How to Choose the Right Shoes for Latin Dancing

How to Choose the Right Shoes for Latin Dancing

Salsa dancing is fun, fast and requires the right footwear. You could try to wear your street shoes to dance Salsa, but your turns will be sluggish, and your feet will probably ache after a night shaking it on the dance floor. Choosing a great dance shoe will improve your moves, soothe your feet and give you that confidence to Salsa your heart out.

Why You Need Dance Shoes

Street shoes are for the street. If you are serious about dancing and go to a place that is serious about dancers, your Adidas aren't going to cut it. Dance shows have leather soles and Burju has light street soles that allow you to slide easily on the dance floor. This kind of responsiveness allows you to turn, spin and cha cha cha as you dance. They enhance your connection to the floor.

Latin dance shoes weigh less than your street shoes, which makes them more flexible. This flexibility gives your foot the chance to move more freely, and it keeps your heel stationary. This will help you make tight turns as you Salsa, rumba and tango the night away. Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you shop for a great pair of dance shoes.

Fit Fit Fit

The Latin dance shoe, no matter what style, has got to fit like a glove. The fit has got to be perfection around the ankle. The shoes will stretch after you use them, but not so much that you have to get a tight shoe. Don't settle in this department. A great fitting dance shoe is a game changer. It improves your connection to the music, the floor and the people you dance with. Dance shoes and street shoes usually run about the same. But if your foot is wide, you shoe try a dance shoe one half size bigger than you normally wear. If your foot is narrow, you should go down half a size from your street shoe.

The Heel

Womens Salsa shoes have a heel to increase your balance and create a clean line. Heels can range from one-half inch to 4 inches. Most shoes have 2-3 inch heels. If you're just starting to dance, don't wear a heel higher than 2.5 inches. One to 2.5 inches is ideal. Flared heels are among the most popular styles for women. The general rule is the higher the heel, the more the weight is on the ball of the foot. The heel elevates the back and transfers weight onto the ball of the foot, while maintaining weight on the foot. This allows for quick, easy moves and that's what Salsa is all about.

The Toe

Open toe shoes are meant for Latin and rhythm dances, such as Salsa, Rumba and tango. While doing these dances, you need you to point your toes and articulate your feet. The open toe of the shoes allows for a better toe point and makes it easier for you to have precise footwork. Closed toe shoes are meant for dances such as the Foxtrot and Waltz.


A great pair of Latin dance shoes have plenty of padding in the shoe with extra cushion across the foot bed. This alleviates pressure and absorbs shock. You'll be on your feet for hours, so if you don't have enough support, your feet will let you know. Heels and arches should be supported to give you even more stability. Who wants to feel wobbly on the dance floor?

Other Considerations

Taking Care Of Your Shoes

Moisture can destroy your shoes. Use shoe trees to help them dry out and keep the shape of the shoe. Cedar shoe trees fight odor, which may become an issue at some point. Dance shoes are not as durable as street shoes, so don't expect them to last years and years. You can extend the life of your dance shoes by having more than one pair. That way you can rotate shoes between dance sessions.

To keep your dance shoes clean, shoe polish is great for leather. Satin, sparkle net, and mesh can be cleaned using soap and water. Suede bottom shoes wear out quickly if you wear them on the street. You should wear suede bottom shoes on dance floor surfaces only. Take your dance shoes with you and change into your dance shoes after you arrive at your destination. Most dance shoes come with a shoe bag. Wire shoe brushes can be used to clean suede soles. The wire removes debris from the bottom, and it lifts the nap to make the suede new again.

Practice Salsa Shoes

Salsa dancing requires practice, and it's a good idea to invest in a pair of practice dance shoes especially if you're a dance teacher, a professional dancer or super enthusiastic about your dance hobby. You'll be spending hours and days in the shoes. Practice shoes are designed to absorb heat, stop bacterial growth and keep you comfortable Look for ones that are quality breathable leather or a light sports lycra mesh. They are flexible and give you more movement than cheaper ones. Women's practice shoes should be closed-toe with a Cuban heel to protect toes from being stomped on by an inexperienced dance partner. Practice shoes even more lightweight and comfortable than regular dance shoes.


Our Latin dance shoes are reasonably priced and are of the highest quality. Prices for Salsa dance shoes generally range from $80-$300, but ours are about $150.

If you love Latin dancing and want to make the most of your moves, pick up a pair or two of Latin dance shoes. Leave your street shoes for the streets and step into shoes that will support you. They come in all kinds of styles and will take your dancing to the next level. Your feet will be more comfortable, you'll feel connected to the dance floor, and you won't want to go Latin dancing without them again.

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