The Best Advice to Buy Women’s Ballroom Dance Shoes (and Top 7 Options)
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Have you decided to start dancing? Very happy for you! You are about to open the gates to happiness, strength, and self-confidence in your life. Not to forget that the joy of dancing is often attached to healthy living too. 

So now that you’ve taken the plunge to be consciously happy and move your body freely to the rhythm, it’s time to get the appropriate clothing. Yes, appropriate clothing holds huge importance in ballroom dancing. Regardless of which dance style you will be dipping your toe into — from standard ballroom dance styles like the Waltz, Tango, Quickstep, Foxtrot to the Latin ballroom dance styles like Paso doble, Samba, Bolero, Cuban Bolero, Mambo, Spanish Bolero, Cha-cha — ballroom dancing can be difficult if you don’t have the right clothing. 

And you’ll need the right pair of women’s ballroom dance shoes every time mostly because the right pair of dance shoes is crucial to achieving the perfect steps and delivery that will lead to overall outstanding performance. 

The dance shoes don’t only need to be good-looking though, they should give you protection, support, and durability. And apart from all these, the most important factor when choosing the right ballroom shoes is COMFORT! 

But why have comfort with a shoe that is not beautiful? When we spend all that time looking great and buying expensive dresses, we cannot top it off with an unattractive shoe as it will be making us self-conscious. At the same time, it won’t make sense to have a beautiful shoe that is uncomfortable either. A woman will not have a good time dancing and it will show despite the fact that Ballroom dancing is a lot of fun. So the woman’s foot attire should be fun, beautiful, and comfortable — all at the same time. 

While comfortable ballroom dancing shoes can make you feel relaxed and confident while dancing, at the same time, not everyone knows how to choose the best shoes and that’s understandable. We are here to help!

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How to choose the best women’s ballroom dance shoes

Unlike most activities, where you can still get away with just any kind of shoe, owning a good pair of ballroom dance shoes can make all the difference. We have already established that but to understand it better let’s draw an analogy. 

Consider it like trying to climb a mountain. If your shoes are not durable against the rocky terrains and do not offer enough grip, flexibility, and protection, then well, you are in trouble. Of course, unlike rock climbing, the outcome of choosing the wrong kind of dancing shoes are not exactly fatal. But even if it’s a minor sprain, you must not be looking forward to getting it and by all means, avoid it from happening. Prevention is always better than cure. 

So let’s take a look at a few tips that can ensure that you buy the best women’s ballroom dance shoes. 

The sole

The main difference between normal shoes and dancing shoes is their sole. A crucial aspect of ballroom dancing is the ability to freely glide along the floor. To manage this, you will need to make sure the sole of your shoes is the correct material. Let’s explore: 

Rubber: Lucky for us, rubber has a lot of traction. So it can be good for fast-paced dances as the quickstep or even the Foxtrot. But always look for the correct type of rubber with limited traction. Because too much traction might lead you to stick to the floor and disable you from spinning or moving freely. Rubber soles are the best when you are planning on dancing outdoors as it will not wear down like the suede sole may. 

Suede: For wooden or polished dance floors suede soles are the magical ones. They assist you to move quickly and allow you to do it with twists and spins. Be aware of the material you are dancing on though. Suede soles are not always the most suitable option because the floors made of sticky material damage the suede soles and floors that are over-polished will make you look like you are skating on ice. Your ballroom shoes should suit the floor that you are going to be dancing on so make sure you check out the space before you make a purchase. 

Also, do not forget to consider the depth of the sole. The deeper the sole is, the lesser will be the flexibility you will have in the shoe. The motive is that you can fully point your foot as it is required in many Latin and ballroom dances. The best women’s ballroom dance shoes will enable you to do this among other things. Since you might want your shoes to move with your feet to exaggerate your point, you should opt for thinner soles.

The shoe material 

The dance shoes meant for professionals are usually made out of plain leather, canvas, patent leather, or satin material. Plain leather is generally the best choice as far as all the materials are concerned. Its stiff nature allows the shoe to retain its original shape for a longer period. On top of it, it also requires very little maintenance and offers a good amount of support and protection to your feet. It’s clear why leather shoes are standard in professional dance competitions as well so your feet wouldn’t stick out.

