Usually, you want your dance shoes to be lightweight, fitting close to the foot, not adding much length and width outside the foot. They should also be able to slide and spin with ease. Not to mention, the shoes’ form must have good cushioning and arch support (insole can be added later). These are some of the very least criteria for choosing good dance shoes for women.
Why good dance shoes for women matter?
It is difficult to execute fancy footwork in heavy shoes. If you don’t do fancy footwork, then there will be no problem. Serious dancers often have one type of shoes for classes and practice, and fancier pairs for social dance. But, some people have a thing that goes like this: “Salsa is a street dance. I dance in street shoes, period.”
So, even among our top dancers, I have seen some “interesting” shoes in local clubs. Generally, “flip-flops” are not a good idea. They tend to “launch” airborne or just fall off during Salsa dancing!
Ladies, you could easily twist your ankle the wrong way trying to dance in any shoe that is not secured to your foot with an ankle strap. Especially, the one has a heel on it. Street shoes (high heels) without a heel cup are just dangerous to dance in! You could easily slip sideways off the shoe with your heel.
Choices of dance shoes for women
As a person with “square” feet (size 6.5), my choices are limited! I have to order my dance heels from Vietnam and it takes about 3 months to build and ship them. I wear Bo shoes to teach classes and practice. Because they are available in my size, and they allow me to turn and spin without sticking to the floor.
As for the rest of you, I think that people who take back-to-back classes are most comfortable in dance sneakers. Those who take only an hour at a time could get by with a low heel and a smooth sole.
Those who only take one class and want to really feel the floor should try jazz
shoes. In any case, your shoes should allow you to turn easily in order to preserve your knees, hips, and ankles!
Ladies, I don’t recommend high heels for beginners unless the shoes are specifically made for dance with a heel cup, suede sole, and ankle strap. That is the best dance shoes for women that you should aim for. Every inch that you add on your heel height will add an extra challenge to learning Salsa or any other dance.
Anything more than 2 inches is probably going to be too much for classes.
Best to save the pretty (and really high) shoes for social dancing!
Can you mess up your feet, ankles, and knees with your favorite shoes? YES.
1. Enough cushioning on the bottom of your dance shoes
If you don’t have enough cushioning on the bottom, you won’t notice the pain too much during the excitement of dancing. However, over a period of weeks and months, you might endure long-term injury to the muscle tissue in the area around the ball of the foot. You will definitely notice it when you sit down, and the next day and the next when you are not even dancing.
2. Arch support from the shoes
Ever hear of fallen arches? You need decent arch support.
3. Limit the use of rubber soles
Trying to spin in shoes that grip the floor? (rubber soles)
It will be really hard on your knees and ankles. You’d better walk through those turns if you are wearing floor-grippers.
4. No too-tight shoes
You love the look of those too-tight shoes?
You will experience your toes go numb over time. Leave some room for your toes, please.
5. You will find out soon enough if your shoe/sock combo is giving you blisters. The wounds will heal eventually.
You don’t need me to tell you to find other shoes or use some preventative pads, or whatever. I suggest some slippery socks, like Thorlos, Adidas, and Nike…
Socks for runners are also great for dancing – padding, ventilation, moisture control, and they don’t cause blisters. No more cotton socks for me.
6. Do your heels wear down at an angle toward the outside?
As the heels wear more and more, it is pretty rough on your knee joints! Fix the heels or get new shoes.
We only get one set of knees and feet! Keep them safe and healthy.
If you want to watch this video on youtube, please visit here:
For other videos:
- Nahir Romano & Maxi Solis – Bachata 2016 – Ken-Y – Sentirte Mia
- Adolfo & Tania workshop – Orquesta Sonora La Habana – En El Barrio
You can also go to our Salsa & Bachata music playlist for more of our collection 🙂