10 Best Ballroom Shoes for Men & Women Reviewed

Any dancer from beginner to the most avid ballroom performers is going to need a perfect pair of ballroom shoes to match their grace on the dance floor, with a subtle appearance and high-quality performance. Perhaps, one of the most important features is the length of time a dancer can wear them in good standing or dancing comfort!

Best Ballroom Shoes - man and woman dancing

There are three types of ballroom dance shoes, that can be used for competition, practice, or social ballroom dancing.  Latin ballroom dance shoes, a style of ballroom shoe that contains a heel height of two and a half inches on the women’s version that can range anywhere between one to three inches.  They usually have an open toe box and fit the description of a dance sandal. They should be chosen for comfort, and also style. This is your basic competition shoe if you are only to purchase one, buy a Latin shoe.  The men’s version will have a Cuban heel of one and a half inches, it is most often used in competition.

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Last Updated: August 4, 2017
By Mirisa Jewell:

Input of the Criteria and Frequently asked questions was input during this time. This information was useful in creating the top list for ballroom shoes. It included topics; The Cost of a Ballroom Shoe, How do I meausure the Height of my ballroom shoe, and also, Why is it not possible for me to dance while wearing my regular street shoes.

Capezio Standard
  • Capezio Standard
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Suede Sole
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Bloch Xavier
  • Bloch Xavier
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Low Wide Heel
  • Price: See Here
Roymall Fashion
  • Roymall Fashion
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Sequin Outsole
  • Price: See Here

Then there are standard ballroom shoes, these are close toed for women and an oxford style for men. Both having a more centered heel placement than Latin styled sandals. Lastly, is the basic practice shoe, they are optional, and can be purchased in a suede sneaker style. The purpose of a ballroom dance shoe is to allow grace with ease while gliding around the dance floor in ultimate comfort, if you are in the market, let this be a guide to the very best ones you can purchase.

 

10 Best Ballroom Shoes

 

1. Capezio Standard

Maximum ankle support with strong heel counter built with a 1" lift, and full suede covered top lifts for the ultimate shock absorbing action. The main use for this shoe being primarily for social dances, it is more than suitable for all standard ballroom dances. Containing a 3/4 shank, shock absorbing sponge insole, and a unique supple, very soft PU upper. This is one of the best standard shoes.
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Heel Counter
With extreme strength in the heel counter, this ballroom shoe is going to be a durable long lasting perfect choice of a shoe, standing at 1" high in the heel.

3/4 Shank
This ballroom shoe offers great arch support, containing a 3/4 shank. It is carefully constructed and seemed well for ultimate durability with a nice soft feel.

Cost and Value
At an average-low price the SD103 is a smart buy. Its value is well worth the cost for a lightweight, durable, and soft natured shoe.
Pros
  • Very lightweight
  • Great arch support
  • Very comfortable, even for dancers with bunions
  • Ultimate durability, lasting years
  • Grounding contact with the floor is really nice, allowing one to feel the floor and maximize foot strength during movement upon contact.
Cons
  • They are sized a half inch, or 1 size smaller than other standard ballroom shoes.
  • Top leather may crack or tear if not cared for properly, it may be of benefit to seal the leather with coating for added strength.

2. Bloch Xavier

The shoe is made of a classic upper created with an oxford style providing a very comfortable fit and made out of full grain leather. The Xavier is manufactured by renowned company Bloch who produces shoes worldwide for notable dancers. Containing a wide low heel, and a short shank for the best arch support. This all in action while containing flexibility in demi-pointe
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Fully Cushioned Insole
A great feature is the fully cushioned insole, this provides ultimate comfort for the metatarsals. Protecting and absorbing shock.

Suede Outsole
The outsole is constructed with high quality suede, this provides ultimate traction and ease on those turns and slides on the dance floor.

Cost and Value
The cost is average for a ballroom shoe, it isn't the most expensive pair on the market. At an affordable cost, you're getting your money's worth through this high-quality salsa and ballroom quality shoe.
Pros
  • comfortable leather upper
  • Nice high heel and arch
  • Generous toe box
  • Very soft leather
  • Extremely sturdy and well made shoe
Cons
  • The suede underneath was thinner than preferred, compared to other styles from this company
  • Suede under sole had peel-back occur sooner than expected.

