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Buying the Perfect Pair of Latin or Ballroom Shoes

Posted on October 13 2016

We talked with some top dance professionals about what they recommend you look for when buying a new pair of Latin or Ballroom shoes. They provided us with some helpful tips and what every dancer should be looking for. 

First, size. A properly fitted pair of dance shoes is incredibly important. This will not only ensure your shoes are comfortable, but will also give beginners the proper support they need when first starting out. 

Pierre Allaire's number one piece of advice? Don't be stuck on a number! Just because you think you're a size 38, if the 39 is more comfortable - go with that!

Second, and closely related, especially if you're a beginner, you need a shoe that is supportive and comfortable. You'll be wearing these shoes for long periods of time and therefore they need to be comfortable. But additionally, make sure you're looking for a shoe that supports your foot. As a beginner this will help you gain strength before you start venturing into sandal styles, etc. 

Thirdly, look at the heel height. Although you may be watching the beautiful professional dancers glide around the dance floor in the sky high heels - remember that they have been practicing for years and have slowly moved into those heels. Higher may look better, but in order to build your strength and get used to the feeling of dance shoes, lower is better. 

Finally, let's talk about style. Your shoes should be appropriate for the style of dance you're taking on. Ballroom dancers generally wear closed toe shoes. This is partially for comfort (since ballroom dance is often done in very close proximity for long periods of time with your partner), and partially for style. 

If you're a Latin dancer, open toe shoes are a more popular style. When dancing in the Latin style, your shoe is an extension of your foot, which is why dancers prefer to use the open toe style. If you're new to Latin dance, choose a shoe that is very supportive with only a peep toe versus a sandal style. This will ensure you're able to gain your strength before graduating into a sandal style.


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