Tango shoes: do they make a difference?

#1
I've been learning Argentine Tango in my beloved latin Supadance shoes or a pair of cute heels I own, but am considering buying a pair of tango shoes.

Do tango shoes make a difference (other than purely aesthetic) to your dancing? Also, what tips you you guys have for picking them...I've been looking online and I'm going purely on looks!

In your mind, what makes a tango shoe a tango shoe?
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#2
Hmm. Haven't done much tango in them, but I have a pair of tango shoes. Beautiful ones -- all I had to go by was the looks, myself. :oops: :lol: They feel dramatically different from my ballroom court shoes or Latin shoes. I'll think about how and then come back and post. In the meanwhile, I'll check tango-L and see if I can find any recommendations.
 

Vince A

Active Member
#3
If I'm not wearing dance sneakers, I'm wearing (Latin) Tango shoes . . .

Besides being comfortable and having "the looks," I like the way they put me up on the balls of my feet. All my dance slacks are hemmed according to the heel height of these shoes.

I even wear them for WCS . . .
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#6
Seek and ye shall find, my children. :wink: :lol:

I found this article at Tango Vancouver's web site. Lots of good tips.

Tango Vancouver said:
What Shoes?
To start dancing you'll need shoes that allow your feet to pivot easily on the floor. Plastic or rubber soles will inhibit movement by gripping the floor and can cause pain over an extended period of use. Dress shoes often work well as their leather soles make swiveling easier. For ladies, although high heeled shoes are not required, they may actually assist in assuming correct weight placement on the front part of the foot. Avoid bulky heels. Thick hard soles or platforms will not allow proper weight placement on just the ball of the foot. Don't buy shoes until you've determined what makes a good dance shoe. Susana has pictures she can show you at class and a discount card for a dance shoe store. You can also discuss what you have in your closet that might work.

As you advance you'll desire more precision in your footwork. It then becomes important to wear shoes that do not inhibit your progress. If store bought shoes cause sore feet after a couple hours, than you may be a good candidate for custom making a pair. I can be on my feet in my custom made pair for 5 hours with no sign of fatigue or soreness, as apposed to 90 minutes in store bought shoes.


Here are some style tips for buying Tango dance shoes:

For both Men & Women:
- Avoid "lips" on soles (lips are where the sole extends past the shoe itself).

- Avoid extended points on toes. They do not allow weight to be easily rolled onto and off the ball of the foot and inhibit good extensions when walking backwards.

- Especially for extended practicing, a rounded toe is better (rather than pointed shoes which squeeze the toes).

- The heel should have a hard rubber stop

- Although patent leather shoes can be quite beautiful and ideal for exhibitions, they must be constantly greased (with petroleum jelly or silicone) to avoid the shoes sticking to each other as one foot passes the other or sticking to ones dance partner's shoes when both wear patent leather. Tripping is a real risk when patent leather is not greased.


For Women:
- Ankle straps, cross straps or T-straps keep the shoe from slipping off.

- An open space between the ball of the foot and the heel gives more comfortable mobility without digging into the sides of your feet.

- If the shoe fits properly, it stays along and supports the arch.

- A plastic stop on the heel may cause you to slip.


For Men:
- The classic shoe seems to have what is called a Cuban heel (a higher, boot-like heel about 1-1/2 inches tall).

- Avoid slip-on loafer styles in favour of lace-up styles.
 

Vince A

Active Member
#7
Says it all . . . I agree, especially for the men.

I dance totally different in Latin Tango shoes versus the sneaks . . .
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#8
Tango Vancouver said:
What Shoes?

For Women:
- Ankle straps, cross straps or T-straps keep the shoe from slipping off.

For Men:
- The classic shoe seems to have what is called a Cuban heel (a higher, boot-like heel about 1-1/2 inches tall).
When you've seen an open backed shoe fly acroos a room as a result of a gancho this first is a must!

Don't know about this Cuban Heel stuff. I went into a specialist dance shop and when I said I did tango they said no to Cuban Heel and fairly low heel instead.
 
#9
Different kind of guy.

When it comes with shoes, I would prefer wearing my cowboy boots. Certainly is not an official tango shoe, but it actually has a good heel. But as far as shoes go, it does not matter what shoes or boots you wear,but what it really matters is that you have to enjoy the dance. It is very tranquil and relaxing. I am from mexican descent, but born american and proud of it no matter what nationality you are. 3 years ago I have decided to get into dancing. One night I went to a nightclub where they were doing salsa dancing and had a real good time. All of a sudden, some people were going to the 3rd floor of the club and found out from one of the patrons that there was a tango session. 2 months later, I began tango dancing with a follow up of milongas. A funny thing happen to me last summer. I was suppose to get int Tex-Mex dancing. I had my matching boots and my black Stetson hat. All of a sudden, I found out from the Summerdance host that Tango was to be dance for the night. :shock: But hey, at least I got into another tango session and was worth it.
 

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