Best Ballroom Dance Shoes: Beginners Guide

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best ballroom dance shoes for beginners

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Choosing the best ballroom dance shoes can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are right for you.

In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the best options for ballroom dancers and advise on choosing the right pair of shoes for your needs.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced dancer, read on for tips on how to find the perfect pair of shoes for your next dance competition or social outing!

At a Glance: Our Top 8 Ballroom Dance Shoes for Her

BrandSoleMaterialHeelReviews
GabriellaSuede solepremium synthetics/Satin2.5″See all Reviews
Vienna by VeryFineSuedePremium Fine Satin2.5″See all Reviews
DancineSuedeHand-inlaid Swarovski Crystals2.2-inch heels or 3.3-inchSee all Reviews
HIPPOSEUSSuedeHigh-quality glitter synthetic leather2.95″ and 1.98.”See all Reviews
DKZSYIMSuede soleSatin2.76 InchesSee all Reviews
iCKERNon-slip suedePU Synthetic Leather2.2 Inch Sturdy HeelSee all Reviews
YYTINGSuedeSatin2.5 Cuban HeelSee all Reviews
Ballroom sportsSuedeSatin5.5cm-8.5cmSee all reviews
*Affiliate Links Via Amazon

At a Glance: Our Top 7 Ballroom Dance Shoes for Him

Image
TOP #1
Very Fine Dante Mens Ballroom Salsa Tango Latin...
TOP #2
Capezio Men's 1" Standard Ballroom Shoe,Black,7.5...
TOP #3
Very Fine Mens Wide Adrian Leather Ballroom Salsa...
Brand
Dante by VeryFine
Capezio Men’s SD103
Adrian by VeryFine (Wide)
Sole
Suede Sole
Suede Sole
Suede Sole
Material
Soft PU Leather Upper
100% Synthetic
Premium leather
Heel
One-Inch Heel
One-Inch Heel
One-Inch Heel
Reviews
Prime Benefits
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
TOP #1
Image
Very Fine Dante Mens Ballroom Salsa Tango Latin...
Brand
Dante by VeryFine
Sole
Suede Sole
Material
Soft PU Leather Upper
Heel
One-Inch Heel
Reviews
Prime Benefits
Amazon Prime
More Information
TOP #2
Image
Capezio Men's 1" Standard Ballroom Shoe,Black,7.5...
Brand
Capezio Men’s SD103
Sole
Suede Sole
Material
100% Synthetic
Heel
One-Inch Heel
Reviews
Prime Benefits
More Information
TOP #3
Image
Very Fine Mens Wide Adrian Leather Ballroom Salsa...
Brand
Adrian by VeryFine (Wide)
Sole
Suede Sole
Material
Premium leather
Heel
One-Inch Heel
Reviews
Prime Benefits
Amazon Prime
More Information

Last update on 2024-02-11 /Affiliate Links / Source: Amazon

BrandSoleMaterialHeelReviews
Dante by VeryFineSuede SoleSoft PU Leather UpperOne-InchSee all reviews
Capezio Men’s SD103Suede Sole100% SyntheticOne-InchSee all reviews
Adrian by VeryFine (Wide)Suede SolePremium leatherOne-InchSee all reviews
HIPPOSEUSLeather100% Leather1-inchSee all reviews
BeiBestCoatSuedeLeather1-inchSee all reviews
Gold PigeonSuedeYou Pick!FlatSee all reviews
DiamantSuede Leather soleLeather1-inchSee all reviews
*Affiliate Links Via Amazon

Best Ballroom Dance Shoes Guide

What Should You Look for When Picking Ballroom Dancing Shoes

Unlike most activities, where you can still get away with just about any kind of shoe, owning a good pair of ballroom dance shoes can make all the difference to your dancing experience.

It is a little like trying to climb a mountain.

If your shoes are not durable against the rocky terrains and don’t offer enough grip, protection, and flexibility to your feet, then well… you’re in trouble (and we are putting this mildly).

Of course, unlike rock climbing, the consequences of choosing the wrong kind of dancing shoes are not exactly fatal.

You might get a minor sprain, but if you are looking to avoid that (and you probably are), let’s take a look at a few tips to ensure that you buy the best ballroom dance shoes.

1. Checking the Sole

Most professional ballroom dancing shoes have a suede sole.

Some may also have a leather or resin-based sole.

A sole made out of suede can offer several advantages to a dancer.

It offers a good amount of resistance while also allowing you to glide across the dance floor.

They are also very durable and can last a long time.

2. Checking The Shoe Material

Professional dance shoes are usually made of plain leather, patent leather, satin, or canvas.

Plain leather is usually the best choice as far as the materials are concerned.

It is stiff in nature, which allows the shoe to retain its original shape for a longer period.

It also requires very little maintenance and offers good support and protection to your feet.

Leather shoes are a standard in professional dance competitions as well, so your feet won’t stick out.

