Walking the runway is like an art form. Making changes to your normal stride might feel strange at first, so work on making your walk look natural. Posture is key, so keep your shoulders back and chest out. Keep your face in a neutral expression and, above all, do your best to project confidence. With some practice, you can perfect your walk and, hopefully, start booking gigs.
EditStriding with Confidence
- Walk with your toes facing slightly outward. As you stride, your feet shouldn’t cross over each other in an “X,” like women’s feet do when they walk the runway. Instead, the classic male runway walk is a “V” formation, in which the toes point out slightly. Try not to point your toes out too much, or you might look like you’re waddling.
- The “V” formation broadens the body, emphasizes the upper torso, and gives the strut a slight swing while preserving masculinity.
- Keep most of your weight on the balls of your feet. When your foot lands, try to place the ball of your foot down first, then land your heel. It might feel weird at first, but keep your weight balanced on the balls of your feet as you walk.
- Keeping most of your weight on the balls of your will make your stride more elegant.
- Take longer strides than you normally would. While your stride needs to be longer than your normal gait, you shouldn’t look awkward or like you’re on stilts. Practicing will help you make your stride longer but appear natural instead of clumsy.
- Adjust your speed to match the music. As for the quickness of your step, let the music guide your tempo. Try to match your walk’s rhythm to the beat of the music.
- The music that accompanies fashion shows is usually chosen to help the models pace their walks.
- Pose for a three to five second count. At the end of the runway, pose with your hand on your hip, one leg out, and the other foot forward ready to pivot. Stand still for three to five seconds, then use your pivot foot to turn back for your return walk.
- Your pose can vary, and you can work with your designer to create a pose that’s suitable for the show.
- If you nail your pose, photographers will have a better chance of getting a great shot that you can add to your portfolio.
- Turn by pivoting in a graceful, continuous motion. After you’ve posed, turn on the ball of your pivot foot as you pick up your other foot and reverse directions. As you pivot, your face should be the last part of body to turn away from the audience.
- Try not to make a quick pivot as if you were doing a pirouette. Instead, try to make your pose, pivot, and turn in one continuous, fluid motion.
EditMastering Posture and Expression
- Keep your shoulders back, chest out, and stomach in as you walk. Hold your shoulders back and keep them still, but not to the extreme that you seem robotic. Just try not to let them bounce up and down as you walk. In addition, keep your chest out and stomach in, so you appear broader and taller, which will emphasize your masculinity.
- Let your arms sway naturally as you stride. Without letting them touch your sides, try to keep your arms close to your torso. That way, your lower arms will sway freely and naturally without swinging too wildly. Further, keep your hands and fingers relaxed, and don’t ball your hands or hold them in fists.
- Try to keep your fingers naturally straight without overextending them. That way, you won’t look like you’re missing any fingers in photographs.
- Focus your eyes straight ahead. Find a focal point directly ahead and lock your eyes on it. Don’t shift your eyes around or look down at your feet. Your head should point slightly downward with your chin roughly parallel with the floor.
- Depending on your designer’s instructions, you can look away from your focal point to make eye contact with the audience during your pose.
- Keep a natural, neutral facial expression. Unless your designer tells you to, don’t smile during your walk. Without locking or pursing them, keep your lips closed, relaxed, and natural. While your facial expression should be neutral, it should still convey confidence.
- Project confidence as you walk. Confidence is key on the runway. As you walk, try thinking about how great you look. Tell yourself you’re the best looking person in the room and your posture and facial expression will reflect it.
EditPerfecting Your Walk
- Watch runway shows to see how styles vary. Every runway model has their own style of walking and posing. Watching recorded runway shows will help you learn the basics and allow you to get a feel for how individual models develop their unique twists.
- You can find plenty of relevant videos on YouTube by searching for “male model runway shows.”
- Set up a practice runway at home. A long hallway is the perfect place to practice your walk at home. Run a strip of masking tape down the center of the hallway to help you stay in a straight line. If you have one, hang a tall mirror at the end of the hallway, then play some music and practice walking, posing, and turning.
- Practice your walk every day. If you’re just starting out, you should practice your walk, pose, and turn for at least an hour every day. Once you start booking gigs, you should still practice several times a week, especially if your designer wants you to master a new turn or pose.
- Even the most experienced professional models have to practice regularly.
- Seek out constructive criticism. Looking natural is a major part of walking the runway, and you can have a friend watch your walk and let you know of any awkward spots. While they can give you basic feedback, you should try to find someone with professional experience who can offer constructive criticism.
- If you’re friends with any professional models, ask them to watch you walk. If you don’t already have one, look into getting an agent, and consider taking walking classes.
- Keep in mind male runway models are typically between 6′ and 6’2″ (about 1.8 to 1.9 meters) with a lean, muscular build.