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.
- Ellie Lucille
- 2” flared block heel
- Leather and Satin
- Naturalizer Danya
- Criss cross design
- hook-and-loop backstrap
- Delicacy Angel-62
- Smooth Sole
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.
10 Best Salsa Shoes
1. Ellie Lucille
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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 stepwork, with good support and lots of insole padding. No matter what you do, remember that dancewear needs to be as strongly considered as athletic shoes, and treated with the same consternation when you decide to buy.