Best Dance Shoes Reviewed & Rated
For any dancer, one of the most important pieces of equipment they will ever own is their shoes. Well, outside of barefoot dancers, of course. The wrong pair of shoes can negatively affect not only your physical wellbeing but, also, affect the level of skill with which you perform. If your shoes do not provide the right amount of support and cushion, or if they are poorly fitted, it can restrict your ability to move freely while dancing. This results in a less-than-graceful performance.
Dancing requires both anaerobic and aerobic movements which can put tremendous amounts of pressure and strain on your legs, feet, back, neck, shoulders, and hips. Wearing the right kind of shoes which were, specifically, designed to enhance your style of dance, will help to relieve the pressure on your feet and legs and will, also, give your back and hips the added support they need. Wearing good shoes will help to keep your arch strong and will protect and cushion your heel to prevent injuries from happening. In the right shoes, you will appear far more graceful and elegant while you dance.
But with so many different dance styles, it can be tough to figure out which shoes are the right ones for you. This list will help you to find the best shoes based on the style of dancing that you prefer. Keep in mind, no matter which style of dance it is that you prefer; proper footwear is an essential element, especially when considering the best dance shoes. Let's take a look at our top 10.
- Ariat Heritage Western R Toe
- Bloch Dansoft Ballet
- Capezio Daisy Ballet
- Matisse Cimmaron Coconuts
- Capezio N625 Jr. Tyette
- Ryka Tenacity Cross-Trainer
- Tent Linodes
- Capezio 550 Jr. Footlight
- Theatricals Lace Up Tap
- Capezio Daisy 205 Ballet
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best 10 Dance Shoes
1. Ariat Heritage Western R Toe
- Moisture-Wicking Footbed
- ATS® Technology
- Gel Cushioned Footbed
- Heel Stabilizers
- Ergonomic Design
- Higher priced
- Break-in period
Country Western or Line dancing just isn't the same without a good pair of cowboy boots. But not just any boot will do! Ariat's Heritage Western is as comfy as it is stylish, thanks to their ATS® MAX™ technology. Designed with added shock-absorbing elements and a moisture-wicking footbed, these boots are perfect for long hours of western line dancing.Read more
Advanced Torque Stability (ATS®) Technology adds extra cushioning and support while you move which reduces overall fatigue.
A built-in moisture-wicking footbed helps to keep your feet cool and dry all day long. Perfect for dancers!
Cost & Value
While the Heritage Western is not the cheapest option, they possess unparalleled quality in craftsmanship. Their comfortable wear and trendsetting design help to make these boots a priceless must-have.
2. Bloch Dansoft Ballet
- Leather Upper
- Suede Outsole
- Cotton Lining
- Elastic Drawstring
- Size runs big
Fly through the air in these oh-so-soft ballet shoes. Made with a cotton lining, your feet will feel the softness all around. Leather uppers help to retain structural integrity; as well as, provide a decent amount of flexibility. After all, it takes both elements to give you the best possible dance shoes available. With these ballet shoes, you will be ready to reap the benefits of all of those hard-worked hours.Read more
Grip and slip are both needed for the ballet. A suede outsole provides the perfect mix-and-match protocol, as you are able to slide into your next move or stop when necessary.
Your feet are heavily worked while in ballet form. As such, every bit of comfort then becomes more of a necessity. With a cotton lining, however, you can gain that extra comfort.
Cost and Value
The price associated with this pair of dance shoes is budget-friendly. Moreover, these shoes are made lightweight with all available comfort factors onboard. As such, these best dance shoes are a worthy purchase.
3. Capezio Daisy Ballet
- Leather Upper
- Suede Outsole
- Bar-tacked Elastic Drawstring
- ID Tag
- Padded Footbed
- Size runs small
Step into tranquility with a leather upper and suede outsole. Furthermore, a minimally padded footbed gives you the best of both worlds, in the form of both comfort and the ability to remain lightweight. In other words, you can dance your way through to the end, as you ballet with grace and devotion.Read more
A padded footbed is built with flexibility and comfort in mind; that is, padding can be a good thing, as it applies to long hours on the dance floor. This padding is minimal and, therefore, you won't lose the importance of a lightweight dance shoe.
