General Dance Discussion > Good substitute for dancing shoes for a first-time learner?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by kaldek, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. kaldek

    kaldek New Member

    Hi folks,

    I'm a guy who loves to dance, and up until this point have only ever danced, well, freestyle in nightclubs or at parties. Now, me and my wife are going to take dancing lessons ("Street Latin" to begin with), and I have a shoe problem!

    Basically, until the dance instructor told me on the phone not to wear rubber-soled shoes, I had no idea this was a problem. I mean, of the nine pairs of shoes I have (motorbike boots, sneakers, hiking shoes, sandals, work shoes, etc) they are *all* rubber sole!

    Because this Thursday night is my first ever official lesson and obviously a bit early to commit a large amount of money to dancing gear, what kind of shoes could I wear that would get me by for a little while. Or indeed, would I be best off just wearing socks? I'm happy to pay for a cheap pair of leather-soled shoes if they would be OK for a short while.

    Any help greatly appreciated,

  2. NeoDevin

    NeoDevin New Member

    I found when I first started, cheap dress shoes seemed to work fairly well for me. If you head to a second hand store, you might be lucky enough to find a pair for under $10 (I got the pair I started dancing in for $4.50 canadian). If you decide to stick with it though, you probably want to invest a bit of money in some dance shoes.
  3. tasche

    tasche New Member

    When I was learning as a kid they just had us all dance in soxes until we got shoes. As an adult this might be embarassing though. I'm trying to think if any kind of mens footwear that might have leather soles tht could be multipurpose

    Though a couple of ppl in my group class dance in imitation hushpuppies that have that foamy sole
  4. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Invest in a pair of leather bottom shoes you can also wear when you go out in dress-up mode. The first pair of shoes I used for dancing were a pair of old shoes which I used for just about every dress up occasion, dinners, dates, meeting with clients, etc.

    A pair of dance shoes isn't worth it if you don't know what it will become of your dancing. Maybe you just want to chill and dance a bit, hence, will never desire to compete or the like, then it is almost useless to buy a pair of dance shoes.

    Not until I noticed a need for more comfort and more feel for the dancefloor, that dance shoes became a must. Until then most street dancers will never really have any use for dance shoes, unless, that is, if you have the money to spend and want to feel how awesome those bad boys feel on your feet. Man, after that, you really feel like wearing them to just about anywhere.
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forums kaldek!! :D Glad to have you onboard!

    When I started doing swing the cheap alternative was bowling shoes or take a pair of old sneakers and duct tape the sole. If you have an old pair of shoes that you don't really use any more duct taping the sole should make it easier to move in them.

    A second option, as has been mentioned, is an old pair of dress shoes. I've noticed old dress shoes tend to have the treads on the soles worn down. Again if that isn't good enough, and you don't really use them use a sander or some tool to wear the sole smooth. I use a pair of loafers, which don't have a good grip for some of my salsa dancing, especially when the floor is bad -- gritty etc.

    Hope this helps.
  6. kaldek

    kaldek New Member

    Wow, thanks for all your advice folks!

    On a slightly different topic, if we do decide to take this more seriously and buy proper dance shoes, will the fact that I use orthotics affect my ability to dance? I have extreeemely flat feet and if I don't wear these things in my shoes I get ankle and knee pain in very short order.

    Thanks again,


    P.S. If you don't know what Orthotics are, they're the plastic things you put in your shoes to keep your arch in your foot. Of course, you probably all knew that already. :-/
  7. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    I would imagine that if they don't effect your ability to walk and jump around then they oughtn't cause much trouble other than the special consideration required while selecting shoes.

    Nice to have you with us... WELCOME
  8. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I still don't own a pair of dance shoes. I dance in several pairs of expensive leather shoes with leather bottoms. I do own some capezio dance sneakers though and they are the bomb! A mere $35.
  9. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    but you still don't own a pair of dance shoes? :lol:
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    No problem with dancing with orthotics, Kaldek. A lot of professionals, because of injuries or whatever, wear orthotics. No problem. You just have to make sure to get the dance shoes fitted properly.

    At least for now, I hope the substitute shoes work for you. From what I learned in another thread, dance shoes are very expensive in Australia. Wait and see, for a while.
  11. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    One last thing . . . for the orthotics . . . stay with a lace-up type of shoe . . . your foot is already being "pushed-up" somewhat, so you need to keep the shoe on. And oh, another . . . keep the shoe a little snug and workk on getting a second inexpensive pair so you can change into when and if your feet begin to get sore or hurt???
  12. kaldek

    kaldek New Member

    Wow - I just checked these out on the 'net. The "Dansneakers - DS11's" look really good. If I get into this, that sounds like the best option for me to learn in.

    I've got a couple of size choices though, mainly between 10 and 10.5. It always depends on the manufacturer I guess, so do you know if their sizes are a bit bigger than your other shoes or a bit smaller? And if so, should I go for a tighter shoe or not?

    Wow, so many questions and I haven't even started dancing yet. Heh!

  13. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    :p I don't consider sneakers shoes :lol:

    kaldek, almost every pair of dance sneakers I know of tell you to order them 2 full sizes larger than your regular shoe size. This is because of the way they are designed (with a built in arch). Check the website of whatever manufacturer designs the brand you decide to buy.
  14. NeoDevin

    NeoDevin New Member

    A good idea if you intend to buy from the web, is to find a store nearby that sells them, and try on the sizes, to see which fits. Then you just go online and buy that size.
  15. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Skateboard shoes

    If you have very broad feet or issues with 'cushioning' (as in flat feet) 'leathered up' Skateboard shoes are a great alternative.

    Skateboard shoes have a flat sole, so you get a piece of suede leather, cut it to shape the sole and get your shoe repairer to glue it on (or buy shoe repair glue and do it yourself) Locally it is the dance shoe of preference for the Lindy Hop people.]

    I use them for WCS and Ballroom

    People also 'leather up' splits sole Bloch and Carpezio's dance sneakers for Tango and Latin American dances. . .

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