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Latin dance shoes are an important addition to any ballroom dancer’s wardrobe. In this article we examine what makes a good Latin dance shoe, and  give our picks for the best Latin dance shoes for 2013.

Latin dance shoes are designed specifically for dancing Latin ballroom dances such as the tango, samba or rhumba. If you’re a ballroom dancer only looking to buy one pair of dancing shoes, then a Latin shoe is your best choice. While all styles of ballroom dance can be performed in Latin shoes, standard ballroom dance shoes are unsuitable for Latin styles.

Latin Dance Shoes For Men

Latin dance shoes for men are typically a black leather oxford lace-up, or a leather slip on shoe with a heel. Men’s Latin ballroom shoes generally have higher heels than a standard ballroom dance shoe, at around 1.5 to 2.5 inches, often called a Cuban heel.

Carpezio Men's Latin Social Dance Oxford

These Capezio latin dance shoes are a good example of a men’s oxford. Click on the image to learn more.

The higher heel helps to position your weight toward the balls of the feet, perfect for executing the typical back and forth steps involved in Latin dances.

Men dancing traditional Argentine tango or a salsa, will often wear shoes fitted with harder heels with a rubber stopper “handbrake” to aid the stop short embellishments of the dances.

Latin Dance Shoes for Women

Unlike a standard ballroom dance shoe which are usually regular closed-toe pumps, women’s Latin dance shoes are generally lightweight, open toed shoe with sandal straps.

The heel typically ranges from 2 to 3.5 inches, and can be quite thin, but still thicker than a stiletto heel. Many Latin dance shoes are made with a flared heel with a wider base for stability. Women’s Cuban or Spanish heels, typically 2 inches high, are wider and easier to balance on, so make a good choice for beginners.

For beginners, it’s important to start learning in a pairs of heels as soon as you can and preferably straight away, rather than relying on a pair of flat practice shoes. If you learn the steps in a flat shoe, you’ll effectively be learning them all over again when you change to heels.

Latin - bloch yvette

These Bloch Yvette shoes are a good example of an open toed shoe with straps that is common for women’s latin dance shoes. Click on the image above to learn more.

Beginners and amateurs should also consider sticking with a pair of flesh colored shoes so as not to draw attention to the feet while still learning the steps.

The Best Latin Shoes – Must Have Features

Latin Dance Shoes Must Have a Thin Suede or Leather Sole

Men’s and women’s Latin dance shoes need to have a smooth sole lined with leather or suede. This provides the perfect amount of traction needed to move effortlessly across the dance floor without sticking. Full rubber soles are not recommended.

The sole also needs to be thin to allow the foot better sensitivity to the floor.

Leather is typically more slippery and therefore has a faster glide than suede, so is often the choice for advanced dancers and also for dances involving a lot of glide such as the Bolero. Suede soles also require regular upkeep with a suede brush to keep them clean and prevent them from wearing slick.

Leather and suede sole shoes are designed for dance floors made of wood. If you’re dancing outside (e.g. a street dance) on on concrete or asphalt, you might be better off choosing latin dance shoes with synthetic or hardened leather soles.  These will  provide a good balance between slide and durability.

Latin - Sansha Nina

These Sansha Nina Ballroom Shoes have a thin suede sole. Click on the image to learn more.

Latin Dance Shoes Must Be Flexible and Lightweight

Latin dance involves a range of different foot movements and angles, particularly for dances such as the Cha-Cha, so shoe flexibility is very important in both the sole and upper.  If your shoe is too rigid it will prevent your foot from moving properly through the dance.

Your foot movement and steps will also be impeded if your shoe is too heavy, so a good Latin dance shoe should be lightweight but still firmly constructed.

Latin - bloch yvette tan

These Bloch Yvette shoes are flexible and light weight. Click on the image to learn more.


Latin Dance Shoes Must Have a Close and Supportive Fit

While Latin dance shoes should be flexible, they still need a firm and secure fit across the whole foot. Not only does this stop the shoe getting in the way of your dance steps, it also helps to prevent injury to your feet, ankles, knees and hips. This is especially important is dances with a focus on hip movement such as the side samba walk.

For men with hard to fit or wider feet, lace-up shoes are preferable to slip-ons as the shoe is secured across the entire  upper foot.

For women, T-strap and X-strap style straps provide a more secure fit than a standard ankle strap. A closed heel will typically provide more foot stability than a strapped open heel.

Arch support is also important as Latin dancing places pressure on the arch.  Improper support can cause the foot to pronate.  Generally, the higher your heels the more arch support you’ll need.

For both men and women, if your foot slides within your shoe, it is too big. While a Latin dance shoe should have a snug fit, the shoe should not cut into your foot in any way nor should your toes be forced over each other. Ladies should have their toes reach just to the end of their shoe.

Latin - Diamant Men's

These Capezio Men’s Social Dance Shoes have a close and supportive fit. Click on the image to learn more.

Latin Dance Shoes Need Good Cushioning

For both comfort and stability, cushioning is important in a Latin Dance shoe especially for dances with a heavier rhythmic step such as the tango. Shoes made especially for Argentine tango will typically be more cushioned.



The top 5 Latin Dance Shoes

Bloch – Yvette

This Latin dance shoe from Bloch is an excellent choice for both beginner and seasoned Latin dancers. Yvette features an leather upper with a suede lined thin and flexible sole. The 2.5 inch flared heel provides a solid balance, while the strappy heel cage offers the stability of a closed heel with the elegance of a strap. This shoe also features a self-locking buckle and a comfortable brushed lining.

Available in natural tan, gold and black, the Yvette runs in medium width from sizes 5 to 11 with half sizes in between.

Latin - bloch yvette

Click on the image above to check on the Bloch Yvette shoes on Amazon.

Pros – Elegantly designed partially closed heel for style and stability

Cons – Runs smaller than street size and can be hard to fit on wide feet.


Sansha Tina: the discount latin dance shoe

Sansha’s Tina Latin dance shoe is good choice for beginners and intermediate dancers looking for a cheaper shoe without sacrificing quality or deign. Tina features a leather and synthetic upper, with a suede sole and a comfortable lining. It is fitted with a 3 inch slightly flared heel and an easy access buckle.

Available in sparkly black or silver. Sansha recommends dancers order one size up from street shoe size.

Latin - Sansha Tina

Click on the image above to check out the Sansha Tina shoes on Amazon.

Pros – Discount price

Cons – Partially synthetic upper is not as flexible as other shoes


Diamant Men’s Latin Dance Shoe

Handcrafted in Germany, it features a soft sheep’s leather upper and a suede lined sole. The brushed lining provides excellent comfort. With a 1.5 inch heel, this is a perfect Latin shoe for men not quite used to dancing in higher heels and can also be used in place of a standard ballroom shoe.

Available in black in sizes 6 to 13 in a medium width, this shoe does have a narrow fit toe so wider feet might need to order a size up.

Latin - Diamant Men's

Pros – durable, handmade construction

Cons – Narrow fit toe


Capezio – Women’s T-Strap

The Capezio T-Strap dance shoe  provides the perfect blend of elegant form and sophisticated function.

Featuring an all leather upper – or leather and synthetic for the metallic option – they have  a soft suede sole and a shortened support shank which means you get all of the arch support you need without sacrificing sole flexibility. The 2.5 inch flared heel together with the cushioned footbed and uniquely designed vamp and T-Strap makes for a comfortable and stable shoe that also fits like a dream to even the most problematic feet. The cleverly designed speed buckle lets you change shoes quickly.

These Capezios are available in black in sizes 5 to 12 in medium width. Wide width is available on some sizes. This shoe runs to street size.

capezio womens t-strap

Click on the image above to check out the Capezio Women’s T-Strap on Amazon

Pros – Comfort cushioning and excellent support.

Cons – Full leather upper only available in black.


Stephanie – Latin T-Strap

This Latin dance shoe from Stephanie provides all over comfort and support with a stunning design and is a great choice for all dance levels. Featuring a leather and synthetic satin upper with a suede sole, the T-strap design and wide set vamp helps to keep your foot firmly in place while the enclosed heel provides firm support from the back. The footbed is fully cushioned. This shoe is available in a 2.5 inch flared heel in either black or natural tan satin from medium width sizes 5 to 9.5 and also comes with a free carry bag.

stephanie latin t-strap

Click on the image above to check out the Stephanie T Strap on Amazon.

Pros – Secure and stable heel and vamp

Cons – Narrow or wide feet may have difficulty in sizing

Whether you’re a mixed style ballroom dancer or your focus is specifically on Latin dance, choosing the right pair of Latin dance shoes will do wonders for your steps and keep your feet happy and now you know what to look for there’s nothing standing between you and your best Latin dance shoes.



