How to Choose Dance Shoes
''When I first started taking salsa dance lessons I showed up with street shoes with plastic bottoms and when I tried to turn I couldn’t glide. My husband told me I danced like a horse, clopping around with large, heavy steps. My ego was crushed but little did I know that the secret is in the shoes. After a couple of months, I invested in some dance shoes and I started turning with more ease. I realised not only are the shoes important, the height, fit and care was equally important. Who knew?''
Choosing a pair of good dancing shoes is the first step of commiting to dancing. They help you progress with your learning progress. You look more elegant on dance floor. Here we have included some suggestions regarding how to choose your dance shoes:
1. To dance your best, lightweight shoes are very important. The shoes should not be heavy as heavy shoes will make you feel obstructed in your spins or footwork. Street shoes will feel like a brick on your feet and you’ll end up clopping around like a horse. Our dance shoes are made of high quality satin or patent leather to ensure its light weight.
2. Feel the Sole: Dancing requires you to grip or feel the floor. This grip-like connection helps you maximize your enjoyment and keeps you balanced. Therefore you need a sole that can help you firmly grip the floor to prevent slips. Suede bottom shoes are best for dance with spins like salsa. I have read that it is best to refrain from leather soles as they make you slip and fall. However, for restaurant or clubs that don’t have ideal hardwood floors where you don’t want to ruin your dance shoes, I have some jazz shoes with leather bottoms that suffice for those occasions. Suede bottom shoes require more care and can get damaged quickly in the wrong conditions. Use of a soft suede material, with extra cotton inserted in the sole, we aim to provide your feet with extra comfort even when dancing for many hours.
3. Finding shoes with supportive straps are very important. Not only do the straps give you enough balance and support on the dance floor, they also add to your style and elegance. Rhythm's shoes are designed with an adjustable strap, which allows you to adjust the position of the buckle and simply huck it to the other buckle to make sure the straps secure your feet.
4. Heels: Again, if you want to do turns, having a shoe with a two inch heel or more works best. ''My first pair of shoes only had an inch heel. I thought it would be easier to dance with a small heel since I never wore high heels often. However, I found my turns to be clumsy since I wasn’t at a high enough point on the ball of my foot to be prepped for a turn. I ended up clopping around like a horse again!'' In Rhythm we have lower heel in 2.2 inches which are specially prepared for entry level. 2.5 inch heels are suitable for all levels dancers. If you are experienced dancers and want to do a lot of complicated turns, 2.8 to 3.3 inch heels are most suitable.
5. Style and Fit: Dance shoes come in two common types: sandals and closed-toe. Both have to fit properly in your feet. For sandals, it is advisable for your toes to cover the front of the sandals fully so you don’t see the front edge of the sandal bottom. At Rhythm, our dance shoes are made to standard UK sizes. However, If your feet are very narrow, we suggest you go for half to one size smaller than your normal shoe size. If your feet are wider, we would suggest you go half to one size larger. As dance shoes do stretch over time, it's advisable not wear too loose to start with. In Rhythm we have wide fitting styles as well as width adjustable dance shoes which have a buckle at the front part of the shoes that allows you adjust width to suit your feet width. Too choose your correct shoe size, please refer to our shoe size guide page.
6. Preserve and Care: Dance shoes should not be worn on the street. Purchase a shoe bag to carry your dance shoes to your dance venues. (In Rhythm we currently include a free shoe bag with your purchases while in stock) Avoid any hard surfaces, wet floors or stepping in spills on the floor.
Once you start dancing with the proper shoes, you will not enjoy dancing without them. The shoes become an extension of your body allowing you to connect and move with the music with sexy style!