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How to choose Ballroom Dance shoes ?

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 15, 2017 1:59:07 AM / by Audrey Jaspart

Audrey Jaspart

Welcome to this new blog post about Ballroom dance shoes. In this post, I will answer some questions you have probably, such as :

  • What is the difference between ballroom dance shoes and regular shoes?
  • What are the different types of ballroom dance shoes ?
  • How should they fit ?
  • Where can I buy my dance shoes ?
  • How to choose ballroom dance shoes ?

A dance shoe is a very personal item. It is essential to make the right choice for your pair to accompany you as pleasantly as possible in your evenings.

The main difference you will see between your regular shoes and ballroom dance shoes is the soles. Indeed, Ballroom shoes have a thin suede sole. The purpose of the sole is to allow the shoes to glide on the dance floor with the perfect amount of grip. Another difference with your day to day shoes is the flexibility that allows dance movement. The right ballroom shoes will make all the difference when you want to execute tricky dance moves.

There are three different types of dance shoes : the Standard, the Latin and the Practices shoes. The best way to select your dance shoes should be based on the confort, the protection and the support they offer. For example, some women prefer the closed-toe shoes because they offer some protection against being stepped on. 

If you are a man, standard shoes are perfect. They are usually oxford-style lace-up with a heel comparable to regular dress shoes. For women, it is recommended to start with the latin sandal usually with a heel from 1 to 3 inches high. Standard Shoes are closed-toed pumps with the heel positioned more centrally under the foot than the latin sandal.


So, how do we choose the perfect shoe ? The main advice is that the shoes should fit perfectly. They should fit snugly to the foot and once a foot is inside the dance shoe, it should not be able to move within the shoe. Finding the good size is difficult, the shoe should not be too loose as the foot will be unable to grip properly. You should choose a shoe that is half a size or one size smaller than ordinary shoe size. The reason for that is because the material will stretch and loosen up. However, be careful, a shoe that is too tight will hurt immediately and your foot will be uncomfortable.

As mentioned, choosing the right pair of dance shoes is important. This is why it is recommended not to buy it online but rather to go instore in order to try it. Indeed, knowing your foot size is not enough. From one pair to another, you will not take the same size. Some shapes of shoes will adapt better to your foot than others according to brands. Similarly, a pair of shoes with heels higher than another can hurt your foot because the shape will not suit you. Some shoes will be too wide or not enough, so the only way to know for sure is by trying.  I advise you to go in shop. offers a wide selection of dance shoes to try. 

If you are looking for ballroom dance shoes, you are probably getting ready to learn or perform a choregraphy. If that’s the case, check out the checklist  «10 steps to prepare yourself for ballroom dancing ».

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