Whether you’re stepping up to an old school Jitterbug or shaking your tail feathers to modern swing, your swing dance shoes are going to have a huge impact on the way you dance. From Lindy Hop or Western Swing, Boogie-Woogie to Modern Jive, whatever your swing style, before you take another step, let’s take a look at what makes a good pair of shoes for swing dance.

Swing Shoes for Men

Men will typically wear an Oxford style or Balmoral style lace-up shoe when swing dancing. Captoe or wingtip  oxfords are popular choices and good for traditional style swing dancing like the Lindy Hop  as well as more varied dance like the West Coast Swing.

arris allen

These Aris Allen shoes are a great example of classic swing shoes for men. 

Swing Shoes for Women

For women’s swing shoes, there are a wider variety of options. Some choice come down to personal preference – some prefer flats and others prefer heels; some prefer lace-ups, others prefer a more strappy shoe.

The look is a big part of the swing experience, especially for competitions, so a lot of women, and men too, choose a shoe that suits the fashions of the era from when their style of swing dance was developed. A woman dancing the St. Louis Shag or the Balboa, for example might choose a 1930s or 1940s style of shoe, while a woman dancing Rock and Roll or the Skip Jive might wear something with a more 1950s or 1960s feel.



These Aris Allen Mesh Oxfords are a great example of women’s swing shoes. Click on the image to check them out. 


Other Types of Dance Shoes for Swing

Often women will wear a standard or Latin ballroom shoe with a wide heel for swing dancing, or basic character shoes.

For modern swing, some dancers prefer to wear dance sneakers especially to practice in. As both dance sneakers and men’s swing shoes have a relatively flat sole and only a minimal heel this doesn’t cause too much of an issue with balance or movement. However anyone swing dancing in heels might find an issue switching between dance sneakers and proper swing shoes. Further, dance sneakers have a lot more traction than shoes designed for swing dancing,  so wearing dance sneakers for swing dancing might not be your best choice.

dance sneakers for swing

These Sansha dance sneakers have a suede sole, which is critical for smooth movement on the floor. Click on the image to learn more.

Jazz shoes are another common choice for amateur swing dancers. Jazz shoes might be suitable for some beginners but some styles of jazz shoes, particularly the slippers, do not provide the level of foot support requited in swing dancing. Firmer jazz shoes like jazz sneakers or competition jazz shoes provide better foot support, but if you are choosing to dance swing in jazz sneakers, avoid shoes with built in pivot points and other unique jazz reinforcements.


jazz shoes for swing

These Capezio slip-ons are one of the most popular shoes for Jazz. If you don’t want to invest in shoes specifically for swing and then these are a good choice. Click on the image to learn more.

For professionals and amateurs wanting to step up and get serious about swing dancing, a genuine pair of swing shoes is really the only option.

What Makes a Good Swing Shoe?

While cut and style and even heel height are generally a matter of personal choice for both men and women’s swing shoes, there are a few key characteristics that define good swing shoes.

Swing shoes for kids will feature all of the characteristics of good swing shoes for adults, although the shoe will generally have an all over lighter construction.

Swing Shoes Need A Leather or Suede Sole

As with a lot of dance shoes, swing shoes for both men and women are designed with a smooth sole made of either leather or suede to provides the perfect amount of traction you need to execute your most perfect steps, twists and slides.

Leather or suede is often a personal choice. Suede shoes have a touch more traction than leather, and suede also needs some upkeep to keep them clean and to prevent them from wearing slick. If you’re really serious about your swing dancing, any shoes with rubber bottomed soles should be avoided.

swing - aris allen wingtip bw spats mens

Swing Shoes and Heel Height

Some women and men prefer to do their swing dancing in flat shoes, while others will prefer a heel.

A heel can be beneficial when performing back and forth stepping moves, especially in dances like the Jitterbug as it helps to anchor and guide the balance of the foot.

For swing shoes, heels are generally not higher than 2” and some dancers recommend not going any higher than this particularly for beginners. This goes for both men’s and women’s swing shoes. Some professionals and more advanced dancers do opt for a higher heel.

For dancers who do choose to wear a heel, a wide heel is the best choice for optimal balance and foot placement as well as preventing injuries.

swing - aris allen peeptoe mesh


Swing Shoes Should be Cushioned and Lined

Men’s and women’s swing shoes should have some degree of cushioned lining to protect the feet from the impact of the dance steps. Ideally this should be a supportive foam.

Some swing shoes have rubber built into the soles to increase impact resistance, especially in the heels.

A fabric lining is also important to control moisture resistance as you’re out there swinging up a sweat.

swing - tic tac toe

Swing Shoes Need to Be Supportive but Flexible

Swing dancing involve a lot of footwork, placing the feet in a range of angles, and in some dances, the Balboa for example, it’s all quite fast. To protect your feet from injury while you dance, a supportive shoe is important.

Fully enclosed leather uppers like Oxford style shoes have great foot support. Women choosing a more open style shoe should ensure their shoe is fitted with adequate arch and lateral support as well as secure straps or other closures to keep the foot stable within the shoe.

A good swing shoe will have a secure fit, but won’t be overly tight or allow the foot to slide inside the shoe.

At the same time you want your feet held secure, you also need a shoe with enough flexibility to let your foot move through the full range of motions. Shoe with leather uppers provide a good amount of upper foot flexibility, and open top shoes are the most flexible.

A flexible sole is also important. Good swing shoes are often designed with a split sole for maximum movement, and a lot of high heeled swing shoes will also feature a shorter arch support shaft to allow for greater sole flexibility.

swing - aris allen 1930s oxfords women

The Best Swing Dance Shoes

Aris Allen Heeled Oxfords

These cute heeled ladies Oxfords are just what you need to complete the classic look of the 1930s.

This shoe features an all leather flexible upper that is dotted with mesh openings that not only look great but also provide good breathability. The sole is lined with durable suede that will suit dancers of all skill levels, but while it does feature a wide set heel the 3” height may not suit some beginner swing dancers.

The shoe’s inner features a soft cloth lining and the footbed is fully foamed cushioned for optimal comfort and support.

This is a medium width shoe that runs fairly close to street shoe size, although dancers with wider feet may benefit from ordering a half size up.

swing - aris allen 1930s oxfords women

Pros – Highly flexibly and breathable upper.

Cons – Heel height may be too high for beginners


Aris Allen Wingtips for Men

Men looking for a great swing dance shoe should consider the wingtip spats from Aris Allen. Made with a super slick leather sole for maximum slide speed,  these shoes are designed for intermediate and professional swing dancers though there’s nothing stopping a dedicated beginner from donning a pair. The speed of this shoe suits faster dances like modern jive or rock and roll so beginners could do well to switch to a shoe with more traction to control slower dance steps.

Entirely handmade using high quality durable materials, these sturdy shoes also feature a foam lined footbed for great comfort and support as well as a rubber insert layer in the heel for added impact resistance.

The short lacing system makes this shoe more suitable for someone with a regular or narrow fit foot as the upper shoe fit cannot be adjusted below the midfoot to the toe. Men with wider feet may be better off with a pair of Aris Allen Captoe swing shoes

arris allen

These Aris Allen Wingtips have an slick, leather sole that’s great for high speed dancing. Click on the image to learn more!


Pros – Super sick leather sole for high speed dancing

Cons – Unsuitable for a wide-foot fit


Tic-Tac-Toes Swing Dance Shoes

These women’s swing shoes from Tic Tac Toes are a stylish addiction to any lady’s swing dancing wardrobe and with their discount price, a pair of good quality swing shoes can also mean cheap swing shoes.

Constructed with a high quality leather upper and durable suede soles, this swing shoe also features a cushioned inner with additional heel support and a flexible split sole. The wide set heel is 1.5” and is uniquely constructed for maximum shock absorption.

Because of the unique upper foot strap and slide buckle, this shoe will fit a range of foot types particularly wider feet, but may be a touch too roomy in the toe for narrow feet.

swing - tic tac toe

Click on the image above to check these shoes out on Amazon!

Pros – Cheap swing shoes

Cons – Potentially unsuitable for narrow feet.

Capezio Footlight Characters

Theses character shoes from Capezio are an excellent choice for swing dancing and can also be used for other dance styles. Featuring an all leather upper with a suede sole, the Footlight is also constructed with a non-slip heel counter making it a great shoe for dances with short stop steps.

Fully cushioned for impact resistance and comfort, the Footlight also features a brushed micropoly lining for comfort and moisture control.

The adjustable ankle strap and wide fit makes this a good choice of swing shoe for anyone with wider feet, and it is also available in medium fit, running in half sizes from 4 to 9.5. Capezio claims this shoe runs to street size, however a lot of people recommend ordering a half to a full size up.

The footlight is available in black or tan.

swing - capezio character

The Footlight Characters shoe has a great non-slip counter heel. Click on the image above to check them out on Amazon.

Pros – non slip counter heel

Cons – Fit runs smaller to street size for many dancers.


