The right ballroom dancing shoes are essential if you are a ballroom dancer. You need to find shoes that fit properly, are comfortable to wear and which look good, particularly if you are going to be dancing competitively.
Many beginners prefer to buy a single, multi-purpose shoe, usually a closed toe pump with an ankle strap, a flared heel for support and between 2 and 2.5 inches in height. If you have wide feet, it can be sensible to buy shoes that are narrower than you would usually wear since dance shoes often end up becoming stretched over time. A non-slip sole is very useful in a ballroom dancing shoe. Most shoes that are designed for dancing have thinner soles, which are lightweight and flexible. They are usually supported using a steel shank.
More experienced dancers, particularly if they are competitive dancers, are often interested in ordering custom shoes. This will be more expensive, but it can ensure that your shoes are of the highest quality and that they fit you perfectly. You can also customize the appearance of your shoes, for example so that they match your dress. You should make sure that you order from a company that specializes in ballroom dancing shoes and that you know how long you will need to wait for your shoes to be completed.
Character shoes can be good for practicing, but you may want to invest in some flexible, attractive heels for social occasions. You should choose closed toe shoes for smooth or standard dances, and open toed shoes for latin or rhythm dances.
It is a good idea to buy separate shoes for practicing and competing if you are a serious ballroom dancer. Practice shoes tend to have lower heels and to be more comfortable. You should practice a bit in your competing shoes before the competition to make sure they are comfortable, but it is best to avoid wearing them out unnecessarily.
Standard ballroom dancing shoes are worn for the smooth or standard dances: the waltz, quickstep, Viennese, foxtrot, and tango. Woman’s standard shoes usually look like normal high heels. It is important that they fit comfortably and snugly. Men’s ballroom dancing shoes are usually black lace ups, typically Oxfords. Men’s standard shoes will have a flat heel.
Latin shoes are worn for the Latin or rhythm dances: the rumba, salsa, paso doble, jive, cha-cha, samba and swing. Woman’s Latin shoes tend to have higher, thinner heels than standard shoes. They typically have an open toe, and are held on by straps. As with standard shoes, Latin shoes should be snug. They also need to be flexible. The wearer’s big toe should rest against the edge of the shoe, although some ballroom dancers prefer it if their toe slightly overlaps the edge. Men’s Latin shoes usually have a slight heel, which it can take some time to get used to if you have not worn a heeled shoe before.
You should expect your ballroom dancing shoes to be a tighter fit than your normal shoes, but it should never feel as too tight. You will probably need to try on some shoes and ask for the advice of an experienced ballroom dancer or salesperson in order to find the best ballroom dancing fit for you since you will probably need a different shoe size than you are used to.
Once you have some idea about the type of shoes you are looking for, you should visit a local dance store that sells shoes. This will give you an opportunity to try on a few different pairs of shoes. Even if you decide to buy your shoes elsewhere, it is important to try on some shoes in person so that you know how different style will feel on your feet. For example, you can try shoes with different heel heights, shapes, widths and strap types. After you have narrowed down your choices, you will be able to search for a retailer which supplies the shoes you want at the best possible price. It can be a good idea to search for online retailers as well as local dance stores since you may be able to buy your shoes for less over the internet.
Quality and comfort are the most important considerations when buying ballroom dancing shoes. You need to find a shoe that will last and which will enable you to dance as well as possible, without having to cope with any discomfort or pain.