3. Checking for Arch Support

Dancing is essentially a workout for your feet.

You must make sure that your shoes provide an adequate amount of arch support while you dance.

Shoes with poor arch support will make your feet hurt while you dance.

Additionally, make sure that the padded lining of the shoes is of a firm and high-quality material.

A steel shank should also be installed in the middle of your dance.

This provides improved stability to your foot while you dance.

4. Checking for Shoes That Fit

It’s also important that you choose shoes that fit you well.

They should not be too tight, as your feet need to breathe while you dance.

Make sure you test out the shoes before buying.

If the shoes are tight enough that your toes feel pressured, then you need to look for a second option.

Choose something of moderate width so that your feet don’t hurt after wearing them.

If your foot feels trapped in the shoe, then once again, you need to give it a skip.

5. Checking the Length of the Heel

Since you are a beginner, you should only opt to wear a length that you are comfortable in.

Remember, you are supposed to be dancing in these shoes, and not everyone can dance comfortably while wearing heels.

There will be a lot of slipping and falling once you break into a dance shoe with heels, so be prepared to get a little hurt.

There are also different types of heels among dance shoes.

Most dancers opt for dance footwear that has a flared heel as it provides you with more stability.

In the case of dancing footwear for men, a half-inch heel is suitable for ballroom dancing.

Latin dance styles use Cuban heels that are at least 1.5 inches long.

6. Checking for Bonus Features

The best ballroom dance footwear also comes with an antibacterial lining.

As you dance, your feet will produce sweat.

This can cause the growth of bacteria and fungus in the shoe.

An antibacterial lining can absorb sweat and prevent this.

Consider opting for an odor-free bacterial lining as well. Shoes with latex technology are also good at absorbing shock.

This prevents your feet from getting tired too quickly.

Which Ballroom Shoes Should You Get?

dancing makes you smart

Now that you know some of the main features to look for in the best ballroom dance shoes, you should start exploring your options.

To help make the process easier, we’ve gathered some of the top recommendations.

Some of Our Favorite Ballroom Shoes For Women

1. Very Fine Gabriella Ballroom Dance Shoes

Looking for a Ballroom Dance Shoe that is both comfortable and stylish? Look no further than the Gabriella by Very Fine!

These shoes are perfect for any formal occasion, with their high-quality suede outer sole and leather insole.

You’ll love how you look and feel when dancing the night away in these beautiful shoes.

Pros

  • The Gabriella has built-in whole-foot cushioning for added comfort and stamina while dancing.
  • The sole of this shoe is covered in Dancer Suede, providing just the right amount of grip and slide!
  • The Gabriella is equipped with full arch support and lightweight, high-carbon steel.
  • Gabriella’s heel is designed to centralize balance and distribute weight to prevent wobbling and slipping.

Cons

  • Some customers claim they didn’t like the shoes because they broke and feel the quality could have been better for the price.
  • Another customer claimed that while dancing, the buckle snapped off.

Video

2. SHALL WE

If you want to add flair to your dance, jazz up your feet with these ballroom dance shoes from SHALL WE. (See Here)

The shoes feature stylish satin with an elegant yet bold design.

You could wear these shoes for almost any dance, including salsa, samba, jive, rumba, practice, and performance.

With these shoes, you get a 2.5 Cuban heel, perfect for beginners.

It is easy to maintain balance and be comfortable enough for hours of practice or dancing all night.

The attractive design and stability provide two important reasons to consider these shoes.

The cost is another benefit.

These shoes are among the most affordable options, yet they still provide the arch support and overall stability you need for dance.

3. ICKER

When you want shoes for more than just ballroom dancing, consider getting this pair from iCKER. (See Here)

These all-purpose dance shoes have a simple, solid design, making them more versatile.

Made from PU Synthetic Leather (VEGAN), these shoes are durable.

They should hold up to repeated use, such as practicing your moves all day.

Sizing should not be an issue, as the shoes come in a wide range of women’s US sizes.

The iCKER Dance Shoes feature padded insoles with arch support for added comfort.

They also have moisture-absorbing lining, which helps to keep your feet and the shoes dry.

These shoes make the top of the list for ballroom dance shoes for everyday wear.

Besides ballroom dancing, you could wear these shoes for a night out or even to work.

Ballroom Dance Shoes for Men

1. Capezio Men’s Social Dance Shoe

Protect your heels with this pair of Capezio Men’s SD103 Social Dance Shoes.

These shoes feature a shock-absorbing sponge insole and suede-covered bottoms for added comfort and shock absorption.

As with most standard men’s ballroom dance shoes, this pair features a one-inch heel that is covered in suede.

The upper features soft PU leather, while more suede covers the soles.

As with the other Capezio shoes, the lining includes moisture-absorbent material.

With these features, you can stay comfortable throughout your dance routine.

The only issue to watch out for is sizing.

These shoes run a little small, possibly requiring you to go up a size compared to your typical shoe size.