Sturdy; yet, flexible, this is what it means to have an upper made of leather. Moreover, the leather material is naturally breathable; and as such, you can promote better overall foot health, as well.
Cost and Value
Priced to be budget-friendly, this is a pair of dance shoes ready for the ballet. Furthermore, made with high-quality materials, these shoes are made to last.
4. Matisse Cimmaron Coconuts
- Low Heel Height
- 9" Shaft
- Dual Pull-Tabs
- Contrasting Trim Detail
- Fabric Lining
- Narrow Toe
Matisse and Coconuts shoes have become an international favorite for a good reason, their quality craftsmanship, and stylish designs. Every shoe they manufacture maintains the highest quality standards making these an ideal option for western or line dancing. With a low heel height and synthetic upper, these boots are ultra comfy. A 9-inch shaft and pointed toe give these a sleek appearance and are sure to be the envy of the dancefloor.Read more
Have you ever found yourself stuck in a pair of cowboy boots? They can be difficult to take off but with the Cimmaron's dual pull-tabs you can effortlessly slide out of your boots once the dancing is done.
A low 1½ inch chunky heel makes these an ideal boot for dancing. A higher heel can cause discomfort when wearing for a longer period of time, while a low heel is easier on your joints and muscles.
Cost & Value
These hot cowboy boots are a complete steal! They offer top-of-the-line craftsmanship and superior quality for a price that is completely budget-friendly.
5. Capezio N625 Jr. Tyette
- Tele Tone Taps
- Micro-poly Lining
- Sheepskin Collar
- Grosgrain Ribbon Tie
- Foam-Padded Footbed
- Narrow Fit
Capezio's best seller, Jr. Tyette tap shoes will keep you tapping your feet all day and night. Complete with a foam-padded footbed and brushed micro-poly lining for superior comfort, they are designed with lower side heights, flexible outsoles, and a foam padded sheepskin collar. Their firm heel counter and light toe box give perfect support and make for a snug fit. A grosgrain ribbon ties at the front, while their rubber sole patch keeps you steady on your feet.Read more
The micro-poly material wicks moisture away from your feet, keeping them cool and dry. Its elastic and moveable texture make this an ideal lining material.
Tele Tone Heel Taps
A sound-resonating fiberboard designed to bring taps closer to the edge of the shoe, Tele Tone taps are known to be the best sounding taps available.
Cost & Value
These Capezio's offers a reasonably priced tap shoe that is widely regarded as being the best on the market. They come complete with Tele Tone heel taps; so, there is no need to install these yourself. Lightweight, stylish, and durable, these tap shoes are, definitely, a hot item!
6. Ryka Tenacity Cross-Trainer
- Midfoot Velcro Strap
- Secure Fitting
- Dual Foam Midsole
- Pivot Design
- Trendy & Fashionable
- Break-in period
These stylish training shoes are perfect for hip-hop dancing. Their synthetic and breathable mesh upper make these a lightweight choice. A midfoot Velcro strap ensures a secure fit, while a dual foam midsole provides extra cushioning to forefoot pressure points. Complete with a rubber outsole and pivot design, making these shoes the perfect pair of kicks for hip-hop and studio dancing.Read more
A foam compound designed to provide maximum cushioning and comfort, along with superior shock absorption.
Rubber is a strong, lightweight, and flexible material. It offers a good amount of grip and is resistant to abrasions.
Cost & Value
The Tenacity Cross Trainer is pricier than other options on the list but their stylish vibe and superior wearability more than compensate. These shoes are made to move and are a hip-hop dancer’s best friend. Available in a wide range of colors, there's something that will appeal to everyone.