Aris Allen Peep-toe Mesh Oxford

Inspired by 1904s fashions, the unique construction of these shoes features a combination leather and synthetic mesh upper which provides an impressive look along with excellent breathability. With a flexible suede sole suitable for all levels of swing dancing prowess, these shoes are also constructed with a durable and supportive foam lining for comfort and stability. While these insoles are irremovable, these shoes can also be fitted with custom insoles.

The tapered heel runs from 2” to 1.5” wide and is 2” high, a perfect match of stability and height to help counter your balance while you dance.

Available in black and white, while these shoes run true to size for most dancers, the upper foot design might lead dancers with a higher instep to choose a half size up.

swing - aris allen peeptoe mesh

These Aris Allen swing dance shoes have a mush upper for greater breathability. Click the image to find out more.

Pros – Mesh upper provides excellent breathability

Cons – Upper shoe design might be hard to fit on dancers with a high instep.

Whatever your swing dance, whatever your foot type, there are a pair of swing shoes out there for your feet, matching flare with functionality. Now we’ve seen what to look for in a good swing shoe and looked at some of the best available on the current market, it’s time to hit the dance floor!



Clogging shoes – We Review the Top 5!

If ever there was a unique dance that required a truly unique shoe, it’s clogging. Clogging shoes are, in a lot of ways what makes clogging clogging, so choosing the right pair of clogging shoes is one of the most important steps you’ll take in learning your dance.

In this article we’re looking at what makes a great pair of clogging shoes and then taking a look at the top 5 clogging shoes available in 2013.

What Is a Good Clogging Shoe?

In theory, any shoe with a strong enough sole can be adapted into a clogging shoe with the fixing of taps. However, clogging shoes have special characteristics engineered specifically to suit this style of dance.

Clogging Shoes Have a Double Tap

Unlike single tapped tap shoes, the unique percussion of the clogging dance comes from the double taps on the soles of the shoes. Typically, clogging shoes have two taps on the toe and two on the heel.

Some shoes come with clogging taps already attached, although many are designed to have separately bought taps attached. Taps are either nailed on or glued in place, and your choice of which will depend on the type of tap you’re buying and the type of shoe you’re wanting to fit it to.

There are a number of different types of clogging taps available, each suiting a different dance style as well as dance floor surface.

Buck Taps are hard taps made with a flange, an extra piece of metal to protect the toe during buck steps.

clogging buck taps

Bell Taps are strong but lightweight taps with a rounded toe and produces a crisp metallic sound.  They are easy wearing on studio floors, but are not suitable for dancing on rough surfaces such as concrete.

Liberty Bell taps are light steel round toe taps without holes in the floor plate. Like the Bell Tap, the Liberty tap is easy on the dance floor.

Clogging Shoes Need Sturdy Construction

There is a lot of heavy and often aggressive footwork involved in clogging so your clogging shoes need to be built tough. From the under sole to the upper, clogging shoes need to be built with hard wearing material, preferably with reinforced stitching. Leather uppers are preferable for clogging shoes.


bloch clogging tap-flex

This clogging shoe from Bloch has a leather upper. Notice the taps on the bottom of the forefoot. Click on the picture to check the out on Zappos.

Clogging Shoes Need A Hard Sole

The soles of your clogging shoes are going to take quite the beating and need to be strong enough to face up to the challenge. The sole also needs to be strong enough to anchor your taps, especially if you’re opting for nail on taps. Most modern clogging shoes are made with a heavy duty rubber or leather soles, though some are made from wood.

A split sole is also important as this allows for flexibility in the foot movement, but perhaps more importantly, it facilitates the different striking patterns between the heel and the toe during the dance.

Some clogging shoes are also designed with soundboards built into the sole to help amplify the percussive sounds of the taps.

clogging shoes - dance class kids

Clogging Shoes Need A Heavy Based Heel

A heavy based heel is part of a good split sole clogging shoe. Ideally, the clogging shoe heel should be stacked, meaning they should be built of layers of have duty material. A lot of stacked heel clogging shoes are made of hard rubber, though some incorporate wood and others use reinforced leather. The heel should be low and wide.

clogging shoes - sansha mens

Clogging Shoes Need A Snug Fit

During your dance, your clogging shoe needs to move as an extension of your foot so a close fit is important. This is not only important for the execution of your dance steps, but also the health and safety of your feet. Most formal clogging shoes will be lace up shoes and whichever lacing system your shoe has, it should close the shoe securely across your forefoot.

If your foot slides inside your shoe, your shoe is too big. However, while you do want a close fit, you’re not going to want to cram your foot inside a too small shoe as this can also be serious injury risk. Remember when fitting shoes, leather uppers will stretch where synthetic materials will more or less stay the same size.

clogging shoes - dance class womens white

Clogging Shoes Need Good Impact Resistance

A hard rubber or leather sole will provide some level of impact resistance, but you’re also going to look for a clogging shoe with some extra degree of padding and support. Some clogging shoes are also made with a reinforced toe box for toe stands.

The best clogging shoes are lined with shock absorbing fabric cushioning. Preferably, choose a shoe that also incorporates moisture absorbing material into the shoe’s lining to help keep your feet dry, cool and healthy.

clogging shoes - capezio

Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Clogging Shoes

While clogging taps are the same for men and women, there are a few marginal differences between clogging shoes for men and shoes for women.

Men will typically wear a sturdy Oxford style shoe while women have far more variation in shoe style, and some women also dance in Oxfords.

A man’s clogging shoe may also have a slightly lower heel than a woman’s and also be an all round heavier shoe.

The Top 5 Clogging Shoes Reviewed

Choosing the best clogging shoe for your dance needs does involves a lot of personal preference, matching your dance shoe to your dance style and the unique shape of your foot.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on good clogging shoes, with numerous discount options available. Used clogging shoes are also a good choice for a lot of clogging dancers. Just knowing what to looking for is an important step in choosing the right pair of clogging shoes for your preferences.

Now we’ve covered the basics of good clogging shoes , let’s look at some great examples of Clogging shoes available right now.

Lace up tap shoes from Theatrical

These high quality men’s tap shoes from Theatrical can be easily adapted to fit your clogging taps.  They’re not only a sharp looking clogging shoe, it’s also built with the sturdiest material, an all leather upper and a compacted hard layer  sole with a heavy duty heel.

This is a hand stitched shoe and is available in black have are true to size.

adult lace up tap shoes

Click on the image to check these great clogging shoes out on Amazon

Pros – Durable leather construction and true to size.

Cons – More of a tap shoe than a clogging shoe, but can be used for clogging.


Dance Class Women’s Split Sole Oxford

This Oxford style women’s clogging shoe from Dance Class features a synthetic upper with reinforced stitching, and a sturdy yet flexible rubber split sole with a 0.75” stacked heel.

This clogging shoe is also lined with a soft fabric interior to provide additional cushioning as well as moisture control. The padded collar and tongue also ensure a secure fit.

Available in black. This clogging shoe does not come with built in taps.

clogging shoes - dance class womens

These split sole oxford clogging shoes are a great choice.  Click on the image to check them out!

Pros – cushioned lining

Cons – Synthetic Upper may be prone to cracking after wear.


Dance Class Little Kid Big Kid

For clogging shoes for kids, you can’t look past these Little Kid Big Kid clogging shoes from Dance Class. With an all leather upper and a combined leather and rubber sole, and durable stacked heel, these kids’ clogging shoes are built to last. They are also fitted with a tough toe box.

Dance Class has fitted these clogging shoes with a moisture absorbent terry cloth lining as well as a cushioned insole for maximum impact resistance.

Little Kid Big Kids are available for both little and big kids with children’s sizes from toddler and up, and a medium width.

clogging shoes - dance class kids

These Dance Class clogging shoes are one of the top choices for kids. Click on the image above to check them out!

Pros – high quality leather uppers. Built in toe box.

Cons – Taps need to be bought separately


Dance Class Women’s Full Sole Oxford

If you’re looking for a cheap pair of clogging shoes, these women’s full soled Oxfords are a worthy consideration. They are made with a durable synthetic upper and hardwearing rubber sole with stacked heel. These shoes are also fully lined to provide optimal comfort.

Available in white, the elongated cut of the shoe is perfect for elegant toe pointing execution.

clogging shoes - dance class womens white

These Dance Class women’s oxfords are inexpensive and a great choice for someone on a budget. Click on the image to check them out. 

Pros – Innexpensive

Cons – Synthetic upper not as durable or comfortable as leather shoes


Capezio Xtreme

Capezio is one of the leading manufacturers of dance shoes, and this Women’s Xtreme Tap shoe firmly lives up to the brand’s reputation.

Featuring an all leather upper with a durable synthetic sole and hard wearing stacked heel, these Xtreme tap shoes will treat your feet right step after step.

