Let’s Talk Shoes

While you can enjoy Cued Ballroom Dance in any shoes, women in particular are encouraged to start using shoes with some sort of sliding leather sole as soon as possible.  The turning and twirling will take a toll on your knees if you don’t.  Men do less turning and twirling, but sliding soles will ease the strain on their bodies as well.  Here are the popular options, starting with the least expensive:

  1. Shoes with flat leather soles, if you already have them.
  2. Slip-ons. These are about 2″ wide soft tubes that slip over your shoes.  They look like wrist bands.  The best seem to be the ones sold by Curves (about $10/pair), or Dancesocks (about $5/pair plus shipping).  You can get Dancesocks online here.
    • Advantages:  Cheap.  Can use on any shoes.  Temporary.
    • Disadvantages:  Temporary.  They sometimes come off while you’re dancing.
  3. Stick-ons. These stick on to the soles of your existing shoes (using a permanent adhesive) to provide dance shoe-like soles.  Dancers who have tried this have been generally satisfied with the results.  Cost about $20 per pair.
    • http://www.soles2dance.com   (Also sold on Amazon.  Same manufacturer.  Search for “soles2dance”)
    • Advantages:  Inexpensive.  Can use on any shoes.
    • Disadvantages:  Permanent.  Still not genuine dance shoes.
  4. Glue-ons. Shoemakers can glue dance sole leather (called “chrome leather”) onto most kinds of shoes for about $40-$45.  Dancers who have gone this route have generally been happy with the results.
    • Advantages:  Not as expensive as genuine dance shoes.  Can be done to any shoes.
    • Disadvantages:  Still not genuine dance shoes.
  5. Genuine dance shoes. The most expensive option, but these shoes are designed for dancing.  They allow your feet to move and bend in ways that street shoes just can’t match.  Lot’s of manufactures.  Google or search Amazon.
    • Advantages:  Probably the very best dance shoes.
    • Disadvantages:  Expensive, limited shoe selection, may not work for people who have special foot problems.  Ladies’ shoes with low/no heel often difficult to find.

As an aside, these slip-on devices work wonderfully for dancing on carpet (really!).  We’ve used them to do demos on stage carpet, and were amazed at how well they work.  Might be worth trying if your only practice area is carpeted.