Dance competition TV shows are popular right now, as America catches the excitement of the newest dancing craze. The most striking popularity comeback can be witnessed in ballroom dancing, specifically. Everyone wants to float across the floor with as much grace or energy as their favorite television competitors.
The most interesting phenomenon about most of these shows is that many of them feature very inexperienced dancers. Some of the contestants really make you think, ‘if they can do it, I can!”
Needless to say, there has been a huge increase in public interest in dance classes and lessons, and the attached market of dancing accessories. For those of you who have fallen in love with dancing and are contemplating your rise to fame as the next competitor on your favorite T.V. show, your first major purchase should be… a costume? No — ballroom dance shoes.
You may not be able to afford the best shoes on the market, nor should you for your first pair. A basic pair of cheap shoes should do the trick. You don’t want to invest in top-of-the-line shoes and then decide it’s not something you have time to pursue right now. But you should still expect to pay up to $100 for a decent pair of shoes.
Just because you’re not buying the most expensive shoes on the market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for quality, however. The best ballroom shoes are going to have suede soles. Rubber and other materials interfere with dancing technique, whereas suede allows you to glide easily without slipping.
The best dance shoes for women vary based on which dance is being performed, as certain shoes are essential to perfecting certain dance styles, such as Latin dances. But a good pair of basic, cheap shoes, often referred to as closed toe dance shoes, will probably have a 2 - 2 ½ inch heel that is flared for stability.
Men’s best dance shoes are generally oxfords that have a shorter heel, from 1”-1.5” in height. They are fewer color choices than women’s dance shoes, but men who are starting out in ballroom dancing should expect to pay about the same as women do for their cheap ballroom dance shoes.
Used shoes for dancing aren’t recommended, as they are probably worn out and less likely to fit correctly. The ideal ballroom dancing shoe will fit snugly, but not tight. You don’t want your foot slipping around in your shoe, but you don’t want to be in horrible pain, either.
Lastly, the best shoes will do you no good if they are not cared for properly. Don’t wear them outdoors, where the soles can get damaged from the elements. Take a cue from Mr. Rogers and keep your cheap shoes from looking like you bought them in a pawn shop.