No one forbids to dance in regular shoes. However, wearing special ones, you will feel the difference; you’ll be able to perform all movements fully. If you are serious about dancing, quality and comfortable pair of dance shoes is a must. If you’re looking for recommendations and reviews on specific models, check out https://livethedance.com/. This post covers the basic rules for choosing specialized footwear.
There are universal products you can use for different types of dances; however, you’ll need a specialized pair for some styles. So, here are some standards of the main dance styles:
- Latin dances. Heels should be about 1.5 inches (4 cm) for men and 1.9 to 3.5 inches (5-9 cm) for women.
- European dances. On men’s shoes, a heel of about 0.7 inches (2 cm) is acceptable; on women’s, it should be the same as in Latin dances.
- Ballet. Of course, pointe shoes are considered classics for ballet. Choosing the right model is a tricky task. For rehearsals, it is acceptable to use ballet slippers.
- Jazz dance. In this direction, there are no strict requirements for the height of heels. The main thing is that the sole is soft enough to allow you to perform any movement.
- Hip-hop. Although sneakers are used for sports dancing, not all models will fit. They should be very flexible, have soft soles, and fit snugly.
- Pole dance. You’ll need shoes with thick ribbed soles and very high heels. If you’re a beginner dancer, don’t buy footwear with a heel higher than 2.5 inches (about 6 cm).
Some areas, such as belly or contemporary dance, allow barefoot performing.
Dances can be very different, so shoes should be picked individually for each direction. However, there are some general guidelines to consider when choosing the right model:
- Flexibility is a valuable quality of dance shoes. You can check it by bending the toe. A hard pair will severely restrict movement.
- High heels look very impressive, but it is better to leave such shoes for performances and pros. If you’re a beginner, opt for lower-heel footwear.
- Special dance shoes (particularly leather ones) always stretch, so you do not need to buy shoes half a size larger; they will begin to hang on the foot in a week.
- When trying on, you shouldn’t feel discomfort: rubbing, pressure, or tingling will only worsen in the classroom.
- The ankle strap should be at least 0.3 inches (8 mm) wide, or it’ll dig into your foot.
- An open toe or heel is comfortable and beautiful but unsafe. For the very beginning of classes, you can choose a closed model. However, an open toe will be needed with increasing experience, for example, in Argentine tango.
- The black color for shoes is universal and visually lengthens your legs.
Properly selected dance shoes are the basis of your safety and health. They are designed specifically to protect your feet, as well as provide maximum comfort and freedom of movement. Although dancing in regular shoes is acceptable, it is better to choose a specialized model if you plan to do it all the time.
Please share your tips and tricks for choosing dance shoes! What kind of dance is your favorite? What do you pay attention to when buying footwear in the first place?