9 Best Ballroom Dance Shoes for Beginners

9 Best Ballroom Dance Shoes for Beginners

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, finding the right pair of ballroom shoes is essential. The right pair will optimise performance and protect your feet from injury.

It’s easy for a beginner to fall in love with colour and style without understanding the critical features to consider when choosing a good ballroom shoe.

Comfort and fit are paramount, along with choosing a style and height of shoe that suits the structure of your foot and the type of dance you’re performing. 

Here are our nine best ballroom dance shoes for beginners and advice on selecting the right pair for both men and women. Let’s go! 

Top 5 Ballroom Dance Shoes for Her

A woman’s style is just as important on the dancefloor as her skills. Here are the best ballroom dance shoes for her.

1. Style 1012

Effortlessly stylish, this classic ballroom shoe has a round toe for added comfort and a horizontal strap with an oval diamante buckle. It’s the height of understated elegance.

Style 1012 is for the beginner ballroom dancer who wants feminine beauty and princess-style looks in their wardrobe. It’s available in satin, leather, and sateen leather, which offers the appearance of satin but in a softer and more flexible material. It’s an ideal material for beginners' feet.

  • Colours: Flesh, White, Black, Dark Tan, Red
  • Heel Heights: 2” Flare, 2” Contour, 2.5” Flare, 2.5” Contour, 3” Flare, 3” Contour
  • Fitting Options: Narrow, Regular, Wide, Extra Wide


2. Style 1003

The style 1003 embodies the classic pointed-toe court shoe with a softly squared front. This shoe is available in a choice of satin, sateen or leather.

Various fittings, heel heights and styles make this a versatile shoe for a keen amateur. It’s hard wearing for training and lessons but also effortlessly elegant for those first competitions.

The pointed-toe style means it’s a half-size wider than your round-toe style, so you may need to size down, depending on your foot width.

  • Colours: Flesh, White, Black, Dark Tan
  • Heel Heights: 2” Flare, 2” Contour, 2.5” Contour, 3” Contour
  • Fitting Options: Narrow, Regular, Wide, Extra Wide


3. Style 1004 

This classic ballroom shoe is ideal for dancers who like to feel extra secure in their shoes, with the elegant diagonal strap across the foot. It’s available in satin but can be made to order in leather and various colours. Given its pointed toe, we recommend going down half a size compared to a rounded toe court shoe for this style.

  • Colours: White, Black, Dark Tan, Flesh
  • Heel Heights:  2” Slim, Flare, Contour, 2.5” Slim, Flare, Contour, 3” Slim, Flare, Contour
  • Fitting Options: Narrow, Regular, Wide


4 . Style 1016

With a round front and classy, round toe, this stylish ballroom shoe is the perfect partner for lessons and competition. It comes in a wide range of fittings to suit every dancer.

Available in satin, sateen leather, and leather, the shaped design is elegant and stylish. It will make you feel like a dancer even whilst you’re learning the basic dance steps. 

  • Colours: White, Black, Dark Tan, Flesh
  • Heel Heights: 2” Flare, 2” Contour, 2.5” Contour, 3” Contour
  • Fitting Options: Narrow, Regular, Wide, Extra Wide


5. Style 1008

This round-toe, gently elasticated court shoe is a traditional style and design. It wouldn’t look out of place in the office or on a formal night out.

The style 1008 is available in various colours and materials, including leather, satin, and sateen leather, plus a choice of four different heel types. It’s an incredibly versatile dance shoe for beginner dancers who also want to be able to wear the shoe for different occasions.

  • Colours: Flesh, White, Black, Silver Coag, Gold Coag
  • Heel Heights: 2” Cuban, 2” Slim, 2” Contour, 2” Flare, 2.5” Contour, 2.5” Slim, 2.5” Flare, 3” Contour
  • Fitting Options: Narrow, Regular, Wide


Top 4 Ballroom Dance Shoes for Him

Here are the best ballroom dance shoes for him to ensure the lead can keep up the pace.

1. Style 5200

These Supraflexi ballroom shoes offer ultimate fit and performance for those who intend to splash out on their new dance passion.

An impact-absorbing low cushioned heel, and curved design enables ease of movement on heel turns.

A split sole and a perforated arch optimise comfort and dance performance. The style 5200 is available in a range of fittings and materials.

  • Colours: Black, Black Patent, Black Nubuck
  • Heel Heights: 1” Curved, Low Cushioned 1”
  • Fitting Options: Regular, Wide, Extra Wide:


2. Style 9000

Choose from black leather or shiny patent with these comfortable ballroom dance shoes. Fewer lace holes ease pressure on the top of the foot for added comfort.

These classic shoes offer ultimate fit and performance for those who intend to splash out on their new dance passion.

Designed for long hours spent dancing, these shoes are robust enough for regular wear and smart enough for your first competition.

