Ballroom Dance Shoes are the ballroom dancer best friend.
They provide you balance, they are light and… beautiful. At the same time they are difficult to take care, and when you find the perfect pair… its time to buy another one. To help you, we want to provide you some tips we have learned over the years.
The Basics of Ballroom Dance Shoes:
- Buy your first pair of dance shoes in person (store, dance studio or dance competition). You are not obligated to purchase if they do not fit and you can try different ones untill you find the one.
- Most times once you know your shoe size in a brand, other styles run similar in sizing. The better ballroom dance shoes are made in Europe, mainly in UK. You will need to know your size using the UK or European System. You can also use those following links: Men’s Shoe Size Conversion or Women’s Shoes Size Conversion.
- Ladies, your first pair of dance shoes should be nude (tan) because it goes with everything. Then you can go for a black ones or even another colour. The most common colours are Tan and Black.
- Go for a shoe that feel firm. With the time the leather tends to go bigger and you finish with a big dance shoes.
- On the other side, your shoe should feel firm but not too tight. There is a balance…
- If you have a large feet, there are brands that will provide you the same model but with a bigger width, like the UK manufacturer International Dance Shoes. There are also other dance shoes with an expandable front (elastic or buckle).
- To start go for a 2” or 2,5” (6,5 cm) heel. Of course, if you are used to high heels don’t be afraid to try a 3” (8 cm) heel. You will look much better.
- If you have a small feet and you are ok with a low heel, you can choose a Girls dance shoes. You will save a significant saving and the quality is similar.
How to feel comfortable with your dance shoes:
- If shoes are too tight you can stretch them a little by using a traditional shoe stretcher or any type of cylinder (like a vitamin bottle) that fits snugly in the shoe. Carefully wet the under part of the straps (don’t get water on top or you will have water spots). Place stretcher or cylinder inside the shoe and let it dry over night. You may have to do this twice.
- You can also put on a light sock the first couple of time to allow it to stretch without the ouch!
- With the shoe off bend the front part of the shoe almost in a rolling action up and down. This makes the front part of your shoe more flexible so when you point it is easier.
- For Men’s Dance Shoes to stretch them. Sit down with the shoes on and using your hands bend (arch) you foot and then flex your foot and toes. Continue doing this for a while. This would be a great thing to do while watching your favourite program on TV.
How do I extend the life of my Ballroom Dance Shoes?
- If you plan to dance for a while, get a good pair of shoes such as Supadance, International, or Ray Rose. They are expensive but will last longer and will provide solid support for your feet.
- There are a few aids to make shoes last longer: Clear heel tips, replacement heels (easily replaced), heel protectors, and a suede brush.
- If you brush your shoes away from the heel the nap stand us longer.
- Outside of obvious breakage (ie the nail is scratching the floor) these are the times when you should replace your shoes…. when the suaded leather does not come back to a suaded finish when brushing, when the padding inside of them is so flattened that you can see the circles of the nail heads in the heels, when your shoe is stretched so much that you are now slipping, and when you can smell your shoes when you are standing up (haha).