They are lined with a soft polyester cotton moisture controlling fabric that is also treated with anti-microbial agents to ensure your feet stay dry and healthy. They also come with a cushioned insole constructed from durable pigskin and moisture absorbing foam.

These shoes are fitted with Teletone toe and heel taps, though can be easily refitted with your choice of clogging taps. The taps are mounted on a spring steel soundboard for extra percussive resonation, and an additional steel plate between the insole ad the outsole provides that extra bit of security to keep your taps where they should be,

Capezio Xtreme Tap shoes are available in Black, Caramel and Tan. Available in both men’s and women’s sizes that run true to street shoe sizes.

clogging shoes - capezio

Pros – In built soundboard. Moisture controlling anti-microbial lining.

Cons -  Soft toe doesn’t allow for toe stands.

From kids clogging shoes to clogging shoes for men and women’s clogging shoes, the choices are easy when you know what to look for.  Whatever clogging style you’re setting your feet to, there’s a pair of clogging shoes out there to suit your rhythms.



Whether it’s for casual dancing or you’re headed to the competitions, the perfect salsa dance needs the perfect salsa shoes, and in this article we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about salsa shoes before you start looking for that perfect pair.

What makes a good pair of Salsa Shoes?

As salsa is a type of Latin ballroom dance, salsa shoes have a lot in common with other ballroom dance shoes, although shoes for salsa do have some key characteristics to look out for.

Salsa Shoes Need a Leather or Suede Sole

Like ballroom dance shoes, salsa shoes should have a sole made of either leather or suede to enable you to step and spin with ease.

For beginners, the slipperiness of a leather sole can take a bit of getting used to. Some early dancers wear slightly scored leather soles to provide a small amount of traction while they’re learning.

You don’t want too much traction though. Shoes with too much grip can cause the feet to stick to the floor which risks serious injury if your feet stay in one place while the rest of your body follows through with the motion.

Which is better – leather or suede? Both provide excellent surface traction for dancing although suede soles do require some upkeep as they tend to collect grime and also wear slick after a bit of use. Cleaning your suede soles with a specially designed suede sole brush will help keep your suede soles in pristine condition.


These Roymall Latin Dance Shoes have a suede sole. Check them out on Amazon by clicking on the image.

Salsa Shoes Need to Provide Flexibility and Support

A good pair of salsa shoes needs to provide enough flexibility to allow your feet to move naturally with the step, but at the same time the shoe needs to support your heel and arch and keep your foot firm and stable and prevent injury.

Salsa shoes don’t require the same degree of flexibility as some other dancing shoes but you will want a pair with some give.

Leather or firm synthetic shoes provide better all over foot support than shoes made of canvas or other cloth.

sasla - mens stephanie

These DanceNWear shoes have a spit sole for increased flexibility. Click on the image to check them out.

Salsa Shoes Need Inner Cushioning

Salsa shoes are generally more padded than other types of dancing shoes. Good cushioning not only protects your feet from injury, but also provides shock absorption to protect your ankles, knees and hips while you dance.

The best salsa shoe will provide cushioning throughout the entire shoe inner and not just across the footbed area.

salsa - capezio ashley

These Capezio Ashley Sandals have bult in cushioning. Click on the image to learn more.

Salsa Shoes Need a Moderate and Wide Heel

While salsa dancing,  your weight moves around the foot – from ball of the foot to the heel and back again. A raised heel makes this movement easier, helping to correct your weight placement and smoothly alter your posture.

For men and women, a 1” to 2” heel is ideal.

For men’s salsa shoes, some dancers prefer to wear a wedge style heel. This provides elevation of the sole while still retaining the full foot contact with the floor to better judge your step. Other men will happily wear a Cuban heel or standard style of ballroom dance shoe with no problems.

To allow for comfortable and firm weight placement, the heels on women’s salsa shoes should be wider than a standard ballroom shoe, so look for a wide heel or a flared heel.

salsa - sansha nina nude

The Sansha Nina Ballroom shoe have a wider heel that is ideal for salsa. Click on the image to learn more.

Salsa Shoes Need an All-Over Secure Fit

A well-fitting salsa shoe is imperative for performing your best dance as well as providing the stability and comfort you need for foot health and safety.

With so much back and forth movement, a salsa shoe needs a snug fit all over the foot, and especially in the heel. For this reason, many salsa dancers prefer a closed heel rather than a sling back strap.

Shoes with buckles or laces are preferable to slip on shoes for both men and women’s salsa shoes.

salsa - so danca practice

These DanceNWear ballroom shoes have a buckle that provides a secure and safe fit. Click on the image to learn more!

What Are The Best Salsa Shoes?

Some salsa dancers recommend training in a pair of dance sneakers or jazz shoes, before moving onto salsa shoes while you’re still learning. However, other recommend putting on a pair of genuine salsa shoes from the beginning. When you’re learning your steps, you’re learning how to move and balance. Changing from one set of shoes to another forces your feet into a different balance which can impede your learning. So, getting into a good pair of salsa shoes from the beginning is your best way to start your dancing out on the right foot.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good pair of salsa shoes and there are a lot of options available for buying cheap salsa shoes.

In this section, we’re reviewing the best shoes for salsa dancing available in 2013, looking at all of the features that makes a good salsa shoe as well as shoes that offer excellent value for money.

Carpezio Katusha

These salsa shoes from Capezio will suit beginners and pros alike.  The Katusha features a flexible sole and suede outsole. The heel is wide and centered to provide maximum stability and the inner is fully cushioned, providing excellent comfort and shock absorption to protect the feet.

These shoes ensure a perfect fit with an adjustable ankle strap and T-bar, and the buckle is also self-locking so you can get in and out of them quickly.

Katusha are the perfect balance between sophisticated elegance and value for money. They are available in several colors are come in a medium width.


Check out the Carpezio Katusha Salsa Shoes by clicking on the image above!

Pros – Self-locking buckle very useful for quick costume changes.

Cons – Rhinestones might not be suitable for some professional competitions.

Capezio Ashley

Capezio’s Ashley are excellent shoes, engineered to the unique movements of the salsa dance. Ashley follows the natural flexibility of the moving foot while the multiple interwoven straps, T-bar and adjustable ankle strap provide a secure and comfortable fit. Ashley also has a leather sole for perfect traction.

The lining of this salsa shoe is particularly impressive, with a unique dual layer memory foam construction allowing articulated cushioning around the entire foot that adheres perfectly to your foot every time you put your shoes on. There is also a slightly thicker cushion point under the heel for extra support.

The lining is also made of moisture absorbent, anti-fungal material to ensure maximum breathability, comfort and foot health.

Ashley features a 2 inch flared heel and is available in cinnamon tan, in either medium or wide width.

salsa - capezio ashley

Click on the image above to learn more about the Capezio Ashley.

Pros – Excellent cushioned, memory foam lining with unique moisture controlling properties

Cons – The added padding on the heel may alter the comfort of the fit for some dancers.

Stephanie Men’s Professional Standard

These men’s salsa shoes from Stephanie are an excellent option for any man wanting a professional standard of dance shoes at a value for money price.

With soft black leather uppers, these shoes feature a flexible split leather sole for maximum maneuverability. They also feature a unique five hole lace deign to ensure a perfect fit across the top of the foot, as well as a padded insole for comfortable cushioning. The sides are also perforated to allow for breathability and moisture control.

The 1” heel gives enough leverage to support the full range of salsa movements without being too high to impede sensitivity to the floor while dancing.

sasla - mens stephanie

Click on the image above to learn more about these men’s Stephanie salsa shoes!

Pros – perforated leather sides

Cons – soft leather upper can mark and wear easily

Sansha Nina

Nina is an elegant salsa shoe from Sansha, perfectly matching performance with a discount price. Nina features a suede sole with a flexible footbed. The Nina is fully lined and the delicate satin finished straps, with an x-strap ankle provide a comfortable and secure fit. The heel is 3” which makes these salsa shoes a touch higher than standard salsa shoes, but more experienced dancers should accommodate easily.

The Nina is available in tan or black. These shoes do run very narrow so consider ordering a size up from your street shoe size.

salsa - sansha nina nude

Click on the image above to learn more about the Sansha Nina Salsa Shoe

Pros – discount salsa shoes

Cons – Tight, narrow fit. Heel may be a touch high for beginner salsa dancers.

DanceNwear Closed Toe Ballroom Salsa Shoe

This salsa shoe from DanceNwear  is a perfect option for beginner dancers or those looking for a pair of authentic but cheap salsa shoes to practice in.

This enclosed shoe, with a suede sole and synthetic upper, provides excellent stability and support. The covered toe is also a good choice for anyone teaching a beginner to dance and wanting that extra protection on their toes.

The buckle strap provides excellent fit, adjustable to just about any foot shape and the lining ensures a comfortable and cushioned support.

