Best Salsa Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Any athlete in their field knows that they must have the right shoes to make their performance perfect.  High quality sneakers and athletic shoes can make or break a runner’s record, can make the difference between gold medals and three weeks of blisters. Athletes aren’t only relegated to sneakers, however, and anyone who’s just finished a salsa routine will tell you ballroom can be as high intensity as any other competitive sport.

So when choosing a salsa shoe you have to be as discerning as any sports coach or competitor. Whether you’re looking for a suede-soled competition grade shoe, a comfortable pair of dance sneakers your instructor will allow on a sprung floor, or a simple pair of practice heels you can wear to any respectable competition without breaking the bank, you have to make sure to buy high quality shoes that will treat you right.

Featured Recommendations

Ellie Lucille
  • Ellie Lucille
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 2” flared block heel
  • Leather and Satin
  • Price: See Here
Naturalizer Danya
  • Naturalizer Danya
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Criss cross design
  • hook-and-loop backstrap
  • Price: See Here
Delicacy Angel-62
  • Delicacy Angel-62
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rhinestones
  • Smooth Sole
  • Price: See Here

Choosing specific shoes for Salsa involves a lot of inspection as to what you need out of your own salsa work. There are some central rules to choosing a salsa shoe, however, that are constant no matter the type of shoe you’re getting. One of the main reasons you can’t dance salsa in your regular heeled sandals is the soles. When buying for salsa’s footwork and spins, you must be careful to buy shoes with smooth soles. These soles give the right balance of slip versus grip, and limit strain on knees and hips.

On the foundation of the smooth soles, you should look for something lightweight, foot fitting, and with a heel height between 1 and 3 inches for women, and 1 and 2 inches for men, based on your comfort level and experience. A good salsa shoe will also have heavily cushioned insoles, to allow for the bouncing and footwork demands – not to mention tiring competitions where dancers may complete multiple routines in a night.




15 Best Salsa Shoes




1. Ellie Lucille

The flared block heel on this dress pump will give a level of comfort and control even to new dancers, and the smooth synthetic sole will award a strong level of slip to the wearer. The closed toe, black satin style is a little understated for a lot of latin styles but the comfort and quality balance out, especially for a dancer getting a start in salsa and looking for a secure, well received shoe.
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Extreme Comfort
With a slightly padded leather insole, and a short 2” flared block heel, the Lucille pump boasts a very high comfort level, even for those reporting dancing repeatedly through an evening. The satin t-strap holding the shoe in place just tops off an already comfortable and secure shoe.

The Lucille Dress pump, with its high comfort levels, has been said to have excellent for use on the competitive scene and for home use, at weddings and other social events. Opting for the synthetic sole instead of a suede or leather version greatly increases the versatility of the shoe.

Cost and Value
These Ellie shoes pumps are highest rated for comfort and one of the cheapest on our list. The low cost puts it below some of the formal dance shoes compared here, so the value is weighed against the subdued style and the lack of proper suede soles.
  • Comfortable leather and satin materials. 
  • Easy and stable 2” flared block heel.
  • Versatile shoe could be used for everyday wear.
  •  High Quality material
  • Fits well and to-size
  • Not a dance-grade sole

2. Naturalizer Danya

Bringing a level of glamour and style to the list, the Danya dress sandal is a popular day-to-day sandal that could very well suit a salsa dance floor. The strappy front and blocky heel provide stability, and its available in a collection of different colors to suit that glamorous salsa dress.
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Bright and Stylish
Naturalizer specialise in good looking, flashy shoes that will definitely draw an appreciative eye on the dance floor. The style is backed up with a comfortable leather insole and a slight platform to make the heel more manageable, so the flashiness doesn’t outweigh the function of the shoe.

Cushioned Insole
Designed for all-night comfort in this heeled sandal, the cushioned insole will also provide the support and bounce needed for you in a busy salsa routine. It also allows for breaking in, moulding the shoe around your foot and dance needs the more you practice in them.

Cost and Value
Naturalizer brand name comes with a slightly higher price than the other heeled sandals featured here, but that name brings a comfort promise and a large customer base to lay your trust on.
  • Laser cut straps make for tight stability
  • Highly adjustable back strap
  • Cushioned Insole gives high comfort.
  • Stylish and eye-catching
  • Might be a bit heavy for salsa work
  •  Don’t have smooth/slippy soles.

