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How To Choose the Perfect Salsa Shoes

Posted on July 13 2016

As all dancers know, your shoes are an extension of your foot and are one of the most important investments you'll make as a dancer. Not only will they help you craft your art, wearing improper shoes can easily lead to injury! Even if you have years of dance experience, if your shoes don't fit properly you'll look like you have no idea what you're doing on the dance floor.

Since this is such an important decision for salsa dancers, we've put together a list of things all dancers must consider when selecting a pair of shoes for their salsa dancing.

It's incredibly important that salsa shoes find a perfect balance between being supportive, while still being very flexible. Flexibility is important because it helps a dancer accentuate their foot as they move across the floor.
The sole you select needs to give you the ability to slide across the floor while not losing your footing. Therefore, sueded soles are a very popular route for dancers. They allow you to grip the floor, while allowing you to slide as necessary with extreme control and precision.

Unlike ballroom dance shoes, shoes for salsa need to be a part of your outfit and help you stand out. There are several different strap styles that dancers can choose from when it comes to the style of their shoes:

Traditional ankle strap
While this type of strap is very elegant looking, it actually provides the least amount of support since your foot is not secured directly into the shoe itself.

This style of strap takes some of the pressure off of the ankle, and more evenly distributes the pressure and support.

Crossover-strap (around the ankle)
This type of strap firmly anchors your foot into the shoe. This is a very popular style as it provides twice as much coverage as a traditional cross strap.

Crossover-strap (around your arch)
This style provides the most amount of support and stability. These shoes are perfect for dancers who find themselves rolling their ankles as it will provide a bit more security and support.

Double cross-strap
This style of strap has extreme stability and support since it has four straps crossing your foot and securing it in place. This style of strap will truly allow the shoe to be an extension of your foot, no matter what level of dancer you are.

    The heel for salsa dance shoes is perfectly placed in the center of the dancer's heel. This allows for the stability necessary when dancing quickly across the floor with your partner.

        Heel heights are generally available between 0.5" up to 4" high. The higher your heel height, the more your weight is pushed forward rather than distributing the weight evenly throughout your foot. Your heel height should generally be determined by your level of dancing. If you're just starting out, you'll be much more comfortable in a lower heel, where as if you're very experienced, you'll have much more mobility on a higher heel.

        The recommended heel height for the majority of the shoes from iLoveDanceShoes is 2.5".

          Finally, we will leave you with a note on fit.

              It's critical that your salsa dance shoes fit like a glove. Shoes that are either too small or too big can easily cause serious harm and injury. Your foot should be comfortable, but very secure. If your foot is sliding around or the straps are digging into your foot, your shoe does not fit properly.

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