3. Very Fine Dance Shoe

The USA based company Very Fine creates one of the best pairs of Latin dancing shoes on the market. Ideal for smooth and flawless turns made with fine satin and soft suede. Meant to last years, they have are able to withstand the wear and tear that ballroom and salsa dancing entails. Quite frankly the types of dance you can do in these shoes is not limited to those two.
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Style
The style of these dance shoes are elegant, beautiful and present a very sturdy look and feel with them. Containing an open toe box for breathability. Made from silk and suede adds softness to the appearance.

Competition Grade
For a dance shoe to be competition grade it must have a few very important features, comfort, durability, and style are all a must have. These competition grade dance shoes will take you far.

Cost and Value
Coming in at a low cost, the 2707's value has topped their price by a longshot. The silk and suede performance is unbeatable while on the dance floor.
Pros
  • No break in period needed, they are comfortable out of the box
  • Slides on and off of the foot nicely
  • Great style for a dancing shoe
  • Perfect shoe for salsa dancing
  • Very comfortable after long dance classes
Cons
  • Sized slightly large
  • The toe box may rub and give blisters to persons with a wide toe spread

4. Roymall Fashion

4. Roymall Fashion
This is an economically valued ballroom shoe. Roymall is dedicated to making top quality ball room shoes for many different types of dancers. This elegant shoe is designed with durability, and pleasant to the eye, with sequins to shine, it is made with suede and pure soft satin.
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Heel Height
This specific ballroom shoe has a heel height of 2.76", that is desiged specifically to enhance your experience on the floor. They are soft, comfortable, and ultra durable.

On and Off the Floor
These shoes have been known to do well with not only ballroom dancing, but off the floor at special events like weddings, or other dances out.

Cost and Value
Ranking Best Value on this list speaks for itself. The cost of these shoes are very low end, with that said the value is much greater. They are incredibly durable, stylish, and can be worn for a variety of events.
Pros
  • Extra durable
  • Stylish and professional appearance
  • Very comfortable, enough to be worn after a foot injury in transition back into regular heels 
  • Heel is not slippery and can be worn with bare feet
  • They do not contain any chemical scents
Cons
  • Oversized
  • Very narrow

5. TTDancewear Rhinestone Bachata

5. TTDancewear Rhinestone Bachata
The durability and rhinestones are the most notable features in this shoe. Made with suede bottoms, they are ideal for amateurs and professionals alike. They provide comfort and ability and made with great quality materials, these are ideal for salsa room dancing in or out of competition.
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Heel Size
You get a nice option when it comes to the height of the heel, it can be ordered at 2" or 3" alike. The height of the heel is based upon personal preferance.

Suede Sole
One of the key features to a ballroom dance shoe is a suede sole. This allows for smooth turns, allowing just enough grip to do so. It is a reminder to dancers that grace is what makes ballroom dancing. This shoe is built with high quality suede.

Cost and Value
A low cost ballroom shoe is great for those seeking a high quality shoe while on a budget. The value of these TTDancewears are well over the cost of shoe. Good quality suede with extreme flexibility make it the best.
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Very sparkly
  • The soles are very well padded
  • Made with high quality material
  • Appealing to the eye in style
Cons
  • Very sharp edges of the heels
  • Tight toe box

6. Very Fine Sero102BBX

6. Very Fine Sero102BBX
This is a pro dancer kind of shoe, the manufacturer is genuine and that carries into the shoe. Made with genuine leather, this shoe is very lightweight and flexible. Minimal shank support provides further flexibility. They are professional and stylish in appearance, they can be used for a variety of styles of dancing
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Extra Padding
The foot bed is built with extra padding, although this does not affect the weight of the shoe. It holds its value in being a very lightweight dance shoe. The extra padding is there for comfort purely.

Ultimate Breathability
Made from a genuine leather, these shoes are more than breathable. The air flow is a notable feature that promises to keep your feet dry while on the dance floor.

