Do I Really Need Dance Shoes?
There are many good reasons that dance shoes are the best choice for dancing. Not only are they designed for the purpose (as shoes designed for many other physical activities), they protect you from injury (particularly feet, ankles and knees) and make your dancing look and feel great. They also protect a dance studio's most important asset - the dance floor.
If you don't already have dance shoes, it is important that the shoes you dance in are clean, comfortable, and (ideally) are worn only on the dance floor. Flip flops, clogs or other loose-fitting shoes are just not safe for dancing. Shoes with treads, stiletto heels, or black soles that leave marks should never be worn on the dance floor.
Dance shoes come in a vast array of styles. Many are designed for a particular style of dance (Ballet, Jazz, Tango, Swing, Ballroom, Latin) others can be used for a variety of dance styles (Dance Sneakers, Practice Shoes). The most important factors are that the shoes fit snugly (you will likely wear a slightly smaller size in a dance shoe than you do in a street shoe), are flexible (to allow good foot articulation), have a suede sole to move easily on the floor without slipping, and, for ladies' shoes, have a heel height that allows you to maintain good balance and posture.
Although most people are able to find comfortable, attractive, and good-fitting dance shoes, there are alternatives for those who are challenged with physical issues including injuries and balance problems. Stay tuned for future posts exploring various types of dance shoes, local dance shoe vendors, and more about those dance shoe alternatives!