Dance Shoes

The objective of dance shoes is to support and facilitate better performance in various kinds of dancing. There is a wide variety of dance shoes available, while their style, appearance and characteristics are dependent on the type of dancing that they will be used in. Thus the kind of dance in which their wearer participates is the main criterion for the classification of dance shoes:

Pointe shoes: Shoes designed for ballet dancing. They have a toe box that is stiffened with glue and a hardened sole that enables the dancers to stand at the tips of their toes. They are secured by elastic straps and/or ribbons that are tied around the dancers' ankles.

Ballet shoes: Heel-less slippers made of canvas or soft leather, with either a continuous or a two-part sole, often referred to as a split-sole. The sole of these shoes is typically made of leather, with thicker material under the ball and heel of the foot, and thinner, and thus more flexible material, under the arch so that the foot can be pointed to its utmost.

Jazz shoes: These shoes typically have a two-part, rubberdized sole to provide both flexibility and traction and a low (one inch or shorter) heel. Jazz shoes are secured to the foot by laces are elastic inserts.

Tango/ Flamenco shoes: Dance shoes that typically have a strap to be held in place. They usually have a thick heel and are commonly made of leather.

Ballroom/ Latin American dance shoes: These shoes fall into two categories for the two genres of dances, as defined by the IDSF (International DanceSport Federation): Ballroom and LAtin American. Both types of shoes are characterized by suede soles. Mens ballroom shoes are typically lace-ups with 1-inch heels and patent leather uppers. Ladies ballroom shoes are typically court shoes with low 2-inch heels, and are usually made of fabric so that they can be finished with a greater variety of colors to match the dancers dress. The low heel of the ballroom shoe distributes the dancer's weight across the foot, while the Latin American dance shoes have higher heels, designed to throw the dancer's weight on to the toes, while the soles are also more flexible. Male Latin dance shoes typically have 1.5-2 inch shaped heels, while Ladies Latin shoes have 2.5-3 inch heels, are usually open-toes and fasten with straps.

Dance sneakers: These shoes are also known as "dansneakers" and they are a combination of a sneaker and a dance shoe with a reinforced rubber toe.

Character shoes: These shoes have heels with heights ranging from 1 inch to 3 inches. They are usually made of leather, and often have more straps across the instep to secure the foot while dancing. They may come in soft-soled (suede) or hard-soled varieties. It should be noted to that character shoes may be converted to tap shoes be attaching taps.

Foot thongs: These shoes are basically slip-ons, partial foot covers that protect the ball of the dancer's foot from skin abrasions while executing turns. From a distance, flesh colored foot thongs give the dancer the appearance of having bare feet.