Available in black or tan, DanceNwear offers this salsa shoe in a good range of sizes from 4.5 to 10. For most feet, this comfortable salsa shoe will run true to street size.

salsa - so danca practice

Click on the image above to learn more about the DanceNwear Closed Toe Ballroom Shoe

Pros – Cheap option for a good pair of practice shoes

Cons – Synthetic uppers might not offer the durability of a leather shoe and are not as breathable.

Whatever style of salsa you’re dancing, there are a pair of salsa shoes out there to give your feet the security and comfort and maneuverability you need. With our must read guide, now there’s nothing standing in the way of you finding your perfect salsa shoes and dancing your way to exciting new heights.


Jazz shoes are one of the most common types of dance shoes.  However, with so many options to pick from, the choice can be overwhelming. In this guide, dance expert Susan Swanson points out the top four characteristics to look for in a Jazz shoe.  Whether you do jazz and hip-hop or rock’n'roll and dance aerobics, after reading this article you should be confident that your jazz shoes are assisting you to be the best dancer you can be.

best jazz shoes

The Block Super Jazz shoe are one of the most popular on the market and at only $40, one of the most affordable too! Click on the image to learn more.

Without further ado, here are the four characteristics to consider when buying a pair of jazz shoes

1. Jazz shoes should made from breathable materials

Let’s face it, when you’re dancing you get hot. So, choosing a shoe made from a breathable material is a must.  The top option is a durable leather. It’s breathable, long lasting and gives that “glove” fit after broken in becoming soft and form fitting.  There are many  Jazz shoes available in leather, including the dance boots and some slip on dance shoes.

For those looking for something  inexpensive, canvas Jazz shoes are another great option. Canvas is a breathable fabric, so it will keep you cool.  Also look for shoes with breathable mesh panels, which are a common feature in Jazz shoes and serve to ventilate the foot during an intense dance session.

These Capezio’s are easy to find on sites such as Amazon and are extremely affordable. Notice the elastic/lycra mesh side panels that give these shoes a added breathable feature.


2.  Choose a sole that meets our specific needs and experience level

The sole of most Jazz shoes are made from rubber.  Rubber soles are sturdy, durable and comfortable during the spins, piroettes & jumps that are part of many jazz routines.

Beginners should generally stick with a flat or small heel rubber sole. In these shoes, the traction is evenly distributed throughout the sole.   More advanced dancers may consider a split-sole version that offers more flexibilty for the dancers foot.   Split sole shoes have  front and rear panels, but no sole in the middle of the foot. The two panels often are rough bottomed to give that needed grip to stay steady on the dance floor. Split soles are advantageous for the spins and high kicks of the more common dance steps such as when doing your battements as having that grip bottom helps steady your steps as you execute the steps and steadies your step as you prepare and execute your high steps.   These Bloch Split Sole trainers below have split soles. Notice that the front and bottom parts of the shoe touch the ground, but the middle does not.


Dancing takes a toll on your feet. It’s therefore essential that your Jazz shoes have an optimal fit in order to maximize your comfort.  One important aspect to consider is whether the shoe material will stretch.  For example, canvas generally does not stretch.  Therefore any fit you feel at the time of purchase will stay there throughout the life of the shoe.  On the other hand, be mindful that leather does stretch.  This means you may want to pick a leather shoe that is on the snug side, as after some use it will stretch and become looser. Another option is to choose a shoe with elastic gore.  Elastic gore refers to stretch panels inserted into the sides of the shoe that allows it to stretch according to your foot.  This slip-on Sansha found at Amazon.com,  shown below, has stretch panels for an optimal fit.

best jazz shoes

The Sansha Moderno Leather Slip-On consistently gets high reviews from Jazz dancers. Click here to learn more.

4. Choose a Jazz shoe that looks good!

While your foremost consideration should be on choosing a jazz shoe that is breathable, has an appropriate sole and fits well, you also want to look good in the process!

There are various designs and colors in Jazz shoe styles to keep you looking stylish and to fit your personality.  There are low rise, one of the most common.  These shoes can have buckles, resemble a Mary Jane or tap type of shoe.  There are high rise choose too that are more supportive to the tiring ankles.  Some of these do sport buckles or straps too.  Although black and tan are the most common colors, there are others too choose from as well or sometimes just a splash of color here and there. Even if you prefer the more recognized simple styles, you can find some options there too, such as this sleek version from Bloch found at Zappos.com



Check out the Bloch Neo Flex Slip-On by clicking on the image.

Now that you know what to look for when purchasing Jazz shoe, here is our list of the top 5 Jazz shoe brands:

1.  Capezio Jazz shoes

 If you want a brand that is has a reputation in the dance world, Capezio is it.  They makes dance shoes for many styles of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz along with dancer wear such as leotards, tights and other dance related accessories.  They are one of the top dependable and hugely popular brands for many, many years.  You can not go wrong with any of the Capezio Jazz shoe options.   There are a number of options for Jazz shoe styles, whether lace-up, slip-on, high-top etc, and Capezio also have some cute buckle versions, such as this version in light tan. One of the best value and most popular are the Carpezio Economy Jazz Slip On, which you can find on Zappos, here.


Checkout Zappos’ great range of Carpezio Jazz shoes by clicking here!

2.  Bloch  Jazz shoes 

If you want edgy, up to-date style shoes and more variety of colors, Block is what you’re looking for.  This brand is well known and very popular within the hip hop based jazz scene. Also, some of Bloch styles can be used for boys and men, a group that unfortunately still does not have as many options as the girls and women.  Bloch jazz shoes come in many  popular styles, including the split-sole, lace-up and high top over the ankle versions. These Bloch jazz shoes for men are made of supple leather  for a snug ballet fit, along with laces for a secure feeling.



Click to hear to shop of Bloch jazz shoes


Bloch’s dance sneakers are also very popular for Jazz, and they come in a great range of styles & colors, are made of durable canvas material and are still very affordable. Check them out here. 


Check out these great Bloch Jazz sneakers by clicking on the image.


Check out Bloch’s Neo-Flex, a great beginner unisex Jazz shoe for boys and girls alike.


Click on the image to check out the Bloch Neo Flex on Amazon

 Sansha Jazz shoes

Sansha’s  makes great over-the-ankle-top boots, some with buckles or straps.  They carry both suede and canvas dance sneaker’s that are  incredibly light and flexible. Features include  lace-up front’s, turn spot on sole, split-soles, and some with  shock absorbers in the heel of the shoe  and an inner padded sole and toe area  for additional comfort.  Sansha makes both low and high profile Jazz shoes. Their styles have fantastic bright colors , but they do make more traditional, black, tan or  white colors in their Jazz dance boot and Jazz sneakers. You can check their various models out here.

best shoes for jazz

The Sansha Soho Lace-Up Jazz Shoe is a crowd favorite! Check the out by clicking here.

4. Saucony Jazz shoes

Our fourth choice for a great Jazz dance sneaker is Saucony:  This lace-up is stylish and is super comfortable. Available in a wide range of cool colors, the Jazz Lo Pro is very light weight. It also features inside padding in the tongue, heal and arch area adding to more shock absorption.  This shoe is just so comfortable and stylish it can be worn for a variety of other activities too. Check out the great range of Saucony Jazz Shoes, here.

saucony jazz shoes

These Saucony Originals Jazz Low Pro have five stars on Zappos are are by far, one of the most popular on the market. Click on the image to learn more.

Next question you may ask is where to purchase your new Jazz shoes?

There are many options for purchasing Jazz shoes online.  Zappos is a favorite for their famous customer service, including free returns! For discount Jazz shoes, consider payless.com, which has jazz shoes starting from as little as 26.99. Amazon and ebay are also great places to find quality and inexpensive jazz shoes.  For example, have a look at these great pair of tan Capezio lace ups from Amazon for only 19.40!

tan jazz shoes


Just remember to take your time and find a shoe that is breathable, has a sole that is both durable & flexible,  fits correctly,  and also looks good!  Then get out there and enjoy your spins, leaps, pirouettes, all the while dancing yourself into a physically, mentally and healthier you!

tango charlotte

The tango is a very unique dance, full of fire and passion so when dancing the tango you’ll need a unique pair of shoes that will help you perform your most perfect and most passionate dance.

Tango shoes, like a lot of other dance shoes, are designed to not only make your legs and feet look beautiful, but also help you dance better.

Why can’t you use your regular ballroom dance shoes for dancing tango? For amateurs, this might be OK, but anyone learning the real art of tango will understand that ballroom tango and Argentine tango are two very different dances. Authentic Argentine tango shoes, like the Comme Il Faut brand, feature leather uppers and soles, and are more flexible and generally more comfortable than generic dancing shoes.

If you’re getting serious about Argentine tango, then you’re going to need the right pair of tango shoes. In this article we’re going to show you how to choose the right pair of tango shoes for your feet and your dance, and also review the best tango shoes available in 2013.

What Makes A Good Pair of Tango Shoes?