3. Delicacy Angel-62

The Angel shoes are some of the most salsa-suited of the generic heeled sandals on this list. Boasting optimum 2” heels, a leather sole, and that glamorous rhinestone look you love to show off on the competition floor, the Angel-62 is bound to take you far in salsa.
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Synthetic Leather Soles
Leather and suede are the two best materials for salsa shoe soles, and leather will give you a slightly stronger support and more versatility. Although the cheaper price on these shoes mean it’s synthetic leather, customers promise a strong amount of slip that will take the pressure off knees and hips as dancers engage in high-intensity salsa routines.

Short Salsa Heel
2” is the preferred height for salsa shoes, especially for beginners or people who wouldn’t wear a lot of heeled sandals elsewhere. Although some will go an inch higher, the 2” kitten on the Angel-62 is really perfect for the majority of dancers.

Cost and Value
This shoe is cited as ‘best value’ for a reason, the second cheapest item on this guide and certainly the cheapest of the top half. Paired with the highly salsa-suited aspects of the shoe, it is certainly the best value for money on the list, though the cheaper materials may make for quicker wear and tear than the non synthetic shoes on the list.
  • Very smooth sole is dance-suitable and versatile
  • Small heel is the recommended 2”
  • Available in black or silver, but always glamorous
  • Cushioned insole
  • Kitten heels could be less stable than wanted
  • Cheaper make could lead to shorter life.

4. Sansha Salsette

4. Sansha Salsette
The Jazz sneaker is the first official dance shoe on our list, and it ticks all the boxes. With a half-inch heel, suede in the sole and body of the shoe, and a high-quality arch support that will carry you through each practice, its a strong all-round training shoe for any latin dancer.
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Suede Sole
There’s no replacing a high-quality suede sole for latin dancing, if you’re willing to shell out for a formal dance shoe. Even though this sneaker will be relegated to the training floor, the suede shoe will completely free the dancer from knee and hip strain after hours in the studio.

Arch support
The strong support and form-fitting style of these shoes will completely spoil you for the transfer into the more glamorous competition shoes on dance nights. With a short heel, the arch support will create an incredibly comfortable shoe that facilitates jumps and footwork across the dance floor.

Cost and Value
These shoes ring in as a little more expensive than some of the cheaper shoes on our list, in return for being specially designed for ballroom dance and the kind of movement that salsa will demand from you. High quality material and design both come together to raise the price point, though of the dance sneakers on our list, these are by far the cheapest, and best value for money.
  • Suede soles and body mean high-quality make
  • Mesh body and closed shoe mean comfort for hours of training
  •  Small heel is comfortable but prepares anyone for dancefloor
  •  Can be used by men and wome
  •  Good price for dance sneakers
  • Runs very small - be careful when buying with size chart

5. Honeystore Mary Jane

5. Honeystore Mary Jane
Coming in right in the middle, these shoes are some of the most balanced on our list. These shoes have suitable 2.5” heels, a secure T-strap and most of all high-quality suede soles, but lack the traditional strappy style and glamour of most latin shoes. Nevertheless, the Mary Jane shoes come in a variety of styles and are the first properly soled heeled shoes on our list and could be an excellent choice for a competition night.
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Comfortable Block Heel
Not only are the heels the right height for salsa, the subtle flare and relatively blocky bottom will provide greater stability without sacrificing the style.

Excellent Dancing Soles
The first heeled sandals here with the suitable slippy sole that will provide the amount of slip versus grip a competition salsa dancer will need.

Cost and Value
The balance between style and function in these shoes raise the price point a little, among the top three most expensive shoes in the list, especially once you only consider the shoes you could wear in competition. These shoes have also been reported to degrade quickly, so you may not get as many uses out of them as a more robust pair not designed specifically for dancing.
  • Suede soles
  • Closed toe and T-strap means high control
  •  Flared block heel gives good support
  •  Available in multiple styles and colors
  •  Perfect heel height
  • Closed toe isn’t traditional for latin shoe
  •  Might degrade through repeated uses

6. Capezio Rockit

6. Capezio Rockit
The second dance sneaker in our list provides an incredible amount of support across all dance styles, training for ballroom and latin included. With lots of padding and ankle support, comfortable insoles, split sole for flexibility and a perforated arch, these Capezio sneakers have a long resume. Not only that, but Capezio is a trusted dance brand across dance type. Although the soles are synthetic and may not have as much slip as a salsa dancer wants, the outsole is non-marking and should suit a training floor for a dancer who needs the extra support the rest of the shoe offers.
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Extreme Support
Extra ankle support, a high achilles notch, a padded toe box, strong arch support. All coming together to create a secure shoe fitted snugly to your foot and keeping you protected through hours of dance training. The heavy support won’t hinder movement, however, as it will be balanced out by the flexibility of the split sole and mesh build.

