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Putting Your Best Foot Forward - Choosing the Right Dance Shoes


Wearing the wrong footwear can lead to a range of injuries, from minor issues such as foot blisters, bruising and ingrown toenails to major problems such as tendonitis or broken toes. As such, it is quite important to properly investigate what type of dance shoe is going to be right for you. The footwear required will vary according to what dance style you train in, your individual form, what type of surface you perform your routines on and your budget.

Depending on your type of dance style, you may require a specialised type of shoe. For example, ballroom dance generally requires specialised heeled shoes. Ballroom dance shoes differ from your everyday high-heel, because the heel placement is designed to improve balance and steadiness when moving quickly across the floor. The heel height and style can vary greatly (for women it can range from 1.5 inches to a tall 3 inches, and come in a chunky, flared or stilettoed heel). If you are new to ballroom dancing or just wearing heels in general, then choose a shorter flared heel initially as it will provide better support.

Jazz and hip hop shoes need to be lightweight, enable the foot to flex freely, ideally provide shock absorption for your heel and have suitable traction for dancing. Ballet shoes are specialised lightweight shoes with flexible soles, that can be made from satin, leather or canvas. They often come with either elastic or ribbon to secure the footwear to your foot.

The type of material is a huge consideration; canvas material is generally less expensive, can be easily washed and aired between use and is great for routines on vinyl dance floors, whereas leather footwear is generally more expensive, more durable and suited for dance work on wooden flooring. Rubber soles are also great for wooden and cement flooring, as they provide a lot of traction and shock absorption. Suede soles are a delicate material and can easily be damaged if you walk through water or on rough surfaces. In some cases, it may be better to get a few different types of shoes, depending on where you perform or practice routines.

Increasingly, dance shoes are becoming available in a greater range of colours through online stores. This is fantastic, as you can get some unique styles for a competitive price. However, finding a snug and comfortable fit for your foot can take a lot of patience and a few different fittings. It is recommended that you go into a dance shoe store to get personalised advice and save on time, or you can ask us for some advice on picking the right pair of shoes or check out the ones available on our store.



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