Unless you’re already familiar with a specific style and brand of shoe, buying dance shoes online can be tricky. This is because each style will fit slightly differently, with a daunting choice of strap styles, heel heights and width fittings to cater for all shapes and sizes. Sizes can also vary slightly between brands.
As with all dance shoes, choosing the perfect fit when purchasing Salsa shoes is essential for comfort and functionality. While it is always better to try on brands in person wherever possible, buying Salsa shoes online is often more convenient and also allows you to source the most competitive pricing from a variety of reputable dancewear resellers.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you gain the greatest satisfaction from your online ordering experience.
1) Choose An Established, Reputable Brand
The brands that appear first in the search engine results are not necessarily the best. This simply means they have invested in SEO. Always look a little further and establish the background and reputation of a company to ensure they provide genuine high quality, and not just choose shoes at the cheapest price. Take a look at the dance shoes worn by champions and professionals and find out which brands they trust.
2) Check The Sizing
Choosing the right size is the most difficult area to get right when purchasing online, as feet are a three dimensional shape not measured by length and width alone. Many online sites include a size chart, with conversions for UK, US and European sizing, to act as basic guidance. Remember, Salsa shoes are designed to fit snuggly, yet comfortably to your foot, so resist the temptation to choose a size larger when ordering.
3) Evaluate The Images and Description Carefully
Buying stylish Salsa shoes online often means you have to largely rely on the product image. A quality supplier will ensure the product images are clear and accurate, often displaying the shoe from several angles to show the heel positioning and full shape of the shoe.
The details should list the materials used (leather or synthetic, for example) and all specific features the shoe. Areas to look at closely include the sole and heel materials, and the quality of the linings, arch support cushioning and fastenings. The most comfortable Salsa shoes will include biomechanically developed integral metatarsal orthotics and antibacterial lining and socking. Choosing a Salsa shoe with superior arch support is essential, especially if you have high or low arches.
4) Choose The Right Heel Shape And Height
To achieve the characteristic shifting steps of Salsa, the dancer’s weight needs to be distributed forwards onto the ball of the foot. A Latin style dance shoe is required to elevate the heel enough to create the correct balance of weight in Salsa shoes for both sexes and to create a lengthened leg line. For women, the heel is generally between 2 and 3 inches, however it is important to choose a heel height you can dance in comfortably, as pressure on the balls of the feet and the ankles increases with height. As a wider style heel provides more stability and firm weight placement, women should choose a flared or straight heel. Men’s professional Salsa dance shoes feature a 1.5 or 2 inch Cuban heel.
Another important point to consider is how the brand measures heel height, as this also varies between suppliers. Establish whether the heel tip is included within the heel measurement and whether the heel is measured from the back of the shoe at the seam, or through the centre of the heel. Heel tips add approximately 5mm to the overall height.
5) Choose A Style With Comfortable And Supportive Straps
While Salsa shoes for men will be laced, ladies’ designs come in a diverse choice of strap styles, including:
- Ankle Strap – Encircles the front of the ankle in a loop with a side fastening.
- T-Strap – A T-bar from the ankle strap to the toe strap secures the foot evenly to the shoe, providing optimum support.
- Under Arch Strap – A longer, versatile strap anchors the foot to the arch of the shoe for increased stability and elegant style.
Toe straps are an important area for consideration. Knotted styles allow additional flexibility, adjusting to the position of the toes, whereas partially enclosed, wider straps will increase security. As the straps need to be strong and secure for Salsa dancing, check the quality of the materials used, both for the strapping and for the buckles. While the straps of many dance shoe brands have a tendency to stretch with wear; causing the shoe to loosen over time, this can be avoided by choosing brands that use high strength reinforcing tape in the straps.
Cushioning in a Salsa shoe needs to be thin enough to allow the dancer to feel the floor through the shoe, but sufficient enough to absorb shock. Cushioning throughout the shoe helps to reduce strain on the ankles, knees and hips, and reduces pressure on the balls of the feet.
7) Check The Returns Policy
All reputable dance shoe suppliers will accept returns of unworn, unused and undamaged shoes in their original box. Always check the terms of the returns policy, including how long you have to return or exchange the shoes, should you need a different size.
8) Check The Delivery Timeframe
Always order shoes online in good time, factoring in time for shipping. This is especially important when ordering new Salsa shoes for competition wear.
9) Try Your New Shoes On Immediately And Carefully
On delivery of your Salsa shoes, always try these on indoors in a clean, dry environment. Keep all the internal and outer packaging safe and do not attempt to dance in the shoes until you are sure the fit is correct, as worn shoes cannot be returned. Should you need to exchange your shoes, return these as soon as possible.
Correctly fitting dance shoes should always feel light and extremely comfortable. Each shoe should fit tightly, preventing the foot from sliding, without causing any pain or discomfort. For ladies, the correct fit for Salsa shoes is for the toes to be positioned at the edge of the shoes, or even very slightly protruding when standing.
For men, the shoes should ‘fit like a glove’, with the big toe just touching the end of the shoe. The shoe should allow flexible pointing of the toe without slipping at the heel.
10) Enjoy Your New Shoes!
Once you’ve found the perfect style and fit from a brand, you can order all subsequent shoes online. Happy dancing!
Buy Salsa Shoes Online From Ray Rose
Whether you’re a professional Salsa dancer or a social dancer, Ray Rose can help you reach new heights with the perfect pair of Salsa dance shoes from our ArtSport or Sapphire ranges. Every pair of shoes we create is designed and manufactured from the finest materials to provide outstanding stability, flexibility and comfort.
Click here to browse our extensive choice of Latin and Salsa dance shoes, available to purchase online today.