Ventilated and breathable
The mesh and suede body and the large perforated arch will create a light, breathable product will keep your feet feeling fresh and comfortable even if you’re put through a high intensity training session.

Cost and Value
Capezio is a known brand for dancewear, and can be trusted to deliver a high quality and high value product - but it also puts these shoes as one of the highest in the list, price-wise. The value is also raised by the fact that these shoes could suit practice for ballet, hip hop, and many other dancing practice. If you’re someone likely to use these shoes in multiple mediums, they become very high value for money, but if you’re exclusively looking for salsa shoes, these fall lower on the list, especially with their non-slip soles.
  • Professional level foot and ankle support
  • Mesh body is light and breathable
  •  Versatile dance training sneaker across multiple styles
  • Cushioned insole for back support.
  • Non-slip soles mean shoes aren’t salsa-specific
  • Paying for style versatility you may not be using

7. Capezio Jazz

7. Capezio Jazz
These plain leather jazz shoes bridge the gap between the overt stylish competition shoes and high-function dance sneakers we’ve already looked at. These shoes can be used for training or for some competition nights, if you’re comfortable owning the low heel and less traditionally latin style. These shoes have strong function, with the leather soles you need to hit the best spins and twirls, and comfortable heel and arch support.
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Heel cup and arch support
Someone looking to avoid the discomfort of high strappy heels during a salsa routine will find great comfort here. Despite looking like simple leather slip ons, these jazz shoes have a stable heel cup and a good amount of arch support so you can still pull off the footwork demands of your routine.

Leather soles
It can’t be said enough that the ability to slip on your shoes is important to salsa dance. Although this shoe throws off the trappings of a lot of other demanding or potentially uncomfortable ballroom shoe styles, it keeps the most important requirement; the slippy sole.

Cost and Value
Although this shoe varies it’s price so much by size it’s hard to compare it to other shoes on this list, it seems to lie as pretty average in comparison. This makes sense when considering it’s value - the lack of accessories or exciting additions means you’re paying well for a few very high quality aspects; good quality leather, dance-centered design, and strong foot support where you need it.
  • A simplified shoe high quality exactly where it matters
  • Good arch support and function for a shoe you could compete in
  • Available for men and women
  •  Supple and long-lasting material
  • Not a glamorous style you would traditionally compete in
  • Runs small and sizing can be confusing between men and women’s sizes - be careful!

8. Touch Ups Jane

8. Touch Ups Jane
A simple and low sandal that is popular with customers looking for both day to day and dancewear shoes. These heeled sandals have a secure ankle strap, comfortable insole padding and an understated but relatively thick heel. These shoes could be strong contenders for someone who doesn’t want to pay for a pair of shoes that disappear into the closet for 90% of the week, but who still need comfort and support on salsa nights.
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Secure ankle strap style
Traditional strappy shoes will always look in-place on a salsa dance floor, and these shoes show a suitable amount of foot without sacrificing support, a buckled ankle strap and x-straps from the arch securing the shoe comfortably.

Cushioned insole
These are shoes designed to support not just dancers, but people wearing these shoes for hours on end without pause. The insoles are clearly well made and the cushioned style will give a dancer the support they need for a full night of competition dances.

Cost and Value
These shoes aren’t charging for dance-oriented design, putting them as among the cheaper members of the list. This is good on many fronts - the strap and heel style, and the heel height, are still well suited to latin despite not being designed for it. However, the shoe does have a synthetic non-slip sole that is going to be less comfortable for someone looking for serious salsa spin routines.
  • Low heel is stable and comfortable even for first time dancers
  • Multiple straps, ankle strap, and small peep-toe secures shoe comfortably
  • Cushioned sole means higher long-term comfort
  • Good value for money
  • Non-slip sole could hinder salsa routines
  • Cheaper materials could degrade sooner than other shoes

9. J. Adams Mary Jane Oxford

9. J. Adams Mary Jane Oxford
These simple shoes are a return to the closed toe, less traditional style but win over in function, with a secure ankle strap, lots of heel support, 3” heels, and synthetic leather soles. Although the oxford pumps aren’t usually seen on the salsa floor, the cute and hip style will fit in just fine at any modern salsa event.
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Synthetic Leather Soles
Although the Mary Janes won’t have the same level of high-slip as dedicated dance shoes, the vegan leather soles will give you better chance to pull off salsa spins than leather-soled shoes designed to grip the floor.

