How Should Jazz Shoes Fit?

Many old and young jazz dancers ask, ‘how should jazz shoes fit?‘. They seem to get it wrong with the sizing and fitting of jazz shoes and tend to pay the price always with an uncomfortable jazzing experience.

In this article, I will tell you how jazz shoes are supposed to fit based on research and personal experience. I will also provide a special guide and tips when shopping for new jazz shoes.

What Are Jazz Shoes Made Of?

It is important to consider what jazz shoes are made of before buying them. Every jazz dancer should know that the upper of most of the jazz shoes out there are made with two known materials: leather and synthetic. Let’s have a look at each of them.

Leather Jazz Shoes

These have existed since the invention of jazz dance and have proven to be functional, hence why many dancers these days prefer dancing in jazz shoes to any other footwear. 

Leather jazz shoes offer rare support when you dance in them. They are coupled with slim rubber soles offering remarkable grip to the dance floor – allowing you to control your moves and perform more complex steps without stress. Thick heels also provide additional support (shock absorption) when you dance.

These and many more features are why leather jazz shoes are recommended even for dance genres that are not jazz.

Linodes Jazz Shoes


How Should Leather Jazz Shoes Fit?

Leather jazz shoes are preferable and recommended for you if you have a history of not getting the right fitting for your jazz shoes.

You should go half a size down from your regular street shoes for a perfect fit with leather jazz shoes.

Leather jazz shoes stretch. Going half a size down will keep you at the vantage point where you don’t have to change your jazz shoes simply because they fit loosely.

The key to having a perfect jazz experience is to have your jazz shoes offer you a snug fit like socks would. Not too tight and not too loose. This way, you can easily control your feet and move here and there with no complications or hindrances from your jazz shoes.

At first, your brand-new leather jazz shoes will feel tight when you go half a size down. But this will only be for a couple of wears. It will eventually stretch and still offer you a snug fit, so you have nothing to worry about.

Synthetic Jazz Shoes

The new models of dance shoes these days have their uppers made from synthetic materials and soles made of rubber. As you can see from the picture below, jazz dance shoes are not left out.

Capezio Canvas Dance Sneaker


One thing with synthetic jazz shoes is that they offer an exclusive feature of breathability recommended when you dance – as it will keep your feet dry and clean inside – and they have a friendlier feel to the foot compared to leather jazz shoes.

How Should Synthetic Jazz Shoes Fit?

If you prefer synthetic jazz shoes to leather jazz shoes, you should consider how they fit before buying them, as they do not stretch.

One of the major differences leather jazz shoes have from synthetic jazz shoes is that they stretch, while synthetic jazz shoes do not.

If you have to go half a size down with leather jazz shoes, you must go with your regular street shoe size when getting a synthetic jazz shoe. And if your foot grows longer or wider along the line, then be sure to have to get new dancing shoes if you had a synthetic one before.

Types Of Jazz Shoes And How They Should Fit

Regardless of the material jazz shoes are made of, they come in two forms: split sole and full sole.

Split Sole Jazz Shoes

Split-sole jazz shoes come with a break on the sole. A middle dash or space is carved or chopped off underneath to allow exclusive flexibility. This makes dancers who are already used to it perform exclusively due to the unrestricted access to the flexibility that split-sole shoes offer.

The fitting of split-sole shoes can be tricky!

People think since the sole is not full, ordering more than a half size down is better if you want a snug fit. Well, they are correct!

The absence of a chunk of sole adds to the stretchiness that split-sole shoes come with for dancers. If you order just a half size down for split-sole jazz shoes, then you might have them running loose when you dance.

To get the perfect fit for split-sole jazz shoes, order 1-3 sizes down from the size of your regular street shoes.

Split Sole Jazz Shoes


Full Sole Jazz Shoes

Full-sole dance shoes have been the norm for some time and are still preferred even by professional dancers.

Unlike the split sole jazz shoes with two parts of sole, one at the heel and the other at the toe, the full sole jazz shoes have their sole running all around without a gap or break in the middle.

This is how most of our street shoes come, so sticking half a size down for full-sole jazz shoes is greatly advised!

Bloch Full Sole Jazz Shoe


Tips On Getting the Right Fit

Here are some tips that will help you make the right choice whenever you are worried about getting the perfect fit.

Wear your jazz shoes and walk

People feel comfortable with numbers, even though they can be misleading. I advise you to wear your newly bought jazz shoes and walk in them to feel how they fit. This will shape your decision on using them for jazz or returning them.

Wear thick socks

With this idea, you don’t have to order a half size down or 1-3 sizes down for your children’s jazz shoes. All you have to do is get them thick socks to wear their jazz shoes with. This is perfect for buying jazz shoes for your children to use for some time!

Final Words

Worrying about getting the wrong size and fit is in the past for you. If you follow the guidelines and tips in this article, you have nothing to worry about. 

Now that you know all about how jazz shoes fit, how about where to get the best jazz shoes for yourself? Check out our article about the best jazz shoes and get the juiciest offers available today. Hurry and get it right!

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