While there are different characteristics that make different shoes more suitable to different dancers, good tango shoes for both men and women have a few overall key characteristics.

Tango Shoes Should Have Leather or Suede Soles

The soles of men’s and women’s tango shoes should have a leather or suede sole. This enables you to pivot and slide smoothly while providing traction enough so you won’t slip.

tango shoes scarlet

Mythique makes authentic Argentine tango shoes. The soles are made from either leather or suede. Click on the picture to purchase.

Tango Shoes Should Have Soft Lining

Tango shoes need to be comfortable, so you’ll ideally be looking for shoes that have a soft lining, preferably leather.

As long as your foot is comfortable and the padding does not impede your flexibility nor your sensitivity to floor contact, the choice of lining thickness is generally personal.

mens tango shoe santa fe

These tango shoes for men from Neuva Epoca have a breathable and moisture-absorbent calfskin lining. Click on the picture to purchase.

Tango Shoes Should Have Thin, Flexible Soles

A thin sole is important as it enables you to feel the ground, assisting with your balance and foot placement. This is important for men but particularly important for women’s high heels. The sole also needs to be flexible to enable it to move with the natural contours of your feet and your rhythm.

In regular ballroom dance shoes, the sole will be supported by a steel shank (flat metallic strip) to prove arch support. In Argentine tango shoes, this shank is considerably shorter to enable greater shoe flexibility.

tango shoes persefone

This handmade tango shoe from Mystique has a thin, flexible sole. Click on the picture to purchase.

Tango Shoes Need Heels

High heels are a cornerstone of the tango. Not only do heels make your legs look elegant, the heel also helps you maintain balance when stepping. During the tango, your balance is set slightly forward and a high heel helps to offset this and maintain stability.

Beginners not used to wearing high heels often choose to start in lower heels and work up to the higher heels while their ankle strengthens. Same too with beginners choosing a wider heel and then working their way up to a stiletto.

Dancers with longer feet can generally more easily adapt to higher heels as there is less gradient between toe and heel.

Heels generally range between 2 to 3.5 inches (5 to 9 centimeters) for women. For men’s tango shoes, the typical Cuban heel height of 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) is generally sufficient, but men can choose higher or lower depending on their preferences.

tango shoes - lilit

Mythique allows you to choose the height of your heel. Choose 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 inches. Click on the picture to purchase.

mens ballroom latin


Tango Shoes Need A Secure Fit

A secure fit is vital. A well-fitting shoe not only keeps your dance steps on track, it also protects your feet and legs from injury.

Your foot should not slide in your tango shoe, and if it does, your shoes are too big. Your shoes need to be just longer than your feet – a 0.5cm length difference is ideal. Shoes that are too long increase your risk of tripping and stepping on your partner’s toes.

The right width is also important to keep your foot stable. When fitting for your width, remember that leather shoes will stretch, and natural leather and suede will stretch more than patent leather or shoes designed with satin.

tango livia

These Mythique Women’s Tango Ballroom shoes have excellent fit. Make sure to consult the sizing diagram before purchasing. Click on the picture to check them out.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Tango Shoes

Heel Cage and Straps

Your choice between an open or closed heel cage is a personal one, and most beginners worried about the security of their feet will choose a closed heel cage and or a closed toe. Open cages are still secure, especially with thicker straps. Some shoes have a combination style cage.

All straps should fit snugly but not bind or cut the feet in anyway.

tango charlotte

Do You Need Practice Tango Shoes?

Most tango experts recommend practicing in the same shoes you’ll be wearing to your milonga, and don’t recommend practicing in flats, low heels or fitness trainers. Balance is an important part of learning the tango and switching between low and high heels impedes your balance training. Besides, the high tango heel is a pillar of the tango dance tradition.

Now we know what makes a good tango shoe, let’s turn to looking at some good choices for tango shoes currently available.

Mythique Lilit

Handcrafted in Argentina, these Lilit tango shoes from Mythique are perfect for beginners and tango pros alike. They feature a leather sole with a soft suede upper, and are slightly padded to ensure excellent comfort and fit. The Lilit has a partially open heel cage for that more elegant look while still providing the foot protection that comes with a full heel cage.

tango shoes - lilit

Click on the picture to check out the Mythique Lilit on Amazon

Available in black and gold, in narrow, medium or wide width, and a range of heel sizes from 5 to 9 centimetres.

Pros – Soft suede upper

Cons –  The narrow heel might not  suit beginner dancers

Mythique Livia

The austere look of the Livia tango shoe presents a bold statement about your dance, speaking to the authentic Argentine tango traditions from the streets of Bunes Aires. Handmade in Argentina, the Livia is crafted from soft, durable leather with excellent stability from all angles across the foot and ankle.

The fully enclosed upper provides good protection for the foot, especially suitable for beginners and those with less experienced partners who might tend to step on your toes. The wide but still high heel is a good choice for beginning dancers who would like to start dancing in high heels but still have the foot protection of a full shoe before moving onto something more strappy.

tango livia

Click on the picture to check out the Livia tango shoe

Shown here in black natural leather, it’s also available in patent and lame. The Livia heel height ranges from 5 to 9 centimetres.

Pros – Excellent all over foot protection

Cons – The fully closed in look might not be suited to all dancer’s tastes, and your formal competitions may have some rules against this style of shoe for aesthetic purposes.

VFS Party Series

For the boys looking for a good pair of men’s tango shoes, these Party Series shoes from VFS are a fine choice. Not only do these shoes look fantastic and provide the real flare that a tango dance inspires, they’re also built with all of the features that define an excellent pair of tango shoes. They are all leather, with a suede sole and a cushioned insole for comfort.  They’re very versatile and are good for ball room, standard or smooth dancing. If you wear these, you’ll be sure to receive compliments on your style!

The heel is standard at 2.5cm.


VFS Party Series

Click on the picture to check out this Men’s tango shoe


Pros – Stylish with a cushioned insole for comfort.

Cons – Has been reported to be tight across the toes.


Mythique Scarlett

Another fine women’s tango shoe from Mythique, the Scarlett feature a vibrant red and black suede and patent leather upper and leather sole. The closed toe and enclosed heel cage provides excellent foot protection and the T-bar strap design provides a secure and flexible fit while still delivering an elegant shoe.

Like all Mythique shoes, the Scarlett is handmade in Argentina and can be customised to suit your specific tango shoe needs.

Heel sizes are available from 5 to 9 centimetres.

wonen's tango shoes scarlet

Click on the picture to check out these women’s tango shoes on Amazon.

Pros – the best of both worlds with a closed in toe and heel cage as well as T-bar straps

Cons – the standard toe box can feel a little narrow on some feet and some customisation may be required before purchase.

Mythique  Charlotte

Mythique’s Charlotte tango shoes are an excellent choice for dancers looking to add a little vibrant colour to their tango  shoes. The charlotte’s feature an all suede upper and a fine leather sole. The strappy, open toed design delivers exceptional flexibility while the partially enclosed heel cage provides excellent stability while still maintaining the elegance of an open cage.

They are made with a built in padding point of the ball of the foot to provide increased support during pivot movements.

Available in scarlet and burgundy with heels ranging from 5 to 9 centimetres.

tango charlotte

For dancers looking for a shoe similar to the Charlotte but with a more subtle colouring, the black and silver Mythique Persefone is a worthy alternative.

tango shoes persefone

Pros – vibrant colouring on soft suede uppers

Cons – the added pivot support might not be suitable for all foot types or dancing styles.

With everything the tango dance has to offer for both your body and your soul, fitting the right pair of tango shoes is an absolute must for any tango dancer. From beginner to professional, men and women, the best tango shoes are easy to find now you know what to look for.



Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, finding the best ballroom dance shoes will make all the difference to your performance and help protect your feet from injury. In this article we provide an overview of the various types of ballroom dance shoes, including the four key characteristics you should consider before purchasing.

Types of Ballroom Dance Shoes

There are three basic types of ballroom dance shoes for both women and men. These are:

  1. Standard
  2. Latin
  3. Practice

Men’s ballroom dance shoes

For men, the major difference between the three is the heel height. A standard pair of men’s ballroom dancing shoes typically has a lower heel height (between 0.5” and 1”) than the Latin (typically 1.5”) and are easier to balance on. The Latin shoe’s heel, called a Cuban heel, helps keep the weight forward on the foot for dances like the Salsa or Tango. Men typically wear Cuban heels in Dancesport competition. Men’s practice ballroom dance shoes have perforated leather uppers to help cool the feet, but aren’t worn in competition.

mens ballroom standards

Men’s standard ballroom shoes have a lower heel height


mens ballroom latin
Men’s latin cuban heels have a higher heel height


mens ballroom practice shoes

Men’s practice shoes are made from perforated material to keep the foot cool


Women’s ballroom dance shoes

For ladies, the differences between the three types are far more detailed.

