Shoes, according to Shakespeare, make the dancer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a novice, whether you’re dancing for fun or competing professionally. You must have the ideal dance shoes if you wish to excel as a dancer, you must have the ideal dance shoes.
Dance floors are fickle because they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and surface materials. Poor grip, excessive grip, and unpredictable sticky areas can all result in inconvenient turns or abrupt foot slips, and it’s here that high-quality genuine dance shoes come into play.
Some Basic Dance Shoe Info
Many people think that ballroom shoes are only for dancing, but there are a variety of types available. The two most popular varieties are Ballroom and Latin.
To assist with toe leads and hip movement, most women’s dress shoes have a higher heel and arched arches. Although the distinction between ballroom and Latin shoes for men is more obvious, rather than the lower heel of ordinary or dress shoes, men’s Latin shoes will include a Cuban heel.
Quality dance shoes aren’t as costly as you might believe. They may be had for less than $200 and can last a long time if properly cared for.
They are the finest investment you may make for your dancing enjoyment.
Recommended Reading: Best Shoes For Street Dance
What makes a good dance shoe?
Technically, any sneaker or hiking boot can be worn for dancing, although even the most fashionable dress shoe will fall short of a decent dance shoe. Dance shoes are made for a specific goal: to fit the foot as closely as possible while still providing adequate grip and slip so that every stride may be taken with confidence.
Depending on the style and usage of the shoe, the uppers may be made of a variety of materials or blends of materials. For men’s shoes, leather is most often used. Depending on the design and purpose of the ladies’ shoes, they can be made out of leather, satin, or even suede.
Dance shoes’ greatest strength is the sole, which is why it’s so important to choose one that works for your style. Dance shoes are not meant to be worn on a daily basis because of their function and design. A second reason is that many designs include a Nubuck or microfibre suede sole, which is usually lambskin or another similar “soft” substance and while it delivers better performance, The white sole is generally made of rubber or vinyl. However, they can also be produced of other materials such as plastic or metals. This means that they are highly vulnerable to damage from pebbles and sharp objects, which is why only worn in a dance venue. The majority of social dancers would be delighted to wear other footwear for traveling to and from a location, and then changing into their dance shoes before performing on the floor. There’s no need to be self-conscious about changing shoes because so many individuals do it, and it becomes a quick habit.
Suede is extremely flexible, which may be a problem with other types of sole, and this alone makes switching shoes for two minutes well worth the effort. There are some minor maintenance issues with suede soles, which we’ll get into later.
Some individuals, on the other hand, despise carrying a second pair of shoes to a party and desire dance shoes with a more robust whole leather sole, similar to formal or dress footwear. The major benefit of this is that a single pair may be worn from home to venue, although leather soles can still be damaged over hard ground or by stones, and caution must still be used.
The extra effort of a suede sole, although it will ultimately be your personal preference, is well worth it.
Latin or Ballroom?
For men, deciding whether to buy a ballroom or Latin dance shoe is rather straightforward. Despite the fact that there are many design types accessible – as brogue, plain, retro, and so on – there is no mistaking which category they belong to. The only major distinction between Ballroom and Latin in men’s shoes is the higher heel used to accentuate hip movement in those routines. Because of this, and unless you intend to only dance Latin, most guys should choose ballroom shoes.
The variety of designs available for ladies, on the other hand, might be overwhelming! Take a look at any major dance shoe retailers to see how much variety there is. Latin is the most popular variety, owing to its popularity among social dancers who may only have one or two pairs of dance shoes. Latin shoes are more adaptable than ballroom shoes for ladies because they can be used for both types of dance, owing to the impracticalities of changing shoes according to the salsa.
The two ladies’ styles are generally easy to distinguish. Open-toed Latin shoes will usually be more ‘strappy’ than ballroom, which will be more like a conventional court shoe with a buckle fastener across the top of the foot. A surprising aspect of heel height is that it varies significantly from range to range. Beginners would do well to start with a somewhat lower heel since learning how to dance in even moderately high heels might take some getting used.