7. Tent Linodes
- Soft Leather
- Low Heel
- Cotton Lining
- Split Sole
- Small Fitting
Jazz dancing is upbeat and energetic. Dancers perform their own interpretative movements and are often found leaping or twirling across the floor. This type of high-energy performance requires the right kind of shoe. Tent's slip-on jazz shoe is made of satin and soft leather which makes for a perfect fit. Its split-sole design offers a flexible and lightweight feel, while the flat heel height is perfect for jazz dancing. These are available in multiple different colors with half sizing options to suit all needs.Read more
A soft, leather upper makes these a lightweight and adaptable choice of footwear. The leather is abrasion-resistant and retains its shape well.
Low Heel Height
Jazz dancing requires a lower heel which will offer better stability and comfort while you dance.
Cost & Value
These jazz shoes are, definitely, not going to break your bank. They're reasonably priced while maintaining a stylish and modern vibe. Look good while you move in these jazzy slip-on dance shoes.
8. Capezio 550 Jr. Footlight
- Leather Outsole
- Moisture-absorbent Lining
- PU Upper
- Folded Edge Topline
- 1.5-inch Heel Height
- Taps not included
Dance in comfort with a folded edge topline and moisture-absorbent lining. A 1.5-inch heel height is at the ready; as well as, a leather outsole. These character shoes are compatible with Tele Tone toe, Duo Tone heel, or Selva Staccato taps. Moreover, they look great for performance and are subtle enough to not indicate specific time periods.Read more
Remain cooler within a moisture-absorbent environment via the lining. Not only will your feet remain cooler but you will, also, gain the added bonus of promoting healthier feet, as well.
Folded Edge Topline
The top-line is designed to bring you comfort by reducing the cutting effect of other top-lines which are more rigid. Your feet will thank you, as you transition from one move to the next in comfort.
Cost and Value
These shoes are budget-friendly, in terms of cost and value. An ideal pair of character shoes to add to your wardrobe, this is a great pair to consider when either purchasing a new pair or a pair for rotation.
9. Theatricals Lace Up Tap
- Cushioned Sockliner
- Taps, Screwed On
- Non-skid Safety Patch
- Minimal color variety
Tap your way to the delightful tune of screw-on taps, a non-skid safety patch, soundboard, synthetic/leather upper, and a cushioned sock liner. Laces help to create a better fit but, more importantly, the overall structuring of the shoe is made to give you the sturdiness you need for tapping; yet, there is a decent amount of flexibility for transitional movement.Read more
These taps are screwed on and they do come equipped with the shoes. Replaceable, the taps can re-invent the shoes, as it were; that is, you might find these shoes lasts longer than the original taps do.
With these dance shoes, you gain a better fit via the laces. Moreover, you provide an ample opportunity for an environment conducive to safer feet; no more worrying about your feet making a move without your shoes.
Cost and Value
These are budget-friendly. Moreover, they are made to last and with screw-on taps, you have the ability to replace them. Furthermore, these shoes have a soundboard, non-skid safety patch, and cushioned sock liner. They are a great addition to any tapper's wardrobe.
10. Capezio Daisy 205 Ballet
- Suede Outsole
- Leather Upper
- Bar-tacked, Elastic Drawstring
- Size runs wide
Move in both style and grace with these Capezio Daisy 205 Ballet shoes. Ready with a drawstring for a better fit, and made with a leather upper and suede outsole, these are shoes which are ready to showcase your hard-earned moves with elegance. Furthermore, they are lightweight and help to promote less fatigue, as a result.Read more
The go-to choice for dancers, a suede outsole gives you the right amount of both grip and slide. Stop when you need to, slide into your next move, or land with grace. This is an outsole ready for the ballet.
The leather is a natural, breathable material; and as such, your feet will remain cooler. The upper is made to have longevity; as well as, provide you with comfort.
