Sole Food Dance Shoe Reviews: “Paw” Style Shoes

Welcome to Sole Food, a review segment for finding the best shoes for your dance needs. Depending on your dance style, costuming, and venue, you need to find the right shoe for the job. Like any costume element, make sure to practice in your shoes before hitting the stage.

“Paw” Style  Shoes

Dance Paws

Dance Paws

What is it? A “paw” style shoe covers the ball of the foot, allowing for an excellent turning surface with a barefoot feel. The soles are usually single or double patches of suede.

What’s it made of? Suede, elastic, breathable synthetic stretch fabric.

What kind of dancers will wear it? Anyone! These are the ultimate in faux shoeless dancewear, and come in a variety of colors and flesh tones so that they practically melt away on stage. As an added bonus, many are washable.

Capezio footUndeez

Capezio footUndeez

What kind of surfaces can I dance on with it? Excellent for hard, smooth, clean surfaces. Do keep in mind that your toes and heels are uncovered and exposed to whatever may be on your dance space’s floor. Not recommended for grass, turf or textured surfaces (blacktop, etc), as the suede and leather on the bottom of the shoe will get damaged.

Who makes it? Dance brands including Bloch, Capezio, Dance Paws, Leo’s, etc.

Sizing tips? Some manufacturers use numbered sizes while others use letter sizes.

Advertisements

Sole Food Dance Shoe Reviews: Ballroom/Social Dance Shoe

Welcome to Sole Food, a review segment on finding the best shoes for your dance needs. Depending on your dance style, costuming, and venue, you need to find the right shoe for the job. Like any costume element, make sure to practice in your shoes before hitting the stage.

Ballroom/Social Dance Shoe

Capezio ballroom dance shoe with 2.5" flared heel

Capezio ballroom dance shoe with 2.5" flared heel

What is it? Ever wonder why your feet hurt after a night of dancing in heels? That’s because regular high heels aren’t made for dancing! Ballroom/Social dance shoes are specially manufactured for a dancer’s needs and include reinforced arches and heels as well as flexible suede soles.

What’s it made of? Leather, suede, synthetics, plastics, etc.

What kind of dancers will wear it? A beautiful pair of ballroom dance shoes is like the icing on the cake for a gorgeous cabaret-style costume. Egyptian and Turkish style dancers take notice! Most ballroom shoes come in black, tan, cream, gold and silver, but there are even prints and other special fabrics. You can even customize your shoes by gluing on rhinestones.

Silver glitter ballroom heel by GoGo Dance Shoes

Silver glitter ballroom heel by GoGo Dance Shoes

What kind of surfaces can I dance on with it? Excellent for hard, smooth, clean surfaces. Do keep in mind that your toes and heels are uncovered and exposed to whatever may be on your dance space’s floor. Not recommended for grass, turf or textured surfaces (blacktop, etc), as the suede and leather on the bottom of the shoe will get damaged.

Who makes it? Brands include Capezio, Sansha, Veryfine, Featherlite, GoGo, Bloch and more. Different brands have slightly different widths and styling. Custom shoes are available from some manufacturers. Capezio Brazil has also partnered with the belly dancer Esmeralda to create a high-heeled shoe specifically meant for belly dance, though the word is still out as to whether they really differ from conventional ballroom shoes.

Leopard print ballroom heel by Sansha

Leopard print ballroom heel by Sansha

Sizing tips? Ballroom shoes often run smaller than street shoes, and some dancers even prefer to wear them several sizes smaller than their usual size. Make sure to consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart, or try on a pair before purchasing. Different styles (flared, Cuban) and heights of heels are also available; I like a 2.5″ flared heel.

Sole Food Dance Shoe Reviews: Half-Sole/Lyrical Shoe

Welcome to Sole Food, a new review segment on finding the best shoes for your dance needs. While many belly dancers love performing in bare feet, the harsh reality is that the performance spaces we utilize (restaurants, Ren fair stages, hookah bars) are often equipped with the floor equivalent of war zones, from still-smoking hookah coals to broken wine glass bits to mud. Depending on your dance style, costuming, and venue, you need to find the right shoe for the job. Like any costume element, make sure to practice in your shoes before hitting the stage.

Without further ado, here is the first shoe review!

Half-Sole/Lyrical Shoe

Half-sole/Lyrical shoe

Half-sole/Lyrical shoe

What is it? A half-sole (or lyrical) shoe protects the ball of the foot and allows for an improved turning surface while leaving the toes and heel uncovered.

What’s it made of? Leather, suede and elastic. When purchasing dance shoes, always try to go with synthetic materials, as they will breathe when you sweat and will better adjust to your foot shape and size than synthetic materials.

What kind of dancers will wear it? Anyone! These are especially great for practice as they can be slipped on and off. These shoes are a little earthier looking, so they may not coordinate as well with high-glitz cabaret-style costumes.

What kind of surfaces can I dance on with it? Excellent for hard, smooth, clean surfaces. Do keep in mind that your toes and heels are uncovered and exposed to whatever may be on your dance space’s floor. Not recommended for grass, turf or textured surfaces (blacktop, etc), as the suede and leather on the bottom of the shoe will get damaged.

Who makes it? All the standard dance brands including Bloch, Capezio, Leo’s, etc. Different brands have slightly different widths and styling.

Sizing tips? Half-sole shoes often run smaller than street shoes. Make sure to consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart, or try on a pair before purchasing.