General Dance Discussion > Help with dance shoe sole issues!

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by mellody43, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    I have a pair of Diamante dance shoes that I use for salsa dancing. I am not a competitive dancer but I do dance at clubs on (usually both) weekend nights.

    I got them less than a year ago and have had them resoled 3 times already. The last time was only about 5 weeks ago and already I feel a bit imbalanced and am experiencing slipping. I roughen the soles with either a wire brush or gently with sandpaper to remove slick spots. I don't wear them outside or walk in big wet spots (although the clubs I go to are bars, too, and I'm sure I occasionally do step in wet spots.)

    I don't understand why I have trouble with my shoe soles -- they are just suede and I try and maintain them as best I can -- any tips? Should I seek leather soles instead? I'm getting frustrated when I can't stop my multiple spins accurately-- nothing worse than feeling like a klutz and then blaming the shoes. (Remember that TV commercial with Shatner -- "it's the shoes!")

    Thanks for ANY help you can offer. :)
  2. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member


    I just sent you a PM welcoming you, but I'm also welcoming you to the "replace-the-soles-every-few-months club." I think we all here do the same thing. One thing you may want to try is carrying them with you in a bag and changing once inside, so the cement doesn't wear them smooth in a hurry, and avoid getting them wet as this tends to compact the suede.

    Also, use the brush unles you had the soles replaced with "chromium-black suede." Then the sandpaper is OK in a pinch, but the brush is better.

    Hopefully, others will chime in here and add more comments . . .
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    When it's time to replace shoes, you also might want to consider getting some shoes that have street soles. One of the major US-based shoe companies now sells some really pretty imported "tango" shoes that have smooth soles, so you can wear them indoors or out. I like to wear those to clubs, so I don't have to carry a shoe bag and change shoes.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And I forgot to mention, there are a couple companies where you can special order dance shoes (proper balance/steel shank, etc) with street soles, for an additional charge.

    When you get in the market for new shoes, if you want street soles, send me a PM. I'm not allowed to give direct url's on this website, but person-to-person, I can give you some recommendations.
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    You can also take your dance shoes to a shoe show and get them to put thin rubber or thin leather soles on the shoes. This can be helpful if you are going to be using them at clubs where floors get dirty or wet. While they won't be the same as they were before, they will still be much lighter and flexible than a street shoe. You can then call these your "club shoes". :)
  6. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    --- thanks for the tips!

    I don't wear my shoes on pavement/outside but at this rate I'm replacing the soles every 3-4 months! It's insane! Oh well.

    I will look into investing in a really good pair of street shoes with leather soles next time ... I used to dance in a pair of cheapie t-straps made of some synthetic materials I got from JC Penney's. Do you find a big difference when you dance in street shoes with non-suede soles?

    Thank you so much for your help everyone :)

  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Re: --- thanks for the tips!


    I have found that they are not flexible enough, and tend to be very slippery.

    If they are not flexible, it's hard to feel the floor - if you can picture this.

    Maybe keep looking for a shoe-repair place that would give you a great deal. My shoes, with black-chromium soles (only) run about $20 to re-sole!

    It's an expense, but a needed one!
  8. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    ohhh --- I will look into this chromium suede -- though I wouldn't be surprised if they charged more for women's shoe resoling (kind of like dry cleaning -- ah, the injustice.)

    I bet my cobbler has never heard of it! hehe! I'll check though!

  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Absolutely right. There is no justice. And the world of dance is no different.

    Men: Three pairs of shoes Smooth, latin, swing.
    Women: Three pairs of shoes per color family, per heel height. Plus a few backups.

    Men: $200 dress pants for dance competition
    Women: $3000 sequined gown for dance competition.

    The injustice of it all! :lol:
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I think the $3000 is worth it . . . you women look SO SEXY in those gowns!
  11. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    I don't have a gown. *sulk*

    But I did get a gorgeous, sexy black handwoven BEADED shawl. All black, with a rose pattern, and beaded drops along two of the edges.

    Off-topic but heck, it's the only beaded & sexy thing I own since I am "sans gown!"

  12. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    And you know, Mel, I bet you make that shawl look ever so sexy!

    Keeping on topic - by the way, although I have no affiliation with anyone in them, please check out "Ads and Event Announcements" the next time you are in the market for new shoes.
  13. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    wowee zowee! where do I order one of those shawls?
  14. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    I found it at TJ Maxx! I lurrrve that store.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Re: --- thanks for the tips!

    For the benefit of those new to ballroom, could someone please explain why a good pair of dance shoes is a necessary investment (even though they're WAY expensive! :lol: )
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Some interesting information on dance shoes, their care and maintenance, can be found here.
  17. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Here is a rumour that I'll pass along. The top manufacturers are starting to make shoes in other countries where labor is less expensive, but use the same materials. They will continue to offer their more expensive lines, but this Winter or Spring, you will start to see some very nice shoes at lower prices, probably $75-$90 range.
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I've seen some quite nice-looking dance shoes on the web, made in Singapore. The prices were very low. The only reason I didn't order was because I was leery of having a few pairs of shoes shipped halfway around the world. It would be great to have more locally available choices, or to have a large company bear the risks of importing shoes. The shoes I have now average from $100 to $150 per pair. If there were a lower-priced alternative, I could get EVEN MORE SHOES. What a concept! :lol:
  19. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    One thing to keep in mind: The English show makers have been making ballroom shoes for many years. There is quite a science to the process of making shoes. It is nearly impossible for someone to come along and copy the quality (and many have tried). Maybe one day there will be a shoemaker in the Far East that can match the quality. To illustrate my point, right now Japan imports around 90% of their dance shoes from the UK.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    True. What I usually do is shop around for a style that I like from a company I like. There are two English manufacturers that I usually use. Then I go to the web, type in the style name, and shop for the lowest price. I've saved myself quite a bit that way, because virtually any style you select will be available at a discount somewhere on the web. Another technique is to wait until sales season. Around Christmas time is good. A few US-based distributors have big discounts in November and December. Or, many of the major US-based distributors have a clearance section on their websites. The newest styles are rarely on clearance, but if you're looking for a basic court shoe, you can usually find a good deal here or there.

    Ah yes. We shoe fanatics have our ways! :lol:

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