Peek into a Dancer’s Life: Types of Dancing Shoes

dancing shoes

A great and talented dancer knows the importance of wearing the right and appropriate shoes. If you are a dancer, having a comfortable shoe where you can easily showcase your dancing skills is a must.

Wearing appropriate shoes fit for the dancing style can very much help the dancer.  What is the difference between regular and dancing shoes? The main differences are normally the sole and the shoes’ flexibility to easily follow the dancers’ movement.

Interested to learn more about dancing shoes? Let’s take a closer look at a dancer’s life and the different shoes they use.


For hip hop, street dance and other urban dance, sneakers are usually used. Sneakers provide ultimate comfort and support for the dancer.

With so many brands like those found on being made available, a dancer can have an assortment of shoes to choose from! There are just so many different styles and designs!

Just make sure that in choosing sneakers for dancing, comfort should be the top priority. This is very important especially for hip hop dancing. This is because the dance can be very dynamic and demanding. Hence, extra protection like insole padding should be highly considered in the selection of the shoe for hip hop or street dance..

What is good with sneakers is that they are so fashionable and cool. Even if you are not dancing, you can just wear them when you go out during ordinary and casual times.

dancing shoes

Ballet Slippers

The classical ballet is an important dance in the culture and history of dancing worldwide. Since ballet is considered to be one of the older dances, ballet slippers have also evolved through the decades. These days, you can find such ballet shoes using canvas or leather material. It can also have a split or full sole.

Full sole is generally used by beginners in ballet to strengthen the foot and arches. For the advanced ballet dancers, a split sole type is used to easily showcase the full range of ballet footwork.

Pointe Shoes

Pointe shoes are also worn for ballet.  It has a box at the front to support the toes. It has a sole, which is a piece of leather at the bottom of the shoe. The shoe is elastic. It has two ribbons to hold the feet.

Jazz Shoes

Jazz is also one of the more popular dances. Jazz shoes normally are light and have rubber soles that can support the landing of a dancer from intense jumps and turns. They also come in either full or split sole. A slight thicker heel is also seen in a jazz shoe as compared to a ballet shoe.

Flamenco Shoes

Flamenco is a popular Spanish dance. For this dance, it uses a wooden heel shoe. Flamenco shoes add power and fierceness in the dance.

Tap Shoes

Tap dance goes a long way back in the history of dancing. Tap shoes are a bit similar to jazz shoes. Though they differ in the bottom. Tap shoes have a firmer sole and a thicker heel. The taps are made of metal. They are attached to a soundboard, which is attached to the toe and heel. Hence, the sound when dancing with tap shoes. Tap dance is an energetic and uplifting dance. Certainly, the sounds coming from the shoes make this dance a very distinctive one!

Swing Dance Shoes

Swing dance started as an underground social dance around the 1940s.  Swing dance is such an energy-filled dance. As such, it needs a really good pair of shoes to support the feet. The shoes for swing dance often come with a thick heel. The shoes for women have a strap or laces to keep the shoe secure as the dance can become very fluid and fast.  For men, it is usually a vintage-type of leather shoe.

Ballroom and Latin Dance Shoes

Ballroom and Latin dance depicts a certain glitz and glam. It shows a precise execution of the dance. The shoes for ballroom dancing are only meant to be worn indoors. This is because it only has a thin layer of suede on the sole. Why is this the case? This is because such type allows the dancers to move gracefully and smoothly across the dance floor. It also allows the dancer to keep their movements cleaner and more controlled.

Irish and Highland Dance shoes

Irish dance has intricate formations and patterns. Thus, the shoes have to be able to adapt to such movements.   Ghillies are also sometimes referred to as light shoes, pomps, pumps, and soft shoes.

Ghillies are soft shoes, They are often made with leather that forms to the foot. The dance shoes worn by the females are pumps or ghillies. These are leather shoes with laces crossing along the top of the foot.

Males wear soft shoes or reel shoes. They look a bit like the jazz shoes but they have heels to enhance the sounds of the footwork.

Character Shoes

Character shoes help the dancer in his or her fancy footwork. This is so he/she can freely move. Character shoes usually have a heel, with a height of 1.5 inches to 3 inches.  The shoes also have a fine leather that helps in terms of support, stability, and flexibility in dancing.

Wow, these are a lot of different types of shoes! But with so many dances worldwide, there are still other types of shoes! You can even go exotic and visit Charismatico dancewear for some of these options and more. So, go ahead, grab your favorite dance shoe and dance your heart out!

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