When starting out dancing, you’ll want to wear any comfortable, smooth leather-soled shoes. A shoe with a leather sole will give you the most freedom of movement. Worst are rubber-soled shoes. Sneakers, canvas deck-shoes, tennis shoes, or anything else with a rubber sole should be avoided. Rubber soled shoes grip far too much for comfortable dancing—you’ll feel like they are tripping you on the dance floor!
There are shoes specifically made for dancing that have either suede or leather soles. If you intend to dance regularly, we strongly encourage you to buy a good pair of dance shoes--your feet will thank you! You’ll look and feel your best on the dance floor.
Since dance shoes shouldn’t be worn outside—pavement can really mess up nice suede soles, most dancers arrive at the studio in their regular street shoes and then change into their dance shoes.
Purchasing Dance Shoes
Our favorite dance shoe store by far is Petticoat Junction in Lynnwood. The selection is well worth the drive!
Also if you have a pair of favorite shoes, you could turn them into dance shoes by taking them to any good cobbler and having suede put on the bottom of the shoes. Now there's a reuse/recycle idea!
Just Between Us Girls...
As with many things in fashion, women have many more options. Here are a few tips on buying women's dance shoes:
- When trying on the dance shoes... Dance! Do a couple of dance steps and a few spins while at the store. Even these few moves should tell you if you'll be comfortable with the shoes.
- Heel height is not as important as heel width. The wider heels will be much easier to dance in than narrower ones, even if they are a little higher. Try some different heights and see what you’re most comfortable with.
- The style of dance you want to do can also have an impact on heel height. Swing dances tend towards a lower heel height than Latin dances.