A Complete Overview of Ballroom Dance Heels

A Complete Overview of Ballroom Dance Heels

Jun 23 , 2021


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When it comes to finding comfortable shoes for ballroom dancing, there’s no doubt you’ll want a flexible sole that supports your moves and a heel that matches your confidence.

And, if you perform different styles of dancing you may want to invest in a few pairs so you have choice when it comes to rehearsals and performances.

With that said, it’s important to know what you’re looking for when buying ballroom dance heels.

Let’s take a deeper look into the distinct features of ballroom dance heels.


Types of Dance Heels

When you look at dance heels, they may look like normal high heels at first.

But, every pair of dance heels have different functions whilst still remaining concerned about style.

As such, style and comfort fall hand in hand for any dancer which is why there is such a wide variety of heel heights, colours, widths and styles.

Typically, dance heels will provide extra cushioning and support - especially where the balls of the feet are as there is more pressure applied to this area during dancing.

A reason for this is to enhance the comfort for dancers as much as possible.

Generally, men’s ballroom shoes are always black matte or patent leather and will have a 1 inch heel, and for women, ballroom shoes have heels up to 2.5 inches and will most of the time come in flesh coloured satin (although some dancers match their heels to their dresses).

For beginners, it might be better to choose lower heel heights as they’re easier to dance in and as your confidence grows, your heels can too!


Shoe Shanks

A shank is a flat metal bar that sits from the heel towards the ball of the foot inside the shoe.

Women’s dance heels will have a shank to support the foot, which can be flexible to allow for toe pointing.

However, the more flexible the shank is, the quicker the structure of the shoe can wear out and as a result limit the support for the arch of the foot.

In regards to men’s dance shoes, they can be found without a shank, but they are preferred to preserve the shoe’s structure.

As a new dancer, the shank is not too important but once you’re at a higher level, or if you have existing foot issues, you may want to look closely at your options and decide what will be comfortable.


Suede Soles

Ballroom dance heels will have a suede sole which allows the shoes to glide seamlessly across the floor with the right amount of grip so you can spin, turn and glide without sticking to the floor or slipping over.

Normally, shoes that are not intended for dance will have a rubber sole to help with grip and durability - but grip is the opposite to what dancers need!

With suede soles, ballroom dance heels should only be kept only for dancing - keeping the bottoms smooth is important for stepping onto the dance floor.

However, when they become too smooth you may find you’re slipping all over the place and not dancing with grace at all.

In this case, gently brush the soles with a suede sole brush and the wired teeth will scratch the sole’s surface, bringing back its fluff-like appearance.


Concluding Thoughts

Dance heel designers are taking into consideration comfort and style more than ever before.

Of course they need to fit snug, but they shouldn’t be toe crushing so make sure you try different styles before buying.

Moreover, the more you dance the quicker they will begin to show signs of wear and tear - as soon as you see a difference in the structure, you’ll want to replace them to avoid injuries mid-performance.

Contact us to find out more.


In the meantime, check our extended range of Dance Heels.


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