If you’re serious about dancing, you need good quality dance shoes to provide stability and comfort. Dance shoes are specifically designed to allow flexible control of movement for greater creative expression, while supporting the ankle, heel and arch. Whereas regular shoes have hardwearing plastic or rubber soles, dance shoes have suede soles. This allows traction and glide without slippage.
Choosing the right shoes for standard and latin dancing will enable you to dance in comfort for longer, essential for improving technique and maintaining poise. When you need a combination of support and professional elegant style, choosing good quality will prevent damage to your ankles and feet as well as providing the perfect foundation for dancing.
The Differences Between Standard & Latin Dance Shoes
Standard dance shoes are designed for smooth movement during dances such as the waltz, tango and foxtrot. Latin shoes are designed with higher heels and raised arches to assist hip movement in dances such as the samba, rumba or cha cha. Choosing the correct shoes helps mastery of the correct techniques for each style of dance.
Men’s Standard & Latin Dance Shoes
Men’s standard shoes have a 1-inch anti-slip heel and look similar in style to a laced dress shoe. A sole that extends slightly over the back of the heel creates smoother movement on heel turns. These shoes may either have a split sole which provides increased flexibility through to the toes, or a continuous sole depending on personal preference. Traditional black leather and patent leather are popular style choices for ballroom.
Men’s latin shoes have a 1.5-inch or 2-inch cuban heel and are designed for flexibility in the arch, to allow pointing of the toe and lengthening of the leg.
Women’s Standard & Latin Dance Shoes
Women’s standard shoes have a closed toe and sides to hold the foot in place. They can be worn either with or without a single ankle support strap. Heel heights vary from 1.5 to 2.5 inches and also range in style from slim to ultra-flared for increased stability.
Latin dance shoes for women are typically an open toe sandal design with ankle straps to provide support. The standard heel height is 2.5 to 3 inches, causing weight to shift onto the ball of the foot, with arches constructed to allow flexibility and pointing of the foot. In correctly fitting latin dance shoes the toes should be positioned at the edge or just over the edge of the shoe.
How To Identify Quality Standard & Latin Dance Shoes
The first indication of quality is the construction of the shoe. Look for high-quality materials – the sole of the shoe should be made from suede with a soft, cushioned inner sole. This enables smooth movement while allowing the wearer to feel contact with the floor for greater control over turning movements. Plastic soles do not provide adequate grip, while rubber soled shoes stick and restrict movement, placing additional pressure on ankles and knees.
Seek manufacturers of quality dance shoes that have been developed in conjunction with dance professionals, combining traditional workmanship with technological advancements in materials to create shoes of the highest strength, comfort and stability.
- Strength – Women’s heels made from stress tested polycarbonate with a steel core provide durability and strength you can rely on. Straps made from tape reinforced stripping will not stretch or break.
- Stability – Anti-slip heels are essential for women’s shoes, while men’s shoes should incorporate cushioning and slip resistance. Sports grade material in the back of the shoe increases ankle support and retains shape no matter how hot the shoes get.
- Comfort – To protect the feet from injury seek well cushioned insoles and shoes designed with sports orthotics with metatarsal and arch supports. The perfect fit is a prerequisite for comfort, so choose a brand that supplies half sizes, a choice of widths and an array of heel heights and styles.
- Longevity – While shoes inevitably wear, wearing dance shoes for hours generates moisture that can deteriorate the shoe. Seek shoes impregnated with charcoal or with anti-microbial coated microfibre lining and socking. This will combat moisture and keep feet and shoes fresh.
- Performance – For men’s shoes, seek high-quality suede heel tips for superior glide and grip.
- Style – A great pair of standard and latin dance shoes combines practicality and style to make you feel your best, giving you the confidence to rise to any challenge.
The Highest Quality Standard & Latin Dance Shoes From Ray Rose
Ray Rose are the dance shoe manufacturer of choice to many of the world’s highest level professional dancers. Our shoes have been developed and perfected in the UK for superior balance, movement and comfort. Our deeply cushioned ergonomic design creates the optimum positioning for even distribution of weight and protection from injury.
With beautiful, finely crafted standard and latin dance shoes available for all abilities, including beginners, social dancers, world-class competitors and also children’s range; with Ray Rose you’ll be sure to feel like you’re dancing on air.