Cost and Value
When compared to other shoes on this list, this is a pair which is budget-friendly. Moreover, these ballet shoes are ready to know the dance, as only you can give them.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
To come up with a score for fit of a shoe, we considered several factors, like the ones mentioned above, in addition to real customer reviews, to help boil down everything into one simple score. For example, Nike tends to make shoes that are true-to-size, meaning that you can buy a pair of 11s one year, and another pair of 11s next year in a different model, and they will usually still fit (unless your feet grown or shrank). A brand like Nike will most likely have a high score when it comes to fit, but the other variables in play, such as make, model and purpose, will also affect the overall score.
Consider that a running shoe, with its thicker midsole and synthetic sole, might fit differently than a flat shoe, with its thinner midsole and hypothetical leather sole. Each of these shoes, even if they are both from Nike, may have similar scores for trueness-to-size, but a size 11 in one might not be the same as an 11 in the other. What’s a reader to do in this case? You must also consider the purpose and type of shoe it is. Knowing what kind of shoe you are buying, and for what purpose, will help you make a better decision. A running shoe might run smaller than a flat because it has thicker materials, so read customer reviews as well to arrive at the best decision for fit, in addition to just our overall score.
At the end of the day, however, a higher score for the “fit” criterion will tend to mean that the shoe experiences a better trueness-to-size than a competing product; just don’t forget all the underlying factors that are baked into arriving at that single score! Finally, if you are looking for tips on how to identify your shoe size, check out this guide by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society.
Comfort and fit are crucial for dance shoes, meaning materials must be lightweight, flexible, and soft. The upper and soling materials may be the same, or different, depending on the style of shoe, and must be durable, in order to withstand long hours spent on the dance floor.
Here are the materials we recommend for dance shoes:
Leather is breathable and lightweight, allowing air to flow naturally around the foot. It has excellent moisture-absorbing properties, making it a great material for lining, while it’s resistance to abrasion are ideal for the upper and sole.
This is a sturdy, woven material which is light and airy, making it a perfect upper material for dance shoes.
Commonly seen, rubber is best used for the shoe sole, thanks to its moisture-resistant, anti-slip properties.
When it comes to soft Suede is an excellent material to be used on the sole of a dance shoe. Suede gives the perfect balance between slipperiness and grip for turns and twirls across the floor. Suede soles will need to be maintained by brushing the sole with a wire dance shoe brush from time-to-time, in order to up-keep their roughness.
That being said, we also have a few materials to avoid, as they do not contribute to the breathability, comfort and durability required to support a competent, skilled dancer.
Synthetics, such as polyester and acrylic, are less than desirable for dance shoes. They fail to absorb moisture; as well as, preventing air from freely flowing around the foot.
In general, a higher score on this criterion means the product in question is made from materials we judge to be better for a dancer's comfort, health and performance.
While style is often a matter of personal taste, we've checked thousands of online reviews to see what people are saying about each of the products on our list. Some things, such as sleek design, seamless construction and overall weight and shape of the shoe, were common likes or dislikes among buyers of each product.
To evaluate style, we considered everything from the design, color, shape, weight, lines and overall construction of the shoe in question. While no one wants to wear an uncomfortable shoe, they also don’t want a comfortable shoe to be ugly on the eyes. We’ve selected all of those on our top 10 to be not only stylish, but also comfortable, true-to-size, supportive and durable.
The higher the score on the “style” metric, the more fashionable we and the community of buyers we surveyed deemed the product to be.
Dancers often spend hours-a-day practicing and performing on hard surfaces, like tile or wood flooring. This puts the dancer at risk for a number of foot-related injuries, such as Anterior/Posterior Impingement Syndrome, Achilles Tendinitis and Metatarsalgia.
To reduce the risk of injury, a dancer should select a shoe which has a quality insole that will both absorb shock, as well as, conform to the shape of their foot. An insole with too much cushion will take up too much room in the shoe and can give an ungraceful appearance when the dancer performs, so we were conscious of this when deciding on our top 10 list.
