Dance Shoes for Ballroom, Swing, Salsa Dancing in Orange County
Nothing is quite as important to dancers as their shoes. They can be an investment, but they are worth it as it is much better to wear dance shoes than street shoes or regular heels when dancing. With ballroom dance shoes, three things are important to bear in mind. Function, safety, and comfort. Shoes should be comfortable and allow you to move safely for the dance. For both men and women, shoes should have a suede sole. Rubber soles grip the floor too much to safely turn or move, while leather soles are too slippery on a dance floor.
Shoes should support the feet. Backless shoes and flip flops also don’t fit in any of the three categories. These will slide off your feet and increase the chances of tripping. Shoes should not be too loose or tight. Many sources will tell you to size down half a size for dance shoes – I actually advise against that, but definitely try to make sure they aren’t too loose.
For those of you learning to dance for a wedding or event, it’s best to break in the shoes you will be wearing that day by wearing them during your wedding dance lessons.
If you are learning for fun or to eventually compete, there are a few other things to consider. Open toe shoes are for Latin and Rhythm dances (Swing, Salsa, Rumba), while closed toe shoes are for the Smooth/Standard dances (Foxtrot, Waltz). Heel height is important to pay attention to. While those 3” heels may look fantastic, consider starting with a lower heel if you don’t typically wear heels. For swing, a low heel is preferred over a tall heel. For men, a 1.5” Cuban heel is the standard for most dance styles if competing.
Give your investment shoes some love. Caring for dance shoes is important. Remember not to get your shoes wet as it ruins the suede, and to not walk outside with them on. Walking outside will ruin the soles. A wire brush will keep your soles from getting too worn down and heel protectors can keep the heel’s sole from wearing down.