Cost and Value
The cost of this shoe is average, being well worth the cost it is a very durable and lasting shoe. Made with genuine leather, it is a very breathable and well-made ballroom shoe that can be worn in or out of competition.
Pros
  • Extremely breathable
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Low cost for a high quality shoe
  • Easy slip on and off
  • Available in great colors
Cons
  • Will stretch out a little upon use, making them slightly large in the end

7. Go Go Dance Black

7. Go Go Dance Black
These are a very fine dance and ballroom shoe. The soft leather upper makes it comfortable after long hours on the dance floor. Sueded 1" sole, these are quite great for a variety of dancing styles. All this created around a padded ultra soft insole.
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Padded Insole
A good quality shoe needs to be comfortable for hours on the dance room floors. This is what makes moving all around enjoyable. Go Go's contains a padded insole for extra comfort.

Heel Height
These shoes are a great purchase and are available to be ordered with either a 1" or 1.5" heel, stylish standard shoes. Plus, a heel that contains perfect amount of lift on the move.

Cost and Value
The best shoes will have a value that well exceeds the price of the shoe on the market. This being a perfect example, with a the soft padding, and extra durability alongside extreme comfort this shoe is one of the best.
Pros
  • Padded insole
  • Great for dancers with foot issues like bunions
  • Very comfortable
  • Great dance shoes
Cons
  • Tight fitted toe box
  • Sized small by 1-1.5 sizes

8. Blue Bell Dance Shoes

8. Blue Bell Dance Shoes
Having a great weaved upper sole in design, these beautiful shoes are going to be quite comfortable on the ballroom floors. Created with easy buckle straps allowing for easy management, the suede soles help with glide action while performing. A 3" heel that provides nice traction, this is a competition grade shoe that suits many styles of dancing.
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Heel Height
A 3" heel will do just right now that extra needed while on the dance floor, glide effortessly while performing in these shoes. A beautiful design and ultra comfortable fit while standing or dancing.

Buckle Strap
The buckle strap is a highly functioning one, that provides easy management while putting on or taking off. The buckle-and-hook design makes it perfect as far as design and comfort.

Cost and Value
The cost is average for a ballroom shoe. This very comfortable. nicely colored shoe is perfect for gliding around at an affordable cost.
Pros
  • Great for a variety of styles of dance and performing
  • Competition grade shoe
  • A nice heel height of 3"
  • Easy to manage while putting on and taking off
  • Classy and professional design
Cons
  • Quite narrow

9. Blue Bell Competition Shoe

9. Blue Bell Competition Shoe
An ultra durable shoe will need to be created with a high quality material. The Wyatt is made with utilizing a very high quality leather making it comfortable and easy to perform in. The suede sole makes ballroom dancing smooth and easy to catch onto. Where this shoe for anything in between ballroom competitions to the quick step.
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Leather
Made with a high quality leather you will not have to worry about the break down of the heel or upper part of the shoe. It is sleek and professional in its classic leather design.

Lace Design
Being designed with a 4 hole lacing set up, this shoe is unique in it's appearance and comfortable to put or take off.

Cost and Value
The amazing quality of this shoe far exceeds the cost it sells for on the market. Its cost is average, making this a smart purchase. Plus you will get much more then what you paid for.
Pros
  • Professional and sleek design
  • Made with high quality leather
  • Unique upper design with four hole lacing set up
  • A perfect heel height of 1"
  • Great traction and grip on the ballroom floor
Cons
  • May stretch upon wear due to leather

10. Stephanie Dance Shoes

10. Stephanie Dance Shoes
These are available in with two different heel heights, and a good color assortment to choose from. You can have yourself one of the best ballroom shoes in black, gold, or silver! These shoes are perfect for beginner to professional dancers. They offer supple padding and an extra unique design to move around in.
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Color Variety
These shoes can be purchased in a good assortment of colors. They come in silver leather with silver glitter, black leather with silver glitter, and lastly gold leather with gold glitter.

Supple Padding
Flexible, strong, and easy to manage. Supple padding on the insole provide an extremely comfortable fit while also looking professional in its design.