The other important thing to consider when buying ladies’ Latin dance shoes is the fit. Because they are meant to be close fitting, if you have somewhat wide feet, certain designs may cause discomfort. Because the lacing system and top of the shoe serve as a significant portion of the arch support, it’s important to choose widths that feel right. Even similar-looking shoes produced by the same manufacturer may have considerably varied widths, and you’ll be glad if you can be as comfortable while dancing for lengthy periods of time.
This is why seeking out a local specialist vendor to try the shoes on before buying is always recommended. You’d be shocked at how one design may match perfectly and another may be so narrow that you can’t get your foot in or so broad that it feels like wearing Wellington boots!
The truth is that, like with other contemporary issues, purchasing dance shoes online is frequently the most cost-effective option, although there are a few things to consider. Dance shoes may take eight to ten weeks to reach you and aren’t always of excellent quality, so do your homework!
The following websites have provided excellent service and quality in the past, and are well worth considering if you want to purchase online:
If you want to browse in an Adelaide store where you can try on and see the footwear first-hand, DANCE FX (152 Unley Road) is a good option. They have a decent variety of models to select from.
Your dance shoes are subjected to a surprising amount of abuse when you turn, stop, spin, and frequently at high speed. Another factor that allows them to withstand such events is that they are built and intended to be flexible at specific situations. However, if care is not taken both while wearing the shoes and aftercare is neglected to keep them in excellent condition, this flexibility may be lost.
It’s self-evident, but ensuring that your dance shoes are fastened securely is critical to avoiding foot sliding throughout the course of a dance. The continual over-extension of the sole and uppers, whether your feet aren’t stopping or turning in alignment with your shoes, can lead to separation. It’s as simple as ensuring that the shoe laces are tightly and securely tied for guys. Replace “laces” with “buckles” for ladies, and it’s the same result, although there is the added step of making sure that the foot is correctly positioned before tightening the strap to ensure both comfort and performance.
To minimize damage, be careful when putting on ladies’ shoes and especially the straps around the toes.
Dance shoes will last a long time if properly cared for.
Avoid keeping your deck shoes in any type of plastic or otherwise non-breathable bag or box since the dampness might cause harm to the materials. Consider heel protectors, and take care of any foreign material as soon as feasible. Consider accessories such as heel guards while cleaning off any foreign substances promptly. Heels are frequently the first component to wear out on women’s shoes with a high heel, and replacement suede tips are readily available.
For males, the time-served technique of removing shoes, in which one shoe’s heel is secured by the other’s toe and the foot is dragged out unceremoniously, should be avoided. It is worst to set the iron directly on the sole, heel, or top of your pair of shoes. It’s also likely to leave ugly scratches on the shoe itself.
If you’re wearing patent leather shoes, you’ll need to clean them with the correct chemicals in order to preserve their suppleness. The top will be prone to cracking if it isn’t cleaned thoroughly.
The most critical aspect of maintenance for dance shoes, though, is the sole. A suede sole, in particular, means that the nap (the textured feel of the material) wears smooth quickly and that the softness of the material allows tiny objects to become entrenched.
A wire Shoe Brush is the simplest method to maintain a suede sole in excellent working order. These are extremely hard (and somewhat pointy!) brushes that ‘tire’ out a smooth sole in a few passes of the head. They will also remove most embedded trash with ease. When using a shoe brush, care must be taken to avoid contact with any part of the shoe other than the sole, as such is the case with bristles. They’ll also remove stray fingers’ skin rather easily!
Other than that, a shoe brush is required, as are heel tips (and possibly necessary in some situations or studios). A wide selection of other goods is accessible; their usage will be determined by your unique circumstances.
When purchasing dance shoes, though, it is not always necessary to pay a high price for excellent quality. It’s important to try on the shoes you choose before purchasing them since they might be uncomfortable at first. Dancing in uncomfortable shoes or with aching feet becomes an agony. Never underestimate the importance of keeping your shoes clean and in good overall shape. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without a shoe brush if you invest a few extra dollars on one.
Unless you only want to dance Latin routines, most ladies will be able to wear Latin shoes for both types. Ballroom shoes for guys are also effective.
At the end of the day, knowing what you’re looking for will help you to get started on your search. In addition, when it comes to dance shoes, most people just want something that is comfortable and lightweight without sacrificing performance or quality. You’ll be able to really enjoy your dancing far more if you have great dance footwear.