Dancing never seems to fall out of fashion. Anyone can jump into a beginning class or continue a lifelong habit. It can also be a really energizing social activity on the weekends or after work.
Whether moving to the music is a longstanding hobby or something you’re trying for the first time, there’s no need to splurge on a pair of professional dance shoes. Instead, you can find a pair of shoes that perform double duty and look great even when you’re not on the dance floor. Just remember to abide by these key comfort rules:
If you favor traditional ballroom dance or swing steps, think about soles first. You want the ability to skim the dance floor without slipping, according to Arthur Murray Dance Centers. Rubber soles will put up a fight of resistance, so steer toward smooth-soled shoes with a small amount of grip.
Next, test the flexibility of the shoe, which should be just sturdy enough to move synchronously with you. You’ll risk turning an ankle with a shoe that’s too rigid.
A little heel is a good thing, since traditional dance steps literally put you on your toes. It only takes an inch or two of height for proper form – you don’t want to go much higher, or your heels might be aching later. Make sure you choose heels wide enough for proper balance.
There’s no rule that says fancy shoes can’t have any spring to them. Look for cushioned soles or fit a favorite pair of shoes with insoles you find comfortable. Some heels even sport their own arch support.
Have your foot measured by an expert in shoe fit. This is a universal rule for all shoe shoppers. Feet change over time – even if length stays the same, width and shape are likely to shift. If a shoe doesn’t fit the widest part of your foot, it doesn’t fit at all.
Don’t be shy about telling a salesperson you’re interested in gauging fit. You don’t need to buy anything from the employee confirming your size.
Watch your toes
You want a pair of shoes with a rounded toe box. Squeezing your toes into a narrow space is a surefire recipe for pain. When fitting your shoes, stand upright and pay attention to how much wiggle room you have. If your toes are jammed, you’ll need to find more space in a different size or style.
Don’t fear that you need to sacrifice aesthetics for foot health – there’s a lot of imagination in shoe design these days.
Comfort and looks
Now that you’ve performed the comfort drill, it’s time to talk fashion. Flesh-toned shoes will lengthen your legs without drawing attention away from your graceful turns.
If you go for a vintage ’30s look, you’ll achieve all points of comfort with a rounded toe, sturdy heel and ankle strap. You’ll look very fashion-forward while you’re at it!
More than anything, a properly-fitting pair of shoes means nothing will stand in the way of having fun. Now get out on that dance floor!
Do you like to dance? Tell us in the comments below!