Cost and Value
The cost for this ballroom shoe is average-high, yet a good quality shoe is always worth the price. Especially if the price is not outrageous and the quality is extra high, like this pair of Stephanie Dance Shoes.
Pros
  • Affordable cost for the high quality value
  • Stylish design
  • Available in a variety of nice colors
  • Supple padding creates a super comfortable and flexible fit
  • Easy to manage straps that last a long time
Cons
  • Small toe may slip between the leather straps on the toe box

The best kind of ballroom dance shoe proves to be one that is comfortable, durable and made out of high-quality materials. Some types are made from silk, while others are made from satin or materials that resemble plastic.  A grand variety in types and styles, yet one aspect remains true in all creations of a ballroom dance shoe, and that is the perfect suede sole.  A suede sole allows for graceful and controlled movement while on the dance floor, it needs to be perfect enough to provide smooth flow and good traction simultaneously. First ever written of, ballroom dance was very first documented in 1588 when ‘Orchésographie’ was written by Thoinot-Arbeau then published. Inevitably upon purchasing the best shoe whether it be for competition, as an eager beginner, or as a passionate lover of the sport. You will need to find the perfect shoes to take you near and far on your journeys. Price for quality alongside good standing comfort are going to be the most important features, but let this list become a super guide in finding the best pair of shoes for your dance life!

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Ballroom Shoes

Ballroom-Dancers-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

Have you ever imagined watching Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire as they glide across the beautiful stage in the most perfect synchrony, doing those skillful moves with impeccable footwork? Take that imagination further and picture them in sneakers, street shoes or dancing barefoot. That’s when you will understand the importance of dance shoes, especially when you are in the ballroom dancing. Dance shoes enable a dancer to achieve all the proper techniques will offer maximum protection to the body. , their feet need to be provided with maximum support, but still allow for flexibility and natural movement (twisting and pointing quickly). When a person is dancing in dance shoes that have been made specifically for the ballroom dance offer freedom when moving around and also provide the needed support.

Ballroom-Shoes-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

If you plan on getting yourself a pair of the ballroom shoes, then its best that you understand what are the differences between the street shoes and the dance shoes. This will enable one to truly appreciate the specific features of these dance shoes and also their cost. Another important thing to note is that there is a big difference between the Latin ballroom dance shoes and the traditional ballroom dance shoes.
When coming up with our list of ballroom dance shoes a very detailed and extensive research was made. Looking at all the features that each shoe has and whether it will suit the many types of dancers in the world. Several factors were looked at that play an important role when picking out the best ballroom dance shoes.

The Features of the Ballroom Shoes

If you are not a ballroom dance, then you might assume that the dance shoes for women are just normal heels worn by women in the streets. This is a very common misconception that occurs especially when looking at the dance shoes the female dancers wear when performing. What many people fail to understand is that there are many differences between the dance shoes and the regular heels worn by ladies. Dance shoes for women are usually carefully engineered and manufactured, they are provided with the best heel placement so that they can improve the steadiness and balance (that’s why you will find it easier to dance on dance shoes that are high heeled compared to the fashion heels mostly worn on runaways).
When the men’s dance shoes you will see they are very different from the normal street shoes right from the look and their structure. The dance shoes (men and women) all have a sole that is either made of chrome leather or suede. The sole is used so that the dancer can have a smooth slide without having a slippery feeling that is dangerous. The shoes also need to be very secure and strong, this means they will have a snug grip of the foot during the whole dance. No dancer wants to have a broken shoe when dancing or their shoe coming off when dancing as this will not only be humiliating, but also very dangerous and can cause a foot injury to the dancer. That’s why all dance shoes used in the ballroom, need to have quality assurance.

The type of Shoe Brands.

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We have different manufacturers who deal in making dance shoes, though you will notice that they do not manufacturer street shoes. If you are a beginner then you might not be aware of the well-known brands of the dance shoes. Even though there are several good brands like the Mythique and other brand sin our lists. Asking for a recommendation from a more experienced dancer or your teacher will be the best strategy if you are looking for a reliable brand.

