Learn How to Become a Male Runway Model

Models walk the runway during the Burberry Prorsum show

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

The male runway walk is a tricky thing. It’s not the slinky, hip-swaying, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other walk made so famous by Karlie Kloss, Naomi Campbell, Natasha Poly, and other top catwalkers. But, you can’t just show up and walk like you normally would on the street, either. No, the male runway walk is somewhere in the middle—an elusive hybrid of elegance, confidence, and commanding presence. Sound impossible? Not so. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Physical Requirements

First off, in order to walk the runway, you need to meet the physical requirements. The exact measurements vary of course, depending on the designer and the even the season, but in general male runway models should:

  • Be between 6’ and 6’2’’ tall
  • Have a 38’’ to 40’’ chest
  • Have a 30’’ to 32’’ waist
  • Be lean and healthy, with good muscle definition. The emphasis here is on long, lean lines. If you’re too beefy, you won’t fit into the clothes.

Keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule. If you possess a “certain something” that the designer is looking for, such as a unique look or an outstanding attitude, they might pick you even if you don’t fit the typical runway model mold. And if your measurements don’t match or if you don’t quite have what the designer is looking for, try not to get discouraged. There are plenty of other male modeling jobs that you can pursue, such as commercial modeling, fit modeling, showroom modeling, fitness modeling, and even parts modeling (hands, feet, etc.). 

Walk the Walk

As mentioned above, the male runway walk is a little different than the female runway walk. The main difference is that male models walk with their feet farther apart than their female counterparts. So instead of placing one foot in front of the other, like you’re walking on a line, keep your feet side-by-side at a close, yet natural, distance from one another. As well, try not to move your hips too much. All that sashaying back and forth is too feminine for most menswear designer’s tastes. Aside from these two major differences, the male runway walk is essentially the same:

  • When walking, don’t look down. Instead, look past the audience and focus on an imaginary spot. Don’t make eye contact or interact with the audience unless instructed to do so.
  • Take long, steady strides.
  • Let your arms swing naturally by your side.
  • Keep your mouth natural.
  • Practice good posture. Walk tall with your body straight and your shoulders back (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should make one straight line). Bend your knees a little and try to relax. You don’t want to look like a robot!
  • Even though all eyes are on you, you must walk with confidence (fake it if you have to!). Be strong, purposeful, and naturally sexy. 

Learn From the Best

It’s always a good idea to attend some runway shows to see firsthand how male models walk. You can also plop down in front of your computer and watch YouTube videos of the world’s best male runway models do what they do best. Study their moves, practice what you see, and don’t be afraid to ask for constructive feedback.

Also, don’t be afraid to practice walking with bags...not a lot of men have experience walking with bags. Just remember that you won’t be able to copy their walks move for move, nor do you want to. Runway walks are very personal and it’s up to each model to find a walk that reflects their individual personality and style. 

Get the Exposure You Need

The male runway modeling industry can be tough to break into, simply because there aren’t as many opportunities for men as there are for women. That’s why it’s so important to expose yourself to as many modeling agencies as possible.

By submitting your photos online to a legitimate model scouting company you’ll be seen by some of the best male runway modeling agencies in the world. Plus, you’ll have the chance to work with top industry professionals who know exactly what it takes to push through the competition and get noticed.