What to look for in a quality pair of shoes for dancing!

One of the most common questions we get from newcomers to dance is about what shoes to wear for dancing, dance lessons and dancing at their weddings, etc. In response to this, we have selected a variety of comfortable styles of dance shoes for men and women.

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  • General: The dancer should find the shoes comfortable, fitting well, they stay on and make it easy to do turns and spins. Also, the sole of a dance shoe is usually very thin so that the foot feels the floor. Due to this fact, sometimes, dancers put inserts for added support and comfort.
  • Soles/Bottoms: The dance shoe upper should be soft and preferably flexible like a mesh, calves leather or suede.
  • Heel height: For men the standard 1″ short heel works well. Generally, for Latin dance a higher Cuban style heel is sometimes used. However, for women, heel height can vary but a 1 1/2″ practice shoe is very comfortable and up to about 2 1/2″ inches works well.
  • Sizing: American styles use the standard sizes 4,5, 5 1/2, 6, 7, etc. However, European shoes use different sizing with a the sizes running 1 1/2 sizes smaller, e.g. an American 7 is a European 5.5. Also, in the EU sizing an American 7 is about a EU 37.
  • Dance shoe care: Dance shoes with suede bottoms should not be worn on the street, only on the dance floor. In addition remember to transport them in a shoe bag and use a special steel brush to scape of the black gummy substance they pick up from floors.


Dance Sneaker

dance shoes - dance sneaker

The dance sneaker is a great shoe for practice for any styles of dance. It is a unisex shoe that is great for both women and men. Some shoe styles have a mesh and suede, other have mesh and calves leather and other combinations of materials. Consequently, it is one of the most popular types of dance shoe as it is comfortable. In addition, it has more support for the bottom of the feet with added rubber than most dance shoes.


Latin Shoes

Latin dance shoes come ina broad variety of styles including varying heel heights for women and men. For International Latin dance sport many men choose a Cuban heel that is narrower and taller than the average dance shoe for men. The heels for men vary between 1/2″ and 1 3/4  inches. Styles vary between slip on and lace up. Materials include soft leather,  patent leather and suede. For women, heel height vary from 1 1/2″ to 3 1/2″ or more with everything from a block wider heel to stilettos. The toe box is often in a strappy design and materials vary from soft leather, suede and satin.


West Coast Swing shoes

West Coast swing dance shoes can change over time but some shoes styles are fairly consistent. For instance, the comfortable 1 1/2″ inch block heel strappy sandals for women continues to be popular even as short lived fads come and go like boots and flat sneakers. Men generally prefer a low heel comfortable shoe in soft leather or a practice shoe. Occasionally, Westie’s choose fun shoe styles like Tom’s or Vans.


Ballroom Dance Shoes

Ballroom dance shoes vary according to the dance style (genre) and the activity. For example, one style of shoe might be worn for a dance party, a different shoe for practicing with a partner and yet another shoe for competitions, conventions and dance sport. Many times a more comfortable shoe will be chosen for practicing or even dance parties where the shoes might be worn for long periods of time. Dance teacher, instructors and coaches can oftern be seen in more comfortable shoes since they might be wearing them for many hours a day. Also, each category of dance recommends different styles of shoes. So, American style smooth dance and rhythm use different shoes. Also, International standard and Latin
shoes vary.


Salsa Dance Shoes

woman wearing salsa dance shoes

Salsa dance shoes come in many different shapes and forms. Since salsa is a Latin club dance style, many salsa dancers wear street shoes, sandals, sneakers but some definitely choose dance shoes. Men’s shoes vary in heel height but most prefer a shorter standar 1″ heel. Women like attractive, comfortable strappy sandal type shoes. The heel heights for women vary a lot by preference; some women are comfortable in high heel heights starting at 2 1/2″ upward and skinny heels like stilettos. Other women prefer a shorter, block heel of 1 1/2″ inches strappy sandal that breathes!

Assessories for dance shoes

Dance Bags

dance bag for dance shoes

Dancers often purchase a quality dance shoe with a dance suede bottom. Dance suede has the best traction for dance floors; not to sticky or slippery. Dance suede is delicate and should not be worn on the street, only on dance floors. They should be brushed with a special steel brush to keep them clean thus maintaining the perfect traction. For this reason, dancers often purchase a dance bag to transport their shoes and for storage as well.

Steel Brushes for Dance Shoes

A quality steel brush is a necessity for dancers that own suede bottom dance shoes. The shoes should be brushed often enough to not allow for a sticky build up of the gummy substances picked up off of dance floors over time. A Diamant suede sole brush is a great choice for maintaining the bottoms of your dance shoes.


DanceTime’s Dance Store

DanceTime’s Dance Store (dance shoes, shoes bags and brushes)

dance store - image with dance items such as shoes, tote bags, accessories