The Different Dance Styles used in the Ballroom

Types-Best-Ballroom-Dance-Shoes

Just like the different type of sneakers used in different types of running styles, it’s important that you understand the type of dancing style you will be performing when in the ball room. Most of the dance styles that take place in the ballroom can be grouped into two major categories: the Latin dances and the regular ballroom dances.
Some of the most common dances that are in the regular ballroom dance categories are: Quickstep, Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Tango. However, there are some moves or dance sequences which are normally included when doing dance performances that are less formal, they include saunter, lindy hip hop and some variations of the swing.
When looking at the Latin dances you will find the below dancing styles: Paso doble, Jive, Rumba, Cha cha and Samba. There are also some dance moves that can be incorporated into the freestyle routines, e.g. merengue, bossa nova and salsa.
It’s very important to know the type of dancing style you will be doing, before buying your brand new pair of ball room shoes, this is because the different dance styles need a different type of dancing shoes.

Men’s and Women’s Ballroom Shoes

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Ballroom dance shoes for men and women are very different and that’s why it’s important to understand the different features that each shoe has.
The Ballroom shoes worn by Men.
Like always men will have very few options to pick from when shopping for ballroom dancing shoes. This means the hustle of buying a pair of dancing shoes is much easier compared to their female counterparts. Most of the dancing shoe sworn by men while dancing in the ballroom are usually black except for the performance shoes.
The Men’s Latin vs. the Standard Ballroom Shoes: The standard dancing shoes worn by men have lace-up oxford and a heel that is flat. The standard shoes are very similar to the Latin shoes, except that the Latin shoes have a heel that is either 1 inches high or 2 inches high.
The Ballroom shoes worn by Women
Here you will find a wide variety when it comes to colors and styles, the variety broadens when you decide to look for performance shoes. But then the practice or student shoes are normally simple with neutral colors like black.
Standard ballroom dancing shoes for women: They are a little different, they have a toe that is closed and when you look at the heel you will notice it’s moderately high. The heel is also placed centrally so that it can assist the foot in making back stepping dance moves e.g. the Charleston. Compared to the Latin heel, the standard heel is much narrower. They preferred by female dancers who want to protect their toes from dancing partners who might step on them when dancing.
The Latin Ballroom dancing shoes worn by women: A little different and they must always have a toe that is open. The heel is also very high (3 inches long) and is very slender. Compared to the classic type the Latin dancing shoes for women are known to have a much sexier look. They are also more flexible compared to the standard dancing shoes and are preferred by many dancers since it suits majority of the dancing styles, unlike the standard shoes which are very impractical when performing Latin dancing styles like salsa and tango. Since they have a thicker heel, they are able to offer additional stability compared to their predecessors.
The Practice Shoes worn by women: When doing their practices, the female dances have the option of practicing in shoes that have been specifically made for practice or just normal shoes. The major advantage with these shoes is that they are more secure even though they might be less pleasing aesthetically. They have a sturdier heel that is also high and the oxford lace up style. They are made from leather and have a lower heel with perforations that are breathable. Though some female dancers prefer doing their practices in Latin or standard dancing shoes.

Getting the perfect Fit

Fit-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

Everyone wants a good fit when shopping for new shoes regardless of the type of shoes they are buying. The fit is one metric that is considered in all types of shoes be it athletic shoes, or just simple leisure footwear. When you have an ill-fitting shoes, then you are susceptible to many foot injuries (simple ones like blisters to severe like foot fractures.). When fitting your new dance shoes, you will have to use a different method from the one that is normally sued to fit the street shoes. Generally the ballroom shoes need to have a fit that is snug and also allow free movement of the foot when dancing. The dancer’s toes must be able to reach the very end of the dancing shoes for closed toes, but for the dance shoes with open toes then the toes must slightly hang just over the shoe’s edge.
If you have ever bought street shoes you will notice that the toe guide is very counterintuitive to the common believe many people have when shopping for dancing shoes? Another thing is to make sure the snug fit is not tight instead it’s comfortable. When buying leather shoes, it’s recommended that you purchase a size that is whole or half smaller to your normal street shoe size. This will enable the shoes to stretch over time. Well, it’s good to know that this is solely dependent on the manufacturer’s sizing system, although some companies take this into consideration and change the sizing of their shoes.

What are the Variations in Shoe Size?