Women’s Standard

Typically, women’s Standard ballroom dance shoes are closed-toed pumps, with a heel more centrally under the foot to help with back-stepping movements in dances like the Charleston. The standard heel is also more narrow than a Latin heel. Many women wear standards if they’re worried their partner may step on their toes.

womens glide standard

The Glide G-Elastic is a good example of a standard women’s ballroom dance shoe. Click on the picture to purchase


Women’s Latin

Most women choosing only one pair of ballroom dance shoes will choose Latin. Latin shoes are usually open-toed with a wide heel from 1 to 3 inches. The standard heel is 2.5 inches. Latin shoes are more flexible than standard shoes and are suitable for all styles of dance whereas standard shoes are impractical for performing Latin dances like the tango or salsa. The thicker heel of the Latin shoe also provides more stability than a standard heel.


bloch simona latin dance shoe

The Bloch Simona is a great example of a latin ballroom dance shoe. Click on the picture to check them out on Amazon. 


Smooth shoes are a combination of the closed in toe of the standard with the strappy heel to ankle area on the Latin. Some Dancesport competitions don’t allow smooth shoes.


Women’s Practice

Women’s practice ballroom dance shoes are typically fully closed in leather shoes, with breathable perforations and a low heel. Some women practice in standards or smooths.

womens practice

these Capezio women’s practice ballroom shoes are a great pick. Click on the picture to check them out on Amazon

Key Characteristic of Ballroom Dance Shoes

In addition to knowing which type of shoe to wear, whether you’re stepping out in a tango or a waltz, there a few overall key characteristics to looks for when choosing the best ballroom dance shoes.

Any pair of high quality ballroom dance shoes for both men and women will feature the following:

  1. A thin sole made of either leather or suede
  2. Flexibility
  3. Arch Support
  4. A heel appropriate for your dance level


1. Ballroom Dance Shoes Need a Thin Sole

A thin sole is one of the most important factors in a pair of ballroom dance shoes. Having a thin sole on your shoe allows you greater responsive contact with the floor which minimizes your chance of twisting your ankle.

Choose a thin leather or suede sole as these will allow your shoes to glide with the perfect amount of traction. Avoid rubber soles. While they are more durable, they provide too much grip and can impede your movement. Also avoid plastic soles, which wear out quickly and can be slippery.


Capezio Women's SD02 Rosa

Notice the thin sole on these SupaDance 1410 ladies latin sandal. Click on the picture to check them out.

2. Ballroom Dance Shoes Need to Be Flexible

Flexibility is important for both the execution of your dance moves and the safety of your feet. An inflexible shoe risks foot and ankle injuries as well as blisters, not to mention getting in the way of your perfect dance steps.


The Stephanie X-Strap Sandal is a good example of a ballroom dance shoe with flexibility. Click on the picture to check them out.

3. Ballroom Dance Shoes Require Arch Support

Strong arch support is particularly important for women wearing higher heels, but good arch support is important for all ballroom dance shoes. As you’re dancing, your arches are under a huge amount of pressure and inappropriate arch support can cause your feet to pronate incorrectly. Pronation problems not only impede your dancing but also risks serious injury to your feet, ankles, knees and hips. Generally, the higher your heels the more arch support you’ll need.


best ballroom dance shoes - capezio SD02

These Capezio Rosa have good arch support. Click on the picture to check them out.

4. Ballroom Dance Shoes Require a Certain Heel Height

All ballroom dance shoes have some heel height, typically from 0.5” for men and 2” for women. As a general rule for women, 2.5” is good for beginners because higher heels require greater amount of ankle strength. As your skill increases and your legs becomes stronger, your heel height can increase although most women dancers don’t often go above 3” heels.

If you find your feet are hurting with higher heels, you might want to try a shoe with increased arch support.

latin bloch

These Bloch Vida LBs have a 2.5 inch heel height. Click on the picture to find out more.

Other Elements to Think About

While these are the four main factors the best ballroom dance shoes should feature, you’ll also be thinking about these other elements, especially if you’re involved in Dancesport.

Leather Type for Men’s Shoes

For men’s shoes, regular leather is best. Patent leather looks sharp but is less flexible and the leather does tend to crack. Patent leather also tends to grab which is a tripping risk, especially for beginners.

Colour and Decoration

Men should wear black shoes, whereas women have more options. Flesh coloured shoes make the leg look longer and also don’t draw attention to the feet which is especially important for beginners. Certain competitions have strict rules against decorative elements like rhinestones, so always check before your performance.

Strap Style

Women’s Latin shoes have a range of different strap styles. T-Bar style straps stop the front of the shoes from sliding forward when you point your feet, where an X-strap keeps the bottom of the shoe separating from your feet when you point. Your choice will depend on your foot shape and your choice of dance. Generally, a strappier shoe will provide greater forefoot flexibility and conform better to the foot shape.

The Best Ballroom Dance Shoes Reviewed

Supadance 1069

The Supadance 1069 Latin is a good choice if you’re only buying one pair of dance shoes. The strappy forefoot provides excellent flexibility and the 2.5” flared heel gives a good stability makes them perfect for all dancing, not just Latin. Available in dark tan satin to harmonise with a range of skin tones.

best ballroom dance shoes - supadance 1069

Click on the picture to find out more about the Supadance 1069

If you do prefer a T-Bar Latin shoe, the Supadance 1410 is a worthy alternative to the 1069, available in silver or gold.

best ballroom dance shoes - supadance 1410

Click on the picture to find out more about the Supadance 1410


Supadance shoes do run narrow so if your feet are wide, check the size charts before ordering or try a pair on before you buy.

Pros – Excellent flexibility and stable heel

Cons – Narrow fit. Rhinestone embellishment on the buckle may not be permitted in some competitions.


Capezio Women’s SD02 Rosa 2.5″ Flared Heel Shoe

The Capezio SD02 is a durable yet delicate Latin ballroom shoe with a comfortable cushioned insole and suede sole. These offer superior flexibility, while the interwoven forefoot straps provide great support for the entire foot. Great arch support and the under arch ankle strap is particularly good for dancers with high arches than can have trouble keeping other shoes in place.

A convenient buckling design lets you get them on and off in a hurry, perfect for changing shoes between competition heats.

best ballroom dance shoes - capezio SD02

Click on the picture to purchase

Available in black leather or camel satin.

Pros – Comfortable fit with excellent support

Cons – The ankle straps do run quite long which can be an annoyance for some dancers.

Stephanie Open Toe X-Strap Sandal

If you’re looking for discount prices on ballroom dance shoes without sacrificing on style or quality, then the Stephanie Open Toe x-straps might be just what you need. These feature a full suede sole and a flexible and cushioned insole providing an excellent and comfortable fit while the x-strap keeps your ankle in place. The footbed on these shoes does tend to run quite long, so some dancers will benefit in ordering a half or full size down.

Available in a range of colours with variations in embellishments.


Click on the picture to find out more.

Pros – Budget cost and a range of colours and design

Cons – Long footbed. Only one colour option comes without rhinestone embellishments


Bloch Vida LB

Bloch’s Vida Latin shoe is a great luxury ballroom dance show suitable for beginners and pros alike. This stunning shoe features a flexible suede sole; a wide, middle set heel; a comfortable cushioned insole and an all leather upper that provides a secure yet flexible fit.

The ankle straps can be adjusted to a range of different styles and the self-locking buckle makes getting in and out a breeze.

Because of the unique design of the shoe, Bloch recommends dancers order a half size up from their street shoe size, or a full size if you have wide feet. Available in black or silver.

latin bloch

Click on the picture to check on the Bloch Vida latin ballroom dance shoes on Zappos

Pros – adjustable ankle straps can be changed into different styles

Cons – can be difficult to fit without trying a pair on before purchase


Glide G-Elastic Ladies Ballroom Court Shoe-Dark Tan Satin-2.5″ Flare Heel

If you’re after a reliable pair of cheap practice shoes and don’t want to wear the lace up style of practice shoes, then you can’t go past these elastic ballroom court shoes from Glide.

The soft leather upper and elasticated sides make these some of the most comfortable ballroom dancing shoes you’ll be likely to find. Featuring suede soles, they also have a uniquely cushioned removable insole. Available in nude leather, these are available in a range of widths from extra narrow to extra wide.

womens glide standard

Click on the picture to check out the Glide G-Elastic shoe on Amazon

Pros – Comfort. Excellent range of sizing options.

Cons – Unsuitable for competition dancing.


From beginners to seasoned pros, from foxtrots to salsas, choosing the best ballroom dance shoes is easy when you know what to look for and with this must read guide you’ll be sweeping your partner off his or her feet in no time.


Shoes for zumba - nike free 3

Finding the best pair of shoes for Zumba is one of the most important steps you’ll take in your whole workout. In this article we point out the top 4 features to look for in a pair of Zumba shoes – so you can get the most out out of your workout.

