Having the right gear is essential regardless if you dance competitively or for fun. If you’ve been wearing walking shoes at social dance events all this time, you’re probably putting too much effort into the spinning and turning simply because these shoes are not meant to be worn while dancing.
A good pair of Latin dance shoes will make a world of difference to your performance. You’ll find how amazing it feels to twirl, glide, slide, and spin without putting too much work into it when you’re wearing the right shoes.
If you’ve never thought about investing in a couple of social dance shoes before, now’s the best time to do it. With more and more dance studios opening up, it’s only a matter of time before your social calendar is filled with social dance events, dance classes, and rehearsals; you need to be ready!
But if you need more convincing, here are some of the reasons why you should ditch your old walking shoes and start wearing Latin dance shoes for dancing:
5 Reasons to Invest in Latin Dance Shoes
Made to Move with You
As you know, the feet are the dancer’s most important body part. If the feet feel constrained or painful, there’s no hiding it during a performance. And wearing the wrong shoes can lead to serious injuries. You could end up twisting your ankle, pulling a muscle, or worse, breaking a literal leg executing a complicated move while wearing an ill-fitting pair of walking shoes!
Latin dance shoes are made for dancing. These shoes have features that you won’t see in a pair of walking shoes, like flexible outsoles. You can cha-cha-cha from sun up to sundown, twisting and turning all-around, and feel supported.
Protects from Heel Pain
If you’re not used to dancing in heels, then every step would be absolutely excruciating. When you’re wearing heels, your body weight is shifted to the balls of the feet, pushing the body forward and changing your posture. Since the body weight is concentrated on the forefoot, the pads of the feet are subjected to intense pressure. Added stress is also put on the legs, knees, and lower back – this is why even the legs and back feel wrecked after dancing for a couple of hours in heels.
Unless you’re Beyonce, dancing in heels will take practice. And no better shoes to practice on than a pair of Latin dance shoes. Dance shoes like Yami dance shoes feature strategically placed cushions that absorb peak impact with every step. These shoes are designed to reduced forefoot pain so you can dance in heels longer.
Walking shoes are best worn on regular days when you’re up and about. But when you’re dancing, you’ll need better support, particularly the ankles. Again, dancing puts a lot of strain on the feet and ankles, and if your shoes are not giving you the support you need, the impact could lead to muscle pain. Or worse, you might end up with an injury.
Unlike regular shoes, dance shoes have reinforced heel cups that prevent wobbling while on the move. The shoes also feature sturdy straps that anchor the feet to the footbed, boosting stability and balance with every step. The outsoles are flexible, so you have total control over your movements, allowing you to dance with confidence and never worry about slipping or sliding while you dance.
Safety is not something you think about when you’re out partying and social dancing because of the easygoing, fun atmosphere – you’re there to have fun, dance, and socialize, after all. But dancing, even casual dancing, is an intense activity, and there’s always the risk of injury if you’re not wearing the right shoes. One wrong move could end up in a twisted ankle.
Wearing dance shoes makes dancing safer for you. The shoes have features that optimize dancing. These shoes provide ample support to the feet and ankles, minimizing the risk of injuries.
Yes, you can dance in your regular walking shoes, but most studios do not allow this. Dance studios and social dance venues have their respective dress codes, and one of these includes wearing dance shoes.
The outsoles of regular shoes tend to be too grippy; these stick to the dance floor, so it will be hard to execute certain dance moves. You might end up tripping all over the dance floor, increasing the risk of foot or ankle injury.
Dance shoes have smooth microfiber or suede outsoles that give the right grip on the floor so you can make those high-flying lifts and gravity-defying dips without slipping. The straps are designed to keep the feet steady even when you’re dancing in heels. When you have total control over your movements, you can dance with confidence, and this will show on every performance.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Dance Shoes
Ballroom and Latin dance shoes come in different styles, so you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the choices. To narrow down your choices, think of the dance styles that you love. Are you into ballroom dancing or Latin dance?
Latin dance shoes have an open-toe design because Latin music often has an upbeat tempo. Dancers have to “feel the floor” while dancing, something that open-toe shoes provide. Ballroom dance shoes come in a closed-toe design because the movements are slow and smooth. The shoes offer protection while also giving dancers more space to position their toes while dancing.
Dance shoes should have a snug fit but never too tight that it cuts or bruises the skin. The shoes should feel like an extension of the feet. If the shoes are too tight, every step feels like walking on hot coals. If it’s too loose, you might trip all over yourself during a performance. We suggest going for dance shoes with straps so you can adjust the fit. Also, choose Latin dance shoes with cushioned insoles and soft inner lining for a perfect fit.
Dancing in a pair of stiletto heels will definitely elevate your visuals, but again, this will take a lot of practice. If you’re new to dancing in heels, we suggest starting with a modest 2.5 to 3 inches flared heel. Flared heels have a thicker base, which enhances stability while also giving a subtle boost of height. You can work your way up to 4 to 5 inches once you’ve become used to dancing in heels.
Regular walking shoes are made for walking, not so much for dancing. If you want to feel comfortable on the dance floor, supported, and be light on your feet, you need to wear proper dance shoes. And though high-quality social dance shoes aren’t exactly cheap, they’re an excellent investment for anyone who loves to dance!
About Yami Dance Shoes
Yami Dance Shoes specialize in comfortable Latin dance shoes and social dance shoes. We offer a full line of intuitively designed, shock-absorbing dance shoes because every dancer deserves comfy dance shoes at a fair price.
Tina Lee-Almazar is the head writer for Yami Dance Shoes, a brand that specializes in Latin dance shoes and social dance shoes for men and women. When she’s not writing, she is gardening and chasing after two toddlers.