If you're a new dancer, you'll quickly realise that there are several tools, accessories, and resources that dancers rely on to improve their craft, care for their bodies, and maximise their abilities.
And dance shoes are the most important of all.
Looking at all of the investments dancers make in their craft can be a little overwhelming, but dance shoes should be the top priority. If you're going to invest in your dancing hobby or career, let it be dance shoes.
As experts in dance accessories, we see just how much they can make a difference by helping dancers stay comfortable while feeling more empowered in their movement.
Here's what you should know about dance footwear and the true difference they make:
Do You Need Dance Shoes?
While some may say that a similar, non-dance shoe can work, the reality is, dance shoes are made and worn by the best dancers for a reason. Whether you're a total beginner just trying todance as exercise or a competing professional who wants to improve your craft, good dance shoes are a must.
Some dance floors can be hard on a dancer's feet, and without them, after hours of rehearsal or on your third weekend of performance, you'd wish you had dance shoes the entire time.
Dance shoes are constructed differently than regular ones; they are made for dancing in particular and made for the specific type of flooring used on dance floors.
While dancing in street shoes won't make you a bad dancer, it may be holding you back from better form and more confidence in your routines.
Do Dance Shoes Actually Make a Difference?
Dancing shoes are more than just a name. They make a real, noticeable difference when you're on the dance floor. Here's why:
Dance Shoes Have Better Soles
The difference between regular and dancing shoes starts with the sole. Street shoes usually have a rubber-like bottom that creates friction on the floor to improve stability. Practically, they are great for everyday activities because of this. As a dancer, this friction and traction are exactly what you don't want.
The friction can make it hard to turn your foot, and it may cause damage to the joints in your ankle or leg. Dancing shoe soles are made for dance floors and designed to allow the wearer to turn and move with ease.
Most dance footwear features a suede bottom that offers the perfect balance of grip and slip to make your moves feel flawless.
Dance Shoes Are More Flexible
Dancing shoes are designed with flexibility in mind, expecting the wearer to move their body and point their feet as needed. While street shoes are designed with thick, hard soles to protect the feet, dance footwear is thinner and allows for more articulation in the foot. This creates more beautiful lines in dances as you can point, flex, and stomp with ease.
Dance Shoes Feature Industrial Heels
The heels in regular women's shoes are often thin and flimsy, made more for glamour than for practicality. Dancing shoes are highly functional with strong heels that won't give in and made with sturdy materials to avoid disasters on the dance floor.
You can feel comfortable and confident that you can trust the weight on these heels regardless of what position you find yourself in.
Dance Shoes Are Made to Fit Like a Glove
Street shoes often have a little bit of extra room in the heel or the toe to allow for more comfort with everyday wear. Dance footwear, however, is made to fit like a glove. You want your shoe to conform to your foot carefully to avoid any tripping hazard or room for unnatural twisting or movement.
Most dancing shoes are closed-toed to protect your digits from any damage, and they'll hug the shape of your foot without adding extra pressure. It should make your feet feel secure, not suffocated.
Dance Shoes Have Better Straps
Normal heels for women often come with complicated straps that require buckling and unbuckling to get them on and off, but most modern dancing footwear has special mechanisms in place to make it much simpler to get the footware on and take them off. The straps are also thicker and more durable, so they won't snap if the foot bends oddly.
Dance Shoes Are Made to Stay On With Serious Activity
Dance shoes are designed for physically active movement, while most street footware can't handle that activity.
If you want your footwear to last you many rehearsals and performances, it's best to invest in a pair of dance-specific shoes so they won't hold you back.
Is There a Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Dance Shoes?
While it's possible to find a pair of dance pumps that don't break the bank, you should still consider that you're going to get what you pay for. Dancing heels and men's dancing loafers have many features distinguishing them from street pairs, which makes up the price difference between street and dancing footwear.
If you want to invest in a long-term pair, be prepared to pay for a more expensive shoe. If you are only looking for a pair that will get you through one performance, then you may be able to get away with spending less on your footwear.
The main difference between the low-end pairs and the high-end pairs is the quality. For those of professional stature, it's worth buying an expensive pair, but if you will rarely wear them or if your dancing is not of high importance to you, a pair on the cheaper side will still do.
The footwear you sport when dancing can directly impact your performance. If you're still wearing street shoes or loafers, it's time to change them up and invest in a pair of high-quality footwear made specifically for dancing. The difference is how they fit your foot, how they support it and allow for articulation in your routines, how they move on the dancefloor, and how long you can expect them to last you.
Once you slip on the right pair, you'll notice the difference right away.