The arch support

Dancing is essentially a fun way to work out with your feet, unlike other exercises that might bore you to death. And just like exercise, you must make sure that your shoes provide enough arch support while you dance. If you buy ballroom dance shoes with poor arch support your feet will hurt. Add to that, make sure that the padded lining of the shoes is of a firm and high-quality material, and also there should be a steel shank installed in the middle of your dance shoe. This will help you improve stability to your foot. 

The fit 

It goes without saying that you must choose shoes that fit you well. The shoes should not be too tight because your feet need to breathe while you dance. So make sure you test out the shoes before buying. If the shoes are so tight for your toes to feel pressured, then you should look for a second option. Choosing something of moderate width so that your feet don’t hurt after wearing them is the best option here. You definitely need to give it a skip if your foot feels trapped in the shoe. 

The length of the heel 

Regardless of what other people tell you, you should only opt for the length of a heel that you are comfortable in. It’s perfectly fine to not be able to dance wearing high heels, not everyone is. It’s important to be prepared to get a little hurt while breaking into a dance show with heels. Of course, there will be a lot of slipping and falling. Generally, there are a lot of types of heels among shoes and likewise, there are different types of heels among dance shoes too. Most of the dancers opt for dance footwear that has a flared heel. It can be attributed to the fact that it provides you with more stability. 

The bonus features 

There are certain bonus features in ballroom dance shoes. The best ones come with antibacterial lining. When we dance, our feet tend to produce sweat. And this further can lead to the growth of bacteria and fungus in the shoe. An antibacterial lining ensures that the sweat is absorbed and it prevents the growth of bacteria and fungus from happening. You can opt for an odor-free bacterial lining as well. Further, shoes with latex technology are good at absorbing shock. So the technology will help you prevent your feet from getting tired too quickly too. 

Once and for all, let’s summarize the top tips to buy the best women’s ballroom dance shoes: 

  1. Make sure to buy shoes that have good arch support with a firm padded lining. 
  2. Don’t forget to check if there is a shank ending at the ball of the foot shoe for a nice soft landing. 
  3. Make sure the shoe is flexible. You can check it by simply bending the shoe. A good shoe would bend and is usually made out of leather. 
  4. Speaking of leather, it’s recommended to buy a leather shoe for greater durability. 
  5. Don’t buy a shoe that doesn’t fit. Try it out. 
  6. Don’t go for a heel height that you cannot walk wearing, let alone dancing. 
  7. If possible, buy shoes with an antibacterial lining. There also are shoes with odor-free antibacterial lining available.
  8. If possible, look for latex technology to absorb the shock. 
  9. Last but not the least, spend the money. Being penny-wise and pound-foolish won’t work here. Even if you delay buying it, it’s wiser to pay for a good pair of ballroom shoes. Let your heart and feet thank you. 

What is the Difference Between Latin Shoes and Standard Ballroom Shoes?

Many people often ask this question and not many people seem to get it right. Let us help you here. 

Latin dance shoes are traditionally open-toed with strappy heels. The heel height can range from 1 to 3 inches depending on your preference. The partner footwork in Latin dancing involves lesser chances of toe-stepping that’s why it is not required to have closed-toe shoes in that particular case. The sole of Latin dance shoes is very supple which means that the shoe follows your foot and shows off your point. If you are practicing multiple styles of ballroom and Latin and want to spend and commit to one pair of shoes, the Latin style of shoes is highly recommended. 

On the other hand, ladies’ ballroom shoes will usually be closed-toe because it is easier for your partner to trod on you during ballroom dancing. 

Now that we have discussed what you can look for, let’s make you familiar with where to buy women’s ballroom dance shoes!

Where to Buy Women’s Ballroom Dance Shoes?

Dance clothing stores are few and far between. Probably that’s the reason why lots of people are now heading to online stores to buy women’s ballroom dance shoes. 

Luckily, just like anything else online, there are a good number of websites that sell women’s ballroom dance shoes and you can choose from these. Amazon is always a great option because you can read people’s reviews on it and that way you can know whether the ballroom shoes will be durable, true to size, and suitable for the ballroom. 

Women’s ballroom dance shoes with high heel:

1.    Lightweight Tango Heels

You can buy these shoes here (5 Colours available)

These beautiful shoes are of satin material and have a suede sole. The best part about ordering these is that when you order them, you receive complimentary gifts, which includes: your dance shoes, heel protectors, an exclusive pouch bag to keep the sachet with a fresh odour for your shoes when not in use and a carry-on shoe bag to bring your shoes to and from class.