Size-Best-Ballroom-Shoes

Even though you will find some companies making dance shoes that have a similar sizing system like the street shoes, it’s important to note that you will find some which have a very different sizing system. In order to be on the safe side make sure you check the description details and also look at the manufacturer’s sizing guide and advice. In case you run into difficulties you can always consult the sales person if you are making a physical purchase. Many buyers are advised to use the shoe size they had used in their last purchase or look for a conversion chart in case it’s their first purchase or changing brands. It’s important that you confirm the size of the shoe and in order to do this it’s recommended that a buyer takes the measurement of their feet when they are at home.
After you have your measurements, then the next step would be to refer to the chart sizes that are provided by the different companies. Though take note that the sizing standard will be different depending on the company making the shoes and also the country. You can refer to the manufacturers’ website for more information with regards to the correct sizing. Remember that the shoes’ widths sometimes vary more compared to the lengths.  This will never be indicated on the size guide charts that’s why it’s crucial you give the width utmost consideration.
Women who wear smaller sizes (less than size 4) should buy the ballroom shoes meant for young girls. While women who have a shoe size larger than 12 will be limited to make purchases from specific shoe making companies or request for custom made dancing shoes.
Men wearing less than size 6 will have to go for the boy’s ballroom dancing shoes. But those who have feet that are larger than size 14 will also have no option but to request for custom made dancing shoe or make their purchase from specific shoe making companies.

The thickness of the Sole of your Ballroom Dancing Shoes.

Thickness-Undersole-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

The sole of all ballroom dancing shoes must be very thin. This is a very important factor. The thin sole on the dancing shoe enable the dancer to have a much greater and improved responsive contact with their dancing surface, this means there is minimal chances of them twisting their ankle or their feet as they dance. When picking your suede or leather heels make sure they are thin so that you can be able to glide with the correct amount of needed traction (no slippery feeling). Keep off the rubber soles, despite the fact that they have more durability they are known to offer excess grip which can limit your free movement. The other soles to keep off are the plastic soles since they get worn out fast, hence can get very slippery when dancing.

The Flexibility of the Dancing Shoes.

Flexibility-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

Just like the running sneakers the ballroom dancing shoes also need to have offer maximum flexibility. The importance of flexibility is that it enables effective execution and coordination of the dance moves in addition to offering protection to the dancers’ feet and the safety of your feet. When you wear a pair of dancing shoes that are inflexible then you stand a risk of suffering from ankle or foot injuries not to mention the fact that you will be making very sloppy dancing moves on the stage.

The amount of Arch Support

Arch-Support-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

Having an arch support that is strong is very important, especially for the female dancers who tend to wear higher dancing heels, this also means that the ballroom dancing shoes need to have a very strong arc support. What is the importance of arc support? During dancing most arches are subjected under too much pressure and that means a dancer needs to get the correct amount of arch support from their dancing shoes. Having the incorrect type of arch will lead to incorrect pronation of your foot. Pronation will not only affect your dancing, but will also put the dancer at a risk of getting serious injuries. Simple rule, is that, the higher the heel, the more arch support the dancer needs.

The Heel Height of your Ballroom Dancing Shoes.

Heel-Height-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

The heel height will definitely vary depending on whether they are male shoes or female shoes, also the type of ballroom dancing shoes has different heel heights. The men don’t have to worry about the height, but the women have to give the heel height very serious consideration when shopping for new dancing shoes. Literally every dancing shoes used in the ballroom have some height, for the men it starts from 0.5 inches while for the ladies it starts from 2 inches. Most women beginners are advised to always wear heels that are 2.5 inches high this is because the shoes with higher heels tend to need the dancer to have plenty of ankle strength and support. More skilled dancers who have legs that are stronger, will opt for higher heels, however, most female dancers never go beyond the 3 inches. It’s important to note that, if a dancer experiences pain when they are dancing with higher heels then they should look for dancing shoes that offer them an additional amount of arch support.

The Other important metrics to take into consideration.

The above factors might be considered to be the main factors when shopping for ballroom dancing shoes, but then we have other important elements that a buyer should consider when window shopping for a new pair of dancing shoes.

The Type of Leather to be used on Men’s Dancing Shoes.

