When you are looking for ballroom dance shoes, the choices can be quite overwhelming and it is useful to take advice before committing to your purchase. It is always advisable to try on a new pair of ballroom shoes before you decide to buy. This is no different than choosing any other pair of shoes.
If you do not have a local store which sells ballroom dance shoes, then you will have to look to the internet and mail order to help you. This is not so risky as it may seem initially because vendors understand how important it is to get the perfect fit for your shoes. So they will allow you to return unsuitable shoes that are still in perfect condition. This means that you have to try the shoes out on carpeted flooring. Hard floors, both indoors and outdoors will result in scratching to the soles of the shoes, which will make it impossible to return them.
When you are serious about ballroom dancing, you have to regard your ballroom dance shoes as tools of the trade. They have to fulfil more than function. They must support your feet, feel comfortable and facilitate the dance moves, and at the same time avoid injury. Moreover, they have to be aesthetically pleasing and enhance the lines of your legs and feet, and thus the appearance of your dance steps.
When selecting your ballroom dance shoes, you have to ensure that they fit you very snugly and that you do not allow any extra toe room. You cannot allow your feet to slide around within the shoes because this can cause blisters to form and may even make you lose your footing by turning your ankle. Some people recommend that you buy shoes that are a half size smaller than you everyday footwear.
Although more experienced lady ballroom dancers may wear court shoes, there is always the chance that they may fall off. So it is advisable to choose shoes with laces, for both men and women, or some form of straps for the women only. These will allow you to dance with confidence, prevent your feet from tensing to keep the shoes on and therefore help prevent injury. If you do opt for pumps, you can find them with elasticated edges across the top of the feet. Some shoes also have cushioning for added comfort.
You also need to check the quality of the manufacture of the shoes. The price is usually the first good indicator of the quality of the design and materials used. As ever, you get what you pay for. Firstly, try looking at how well the shoes are stitched. You should be looking to find small, evenly-spaced stitches.
Any glue that has been used, must be neatly finished and fairly hard to detect. Lastly, run you fingers around the upper rims of the shoes, ensuring that there is no roughness of the edges which could rub and cause blistering, particularly around the ankle areas. The same test is a good idea when inspecting the finish of the inner seams.
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The final very important feature to examine is the soles of your ballroom dance shoes. On no account buy rubber soles because they do not allow the feet to slide across the dance floor which, of course, is very important to be able to do.
They will stop you in your tracks which can indeed be very dangerous. Ideally, you should choose suede for your soles because it both allows sufficient grip of the floor surface and at the same time allows sliding. A slightly less expensive option is leather for your soles, but this is not so effective.
In summary, look for ballroom dance shoes which offer a snug fit, are well made with no sharp edges, are held on the feet by laces or straps and which have suede soles. If you follow these guidelines, your dance shoes will support you and help to make dancing a pleasure.
Check out more tips about ballroom dance shoes and great advice about choosing and caring for your ballroom dresses at Dancewear.