I did my first competition back in November. I did the novice two step and west coast swing jack and jill at a UCWDC event and loved it. I have looked ahead to 2007 and saw 3 competitions on the UCWDC calendar I plan to attend and a couple others that are maybe's at this point. There are also some swing competitions like Mad Jam I found on other sites that look very interesting. I would plan on doing the jack and jills for all of these events with the possibility of moving on to am/am with my girlfriend, or doing pro/am if the opportunity presents itself, at the country venues, but probably not until 2008 at earliest. With the above in mind, all of the dancing I have done to this point has either been in a pair of hard leather soled cowboy boots (has been working ok for me) or a pair of rubber soled dress shoes (ouch!!). I would like to purchase some real dancing footwear, so I did some research and found Evenin Stars for around $200 and most standard/latin shoes for around $70 - $160. At those prices I really can't afford, or justify, buying both. At this point I am leaning towards getting the shoes over the boots for a couple reasons: 1. I have never seen anybody wear cowboy boots for a WCS J&J. I don't think it is a good idea to stick out like that (correct me if I am wrong) and my rubber soled dress shoes will kill me out there. 2. Since my cowboy boots are hard leather bottomed they are at least tolerable on the dance floor and I would just need them for the two step J&J's at this point. I could get the Evening Stars later when I have more money or when/if I start doing pro/am or am/am. However I have also looked at the flip side of the coin some: 1. Everything I am doing at this point is leaning towards UCWDC competition and the chances of me doing pro/am or am/am are getting better weekly. If this continues I will probably need dance boots if I am going to be serious about competing, correct? 2. I could always do something with my dress shoes like put duct tape on the bottom so I don't come to a dead stop and kill my legs every time I try to turn or spin. 3. The boots I have right now are just western style cowboy boots and are in no way balanced or meant for dancing at all, and I have been told several times that the Evenin' Stars will make a significant difference. I have tried a pair on and the difference did seem "night-and-day" compared to just my regular cowboy boots. So what do you all think? Are there any other things I should think about in my decision in dancing footwear? Any words of wisdom or advice?