This lightweight pair of dance shoes is a must for professional dancers. Only looking at them will make you imagine wearing them at your next dance class, on a night out dancing with your friends or at the next wedding you will attend — These shoes are suitable for all different dance styles, like ballroom, salsa, Latin, cha-cha, rumba, east coast swing, bolero, mambo, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, samba, paso doble, jive, quickstep, merengue, bachata, west coast swing, lindy hop, charleston, balboa, boogie-woogie, hustle, Argentine tango, nightclub 2 step, line, party, weddings, social dancing — name the occasion and you can wear them to it. To top it all, this pair of shoes while being beautiful is also affordable. 

You will expect to pay more for this affordable modern, elegant, comfortable, feminine, and stylish pair of dance shoes, but because of the manufacturer’s ingenuity, you don’t have to. It can also be an awesome gift or present for you, your loved one, or someone special. It’s so comfortable that dancers, just like you, wear them for hours and hours of dancing.

They have quick release buckling (buckle & clip/hook), minimal shank for support & flexibility, cushioned insole for shock absorption & comfort with good grip. 

2.    Comfortable Tango shoes

You can buy these shoes here 

Another similar pair of shoes but different in color and different buckle design — this pair of shoes too is equally beautiful and adorable for dancers. Their tan color makes them match with dresses of any color. These shoes too are of satin material, having a suede sole. The best part about ordering these, just like their green counterparts, is that when you order them, you receive complimentary gifts, which includes: your dance shoes, heel protectors, an exclusive pouch bag to keep the sachet with a fresh odour for your shoes when not in use and a carry-on shoe bag to bring your shoes to and from class.

This lightweight pair of dance shoes is a must for professional dancers, but can also be used by beginners and intermediate level dancers. You can wear the same type of shoes to all your dance classes, without the need of getting more pair of shoes. To top it all, this pair of shoes while being beautiful is also affordable. They are also styled with a quick release buckling (buckle & clip/hook), minimal shank for support & flexibility, cushioned insole for shock absorption & comfort with good grip. 

3.    Salsa stillettos

You can buy these shoes here 

Another pair with good ratings on their reviews is this beautiful-looking pair of shoes. These too are of satin material and have a suede sole which is the optimal material for dancing shoes. The beautiful design would go with any kind or color of a dress. 

These shoes have a quick buckling, minimal shank for support & flexibility, and cushioned insole for shock absorption and comfort with a good grip this makes is great for people who suffers from backpain but still wants to dance all night. It’s not recommended to use the size chart and try to buy the medium width because all others might not properly fit.

4.    Glitter Bachata Shoes

You can buy these shoes here

These pretty and beautiful nude-colored ballroom dance shoes are slightly higher than the other shoes mentioned earlier but still carry suede sole suitable for dancing. They come with a sizing tip: measure your feet by chart: 1/2 size up for wider feet. Luckily, they have double layer heel tips, they also are noise-free, can be worn for longer, are also skid-proof, and more flexible.

Their memory foam guarantees ultimate comfort and shock absorption which is very good for people who have back pain. The microfiber insole is non-slip and also breathable. The hand-inlaid Swarovski Crystals combine with the quick release buckle and make these shoes dreamy enough to add to your ballroom dance shoes collection.

Women’s ballroom dance shoes with flat/low heel

5.    Closed Toe Low Heel Glitter Dance Shoes

You can buy these shoes here

These amazing low heel ballroom dance shoes come with a leather sole. The upper glitter is just to die for. They come with an absorbing sweat insole, soft breathable lining, high elastic latex midsole with thick durable suede outsole. The design of these shoes is perfect and the easy buckle makes you wear it quickly. It fits well and protects you from falling down while performing your dance-moves. These shoes are suitable for Latin, Salsa, Tango, Rumba ChaCha, and also for practicing, live performances, competitions, weddings, etc. They are super soft, flexible, and lightweight and that gives you the freedom to move around and dance with them comfortably. 

This brand — HXYOO — is popular for designing and producing dancing shoes for all — women, men, and kids. If you are looking for steady and comfortable shoes for dancing, you can definitely go for this brand. 

