ALL ABOUT SHOES!

Updated: Mar 25

Here are some of our favorite dance shoes, and how to take care of them!


Important note! You do not have to have all of these items before you start dancing. These are supplies that, as a dancer, you will naturally acquire over time. But, we have a few favorites we would like for you to try!


Dance Shoes


The first dance item you should look for after you find your dance community is dance shoes! There are many great brands out there. However, there are many scammy ones, too. To keep our list short, we are going to reference some of our favorite shoe styles from two of our most trusted brands, Dance Shoes of Tennessee and SwayD! For full discrepancy, we will also list how long the model has owned the shoes at the time the picture was taken, and rate the amount of wear each shoe gets on average per year (Mild being 1-3 hours per week, Moderate being 4-5 hours per week, Heavy being 6+ hours per week). The pictures below of Spenser and I wearing our shoes have no filter on them.



Men's Shoes


Dance Sneakers


5 years of Heavy Wear

- Ultimate Hybrid from Dance Shoes of TN (Unisex)

This is a very comfortable shoe, that stays comfortable even through a long day of dancing. It does not need any extra padding to maintain comfort throughout the day. There is not a significant amount of height in the heel, it is very supportive, and it is also very stylish. It is very popular amongst our male students, and it is also very durable. It's sleek yet subtle design works well with both casual and formal outfits.



(Brand New)

- Lorenzo from SwayD (Unisex) - Order 1 size up

The Lorenzo is a very stylish sneaker, and it is completely flat on the bottom. It is not very flexible, so keep that in mind when lacing it up around the ankle area. Due to its supportive sole, it might also take a little longer to break it in. However, if you order the correct size, it will not feel restricting at all. The laces also make it easy to adjust the width. Just like the Ultimate Hybrid, the padding underneath is great. So, you are not likely to need extra padding with this shoe.


*Enter code MiahThompson (no spaces) at checkout for a free gift! Affiliate code only applies at SwayD Dance Shoes, and it is reusable!



Dressy Shoes

(Low Heel: 8 Years of Moderate Wear,

High Heel: 4 Years of Mild Wear)

- Gibson From Dance Shoes of TN

An all around good shoe. Whether you are just starting out or you have been dancing for years, you will really enjoy dancing in this shoe. The classic Gibson is a dressier shoe. However, they are not so fancy that they look out of place with causal clothes. The Gibson is extremely customizable. You can get patent leather, classic style, and even some printed styles. You can also change up the height of the heel on your Gibson shoe. This style is very adaptable, and the shoes will last for a really long time.



(2 Years of Heavy Wear)

- Heather from Dance Shoes of TN (Unisex)

This shoe is great for both male and female dancers. However, the Gibson tends to be more popular amongst our male students. The Heather is a great canvas option for anyone looking for a closed toe heel that is comfortable and sturdy. It is also naturally more breathable than the Gibson. The Heather gives you all the benefits of wearing heels, without feeling like you are wearing heels. It is very durable, and great for teachers or people who dance a lot. The Heather is very flexible in the front and supportive in the middle. It is also very breathable due to the top being made of canvas. If you teach/dance a lot, I would recommend buying their dance insole to go with it.



(2 Years of Mild Wear)

- Sultan Cool Comfort from Dance Shoes of TN

The Sultan Cool Comfort is very similar to the Gibson. However, it has more cosmetic detailing than the Gibson in the front and heel of the shoe, and it has black mesh on the side instead of leather. The goal of the mesh is to keep your feet cool while dancing, and many people really enjoy it. If you wear black socks with your shoes, no-one can tell that it's mesh! If you do not like the mesh siding, you can easily request leather instead. Below is an example of Spenser's Sultans, where he replaced the black mesh siding with white leather to achieve a retro wingtip look.



Women's Shoes


Dance Sneakers


(Brand New)

- Lorenzo from SwayD (Unisex) - Order 1 size up

The Lorenzo is a very stylish sneaker, and it has great ankle support. It is not very flexible, so keep that in mind when lacing it up. It might also take a little longer to break it in. The padding underneath is great, so you are not likely to need extra padding with this shoe. It is also completely flat on the bottom, which will feel strange if you are used to heels. However, it is still lots of fun to dance in.