2. Very Fine Men’s Salsa Ballroom Dance Shoes:

Most professional dancers agree that leather is the best choice for dance shoes, which is what you get with the Very Fine Men’s Salsa Ballroom Dance Shoes.

The shoes feature durable 100% real leather.

Despite the quality of the leather material, these shoes remain light on your feet and suitable for all types of ballroom dance.

As with most men’s dance shoes, they have the standard one-inch heel.

These shoes also come with an accessory.

Keep your shoes clean with the provided dance shoe wire brush.

If you want a pair of lightweight men’s dance shoes with a good fit, try the Very Fine Men’s Salsa Ballroom Shoes.

Just make sure that you order the same as the street shoe size.

(FAQ)

What makes a good ballroom dance shoe?

A good ballroom dance shoe is crucial for both comfort and performance. Key features include:

Suede or Leather Soles: These materials provide the right amount of traction and slip for various dance styles.

Supportive Arch: A shoe with arch support helps maintain proper foot alignment and reduces strain.

Heel Height: Choose an appropriate heel height for your dance style and comfort level.

Secure Fit: A snug but not overly tight fit ensures stability and minimizes the risk of blisters.

Flexibility: The shoe should allow for ease of movement and foot flexibility.

Quality Construction: Durable materials and craftsmanship ensure longevity, especially for frequent dancers.

Ultimately, a good ballroom dance shoe should enhance your performance while providing comfort and support for your feet.

What is the difference between ballroom and Latin dance shoes?

Ballroom and Latin dance shoes are designed to accommodate the unique demands of their respective dance styles:

Ballroom Dance Shoes:

Closed-Toe: Ballroom shoes typically have closed-toe designs that provide a sleek and elegant look.

Lower Heels: They feature lower and wider heels to support balance and stability during smooth movements.

Suede Soles: Ballroom shoes often have suede soles for a balanced glide and controlled slip on various dance surfaces.

Straps: They may have adjustable straps, offering a secure fit and style options.

Latin Dance Shoes:

Open-Toe: Latin dance shoes usually have open-toe or strappy designs, allowing for greater flexibility and showcasing footwork.

Higher Heels: They feature higher and slimmer heels to emphasize leg extension and dramatic movements.

Suede or Leather Soles: Latin shoes often have suede or leather soles to allow for precise footwork and spins.

Multiple Straps: They often have multiple straps, offering a snug fit and aesthetic appeal.

What shoes to wear to beginner ballroom dance class?

For a beginner ballroom dance class, it’s essential to choose the right shoes to support your comfort and learning:

Ballroom Dance Shoes: Invest in a pair of ballroom dance shoes with suede or leather soles. They provide the right balance of grip and slip needed for dancing.

Low Heels: Opt for low-heeled shoes, typically 1-2 inches high. These heels offer stability and make it easier to learn basic steps.

Comfortable Fit: Ensure a snug but not overly tight fit to prevent blisters and support your feet.

Closed-Toe Design: Closed-toe ballroom shoes are suitable for beginners as they offer additional support and elegance.

What is the difference between ballroom dance shoes and character shoes?

Ballroom dance shoes and character shoes are distinct footwear designed for different dance styles and purposes:

Ballroom Dance Shoes:

Sole Material: Ballroom shoes have suede or leather soles, enabling controlled gliding and pivoting on dance floors.

Heel Types: They come in various heel heights but are typically lower and wider for stability.

Design: Ballroom shoes often have closed-toe or T-strap designs for a classic, elegant look.

Purpose: These shoes are tailored for ballroom and Latin dances, emphasizing partner work, footwork, and smooth movements.

Character Shoes:

Sole Material: Character shoes have a hard leather sole, providing durability and support for theatrical performances.

Heel Types: They feature higher and more slender heels, often 2-3 inches, to create a dramatic stage presence.

Design: Character shoes have a closed or open-toe design with a buckle or strap, suitable for various character roles in theater and musicals.

Purpose: They are intended for stage performances, musical theater, and dance styles that require a theatrical or character-based look.

About the author

2 responses to “Best Ballroom Dance Shoes: Beginners Guide”

  1. jacobs2 Avatar
    jacobs2

    Thank you for this information.

    I recently started tango courses with friends. My actual shoes are not really dancing shoes and after 30 minutes of dancing, I start feeling pain in my feet.  I would like to change shoes and go to professional shoes as you explained. 

    Your article inspired me. Can you tell me if KAI-ROAD Ballroom Dance Shoes are also suitable for the tango dance, as a beginner?

    Thanks

    1. Jonathan Avatar
      Jonathan

      Hey there Jacob… That’s awesome to hear about your new hobby. Yea it’s better to have dance shoes even if you just getting started. Regular shoes to me feel heavier and also makes it difficult to pivot when dancing… which means you’re gonna have to work twice as hard. And that’s probably why you feeling pain on your feet after dancing.

      The Kai Road dance shoes are women’s dance shoes!

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