Whether you're an experienced dancer or a beginner taking your first steps on the dance floor, having the right dance shoes can make all the difference.
The perfect pair of dance shoes should not only complement your style but also provide comfort, support, and enhance your movements. In this guide, I'll take you through the key factors to consider when choosing dance shoes, ensuring you find the perfect fit.
1. Know Your Dance Style
Different dance styles may require specific shoes. Ballroom dancing demands different footwear than west-coast swing. Identify your primary dance style, and do some initial research into what is recommended for footwear. Better yet, ask your instructor! They should be able to guide you towards a suitable shoe. Understanding your dance style will help narrow down your options and make the selection process easier.
2. Focus on Fit and Comfort
Comfort is king when it comes to dance shoes. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, soreness, and even injuries. Dance shoes should fit snugly without being too tight. They should provide ample support to your arch and heel, allowing you to move freely while still maintaining stability.
Avoid shoes with rough edges or seams that may cause discomfort during extended periods of dancing. Be aware that if the straps of your sandals are tight, you may need to wear bandaids to prevent blisters while the leather stretches.
3. Consider the Sole
The sole of your shoe plays a crucial role in how you move and feel on the dance floor. For partnered dancing, you'll be looking for either suede or smooth leather soles. These smoother soles allow you to glide and pivot effortlessly across the floor.
Personally, 90% of my dance shoes have a suede bottom, as I like the balance they strike between glide and grip. However, it's often more practical for my wedding clients to choose hard leather soles, as they can be worn outdoors and on any surface.
4. Heel Height and Stability
Heel height can influence your posture, balance, and overall dance experience. While high heels are common in some styles, I recommend choosing a low, blocky heel or sneaker. You can always work your way up to high heels once you feel more confident dancing. If you do choose a heel, make sure that they can easily stay on your feet with a secure ankle strap. You don't want your shoes slipping off in the middle of a dance!
5. Give Them a Spin!
Before finalizing your purchase, you should definitely try on your new shoes and test them on a hardwood floor or similar surface. Walk around, try out a few moves, and see how they feel. Pay attention to comfort, flexibility, and how well they support your movements. They should feel comfortable from the start.
If ordering online, make sure you know what the return policy is, and gently test them at home before making a final decision.
Choosing the perfect dance shoes is an important part of your dancing journey. Having the right pair can not only boost your confidence, but help you move and spin more smoothly. Remember to consider your dance style, prioritize comfort and fit, pay attention to sole type, choose an appropriate heel height, and test them out. With the right dance shoes, you'll be ready to hit the floor with style and grace. Happy dancing!