but you need the calluses for protection. If you remove them, your feet will hurt forever. Keep them and your feet adapt. Expect them to hurt for the first 3-4 months of dancing until they adjust.
Tip #6. Practice walking around in your work shoes at home. Start out walking in the kitchen and graduate to carpet. Some clubs have carpet in the VIP rooms so be prepared. Stages are usually vinyl but don’t always have an even surface. Walking around at home will also help break in the shoes.
Tip #7. Now that you have been dancing for a while you’ll notice the quickest part of a stripper shoe to wear out is the sole – the second being plastic strap. After inspection, if you have determined that the shoe is still good (ie., straps intact, cracks in plastic, etc), have them re-soled by by a local shoe shop. This usually costs around $20 and takes about a day to repair. You can also re-sole brand new shoes to make them last months if not a year longer.
Hope this helps and, as always, if you have questions regarding this article, feel free to leave a comment.
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