Tango Argentino > Tango shoes: useful or just pretty?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by MadamSamba, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    It's time I bought tango shoes, but I'm wondering if I should bother.

    I have modern ballrom shoes, latin shoes, Bloch-type practice runners and shoes that I can tango in nicely, but it's definitely time to get a pair of "real" tango shoes.

    The only thing is, unlike pointe shoes in ballet or leather-soled, super-flexible, supporting latin shoes, I can't figure out what the benefits of so-called tango shoes are.

    You can spot one a mile away, of course, but is there something special about shoes made specifically for tango or are they just "prettier" than other high-heels?

    Tango shoes don't strike me as markedly different from normal heels except that they look so darn good, as opposed to ballroom shoes or practice shoes for ballet, which are purpose-made and designed to support your foot depending on what style you're dancing.

    I've visited a bunch of websites, but no one gives a substantial explanation of what the attraction/benefit of a shoe marked "tango shoe" is. Does anyone have any secret tango-shoe knowledge they're willing to share?
  2. dance-fanatic

    dance-fanatic New Member

    It's a good question that you are asking because I'd like to find that out myself too! From what I know, AT shoes are less "flexible" than ballroom shoes, and the the base is slightly thicker which gives a very good support. I have never tried on a pair of real AT shoes so I can't say, but I've heard from people who own real AT shoes that says the base give very good balance when they do swivel and other stuffs, but they said it just feels like latin shoes. I'd like to find out myself if anyone knows anything about it. Thanks! :)
  3. Cats

    Cats New Member

    I'm a guy, but I've a couple of the ladies I know discuss the point. The important thing about Tango shoes is the foot is almost completely covered. Unlike Ballroom where people are more separated, the men invade the followers dance space. In many moves, foot drags, Soccata's etc, the man's foot will land next to the womans. So after a full night of foot rubbing the ladies foot could get soar if it's not protected.

  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I have found many "Argentine Tango" Shoes to be hard like street shoes, but smooth on the bottom. They are heavier than ballroom shoes, and less flexible. I have always questioned this, but I have talked to many people who defend the use of such shoes, saying things like:
    1) In Argentina, people dance inside and outside
    2) You are always on your toes, so it's good to have the hard sole
    3) these are "authentic"

    But I still don't understand why you wouldn't want something that is:
    1) lightweight
    2) flexible
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    My first pair of shoes were a pair of leather soled shoes from an ordinary shoe shop (but not cheap). I later bought a pair of dance shoes which were slimmer and softer leather, also leather soled. I use the former more as I find they give better support of the arch especially if I'm dancing at a ball which might go on for five or six hours. The dance shoes bought were low heeled- as recommended by the shop but I have seen tango dancers use shoes with a Cuban heel.

    That's a male perspective as I hadn't realised there were shoes made specifically for tango as opposed to other forms of dancing.
  6. nepheli

    nepheli New Member

    hello there!
    Can anyone in Melbourne, Australia please suggest a store where I can find tango shoes? Looking for something like this:
    [​IMG] or [​IMG]
    These can be found in Sydney, but I can't locate anything in Melbourne (at least not online, yet)

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  7. Larry in LA

    Larry in LA New Member

    Try the following link.


    I think this is one of those security-blanket subjects. If its REAL-LIVE TANGO SHOES I'll dance so much better.

    As in all dance-shoe decisions, you need to keep in mind the requirements.

    Comfortable!!! You're going spend a lot of time in them, on your feet, moving.

    A sole that lets you pivot. Remember that Argentine tango moves involve a lot of 180-degree pivots (ochos, or figure eights). So the sole needs to be slick, but not too slick.

    Enclosed toe. Even more important in tango than most other dances.

    Everything else is frosting on the cake.
  8. twoleftpheeet

    twoleftpheeet New Member

    Hi Nepheli

    Try a site 'guaranteedfittangoshoes.com'. You will need to put the www. at the front. I am new to this site and just trying to follow the rules and regulations!

    GuaranteedFit have their shoes made in Argentina. There are literally tens of designs (both male and female). They certainly look very good (understatement!). They are made to measure and if they dont't fit you get your money back. All sounds very good - I think I will try them out. They operate from Canada but ship worldwide. I spoke to them and they advise using Canadian Parcel Post to try to reduce tax and import duties.

    Hope all this helps .... Bob

    Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order. - Samuel Beckett
  9. Patapouf

    Patapouf New Member

    I'm in the process of getting a pair of tango shoes, I have some doubts about leather and suede soles. I have heard some people telling me that I should always choose leather sole to ease the swiveling and pivoting action in ArT. However, I've also heard some people saying that leather sole is not needed in the States since most dance floors are hard wood and suede sole is good enough, and that leather sole could be too slippery. However, in other countries/Buenos Aires where dance floors were sometimes concrete then we may need leather-soled shoes. Anyone has any opinion on this? Leather vs. suede soles?
  10. Larry in LA

    Larry in LA New Member

    Leather on concrete. Either on wood.

    Leather needs to be worn, that is abraded. Do a hundred ochos on concrete! This will take away dangerous slickness.

    Suede is what I use. But get a coarse and a fine wire shoe brush to touch up the suede before you dance on it.

    STAY AWAY FROM WETNESS! Both will screw up the soles of your shoes, especially suede.
  11. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to the Dance Forums twoleftpheeet, and thanks for following the guidelines! :D :D :D
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Great tips, Larry in LA. Welcome. :D

    So you break in leather versus suede shoes differently? How?
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    All the AT ladies that I talk to swear by having high heels, and if they do, for instance, salsa, their tango shoes have higher heels than salsa. Something to do with keeping themselves on their toes.
  14. Larry in LA

    Larry in LA New Member

    Pygmalion says
    > So you break in leather versus suede shoes differently? How?

    Suede SOLES don't need breaking in, at least on the thin-soled dancing shoes that I buy.

    The rest of the shoe is broken in by wearing them. It helps to spray on leather-stretching liquid on the places of maximum stress: the outside of the toes, the top of the heel-back, etc. Look at your well-worn shoes to identify what places your shoes normally need stretching.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Larry. :D
  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I don't necessarily agree. The ladies need to be able to be balanced on the ball and the big toe, which makes a little triangle. Keeping the heel off the ground for most of the time helps, but the height of the heel is of no bearing; if you're not used to it then it won't help.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    If you're not used to it, I can only see it as a liability. Learning to balance on even low heels is tricky. I can only imagine what it's like to balance on those tango stilts! Four to five inches? Sheesh!
  18. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Great tip . . . I've always used the liquid "stretch," but only after the shoes were older and needed some stretching. I never though of spraying new shoes in order to get that stretchin advance. Thanks . . .
  19. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    http://w w w.22tangoshoes.com/

    this one's for the ladies who still have space in their cupboards for more shoes!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

    That would be me. :oops: :lol: :lol:
  20. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I have been misquoted: what mischeivous person has been putting words in my mouth??

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