*Enter code MiahThompson (no spaces) at checkout for a free gift! Affiliate code only applies at SwayD Dance Shoes, and it is reusable!



(5 years of Heavy Wear)

- Ultimate Hybrid from Dance Shoes of TN (Unisex)

This is a very comfortable shoe, that stays comfortable even through a long day of dancing. It does not need any extra padding to maintain comfort throughout the day. There is not a significant amount of height in the heel, it is very supportive, and it is also very stylish. It is also very durable. This low-top shoe works well with lose pants, but not as well with skirts and dresses. If you prefer a subtle sneaker style, go for the Ultimate Hybrid! If you want something more stylized, go with the Lorenzos!



Dance Boots


(1 Year of Heavy Wear)

- Urban Premiere from SwayD

These shoes feel like a hug for your feet! They're super flexible, very comfortable, and they come in lots of fun colors. For dancers who dance for long hours each week, I would recommend getting an insole along with the shoe.

These boots are very tall. They are meant to be knee-nearly knee high boots. However, I am 5'9". So, they do not reach as high on my calf. They look "slouchy", but stand up well on their own. I have never had to worry about them sliding down.

If you typically have trouble with boots fitting comfortably over your calves, or if you generally do not prefer that style of boot, look into the Urban Step and Urban Charm below!


*Enter code MiahThompson (no spaces) at checkout for a free gift! Affiliate code only applies at SwayD Dance Shoes, and it is reusable!



- Urban Step & Urban Charm from SwayD (Brand New)

These shoes have all of the comfort, flexibility, and style of the Urban Premiere, but on a shorter boot. One difference between these styles and the Urban Premiere above is that you can leave the leg of these boot extended up or roll it down. The Urban Charm is the exact same shoe as the Urban Step, but with a higher heel instead of a flat heel. So, if you want some height to your boot, the Urban Charm is the way to go! Just like the Urban Premiere, if you dance for long hours, you might need to get an insole for the boot. These have all of the same comfort of the Urban Premiere, but with a softer leg covering. It almost feels like dancing in fuzzy socks (but much safer)!


*Enter code MiahThompson (no spaces) at checkout for a free gift! Affiliate code only applies at SwayD Dance Shoes, and it is reusable!



Dance Heels


(Brand New)

- Veryfine & Veryfine PRO Sole from Dance Shoes of TN

A great heel for people who do not like heels! My first dance shoe was a style very similar to the VeryFine feels in the top picture, and I wore those to shreds! They were super comfortable, and they looked good with every outfit I wore (no matter the color or style)! These shoes are very flattering on the foot, and they are great for getting used to heels. Just like the Heather dance shoe listed below: they do not feel like heels, but you get to reap all of the benefits of dancing in heels.


In the bottom picture is the VeryFine PRO sole. This shoe is designed for people who dance for multiple hours per day. There is extra padding in the sole to help combat soreness, and it is very soft. It feels like a pillowtop mattress for your shoes. If you intend to dance for long hours on a regular basis, or if you are prone to foot/joint pain, the VeryFine PRO sole might be for you. However, for the average dancer who is only dancing 1-3 hours per week, the VeryFine will have just enough padding for you.




(Brand New) Marina from SwayD

The Marina is not a new shoe to SwayD, but it comes in a new color: Caramel! As a caramel colored dancer, this makes me very excited! If you are medium skinned, or you just like the color caramel, Marina now comes in caramel! Side note: We are working with SwayD on how to incorporate more shoes in darker colors in the future to incorporate darker skinned dancers! Keep an eye out for even more colors in the future! (Thanks for being so willing to listen SwayD! It means a lot to our dance community!)


*Enter code MiahThompson (no spaces) at checkout for a free gift! Affiliate code only applies at SwayD Dance Shoes, and it is reusable!



(Brand New)

- Maya from Swayd

No, I did not pick this shoe based of the fact that we share name. No, seriously! It's actually a really comfortable shoe! It comes in black and beige, and the leather is really soft. As you can see, it looks good with both casual and dressy attire, and it is very flattering on the foot. It is a nice deviation from the symmetrical sandal if you like subtle touches of style. However, it does not have the extra padding built in like the VeryFine PRO. It is still a very good shoe, though.


