Shoes play one of the key roles in dancing. Inconvenient and improperly picked footwear can not only cause discomfort but even cause serious injuries. That is why you should pay special attention to finding the perfect pair. This complete guide brings together all the essential tips for buying the right dance shoes for various styles. If you need professional advice on specific models for hip-hop, ballet, or ballroom dance, check out https://livethedance.com/. Here you will find reviews of the best products on the market.
Unique Shoes for Every Style
Dance styles can be very different from each other, which means that the necessary outfit is also different. In one case, you can even dance barefoot; in the other, you will need high heels. That is why, before buying, you should understand which models are needed for your lessons:
- Ballet. Professionals dance in pointe shoes; for beginners, it is enough to have ballet slippers.
- Contemporary dance. Artists usually perform barefoot. Modern manufacturers offer a comfortable alternative — specialized socks that support the foot and protect against injury.
- Ballroom dancing. As a rule, there are clear requirements for professional ballroom dancing shoes. Women’s footwear should have heels of a certain height, fix the foot well, and help distribute weight correctly.
- Jazz and swing dancing. Performers usually dance in flat shoes (although low heels are acceptable). They have a double sole that provides total flexibility.
- Street and sports dancing. They do not limit your choice of models, so you can dance in any comfortable sneakers.
- High heels and pole dance. These unique dance styles require special footwear with high heels and thick soles. You can choose between sandals, shoes, and even boots, whichever is more comfortable for you.
If you have the opportunity, before starting classes, talk to your coach. Ask them what shoes they recommend buying for specific practices.
Other Factors to Consider
The dance style is the main aspect that you need to consider first when looking for the right pair of shoes. When you’ve decided on a type, proceed to consider the models available on the market according to the criteria described below.
The soles on shoes for different styles can vary significantly since the movements performed are also different. For example, contemporary dance requires shoes that provide a secure grip on the floor so that the dancers don’t slip. At the same time, it should be almost weightless and as flexible as possible so that they can perform high jumps. It is best to choose special socks with a rubber base and a compression effect.
For ballroom dancing and jazz, you need shoes with soft and flexible soles that allow you to slip on the parquet. Such properties are possessed by leather and suede soles. For street dancing, you can choose sneakers with thick but flexible soles that protect your foot from hitting the hard floor after high jumps.
Adult dancers should choose footwear clearly in size; it should be felt pretty tight on your legs. Keep in mind that soft leather shoes will stretch a little over time. If you buy a larger pair, it will fall off your foot. It not only causes discomfort but can also lead to injury during training and performances. In the case of ballroom dancing shoes, it is acceptable for the toes to protrude slightly beyond the sole. It results in a better grip on the floor. If you choose compression socks for contemporary dancing, try to take a model half a size or one size up. Some artists may experience discomfort due to the compression effect (especially if they have wide feet).
3. Foot support
Because dancing can be very active with jumps and lunges, your shoes should protect your feet from impact. Even thin dance socks support the foot arch and ease the load on the joints due to padding in the ball of the foot area. Ballroom sandals and shoes also support the foot and securely fix it with numerous straps. When trying on, make sure you can adjust the length of the straps to secure the shoes as snugly as possible on your foot. If you choose closed models, be careful with the size. Since your feet will be closed on all sides, they will receive more support, but at the same time, you risk getting blisters if you get the wrong size.
Choose products from trusted manufacturers made of durable materials. At the time of purchase, carefully examine all the seams and joints to make sure that the shoes do not fall apart during the dance. Even though dance shoes wear out much faster than regular ones, you still want them to last as long as possible. If you wish to extend the life of your footwear, consider purchasing heel protectors. These are special attachments that protect the heels from wear and tear. You can pick them to match your shoe color or choose transparent models.
A high price is not always an indicator of good quality. Well-known dance shoe manufacturers offer a wide range of products, among which you can find items at an affordable price. There are also small and little-known brands that sell their products at a lower cost. If you are a beginner, and especially if you buy shoes for a kid who is still growing, opt for inexpensive models. It’s good if you have the opportunity to try on several options and choose the most convenient one. When ordering online, make sure that a manufacturer provides for the return of a product if it does not suit you.
A Few Words About Dance Shoes Care
As mentioned above, dance shoes wear out faster than the ones you wear every day. It is due to higher loads, as well as the fact that such footwear is made of softer and more delicate materials. For your pair of shoes to serve you as long as possible, do not forget to take care of it regularly and properly: wipe it from dust (leather), comb it with special brushes (suede), air it after each lesson, and store it in a fabric bag that allows air to pass through. Also, change your shoes regularly if they become unusable; it will help you avoid injury.