We also considered that a firm insole will give good structure to a shoe and increase its stability and durability, but it will also increase the weight of the overall product and be less comfortable. A softer insole might be more comfortable, but that comes at the expense of stability and durability. We tried to balance these weights when evaluating our products, but each reader and wearer is different, so be aware of this trade-off.
Just about any shoe can be danced in but what sets a good dance shoe apart from the rest are the features it offers, which will aid the dancer in performing their best. Dependent on the type of dance style being performed, the dancer will require different features from their dance shoes. The following is a list of things to look for in a shoe based on the dance style.
Ballet shoes are all about the ‘pointe.’ Pointe shoes are made up of several different parts; the shank, throat, vamp, toe box, and platform are the major components of any pointe ballet slipper. These components all serve an important part in aiding the dancer to achieve the most elegant pointe possible. Here's how:
- Shank: The rigid insole which gives support underneath the arch of the foot.
- Throat: The opening of the shoe.
- Vamp: The area of the shoe which covers the top part of the toes and the foot.
- Toe Box: The cup which holds the toes and ball of the foot.
- Platform: The bottom of the toe box where the dancer stands.
In order to determine the right pointe shoe, a number of factors will have to be taken into consideration and it is recommended that a dancer be professionally fitted for their pointe shoes.
For tap dancing, the most important feature a shoe can offer is the taps, themselves. Different styles of taps will offer a unique sound; some will be lighter and tinier, while others will provide a deeper tap. Some of the most well-known taps are produced by leading manufacturers and offer a great distinction from one another.
A good shoe for Latin dancing will need to be comfortable, durable, and practical; while, also, helping add to the dancer’s graceful appearance.
Ideal shoes for western/line dancing are, of course, going to be cowboy boots. But not just any boot will do! In order to stay comfortable during long hours spent spinning and twirling across the dance floor, your boots will need to provide good ankle support, the right amount of slip, a flat or low heel and a secure fit.
Hip-hop dancers, unlike others, do not necessarily need shoes which are designed for dancing, any athletic shoe would be acceptable. However, looking stylish and remaining comfortable are two major factors when selecting a pair of shoes for hip-hop.
Stability and grip are important safety features which should be considered; as well as, ensuring that your shoes fit securely. Rubber is an excellent choice for an outsole for hip-hop dancing, due to its excellent grip and anti-skid properties.
Traditional shoes are not the best choice for contemporary dancers; instead, a foot glove is a much more appropriate choice. A foot glove protects the ball of the foot while providing anti-slip security at the same time of maintaining the desired barefoot esthetic.
Shoes that score higher on this criterion are more of a general shoe and may be able to be used for multiple purposes; however, bear in mind that shoes that score high on "versatility" may be so versatile, they cannot be used for specialized dance styles, like some of the ones we listed above.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Dancing is one of the most fun and creative ways to help burn calories. From salsa and tango, to a simple waltz, or more cardio intensive dance styles, being on your feet for a couple hours can do wonders for your body and cardiovascular health!
If you're looking for a new way to workout, give dance a try. Many communities have lessons available to get you started, or you can always try out a class with friends as a social event!
Many folks have gotten into dance for a variety of reasons, as it can be a great outlet for everyday stress. These days, dance is a popular therapy method to clear the mind, refocus, and release tension through movement.
Not only does dance act as a therapy for some, it's a wonderful creative outlet! Each dancer has an individual style and flair to their movements, from subtle hand gestures to the graceful lengthening of the limbs to form poses and shapes pleasing to view and watch.
Other Factors to Consider
The bottom line is that while we have incorporated thousands of reviews from buyers and wearers when making our top 10 list for dance shoes; however, not one of them is you. You have different needs, preferences and styles or experiences levels of dance, and although we can guide you in the right direction, you need to make sure you're getting something made just for you.
The best way to do this is to dig down deep into our criteria section to understand how we arrived at our conclusions for our 10-best list. By narrowing down how we arrived at our rankings, you can include or exclude criteria that may or may not apply to you, to arrive at a better choice for a product. Also, spend a bit of time on Amazon reading product reviews about fit, design, durability and more. You might learn something new that gets you that perfect shoe!