Snug fit with secure ankle strap
Even if straps are more traditionally, the partially closed shoe and buckle ankle strap here will create a very secure dance shoe that sits snugly on your foot while you dance. Not only that, but the heel is relatively wide despite being a kitten heel, increasing that stability.

Cost and Value
These Oxfords are another versatile shoe where you’ll be paying for more than just a once-weekly wear. On the scale of this list, these are relatively middling, not charging for dance-centric design but still higher enough in price that you’re getting high quality material and modern style.
  • Smooth synthetic leather soles
  • Secure design, from closed toe to buckle strap and heel cup.
  •  3” heel within recommended height.
  •  Versatile and modern shoe you can wear any day.
  • Not a traditional salsa style
  • Higher heel that recommended for salsa

10. Naturalizer Taimi

10. Naturalizer Taimi
Another lauded Naturalizer pick here, this time a shorter dress shoe, a heeled sandal with an exciting asymmetric design and multiple glittery color options. This dress sandal is closer again to dance specific designs, with a perfect 2.5” heel, and a higher ankle strap creating a snug fit despite a less traditional strap placement.
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Suitable Heel
The 2.5 heel height is much better suited to the recommended salsa shoe style than many heeled sandals you will be able to find, without losing any visual excitement. The heel is also helped by padding along the length of the foot, which increases comfort even further.

Exciting and Stylish
Stepping into day-to-day heeled sandals open the doors to more exciting looking, modern and stylish sandals. These are no exception, especially the gold and silver styles, which are sure to draw the eye on the dance floor.

Cost and Value
These are some of the most expensive shoes on the list, which is one of the reasons the rank so low, especially paired with the lack of slippy sole which limits this shoes use on the dance floor. Nevertheless, what you are paying for with the higher price is a stunning shoe that is very versatile and attractive.
  • Suitable heel and straps for salsa style
  • Exciting asymmetric design
  • Padding allows for long-lasting use
  • High quality materials ensure long life even with lots of use.
  • Non-slip sole limits application as salsa shoe
  • Thin heel could have lower stability in complicated routines

11. DSOL Latin Dance Shoes

11. DSOL Latin Dance Shoes
Made with every dancer in mind, the DSOL Latin Dance Shoes offer a solid pair of comfortable and flexible salsa shoes for beginners on up. The soft suede sole will give you the right amount of grip but also smooth turns and spins which helps your joints continue to feel great. The open-toed design makes articulating the foot and pointing the toes simple and the great flexibility of the shoe helps it more with you and keep those motions fluid. The DSOL Latin Dance Shoe has a 2.2-inch heel and if you aren’t used to dancing in heels, you may want to look for something a bit shorter. All in all, this is a versatile look that will help you realize why you need a great pair of salsa shoes. To keep moving through your classes, with comfortable feet, look over the features of these salsa shoes.
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Suitable for a Variety of Dances
Most dancers start off trying a variety of different dances and often times continue to dance an even larger variety of dances as their skill grows. Some dance shoes are simply made for one type of dance, like tap shoes, for example. When stepping into the world of Salsa you open the door for many different Latin and Ballroom dances, so why step through with a pair of shoes that can’t accommodate them all? Flexibility is key not only in the shoe’s construction but also in its ability to go with you through many routines. Whether you are dancing salsa, rumba, or the jive these salsa shoes will fit the bill and keep you comfortable for performances yet to come.

2.2 MM Ox Suede Sole
Durability in dance shoes is difficult due to the sensitive material used to make them. Suede breaks down quickly, especially when you consider what a dancer puts their shoes through. The 2.2 mm Ox Suede Sole is about as durable as they come and gives your feet nice cushion due to the thickness of the sole. You want to slide and glide across the floor but you also need to stop when you try to. The DSOL Latin Dance Shoes will give you this and more when you try them at your next rehearsal.

