Latin dance has a rich history that reflects the fiery passion of its performers. It has stood the test of time as one of the most popular dance forms, which is why so many choose it as their first to learn.
Latin dance is alluring for various reasons, from the fun and sensual allure to the technical challenges. But getting started takes more than just the right attitude—you need the right shoes!
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of things you need to consider before purchasing a pair of Latin dance shoes, from fit to function. By the end, you'll be an expert.
What to Consider When Choosing Latin Dance Shoes
The Right Fit
Like any pair of shoes, you want to make sure they fit your feet properly. The fit is perhaps most important when purchasing a pair of Latin dance shoes. You're going to be wearing them a lot, regardless of whether you're dancing for personal enjoyment or at a professional level.
Latin dance shoes are crafted to move freely and gracefully across the floor with minimal friction.
The only way to capitalise on this design is by ensuring you don't cut corners on the fit. Latin dance shoes should redistribute your weight, so it feels more focused on the ball of your foot. Your toes should be at the very end of the shoe, if not further when wearing open-toe shoes.
Latin dance encompasses avariety of styles, including Salsa, Rumba, Cha-Cha, Samba, and many many more. Whichever dance style you select will determine the type of shoe you should be wearing. The dancing style will decide how your shoe should fit and whether or not the shoe should be closed or open toe.
You don't need to limit yourself, however. There is a lot of crossover between Latin dance shoes, so if you plan on practising a lot of different styles, you should go for a more versatile shoe.
You should also pay attention to the shape of the shoe. Mesh inserts between the straps can also help keep your shoe in place during high-speed routines.
The appropriate heel height largely depends on your intention. For professionals,higher heels are preferable to create the longest leg line possible. The average heel height is usually between the 2.5 and 3.5-inch mark, with the most popular being 3 inches.
If you are just dancing for your enjoyment, you should prioritise comfort. There is no shame in it. After all, it's all about fun! And nothing ruins fun quicker than a painful pair of heels. Even if it's just for your entertainment, we recommend a 2-inch heel to give you that little boost.
Not all Latin dance shoes have the same heel shape. The two most common varieties include flared and slim. Slim heels taper the foot, so it narrows as it reaches the floor, making for more graceful and fluid movements.
The flared tip also tapers the foot initially but gradually flares as they reach the ground, where they get their name. The wider tip enables more stability.
The choice is entirely yours to make and primarily comes down to personal preference. Try both out and see which works best for you!
It isn't just the shape or height of the shoe that matters. You need to consider the shoe material.
Latin dance shoes are most commonly either satin or leather . White satin was trendy in previous years as dancers could dye the shoes to match the colour of the performer's outfit.
On the other hand, leather is more durable and maybe a better investment for the long term. Skin-coloured shoes are often favoured in Latin dance as they create the appearance of a longer leg, therefore providing the illusion of an extended leg line.
When shopping for the perfect dance shoes, consider buying practice shoes as well. These are typically less expensive and are ideal for rehearsals and instances where you don't need to look your absolute best.
They also give you the freedom to practice without worrying about damaging your best pair of dance shoes. Having a backup pair is wise whether you dance for fun or intend to enter competitions.
Last on our list of considerations is the price. The cost will vary enormously based on your intentions.
Generally speaking, dance shoes for recreational use will be less expensive than professional, competition-level dance shoes. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't invest in quality just because you only intend to dance recreationally, but you also don't need to break the bank.
A good pair of dance shoes can set you back anywhere between £70-£150, but those prices are usually for the highest quality shoes.
Don't feel pressured to buy expensive shoes. Latin dance is for everyone, and as long as they are comfortable and you're having fun, they are fulfilling their purpose.
That concludes our guide! Hopefully, you have learned something about what you need to look for, whether you're buying your first pair of Latin dance shoes or you just need a replacement.
Ready to invest in the perfect fit Latin dance shoes? Shop Supadance today, your UK shoemaker for Latin dance shoes for women and men.