The outsole, or more simply, the sole of the shoe, makes direct contact with the ground and therefore supports the entire foot and body when in motion. Needless to say, a poorly-constructed outsole will lead to discomfort, slipping and foot or other bodily injury. For this reason, many manufacturers use materials that are water-, weather-, heat-, and impact-resistant. Depending on the type of footwear, one will often see outsoles made from natural or synthetic materials, such as PVC, EVA, rubber and leather. Each of these has their advantages, depending on the shoe’s purpose; however, as a general rule, they each are resistant to the aforementioned factors. They are also flexible enough to support a proper foot cycle when in motion, but they are not so flexible that they feel like a pair of socks. A sole made of the materials above tend to score higher on our product evaluations, as they are not only comfortable, but also support other criteria, such as “support” and “durability”.
The midsole is designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption to the shoe, nestling the foot in comfort. Whereas running shoes tend to have thick midsoles, flats and thinner shoes not designed for high-impact activities often have thinner midsoles. The reason for this is simple: you need more shock absorption and vibration dampening during high-intensity movements or activities to maintain comfort and prevent foot injury then you otherwise would with a regular shoe, flat or sandal. Midsoles are often made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a synthetic plastic also used to make insertable orthotics. A firmer type of EVA for the midsole will make the shoe heavier, but more durable; whereas a softer type of EVA, like those found in running shoes, improve shock absorption, but wear much quickly. Podiatrists tend to prefer firmer midsoles for those suffering with orthopedic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.
To assess each of the products on our list for durability, we not only read through thousands of customer reviews on our recommended products, but we also looked for some of the hallmarks of quality construction. From brand name reputation to their initial smell out of the box, there are a few ways of identifying a well-built, made-to-last product:
The Details: A zipper that doesn’t zip or snaps? Poor threading technique? All these details were looked for an evaluated when assigning a score for durability.
Product Purpose: A shoe made for running and high-impact sports will not likely last as long as a good pair of general activity shoes and that’s okay. Being aware of the shoe’s purpose is critical for you as a reader and for us as a reviewer. We take into account the type of shoes you are trying to purchase when assigning scores to shoes in this criterion.
Brand Name: A product is a promise made, but a brand is a promise kept. A brand name is often a signal of quality and consistency in construction and durability from product to product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pointe shoes are a type of shoe worn by ballet dancers. They enable the dancers to dance on the tips of their toes, appearing weightless. It is important that a dancer chooses a pointe shoe which is going to fit their feet, appropriately. Otherwise, it can affect their performance and may possibly endanger the dancer. It is recommended that a dancer be professionally fitted for pointe shoes.
Latin dance shoes are lightweight and flexible, with a certain type of sole. Usually, made of leather and with a suede outsole, Latin dance shoes need to offer the right amount of slip while, also, providing traction to prevent falls.
Essentially, hip-hop dance shoes could be any pair of athletic type shoe. It is imperative in hip-hop dance that the dancer appears to fit the ‘style’ associated with the dance. Hip-hop is related to hip-hop culture and is based on street styles of clothing. Pivot points on the outsole come into play when considering hip-hop dance.
What distinguishes tap shoes from jazz shoes is the addition of metal screw-in taps. These are what enable a tap dancer to produce clear, crisp tap sounds when they perform.
Contemporary dance is expressed through the fluidity of movement. More often than not, contemporary dancers prefer to wear as little clothing as possible, due to the fact that clothing inhibits the audience’s ability to observe the dancers movements.
- Pointe Shoes Part 1, Article, ,
- Why Dance Shoes?, article; blog, Nov 21, 2018 ,
- Dance Shoe Heel Types, article; blog, Nov 21, 2018 ,
- Choosing Ladies Latin Dance Shoes, article; blog, Jun 28, 2013 ,
- I’m going to my first ballroom dancing lesson, what do I wear?, article; blog, May 14, 2014 ,