6.    Latin Salsa Bachata Practice Performance Dance Shoes

You can buy these shoes here 

Another pair of reliable women’s ballroom dance shoes are the EAKLVB ones. These shoes have steady and comfortable heels. These are true to size and since they fit perfectly, they can be super comfortable for dancing for many hours. The simple and generous stylish and sparkly design gives a sense of low-key luxury. Thanks to the stretch belt, you can wear it quickly. This pair of shoes have a suede sole. As far as the occasions that these shoes can be used and the people they’re suitable for are concerned, they can be used for Latin dance training, Salsa, Bachata, Jazz, indoor activities, and both by amateur and professional dancers. These shoes come with soft, comfortable, enhanced cushioning that helps in reducing walking fatigue. 

EAKLVB as a brand claims to be committed to high-quality and economic dance shoes and also provides friendly customer service. This brand has more than ten years of experience in dance shoes. 

Women’s ballroom dance shoes: teaching shoes styles

7.    Black Leather Dance Shoes

You can buy these shoes here 

If you are into buying women’s ballroom dance shoes that you can wear while teaching dances, the Gogo dance professional lace-up shoes are one of the best options. The high-quality leather and exquisite workmanship will perfectly showcase someone’s temperament and taste. The leather is also lined with moisture-absorbing brushed material. The insole is cushioned and the heel absorbs shock.

Overall, the shoe is lightweight and comfortable. They have a strengthened counter with steel that is uneasy to crack thus providing additional protection to your ankle. The pair is suitable for Latin dances, standard Ballroom, Salsa, Rhythm, Tango, Swing, and more. 

8.    Cuban Heel Dance Shoes

You can buy these shoes here 

The next pair of shoes in the teaching shoes style is the Capezio ones. These are 100% of canvas material. The sole is leather and synthetic. The shoe’s sizing is equivalent to street shoe size so keep that in mind while buying them. There is a ¾ flexible shank with 1” Cuban heel and a cushioned insole.

Very comfortable right out the gate when purchasing, but the shoe risk to loose their form after many hours of wearing them due to the soft canvas material.

Alternative to women’s ballroom dance shoes

Stick-on suede soles for high-heeled shoes

You can buy these soles here

Instead of buying new ballroom dance shoes, you can also purchase suede soles that you can attach underneath your favorite pair of high heels and instantly convert them into dance shoes in a minute. You can also replace the worn-out suede soles on existing dance shoes using these suede soles too. Using these, you can continue to enjoy the ideal friction properties of suede soles when dancing on well-maintained and clean wood dance floors at a fraction of the price of new-suede-soled dance shoes for the time being.

Don’t forget that these suede soles are prohibited from getting worn on any surface other than clean wood dance floors or else they will wear out severely. 

There are so many things to love about these soles. You don’t have to fuss with messy and smelly glues as no glue is required for this product. You just need to peel off the protective liner from the self-adhesive backing and straight away apply your new suede soles to your shoes. Apart from this, you also do not need to fuss about cutting the right shape out of a sheet of suede. These soles are shaped optimally for fitting most of the high-heeled ladies’ shoes. And still, these shoes will provide you with an ultimate dance experience. In case the soles are too big, it’s easy to cut the excess with the regular scissors found at home. 

You can also opt for suede stick-on dance soles for flat shoes or sheets of suede too. All these come with industrial-strength adhesive backing. Soles2dance has a range of adhesive-backed suede soles and adhesive-backed suede sheets for you to use as an alternative to buying new shoes. 

Best Women’s Ballroom Shoes – The Verdict

Well, all of the products that we have mentioned above are worth every penny. Most of them have a beautiful look with a beautiful top and comfort that is perfect for the ballroom.

You can be confident that the shoes mentioned above will make you feel protected and the heels will keep you stable. The connect buckles make them easy to take on and off. And we are kind of sure whichever you choose from the list, they will only add to an outstanding dance performance and will get you tons of compliments. 

Thank you for reading our advice on buying women’s ballroom dance shoes here. 

We hope you found your perfect pair of ballroom heels from our list. If you have, you can also check out how Dance Incubation is offering a free video series, where you will learn how to move your body in 3 everyday situations. It’s both fun, and a very different take on how you can actually incorporate dancing in your everyday life without taking classes, spend an extreme amount of time OR even leave your house. These moves will get you feeling confident and ready. 

Good luck with your dance journey ahead!

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Dance Incubation, Bachata Course, Caroline

Caroline Kjeldgaard

Fulltime dancer and creator

Caroline is giving her all to share knowledge around sensuality and movement as a female dancer. She is based in Hong Kong and provides weekly guidance to her followers.

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