Cost and Value
If you are just beginning your adventure in the dance world there is no need to spend a fortune for a great pair of salsa shoes. It is very important that you wear the correct shoes, as dancing in your sneakers is probably not allowed and could lead to injury. The price tag on these shoes is average and will fit into most budgets. They are also sure to help improve your moves and make your love of dance grow with every wear.
  • Great Price
  • Versatile Wear
  • Good for Practice and Performace
  • Can wear for Life's Big Occasions
  • Stable
  • May Need to Order 1/2 Size Down

12. HXYOO Indoor Dance Shoe

12. HXYOO Indoor Dance Shoe
Flashy and functional the HXYOO Indoor Dance Shoe offers a variety of features that have helped it earn its place among the best salsa shoes. The 3 mm suede outsole gives extra comfort and better durability than most salsa shoes. They also feature adjustable crisscross ankle straps and a 2.5-inch heel for great fit and beautiful lines. Open toe and open sides make this shoe extremely flexible and you will see that they move with your feet easily all the while keeping you in control and on your feet, where you belong.
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Extra Padding in the Footbed
Dance shoes don’t offer a lot in the category of shock absorption or padding. You will find a little extra comfort in your salsa shoes can mean the difference between dancing twice a week or dancing every day. Not only does a little extra padding in the footbed keep your feet feeling better it also helps your shoes last longer. Dancers go through shoes quickly because of the delicate materials that dance shoes are made of. Extra padding and slightly thicker outsoles help these shoes hold up to the challenge of dancing longer.

Minimal Shank Board
The shank board is the structuring mechanism located between the heel and toe of a shoe. In dance shoes with heels, this plays a big part in the structure and durability of the shoe. The stiffer it is the less flexibility you will have in your salsa shoes. Finding a good balance but a minimal shank board can be difficult, a shoe with not enough support will not only be hard on the dancer’s muscles and joints but the shoe will also not last very long. One that is too firm can make controlling the foot difficult. The inability to point your toes easily can greatly reduce the overall quality of your dance performance and leave you feeling frustrated. HXYOO has done a great job at finding a minimal shank board that still holds up to the beating we put our favorite salsa shoes through. These shoes maintain their shape and support but allow you to move freely and point your toes with ease and fluidity.

Cost and Value
These sassy, fun, and great fitting salsa shoes can be yours for a minimal fee. Great for people just starting out in dance or for those looking to add a little something different to their collection the HXYOO Indoor Dance Shoe will hold up through it all. Keep your feet comfortable and get more use out of your shoes for a price that we can’t be upset about. Your feet and your dance instructor will be happy you decided to take a chance on these awesome salsa shoes.
  • Quality Material and Construction
  • No Break In Period
  • Easy On and Easy Off
  • Vibrant Pattern
  • Dance All Night with No Pain
  • Superior Price
  • Narrow Fit

13. Very Fine Dance Shoes

13. Very Fine Dance Shoes
This sleek looking pair of salsa shoes come with some extra bells and whistles that will keep your feet feeling great and your dance moves looking like the pros. This closed toe shoe offers a convenient carrying pouch that helps eliminate odors and heel protectors that increase the durability and grip of your heel. The suede bottom and minimal shank give you great flexibility, while the cushioned insole helps reduce shock absorbed by your body. These shoes are great for many types of dancing and will take you through practices, performances, and life’s big events with ease and comfort.
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Comfort for Hours
Those of us who truly love dance must admit there are times we are dancing well past the point of foot pain. When you are out there having fun and showing everyone what you have learned it’s easy to disregard sore feet. The problem with this is when your feet hurt they are trying to tell you something is wrong. Pressure points can lead to skin break down, and raw areas on your feet. This can put your dancing to a stop quickly. The soft form of these salsa shoes and their added layer of cushion paired with great flexibility will keep your feet feeling great. This will allow you to keep the dancing going for hours after most are howling about their feet.

Heel Protectors Included
The heel of your salsa shoes will take a lot of abuse during your dance sessions. In many styles you may find yourself dancing in, you will stop your heels and twist on them, in general, you will put them through a lot of pressure and striking. This will lead to the breakdown of not only the heel but the entire shoe. Many dancers rely on heel protectors to keep their shoes durable and reliable. The inclusion of this items saves you time and overall saves you money. Help your heels last longer and do it with ease, by using the heel protectors included with the Very Fine Dance Shoes.

Cost and Value
Slightly higher priced than some of the other salsa shoes in our guide, the Very Fine Dance Shoes offer more than most. Not only do you get a high-quality pair of salsa shoes you also receive heel protectors, drawstring pouch, sachet, and freshness enhancer. The cost of these salsa shoes includes more which in our opinion makes it a great value and a wonderful addition to the best salsa shoes. You will be able to use these shoes in most styles and in any situation you find yourself in that requires a pair of professional dance shoes.
  • Functional and Stylish
  • Hold Up Through Many Lessons
  • Appropriate for Most Dance Needs
  • Supreme Comfort
  • Quick Release Buckle
  • Difficult Fitting