With the enormous range of motion involved in a zumba session, from top to toe your zumba apparel is going to make a huge impact in your workout efficiency and this is most true when it comes to what’s on your feet.

Like any type of workout, wearing the right shoes for zumba is important for safety as well as maximising your performance. Looking good doesn’t hurt either and there are a huge range of shoes for Zumba on the market right now that fit right, perform well and look fantastic.

So, what is a good shoe for Zumba?

There are four key factors to consider when choosing shoes for Zumba

  1. Weight
  2. Breathability
  3. Support
  4. Flexibility

We’ll go through each of these below providing examples of the best shoes for Zumba that meet these requirements.

Choose a lightweight shoe made from breathable material

The best shoes for Zumba should be lightweight so they won’t get in the way of you keeping good form while executing your moves.

Breathable material is another desirable feature for a pair of zumba shoes as with any intense physical workout, you’ll be looking to keep your feet as cool as possible during your session to maximise your overall performance.

Shoes for zumba - Ryka Studio D black

The Ryka Studio D is a light shoe with breathable mesh and removable sock liner. Shown here in black. Click on the picture to find out more.

Find the right balance between traction and ease of movement

Good shoes for zumba will also need to have superior traction, but at the same time a shoe with too much grip will prevent you moving properly, so it’s important to find that right balance in a shoe that will let you glide and turn easily, but also prevent you slipping over.

Shoes for zumba - reebok dance ur lead yellow

The Reebok Dance UR Lead has excellent support and stability, with shock absorption technology through the sole. Shown here in yellow. Click on the image to find out more.

Cushioning and support are essential

From the Merengue to the Reggaeton and every step in between, during a zumba workout, your feet are under a lot of pressure from a range of different angles so your zumba shoes need to have good cushioning and support. The best shoes to wear for zumba classes or working out on your own, will provide adequate arch support as well as stability to protect your ankles. A lot of zumba sneakers will also feature a special pivot point support on the ball of the foot.

Shoes for zumba - puma soliel synthetic

The Puma Soliel feature a contoured sole as well as a reinforced pivot point to support your foot. Shown here in the synthetic leather white and lime green. They are also available in patent, in a range of colours. Click on the image to see more.

While cushioning and support is vital for your safety and your foot health, you don’t want your shoes to be so cushioned or bulky it impedes your foot flexibility. As such, you’ll be looking for a shoe that strikes the perfect balance between support and flexibility, stability and movement.

nike free run for Zumba

The Nike Free Run s one of the most flexible athletic shoes on the market and is perfect for Zumba. Available in a huge range of colours and designs. Click on the image to find out more.

A lot of Zumba dancers workout wearing a traditional jazz shoe. While jazz shoes are lightweight and flexible, they don’t offer a great deal of ankle stability or footbed support. Plus, the traditional high heel design of a jazz shoe can cause a whole load of problems during an intense zumba session, particularly with anyone dealing with pre-existing knee or back issues.

Tennis shoes and other standard sports trainers are also a popular choice among the zumba crowd, as they’re typically well cushioned and also provide decent traction. For some participants, tennis shoes for zumba will work fine. It’s important to remember though that your sneakers will need to provide you with enough flexibility along the length of your foot as well as the cushioning and stability a pair of sneakers will offer.

Zumba is a unique sport, so whether you’re shaking your shimmy at home to a Zumba fitness DVD or dancing till you drop in a studio with a group class, get a pair of shoes designed to cope with the unique range demands zumba place on your feet.

The best shoes for Zumba for 2013

Now we know what we’re looking for, what are the best shoes for zumba?

Let’s take a look at the four best shoes for zumba in 2013.

Puma Soleil

The Puma Soleil is one of the most obvious choices for the best zumba shoes for women. Not only are they available in a great range of colours and fashionable designs, the Soleil are super lightweight, available with synthetic leather or patent uppers and comfortable padded collar and tongue. Puma’s lacing system ensures a close but not restrictive fit along the length of your upper foot. It’s a minor point, but depending on your personal foot shape, sometimes these flat laces can come undone easily so a lot of dancers prefer to switch to a different style of lace.

The Soleil also feature a reinforced pivot point to give the ball of your foot that extra bit of support during your workout.

The Puma Soleil has a slightly rounded sole and contoured arch support which provides a good range of motion through anything a zumba workout can throw at you. However, if you have specific sole needs, orthotics, for example, the contoured fit might not be your best choice.

Shoes for zumba - puma soliel

The Puma Soleil. Shown here in the patent Liberty Blue Cabaret Dark Shadow design. Click on the picture to find out more.

Pros  – Pivot point. High arch popular with flat feet.

Cons – Contoured sole might not be best choice for dancers with specific arch and foot support needs. Flat laces can come undone easily.

Ryka Studio D

The Ryka Studio D dance shoe is one of the most popular shoes for zumba in 2013. Available in a range of funky colours and designs, the Ryka zumba sneaker features a combination of synthetic moulded covering and breathable mesh to provide a lightweight and flexible design that will keep your feet cool all workout. Ryka also has removable sockliner slippers for breathability and dry comfort.

A padded collar and tongue ensures comfortable heel stability and the midsole and heel sole cushioning provide superior shock absorption. The Ryka also features a solid rubber vertical shank for added arch to heel stability, particularly around the Achilles area. This is a relatively flat soled shoe so might not be your first choice if you’re after firm arch support built in.

Shoes for zumba - Ryka Studio D
Ryka Studio D, shown here in the Granite Gunmetal White. Click on the image to find out more.

Pros –Light. Removable slipper lining for increased comfort and breathability.

Cons – Little contoured arch support, may case problems for people with flat feet.

Nike Free Fit 3

In the Nike range of dance shoes, the Nike Musique are often a first choice for zumba shoes. A lot of zumba dancers however find the Musique have a touch too much grip and are also not the most breathable or flexible of zumba shoes.

Instead of the Musique, many dancers looking for zumba shoes in 2013 are opting for the Nike Free 3. The Nike Free brand are a barefoot running shoe with excellent reviews across the fitness industry, and have now taken the Zumba crowd by storm.

The Nike Free are great for Zumba as they have fantastic traction but are still smooth enough to let you glide and spin. The strategically placed rubber pods in heel and forefoot suit a wide range of floor surfaces from carpet to tiles and boards and even outside.

The Nike central lacing system and cushioned collar and tongue ensures a snug fit.

These shoes are super lightweight and flexible and although they are a flat shoe, they have a cushioned insole with impressive impact resistance. The foam midsole together with the patented Nike flex grooves on the outsole are deigned to work with the natural range of motion in your foot, mimicking the feel of bare feet and providing  great flexibility while still offering secure foot support.

The Nike Free 3 are available in an incredible range of fun colours and exciting designs, making these some of the best looking shoes for zumba available.

Shoes for zumba - nike free 3

Nike Free 3 barefoot running shoe is perfect for zumba. Available in a huge range of vibrant colours. Click on the picture to find out more.

Pros – incredible flexibility and great range of colours and bold designs

Cons – moderate arch support and flat sole might not be enough support for some dancers.


Reebok Dance UR Lead

One of the best all round dance sneakers on the market, the Reebok Dance UR Leads are lightweight and breathable, with a mesh overlay combined with a shoe frame that’s both supportive and flexible. They are available in a fantastic range of colours and out there designs that really suit the spirit of zumba.

The Dance UR Leads have a great and comfortable fit with a padded collar and tongue as well as a traditional sports sneaker lacing system to ensure the shoe remains snug right along your foot. That said, they do run a bit narrow on sizing so ordering half a size up might be a handy tip for wider feet.

A lot of close fit shoes will limit flexibility, but not so with the Reebok Dance. These shoes have special grooves built into the sole to provide a fantastic range of movement, with a rugged traction that’s still smooth enough to glide and step smoothly.

Reebok’s  patented Ultralight outsole is super supportive, with great shock absorption but still won’t weigh your foot down like a lot of heavily cushioned sneakers will. The sole also has an inbuilt pivot point and patented turn zone to take the impact on those pressure points across the top of your foot strike. As with the Nike Frees, these Reeboks have a flat sole so that might not be the first choice for zumba dancers looking for inbuilt arch support.

Shoes for zumba - reebok dance ur lead

Reebok Dance UR Lead, shown here in solid teal. Click on the picture to find out more.

Pros – lightweight but still excellent cushioning and stability, with superior shock absorption designs through the sole.

Cons – a narrow fit won’t suit wider feet.

So there you have it. Wonder no more what to wear for zumba with four of the best shoes for zumba in 2013. Like any fitness pursuit, finding the right pair of shoes most suitable for the activity as well as your feet can take some trial and error, but remembering the four key factors in choosing zumba shoes – lightweight, supportive, flexible and breathable – you should match your feet to the best shoes for zumba in no time and be ready to set the floor on fire.