While there are many styles of Salsa dancing, including New York, L.A. and Miami, there are only two types of dance shoes suitable for professional Salsa dancing; Latin dance shoes and high-quality Practice shoes.
Whether teaching or competing, a professional Salsa dancer needs the perfect combination of support, flexibility and comfort from a shoe. When you’re spending long periods of time on your feet, the right shoes provide endurance and prevent injury. Muscle cramps, strains, tendon damage, shin splints, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures are common injuries caused by dancing in poor quality or ill-fitting shoes.
What Makes A Good Pair Of Salsa Shoes?
In Salsa, a dancer’s weight moves with the foot, placement starting from the ball of the foot, shifting to the heel and back again. To achieve the correct stance, professional Salsa dancers wear a heeled shoe to elevate the back and transfer weight placement onto the ball of the foot, while still maintaining weight on the entire foot, to allow quick and easy movement.
To support the correct weight placement for Salsa dancing, choose a dance shoe with a heel height between 1 to 2 inches. Salsa dancing shoes for women normally require a flared heel, while men favour dance shoes with a Cuban heel.
The best Salsa shoes include generous padding throughout the shoe with extra cushioning across the foot bed, to alleviate pressure and absorb shock. Heels and arches should also be supported and cushioned by sports grade materials, to provide stability and keep the foot in a firm position.
Spins & Shines
Professional Salsa dancing shoes have soles made from suede. This enables the dancer to perform spins and shines without sticking to the floor. Too much grip can cause ankle, knee and hip injuries.
Suede soled shoes allow the dancer to feel the floor for increased control over movement. However, suede will require regular maintenance with a wire sole brush to keep the shoes in good condition. Suede soles are only suitable for indoor use on hardwood floors.
Practice Salsa Shoes
Salsa dancing requires a shoe that provides excellent support while providing some flexibility. Practice dance shoes are specifically designed for professional dancers, teachers and dance coaches to provide optimum support and comfort throughout hours spent practicing in the dance studio. The best practice shoes for Salsa dancing incorporate orthotics to support the arches.
As practice dance shoes get hot and sweaty, designs should feature antibacterial heat absorbent lining and socking, to increase the longevity of the shoe. Quality breathable leather or sports lycra mesh will increase flexibility, comfort and durability, over cheaper canvas or synthetic brands.
Practice shoes from a specialist designer such as Ray Rose will be extremely stylish. Women’s closed toe practice shoes with a Cuban heel are an ideal choice for women protecting their toes from an inexperienced dance partner. Practice shoes are so lightweight and comfortable they can be worn extensively and painlessly, making them a favourite amongst professionals for Salsa congresses and parties. These are a great choice when learning Salsa steps, assisting with balance and movement.
Latin Dance Shoes For Salsa
While many men choose black leather shoes, Salsa shoes are also popular in two tone designs, such as the Adolfo range from Ray Rose, developed in conjunction with world renowned Salsa dancer Adolfo Indacochea.
Women’s Salsa shoes are generally open toed Latin sandals in tan satin or tan black, gold, silver and red. The ankle strap should fix firmly across the ankle, while toe straps fit snugly to prevent the foot from moving inside the shoe.
Salsa Dancing Shoes From Ray Rose
Ray Rose shoes are favoured by professional dancers around the globe. Designed for world-class competitors in conjunction with physiotherapists and champions, Ray Rose shoes provide exceptional balance, support and long-lasting comfort.
Dance the night away in a Salsa club with our Sapphire range or choose from our market leading Artsport models for professional Salsa dancing. With an extensive choice of heights, styles and heel widths you’ll find everything you need for Salsa classes, clubs and competitions.
Great dancing starts with great shoes. Find your perfect dance partner with Ray Rose.