Leather-Used-Best-Ballroom-Shoes-Reviewed

When looking at the men’s dancing shoes, it’s highly recommended that the buyer looks for regular leather. The patent leather has a sharp look, however, it is not very flexible and has a high tendency of cracking. The other disadvantage is that, it grabs more often than the regular leather, this means it has a very high risk of tripping. Something many beginners should avoid.

The type of Color and the Decoration on the shoes.

It’s a silent rule that men have to wear black dancing shoes on the ballroom while the women can go for any color they fancy. So when it comes to color the ladies’ dancing shoes seem to be the only ones affected. Wearing a nude colored shoes gives the legs of the dancer a longer look, they also camouflage the feet, hence little attention is given to the feet (very important for beginners). However, when going for certain dance competitions you will need to check on the rules as some will have rules that limit the types of decorations used on the shoes.

The style of the strap of the dancing shoes.

Again, just like the colors, straps are more associated with female shoes especially the Latin shoes. The ladies’ Latin shoes come with a wide variety of strap styles. The first strap style is the T-Bar type, this style prevents the front section of the dancing shoes from constantly sliding forward each time the dancer points their feet. The other strap style would be the X-strap, their advantage is that they prevent the separation of the shoe’s bottom part from the point where the dancer’s foot will be pointing. The main factor to consider when looking at the straps of your dancing shoes is to make shoes that the more straps, one has on their shoes, means that they are getting more comfort, support and also amazing forefoot flexibility. They should also be able to effectively conform to the shape of the foot.

The Cost of Ballroom Dancing Shoes.

Whenever budgeting for a new pair of shoes, many buyers are usually faced with the dilemma of how much they should spend. If you plan on buying ballroom dancing shoes, then a buyer should be ready to spend close to $90 if they are looking to buy high quality dancing shoes for beginners. In case a buyer has a much lower budget and they are looking for beginner shoes, then they can look for shoes online that cost around $30. The prices get higher if you are looking for dancing shoes that have designs that are embellished, are of high quality and are considered to be high fashion. The good thing with high quality dancing shoes is that they are very durable and can last for many years if well maintained.

What are the Caring tips for your ballroom dancing shoes?

It’s important that dancers take good care of their dancing shoes so that they can be more durable and also to prevent any chances of them getting spoilt and hence putting the dancer at a higher risk of getting injured. When you wear your shoes outside the ballroom, then it means you will be ruining the suede sole, that’s why the dancing shoes should only be worn when in ballroom and change into them while in the studio when you want to start practicing. When in class the dancer can wear their regular street shoes. When purchasing your shoes you will be given a bag that dancers can use. So what are the important tips that each dancer needs to know when they plan on taking good care of their dancing shoes?
Get Heel protectors:  These small accessories are very important in making sure that the heel of the shoes is protected. They perform very important tasks when used: firstly protects the dancing floor, providing ample traction and lastly as their name suggests they offer protection to the heel. When your shoes are still new, they have heel tips, the major disadvantage is that these heel tips tend to wear out very fast, and replacing the tips will cost a minimum of $5. When the heel tip wears out this means that the nail that is used to attach them is exposed. Wearing plastic heel protectors mean that your heel tips will have a more prolonged life and hence more durable dancing shoes.
The Shoe Brush: be it suede or leather soles its good they are maintained well with the correct shoe brush. Soles made from suede loose the nap after a few months and shorter if the shoes are worn outside the ballroom. Look for a shoe brush that has steel-bristles and a firm handle so that they can be able to refresh the shoes’ nap. These types of brushes can be found in the shoe vendors, the other place would be hardware store where you can get a brush that is a steel file (the kind that is normally used to remove grit from files). Make sure that the handle of the brush has a good grip as this will prevent any damage occurring on your hands when you touch the sharp bristles. The Scotchguard: a must have for the ladies who plan on buying dancing shoes that are made of satin. The Scotch Guard helps in limiting the amount of dirt on your shoes. You can also get any other recommended fabric protector, this is because the satin dancing shoes are very hard to clean after they become dirty.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Many of us are normally faced with many questions when we are shopping for a brand new pair of ballroom shoes, not to mention being limited by your budget. In this section of our buying guide we have provided you with some of the questions that are normally asked by a buyer, we have also gone a step ahead to provide you with detailed answers that will guide you in your next purchase.

