How to Buy Dance Shoes

This page is for Vic's dancer's list group of 24 people as of July 15, 2018.

Dance Shoes Article on how to chose a shoe,
Compiled By Victor Jean Ouellette July 17, 2018

A note from Vic to start
I bought my men’s shoes from the 30 up place many years ago because the advice was of a high quality. With regard to men's shoes, after many years I began to have a problem with the sole continually lifting up on my shoes even after being glued back down by the shoe repair man. The problem was really that the suede had worn and was thin and water on the floor in dance venue washrooms made my spinning separate the sole suede from the shoe. So, for $40 I had Sammy at Sam's Shoe Repair add a new thicker suede sole and that solved the problem permanently. So. I still have my original shoes of many years ago.

Sam's Shoe Repair 905-569-6001
6720 Meadowvale Town Centre Cir.
Mississauga, ON L5N 4B7

And by the way, scraping the sole with a shoe brush after every dance lengthens the life of the sole. It removes the dust and debris and roughens any shiny areas. Just make sure you always brush from the centre to the edges so as not to lift an edge with the metal bristled brush. Below is an article I found online on dance shoes and I have included the links.

Links to Dance Shoe Data

Kitchener-Waterloo The Importance of Quality Ballroom Dance Shoe

Author: Nancy Henrichsen

The date is set. Your outfit or costume has been selected, and now it's decision time for shoes. Choosing ballroom dance shoes is not as easy as selecting a pair of street shoes. Ballroom dancers spend a considerable amount of time on their feet, and realizing the significance of superior dance shoes isn't always obvious to many novice dancers. Ballroom dance shoes should be made with certain unique design characteristics:

The most important difference is found in the sole of the dance shoe. Most street shoes have rubber or leather soles, whereas the sole of a ballroom dance shoe is made of thin suede leather. The purpose of the thin soles is to allow the dancer to have better contact with the floor, which ultimately improves the quality of the dancing.

Ballroom dance shoes should be infinitely more flexible than street shoes, in both the upper and lower portions of the shoe. The flexibility offers a greater range of motion for the dancer.

Ballroom dance shoes should contain a metal tang for arch support. Greater arch support provides a more comfortable dancing experience, and has been shown to prevent pain in feet, ankles, knees and back.

Just as there are different styles of ballroom dance, there are different styles of ballroom dance shoes. There are two main categories:

Standard/Smooth - The men's ballroom dance shoes have the same type of heel found on men's street shoes. The ladies dance shoes look similar to ladies pumps with a slightly lower heel and wider base.

Latin/Rhythm. Latin/rhythm men's shoes have a larger heel, generally between 2 to 2.5 inches. Ladies Latin/rhythm shoes are open toe and possess a sandal-like appearance with a tall, thin heel, generally 2"-3" high.

The Closed Toe Shoes or Ballroom Dance Shoes, Open Toe Shoes or Latin Dance Shoes, and Men's Ballroom Dance Shoes should all be constructed using the unique fabrication features described above.

When considering a ballroom dance shoe, remember to study the construction of the shoe. The stitching of the leather gives you some indication of the quality of the shoe. Small even stitches are preferable and usually indicate a higher quality shoe. Look for a soft inner sole with extra cushioning, which will diminish the amount of force taken by the feet from hard dancing surfaces.

Poorly constructed shoes may not only lead to a shorter shoe life, but can severely damage a dancer's foot. I speak from experience on this issue, and have suffered immeasurably because of it.

For men who dance in both Standard/Smooth as well as Latin categories, Standard shoes will suffice if only one pair is afforded. The color black is the best choice for ballroom; reserve the two-toned shoes for swing. Avoid patent leather if the shoes will be worn for Latin.

The preferred color for ladies in both the Standard/Smooth and Latin/Rhythm is a tan/flesh/bronze dance shoe if you are competing because these colors blend with the feet and give the illusion of longer legs, a very desirable quality in dancing. Ladies rarely compete in black shoes, reserving them for showcase, show dances, or special solo numbers. However, in social dancing, color selection is open to personal preferences.

The cost for ballroom dance shoes varies, depending on the quality and source. However, for those who want to dance comfortably for hours at a time, they are a precious investment. Once your feet have been damaged from too much floor time in poorly constructed or ill fitting shoes, the recovery time can be long and painful.

I know of very few other leisure activities that bring as much pleasure and enjoyment as ballroom dancing. Treat your feet to quality dance shoes and dance happy!

About the Author:
Ballroom Dancer for three years; Amateur Competitor in five Pro/Am Ballroom Dance
Competitions in Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia. First Place in 4-dance Smooth Championship and 5-dance Rhythm Championship, Silver Level, Southern States Danceport Championship, New Orleans, La. CEO -
Article Source: - The Importance of Quality Ballroom Dance Shoes
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One of our dance ladies Zenia, mentions:

In Guelph...Michelle Ariss sells dance shoes...Ballroom Class Studio. (519-820-5910). Plus, she may have several contacts, sources/ suppliers.

On line..
1) got my last pair recently..very happy with them.
3) Dance Plus 416-251-5998 Etobicoke
4) Stardust Dance Shoes. 905-793-7681. Brampton
5) (scroll through till you see dance shoes)

Ps..Like I mentioned, I've had luck buying shoes on line. However, if the fit isn't proper, you're stuck with them. I'd always go with a company that has a "return policy" with no extra cost involved. Good luck.


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So, there you have a bit of advice from people in the know. You can often meet these people at Gino’s dances about every second Sunday at the Victoria Park East Golf Club. Lesson starts at 6 pm SHARP. 1096 Victoria Rd. South, Puslinch, Ontario N0B 2J0. Ya,,,, we call it Guelph LOL, because well, it’s in Guelph.


For a PDF version of this document and the links in Zenia's section go to