Published July 25th 2016
So you’ve decided to buy some shoes but there are SO many different styles, what are they all for and what should I buy?
Latin Shoes– Good for Everything! £40-£80
Latin shoes are the most versatile dance shoes you can buy.
They can be used for Latin, Ballroom, Salsa, Swing and Argentine Tango. Therefore they are the best choice you can make for you first pair of shoes!
Latin Shoes are a sandal style of shoe, with a variety of styles, and have a flexible sole for pointing toes and pushing your weight through all of your foot when dancing. Straps vary on Latin Shoes: T-Bars, ankle strap or a wrap around strap. Fronts can be strappy or more substantial.
Latin Shoes come in a variety of heel heights, but a 2inch to 2 ½ inch heel is best (3 inch heels are more difficult to dance in and need ankle strength). Heel shape is also important, the wider the base the more stability you have.
Brands: Capezio, Supadance, International, Freed, Topline, etc.
Social Shoes– Good for everything £40-£70
Social Shoes are similar to Latin sandals but are more enclosed to protect your toes during social dancing! These are equally good for most dance styles and often have a lower, more chunky heel.
Vidadance also make a low, fully closed, leather shoe which is popular among tango dancers especially for classes, these are similar to a Ballroom practice shoe.
Brands: As above, and Vidadance
There is another type of shoe which is popular for Tango dancing.
It sits between a Ballroom shoe and a Latin shoe, with a closed pointed toe, sandal style at the back and a lower heel. They keep your toes protected during social dancing but have more flexibility than a Ballroom Shoe. These are usually made from leather.
Ballroom Shoes– Ballroom Use Only £40-£80
Ballroom Shoes are a court style shoe (closed at the front) and they are only used in Ballroom dancing. They often have a lower heel than Latin shoes to get extra drive through the steps. They are quite restrictive and I wouldn’t want to dance Tango in them.
Brands: As above.
Argentine Tango Shoes– Argentine Tango Use Only £100+
Tango shoes have much higher heels starting at around 3 inches in height and are most commonly stiletto with a stiff leather sole. This is because the dance is performed mostly on the balls of the feet.
Anything goes with colour and style of Tango shoes, the choice is huge, and often fits the personality of the dancer.
Only invest in these if you have danced in heels before and are a confident and thoroughly immersed tango dancer!
Brands: Balanceo, Madame Pivot, Turquoise, Comme Il Faut, etc.
I hope this has answered your questions on the different types of shoe and what you should buy to feel most conformable when dancing.