14. SupaDance 1426

14. SupaDance 1426
If you are inexperienced in wearing heels sticking to a chunky low heel will not only let you practice in a heel while feeling stable on your feet, they also help you build a strong foundation for higher heels. The SupaDance 1426 Latin Practice Sandals will help you feel safe and sturdy on your feet while looking elegant and causing you less distraction over trying to stay up on higher heels. The ankle strap on these beautiful salsa shoes can be worn several different ways and they look good with everything. Supportive and comfortable, feel secure in your shoes which will make you secure in your dancing and take you into dances or competitions you never dreamed of participating in.
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1/2 Inch Block Heel
Dancing in heels can be intimidating to a lot of new dancers. Whether you have weak ankles, you never wear heels, or it’s all just brand new, a block heel can add comfort and security to new dancers. The ½ inch heel gives this salsa shoe great support and structure helping the dancer stay grounded and securely on the floor. As your skill increases you may want to move on to a higher heel but the ½ inch block heel on the SupaDance 1426 Latin Practice Sandals, are a great place to get some heel experience while feeling confident in your feet.

Multiple Ways to Fasten
The extended length of the ankle strap on these salsa gives you options to increase your personal comfort and style choices. You can cross wrap the ankle strap which not only looks great but will help your shoes stay securely where you put them. This also helps to keep the heel in place. If heel placement is a problem for you or you are looking for additional arch support you can wrap this strap around the midsole of your shoes and tighten to your desired firmness. This will provide ultimate stability of your heel by keeping it in place through the fastest of feet flicks and kicks. Variety of wear in your shoes can add to comfort, overall fit, and that customized feel that we are all looking for.

Cost and Value
This superior pair of salsa shoes will take an investment. They are quite expensive but they offer the new dance enthusiast superior stability which leads to great performances. The SupaDance 1426 Latin Practice Sandals have extra cushion and a chunky heel that will lead to better durability. You will be able to wear these shoes for many practices to come and your feet will love you for the superior comfort you get while dancing in them. You will find these shoes are pricey but they will outlast other dance shoes and keep you going for hours and hours.
  • Use for Many Dance Types
  • Perfect for Unsteady Beginners
  • Superior Comfort
  • Durable Design
  • Promotes Stability
  • Cost

15. Werner Kern Ruth

15. Werner Kern Ruth
Modern style with all the qualities we look for in a great salsa shoe is what we find with the Werner Kern Ruth dance shoes. The two inch heels are easy to dance in whether you are an advanced dancer or a beginner. The gentle Napa Leather is supple and fits your feet like a glove. These salsa shoes are exceptionally comfortable, partially due to the flexible latex midsole that moves with you and keeps your foot supported in the correct places while on the floor moving.
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Broad Step Surface
We need to keep our salsa shoe light so, the use of the word broad instantly made us think of extra weight. In the case of the Werner Kern Ruth dance shoes, weight is not an issue and the use of a broad step surface gives your feet extra support and cushion. Most dance shoes lack extra cushion because it decreases flexibility and really weighs the shoe down. These shoes offer support that is strategically placed to help absorb shock but it doesn’t add much weight to the shoe keeping your kicks and flicks fast and perfectly pointed.

Latex Midsole
Werner Kern hit the nail on the head when it comes to superior midsole material for a salsa shoe. Latex easily maintains its shape but also gives ultimate flexibility within your shoes. Keeping the shoe flexible assists the dancer in making sure their feet form perfect lines and move as intended for those tricky dance steps. Improper midsole strength can lead to many problems including falling arches, broken toes, inflamed joints, and overall pain in your legs and feet. The latex midsole will provide comfort and support throughout all your dance sessions

Cost and Value
One of the most expensive shoes in our guide the Werner Kern Ruth dance shoe is worn by some of the most well-known dancers in the world. They build shoes truly made for dancers and if you make the investment you will not be disappointed with the quality, structure, support, and comfort in these salsa shoes. If you haven’t decided if dancing if for you or not you may want to go with a more inexpensive pair of salsa shoes. On the other hand, if dance is your passion, your love, take the leap and try these superior shoes, your feet won’t be disappointed.
  • Elegant Style
  • Great Arch Support
  • Mold to Your Feet
  • Good for Teachers and Students
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Cost

Dance shoes can be incredibly finicky items to buy, the movement of each different dance style being as varied and specific as it is. Salsa demands shoes that you can spin in, with smooth soles and comfortable, snug fits, and it demands shoes that will allow for extended step work, with good support and lots of insole padding. No matter what you do, remember that dance wear needs to be as strongly considered as athletic shoes, and treated with the same consternation when you decide to buy.


Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Salsa Shoes

Criteria Best Salsa Shoes

Outsole Material

One of the most important aspects of your Salsa shoes are the soles. Sliding, gliding, and stopping are different on a dance floor and your shoes need to support that. Salsa dancing also involves stomping and kicking. If your shoes have the wrong outsole you will find your dance will greatly suffer.

Don’t misunderstand us here, you can wear any type of shoe to dance in. However, if you want to look like the pros and dancing is not just something you do for fun but something you work hard to improve at, the right shoes will make a huge impact. Sneakers, dress shoes, loafers, and gym shoes tend to have rubber or polyurethane outsoles. These are great for traction, grip, and durability but on a dance floor sticking feet can lead to injury when the rest of your body is moving. These are features that you aren’t going to find in quality Salsa or Latin dance shoes.

Outsole Material Best Salsa Shoes

The most common materials used for salsa shoes are leather and suede leather. There is also a variety of other soft materials like lambskin and felt, that you may find in your search for superior salsa shoes. The problem with a soft sole is the fact that they are not made to be worn outside, requiring a change of shoes when you get to your dance studio or performance venue. Most people don’t mind changing their shoes, but if this is a problem for you, you may want to opt for a thicker leather sole. Let’s take a minute and look at the pros and cons of the most common sole materials.

Leather Nubuck

  • Good Surface Traction
  • Can Score for Extra Traction
  • Durable
  • Low Maintenance
  • Can Wear Outside


  • Heavier
  • Lower Grip

  • Good Surface Traction
  • Higher Grip
  • Superior Slide
  • Excellent on Highly Polished Floors


  • Higher Maintenance
  • Bad on “Sticky” Floors

Overall, either Leather or Nubuck Suede Leather will help make your performance flawless. It is important to note, any shoe can be turned into a dance shoe. There are many good articles out there to describe how to switch the soles of your shoes. Making your favorite sneaker into a dance shoe is not common but it is possible. Not completely sold that dancing will be your new it thing? That’s OK too, you can also buy stick on soft material outsoles for the shoes you already own. This may save you money and give you a bit more time to decide if an investment in dance shoes is a good choice.



Dance enthusiasts everywhere will tell you that the flexibility of your dance shoe will make or break your dance. One of the most common critiques about dancers is about their feet. Toes that aren’t pointed or a kick that ends with a clubfoot is sure to lose points with the judges. Stiff shoes don’t move with your feet and can inhibit your ability to point your toes and fully flex your ankle.

The difficulty in finding the perfect flexibility is the fact that you can’t sacrifice all of the support of your shoe or you are certain to have pain in your joints and muscles and you could even injure yourself. Salsa shoes are structured to offer top levels of flexibility and provide enough support to keep you moving and feeling great.

Shank Women Best Salsa Shoes

Women’s dance shoes that have a heel have a shank that runs from the heel through the arch of the shoe. This stability and support is crucial. There are different materials used such as metal, vinyl, polyurethane, and plastic. Supporting your arch is needed to keep your feet feeling good and maintaining joint health. All women’s salsa shoes with a heel will have some sort of shank in them. How stiff you buy your shoes is up to you, keep in mind that flexibility leads to excellent kicks and flicks and less time hearing about your toes not being pointed enough.

Shank Men Best Salsa Shoes

Men’s dance shoes can be found with or without a shank. No shank means you will be able to point your toes easier and better than before but your shoe will not hold its shape nearly as well or as long. The lack of shank in men’s salsa shoes also leads to cracking leather. Typically seen in the toe and heel, a loss of structure weakens the shoe overall. When you are beginning this is a decision best left for later. More experienced dancers or people with foot problems will want to think about it sooner and discuss it with your instructor.

The other pieces of your salsa shoes play their part in overall flexibility as well. Taking the time to look at the upper material and knowing that soft bends much easier than stiff, will help keep your shoes moving with you. It is also essential to note, if you have problems with your feet, talk about it with your instructor or doctor before spending a lot of money on salsa shoes. You want to make sure to get the support and structure you need to avoid injury.

Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What should the heel height of my salsa shoes be?

A: There really isn’t a set height for your salsa shoes. You should go with what you are most comfortable in. There are advantages and disadvantages to wearing either low or high heeled dance shoes. Commonly for Salsa and other Latin dance shoes have a one to three-inch heel.