Q. Why is it not possible for me to dance when wearing my regular street shoes?

A. First of all it’s not forbidden or illegal for one to dance while wearing their street shoes. The only disadvantage is that the street shoes will limit how you feel your feet as you dance, hence making you in a mire disadvantaged position. Street shoes are not as soft as the normal ballroom dance shoes, hence limiting the feel of your feet when dancing. Dance shoes have suede soles, hence the offer an ample quantity of slipping, no falling down, but enough to allow graceful movement on the ballroom. While you will find some studios have very expensive dance rugs installed and will not allow dancers to step on the rugs if they are not wearing their dance shoes.

Q. I want to order a new pair of ballroom dancing shoes, what’s the correct size for me? A smaller or bigger size of my regular street shoes?

A. Well the obvious answer would be Yes. It’s best to order the normal size of your street shoe. Though it’s good to consult because some companies do not adhere to this rule (many companies who do this always quote this in their shoes).  British companies manufacture their shoes by using the British sizing, while the European ones use the European shoe sizing. We also have the Japanese and the American companies that have their own respective sizing systems. Though all these sizing systems can be easily translated into the correct size using the conversion charts provided by the shoe manufacturers.

Q. I have a male partner who is very tall, is it advisable for me to go for higher heels?

A. The answer to that would be a big NO. It’s highly discouraged for female dancers to go for higher heels if they cannot comfortably dance in the shoes. The general rule is that higher heels mean more difficulty in dancing (hence the dancer must have ankles that are very strong and very flexible). The flexibility and strength of the ankle can only be achieved with a long duration of practice. Unless you’re very comfortable in the high heels do not wear them. In case you decide to go for a higher heel, just add half an inch to the heel, however, be ready to miss out a mile in the quality of your dancing, which is indeed a bad ordeal.

Q. How do I measure the height of my shoes’ heel?

A. Many shoe making companies measure the height of the heel from the center part of the heel. That is excluding the tip of the heel. When measuring the heel, avoid measuring the heel of the shoe from the back as this will give you a much higher reading (remember that a higher heel makes a very big difference in your dancing).

Q. Between the leather soles and the suede soles which one is the best for me?

A. Dancers who dance in the ballroom and are Latin-American dancers always use the suede soles. The suede shoes are very flexible hence allowing the dancer’s foot shape to be shaped to the extreme. But then those who are Argentine Tango dancers can also consider buying shoes with leather soles. Though the leather soles tend to be a little harder than the suede soles, they also do not bend that much. They offer more support preventing the feet from getting so tired when dancing (especially if you will be dancing for a long period of time). The leather soles also work better when worn on rough floors. Outdoor dancing deserves dancing shoes that are made of leather soles. For floors that are smooth and slippery, then suede soles would be the best choice.

Q. I am beginner in ballroom dancing is it a must that I get the dancing shoes used in the ballroom?

A. It’s very important for one to have dancing shoes. That’s why the answer is YES. For beginners they can wear shoes that have leather soles, only on the first few days of the starting classes, however the dance shoes will come in handy with time when one needs a smoother dance. Going for leather soled shoes you will have a comfortable fit and a smooth feel, while the suede soled ones make a dancer to have an easy move, hence it’s easy to turn and feel the floor. Beginners should be careful because wearing proper dancing shoes can make them injure their dancing partners. As a beginner, it’s good to invest in good ballroom shoes since they are very durable and will make you enjoy your dance.

Sources

  1. Duet Dance Studio, How to Choose the Right Dance Shoes | 7 Things to Consider , Informative Guide,
  2. Beyond Dancing, A New Dancer’s Guide to Ballroom Shoes, Dance Apparel & Tips,
  3. A Time to Dance, Rebekah's Tips on Buying Dance Shoes, Useful Information,
  4. Ebay, The Complete Guide to Buying Ballroom Shoes, Buying Guide,
  5. Ballroomguide.com, Major Dance Shoe Brands, Informative,
  6. revolutionballroom.com, Guide To Buying Dance Shoes, Buying Guide,