Ballroom Dance > Can I learn from how my shoes are wearing?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by GinaN, May 17, 2017.

  1. GinaN

    GinaN Active Member

    So I bought these in December (my first pair of this brand, Aida).

    These are 3" high, the Supadance I used to wear were a 2.5".

    I dance about 4-6 hours/week in class and practice between 1-3 hours a week.

    In the past couple of weeks or so I started to notice a lack of support / wobbling on my right foot. A couple of times in class I felt like my ankle was going to give (actually, it did give one time, like my foot did something where the heel was almost like parallel to the floor, or at least it felt that way.)

    I thought perhaps the shoes were "done" and it was time to retire them, but it was bothering me a little bit because I felt like my Supadance lasted me longer. But I also recognize I don't know all the factors that go into how long the shoes are lasting - perhaps I'm dancing differently now, perhaps the 1/2" change in heel height is making a difference, etc. Plus I did always have a few Supadance of the same model that I would sometimes switch between - so that perhaps each shoe got a little less wear, where these Aidas are the only ones I've been using.

    Then I started to give this some more thought while practicing on my own. I've noticed for a while now that when I watch myself on video that my feet roll out :eek: although I never paid attention to whether one foot does it more than the other. I've been working on this trying to focus on keeping my weight over the inside edge and not letting it roll out.

    And sure enough in examining the shoes I notice that the wear in the right heel bottom is noticeably different than the wear on the left foot. IMG_20170515_210122.jpg IMG_20170515_210155.jpg IMG_20170515_210209.jpg IMG_20170515_210224.jpg IMG_20170515_210352.jpg

    IMG_20170515_210122.jpg IMG_20170515_210155.jpg IMG_20170515_210209.jpg IMG_20170515_210224.jpg IMG_20170515_210352.jpg

    So again, I was going to just replace the shoes, being too afraid to not have support.

    But what I find is happening when I practice on my own (which is usually very deliberate controlled movements) is that because the heel on the right foot has become "slimmer" it really brings my awareness to keeping my weight on the side that hasn't worn off to avoid my foot from wobbling and rolling to the outside. It's the most awareness I've ever been able to give to this issue because the shoe is giving me information.

    So now I'm considering that I shouldn't replace the shoes but use them for that purpose...but is there any reason I shouldn't continue to use them to get this "feedback"? And can I use them for class or would that be too dangerous since I'll be dancing full speed at times.

    I need to order another pair regardless because these are looking a little beat up to wear to anything other than class...but I think I could just replace the heel bottom (I know it has a name I just can't think of it :/ since everything else still seems OK but I won't change it if I'm onto something as far as helping me with my rollout.

    So just interested in your general thoughts about this.

    Thank you :)
  2. GinaN

    GinaN Active Member

    I looked at my Supadance shoes, one pair has the exact same wear in the right heel...

    I'm still hoping someone will chime in really interested in your thoughts about this. :)

    I did wear the shoes all week, including to dance class, and I didn't experience the wobbly ankle. So I'm thinking it *is* doing something for my rollout, although I would have to see a video since that's how I discovered I was doing it.
  3. kckc

    kckc Active Member

    Both my dance and street shoes were wearing down like that. It is not a good thing. You'll eventually start to have foot and ankle pain due to over-straining the outside of your leg/ankle/foot and you might actually roll your ankle at some point (not necessarily during dancing). YMMV
    RiseNFall and GinaN like this.
  4. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    My first pair wore unevenly... I ended up having to replace them as my technique got better, because I was fighting my shoes as I learned how to correct the issue.

    Edited to add: unevenly worn heel protectors are a lot easier and less expensive to deal with than shoes... and you can swap them between feet to get a few extra weeks ;)
  5. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    Some of them can go on backwards as well (warm them for a few seconds in a microwave). That way you get still more weeks!! IMO wear like that is dangerous and risking a sprained ankle ... I wouldn't use them without new heel tips or protectors. Or both!
    kckc likes this.
  6. GinaN

    GinaN Active Member

    Thanks Fancy.

    You know, whenever I saw people with heel protectors I couldn't understand why they wore them. Now I finally get it.

    I wear flared heels so I'm thinking there are protectors made specifically for these heels rather than slim.

    Are the protectors basically all the same or are some brands that fit or wear better than others?
  7. GinaN

    GinaN Active Member

    OK thanks Swinging - I kind of figured that but wasn't sure. I did wear them for social dancing last night and had no issues but yeah...I could see if I'm feeling lazy or tired or just misstep...just not worth an injury.
  8. Yanou

    Yanou Member

    I have the same problem with my left feet, and I recently realized it. The outside edge of my left shoe wore out a lot more. Aida sells replacement heel tips, so I replaced them. It's much cheaper than replacing the whole shoes.
  9. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Eventually, the body of the shoe isn't giving you as good support as it did originally, so there is a limit as to how long you want to keep on replacing the heels.
  10. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Each brand makes ones for their various types of heels. Occasionally you can use other brand's protectors, but in my experience that's not the norm... suede stars work on all shoes and some love them for that.

    Personally, I like the plastic ones with suede.
    j_alexandra and raindance like this.
  11. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    Plastic with suede can be hard to find--but I found that gluing suede to the bottom of the heel protector dramatically extends it's life. I bought remnant suede on sale from a leather store and the glue I use is 'Shoe Goo' which is available at Walmart. I used to burn through protectors every two weeks--with suede on the bottom I have made a pair last more than a year.
  12. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    raindance likes this.
  13. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    ^those are indeed the ones that I love. I go through 3-4 boxes a year... which is WAY better than the 1-2 days I get out of the plastic or rubbery ones.

    (Standard, man. Those heel leads and heel turns are tough on the shoes. By contrast, I think I've had the same pair of heel protectors on my latin shoes for over a year.)

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