  • Colours: Black, Black Patent
  • Heel Heights: Low cushioned 1” heel
  • Fitting Options: Regular


3. Style 5000

With a full suede sole for maximum grip and performance, these ballroom shoes deliver the goods on the floor and look the part.

The classic shoe design means there is no extra lengthening or tapering. It’s simply an elegant, traditional ballroom shoe with a new, impact-absorbing low heel.

This shoe is available in a wide fitting for those who love the design but want a bit of extra width for comfort.

  • Colours: Black, Black Patent
  • Heel Heights: Low 1”
  • Fitting Options: Regular, Wide, Extra Wide


4. Style 6000

These perforated ballroom shoes create the most breathability for hot, hard-working feet and a low-cushioned heel offers just the right amount of support. They’re the most suitable for practice and social use. 

An impact-absorbing low cushioned heel, and a full sole offers the most support for many hours of dance performance. Style 6000 is available in a range of fittings and materials.

  • Colours: Black, Black Patent, Black Nubuck
  • Heel Heights: 1” Curved, Low Cushioned 1”
  • Fitting Options: Regular, Wide, Extra Wide:


What To Look for When Picking Ballroom Dance Shoes?

A Thin Sole

It’s easy to think that a thick sole might be more protective of the dancer’s foot and more comfortable to wear for long periods, but a thin sole made of either leather or suede is the way to go.

The sole is one of the most critical elements of a dance shoe. A thin sole allows more responsive contact with the floor, which promotes stability during dance steps and minimises injury.

A leather or suede sole also allows the dancer’s foot to glide with the right amount of traction. Always avoid rubber soles. Whilst rubber promotes grip, it will interfere with your movement. Plastic soles wear quickly and are slippery, which must be avoided.

Flexibility

Ballroom shoes are performance shoes first and foremost, so they need to be able to accommodate lots of different types of dance movements. A rigid shoe will cause blisters and could lead to foot and ankle injuries.

Arch Support

Arch support is essential for any dancer. The higher the heel, the more arch support is usually required.

The arch of the foot takes a considerable amount of pressure whilst dancing. Inadequate or inappropriate arch support can cause flat feet, or the foot to pronate, which means turning or rotating the sole incorrectly.

Pronation will negatively impact your dancing but can also cause severe injuries to your feet, ankles, knees and hips.

Heel Height 

The heel height on most ballroom shoes for ladies starts at 2” and goes up to 3”. An average height of 2.5” is suitable for a beginner. Any higher than that, and you could find it’s too taxing on your ankles. Higher heels are for more developed dancers with greater ankle strength.

Most female dancers don’t have a ballroom shoe with more than a 3” heel. Try a shoe with more arch support if you feel the pinch with higher heels.

Proper Fit

It doesn’t matter how lovely a shoe is if it doesn’t fit properly.

Choose a brand or retailer that offers half sizing plus various widths. Always try to choose a style that suits the shape of your feet as it will fit better.

Remember, style can dictate sizing. For instance, a pointed-toe ballroom shoe will be a narrower fit than a rounded toe. Look at the toe cut to estimate the fit.

Material

For men’s shoes, ordinary leather is best. Patent leather does look on point, but it’s less flexible and unhelpful for beginners. It can also tend to crack. Patent leather can also tend to grab, a trip risk for new dancers.

Women have more variety in material, with the most common being satin, sateen, leather, and silk. The materials should provide enough flexibility while blending with the performance attire.

Colour and Decoration

Women usually have a choice between white, black, flesh and tan. Flesh shoes make the leg look longer and avoid drawing attention to the feet, which can be important for beginners.

Decoration is not forbidden, but remember that competitions will have rules about this, so always check first when you get to your first performance.

Men’s shoes tend to be black or brown, befitting the more formal attire worn on the ballroom dance floor.

What Type of Shoes Are Best for Ballroom Dancing?

The best shoes for ballroom dancing are those designed specifically for the ballroom by a manufacturer who knows the dance business. The ballroom shoe is far from a conventional shoe, where the stakes are much lower.

It isn’t necessary to wear a dedicated ballroom shoe when first learning to dance. If you’re not used to wearing heels, it can be a dangerous distraction.

Many new dancers prefer the comfort of ballet flats whilst they’re finding their feet on the dance floor — the most important thing is that you’re comfortable and safe.

Most ballroom teachers are flexible about what you wear to lessons, as long as you avoid flip-flops, slippers and bare feet — the latter is dangerous. 

It’s easier to make a more informed choice about what to buy once you have practised a few times. You can also ask your teacher about what styles may suit your feet.

Where To Buy Ballroom Dance Shoes

It’s essential to buy your ballroom shoes from a specialist retailer with the expertise, range of styles and fittings to suit your needs. As a beginner, you need the best advice to be confident when you step out onto that dance floor for the first time.

Shop at Supadance — we sell high-quality ballroom shoes for beginners, students, professionals and dance teachers. Each pair is available in several styles, materials, fittings and heel heights, designed by a shoemaker who knows the demands of ballroom dancing.