Shoes are a personal choice and experienced dancers have often gone through phases when they liked one type of shoe only to later decide they prefer something different. There are many right answers, but when choosing shoes consider the following:
- It must be possible for you to pivot your feet (leather is always best, hard or suede is a personal choice)
- They must be comfortable since you may be wearing them all evening – if they feel uncomfortable in the shop – they will not get more comfortable!
- Dance shoes are expensive, but will last you years; they are a long term investment. Don’t be swayed by the salesman/woman into buying something you are unsure about.
- Patent leather can be a problem as the shoes tend to stick when they touch together.
- Men –
- avoid shoes with a high welt (deep sole or high sides) – you need to be able to feel your partners shoes when you come in contact with them
- cuban heels, medium heels or flat heels is a personal choice. Flatter heels are more popular at the moment
- Tango shoes cost between £50 and £100, but you can use a conventional leather soled shoe, you may even get some for less than £10 at a charity shop if you don’t normally wear leather shoes.
- Don’t rush to buy expensive/fancy shoes before you know what works best for you
- Look at what other ladies are wearing and talk to them about their various advantages and disadvantages
- Consider having a lower-heeled cheaper shoe just for use in class
- Even if you don’t wear high heels normally you may find that you can for dancing, it helps with posture, makes you feel the part and therefore more confident, and most of the time you will in any case be walking backwards which is easier
- Occasionally ladies sell-on shoes at second-hand prices – watch out for them at events or online
More advice on shoes –
Where to buy locally:
Ipswich – DanceVibe and Ipswich Dancewear sell mainly ladies ballroom and Latin shoes (these tend to be less elegant than tango shoes, but may be good practice shoes). They also sell mens dance shoes.
Cambridge – Attitude Dance Wear sell Tango shoes
www.vidadance.com – Good men’s shoes
www.balanceo.co.uk – occasionally visit events in the area (particularly Cambridge events)
www.guaranteedfittangoshoes.com (from USA so be aware that customs costs may apply)
www.madamepivot.com/en/ A good range in lots of sizes
Occasionally we get shoe suppliers to come along with shoes to our social events.