When you look at the shoes you wear frequently, do they have a heel? Finding a no to be your answer may lead you in the direction of a smaller heel when starting dance and this would be a smart decision. Wearing a heel that is too high for your comfort level can lead to twisted ankles, sore arches, and general pain in your feet, ankles, and calves. Starting low is fine and you can work up to higher heels as your skill level progresses. Taller heels make your legs look great and help draw attention to pointed toes, kicks, and flicks, just be careful because unsteadiness in your heels can have you sitting out for quite some time.

On the other hand, if heels are part of your everyday footwear, you may be fine to start dancing in three-inch heels. Wearing high heels is not only a matter of balance but also being used to how your body moves in your shoes. Adjusting can take time if you’re an expert wear whatever heel looks best with your outfit but also keeps you comfortable and supported.

Q: What is the difference between Ballroom and Latin dance shoes?

A: For women, a Latin dance shoe will typically have an open toe and they are strappy. The heel height is usually between one and three inches, with two and a half inches being the standard for Latin shoes. The heel of a Latin dance shoe is not as sturdy as a ballroom shoe’s heel because most of the steps are performed on the ball of the foot. Latin shoes can be worn for ballroom but not the other way around. Ballroom shoes are typically closed toed and offer a sturdy heel. Often, they do not have straps. Due to the increased stability, Ballroom shoes are not nearly as flexible and do not transition well into Latin dances.

For men, a Latin shoe usually has a one and a half inch to two-inch heel. They are made for walking forward on the ball of the foot rather than the heel. They also offer a very flexible sole, making it easy to flex and bend the foot. The lack of shank allows you to point your toes with ease. For the ballroom, the heel height is typically one inch. They are also usually black with a matte finish. They are not as easy to point as a Latin shoe. These shoes are built for walking in a heel to toe motion. Beginners can wear standard ballroom shoes for most types of dance, however, as you move up in ability you will want standard and Latin shoes for competitions.

Q: How do I clean the suede sole of my salsa shoes?

A: This is a great question. Over time, as you wear your suede-soled dance shoes, the Knapp will flatten and matt together. This decreases grip and can cause accidents or falls because of the slickness of the bottom of the shoe. There are a couple ways to clean the bottom of your salsa shoes to ensure you stay on your feet and you are able to continue wearing your favorite dance shoes.

You can clean the soles of your suede salsa shoes with a brush and vitamin E oil. Lightly brush the soles of your shoes, this will help remove wax and debris from the dance floor. Next, you will want to rub one to two drops of vitamin E oil into the bottom of one shoe by rubbing the bottom of the other against it. Do this until the oil is distributed across the entire bottom of your shoe.

Another way to clean your suede soles, if you find yourself on the dance floor with little or no traction, is to lay a damp paper towel off to the side of the dance floor. The moisture when you touch your soles to it will help you stick to the floor better, for a short period of time. This will get you through an evening but you will want to brush and oil your soles when you get done for the evening.

Finding you don’t have time to keep your shoes clean or you simply don’t want to, we have a solution for you, too. You can take your favorite salsa shoes, drop them off at a professional cleaner, and pick them up on your way to practice. This can save a lot of time and effort for those who find they are always on the go. It will cost more than cleaning them yourself but you are sure to have well cleaned ready for dancing salsa shoes.

Q: So many strapping options, which is best?

A: This is a very individualized answer based on your particular feet. Rather than try to answer which is the best, let’s look at the strapping styles and the benefits of each. You can then take a few minutes and think about your feet and past problems you may have encountered to decide which style will be the best.

  • Fixed Loop – A single circle around the ankle this is a common look in women’s dress shoes. It helps to keep the shoe from flying off your foot during kicks or flips but does not provide much support. It also does not do as well as others at locking the heel into place.
  • X Ankle Strap – This strap wraps around the ankle and forms an X across the front. It provides a more locked in feel while keeping your shoe firmly on your foot. These may be seen with or without a loop.
  • X Arch Strap –  Wrapping around the ankle and crossing and then around the arch and crossing, the X Arch Strap is great for beginning dancers. The extra support to the arch of your foot helps to keep your feet feeling great when you aren’t used to such a flexible, unstructured shoe. Important to note, this type of strapping gives you the ultimate security, keeping your shoe firmly attached to your foot.  
  • T Strap – Less stress and pressure on the ankle is part of why people love to wear a T Strap dance shoe. The connection is at the base of the shoe which helps to distribute pressure evenly. Many find this the most comfortable closure.

There are many other varieties in straps, we have found these to be the most common and comfortable. Try different options to find what feels best and can keep you dancing for days to come.

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