*Enter code MiahThompson (no spaces) at checkout for a free gift! Affiliate code only applies at SwayD Dance Shoes, and it is reusable!


- Victoria from Dance Shoes of TN


A very classy ballroom heel, and generally favored for people who are ready to take their next step towards higher heels. It's great for both social and competition, and very flattering on the foot. It is flexible without being too flexible, and it has good arch support for those who need it.




(2 Years of Heavy Wear)

- Heather from Dance Shoes of TN (Unisex)

This shoe is great for both male and female dancers. However, the Gibson tends to be more popular amongst our male students. The Heather is a great canvas option for anyone looking for a closed toe heel that is comfortable and sturdy. The Heather gives you all the benefits of wearing heels, without feeling like you are wearing heels. It is very durable, and great for teachers or people who dance a lot. The Heather is very flexible in the front and supportive in the middle. It is also very breathable due to the top being made of canvas. If you teach/dance a lot, I would recommend buying their dance insole to go with it.

(Brand New)


(Brand New)

- Rita From Dance Shoes of TN

Some of our students love the Rita heel. It has a comfortable, stylish, and a unique design. It also has a very comfortable heel, similar to the Heather heel above. The main differences being that it is more open on the top, it is open toed, and the side is made of mesh. The mesh on the sides is very breathable, and it transitions well between casual and formal outfits. The Rita is also extremely durable for such a soft and comfortable shoe. I have known people who owned their Rita heels for 6+ years and they still looked almost new (disclaimer: they took really good care of their shoes, and made sure to only wear them while dancing on a proper dance floor).

Do Not Skip This Part: Taking Care of your Shoes


Dance shoes are a big investment. Here is how to take care of them, so that they will last for years to come! A poor quality dance shoe will last for 1-2 years, increase your chance of injury, and put stress on your body. You will also end up spending more money overall each time you have to replace them. The shoes above have lasted us 5-10 years, depending on how often we wear them. As teachers, we typically dance for around of 15-20 hours per week. Sometimes more. So, if you dance less often than that, and you take good care of your shoes, they will last much longer for you than they do for us!


#1: Do not wear your shoes outside!

The bottom of most dance shoes are made of suede. So, if they get wet, it will ruin the shoes. Gravel, sidewalk cement, and dirt are really hard on your dance shoes. It will wear the bottom of your shoes out very quickly; therefore, decreasing the lifespan of your dance shoe. (Also, stepping on a rock while wearing dance shoes is not pleasant. Trust me.)


#2: Brush the bottom of your shoes

When you use your dance shoes, the bottom of the shoe gets dirty and shiny. Use a shoe brush to gently brush the suede on the bottom of your shoe after dancing. That way, it will maintain its felt-like texture. The feltlike texture on the bottom of your shoe is what allows you to glide on the dance floor without losing control. If you let your shoe continue getting hard and shiny, you will be more likely to lose your balance while you dance. Ask your teacher, or another dancer you trust to show you how to brush the bottom of your dance shoes.


#3: Odor control

Do not put your dance shoes in the washing machine! As long as your shoes get a chance to air out between dance classes, and you wear socks with your closed toed shoes, you should not have to worry about them smelling bad. If they do begin to smell consistently, try placing a silica gel packet or a scented satchel in your shoe bag. If that still does not work, try dusting some baby powder on the inside of your shoes before class until the smell goes away.


Additional Tip: Extra Padding

If your feet are sore after long hours of dancing, you might need extra padding for your dance shoe. Dance Shoes of TN and SwayD have great shoe insoles! Both companies have great customer service, and are committed to finding the best ways to meet the needs of their dancers. They will help you find the right insole for your lifestyle needs!


If you can maintain those these rules for shoe maintenance, your dance shoes will last for a long time! If you have any other shoe questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below, or ask your teacher! Also, keep checking back to this blog for updates on shoes as we discover more awesome shoe styles, and more tips for dance shoe and dancer care!


We hope these tips help you narrow down your search for good dance shoes! Feel free to send us an email if you have more questions on dance shoes!


Sincerely,

Dueta Dance

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