Ideal both for beginners and advanced dancers, the shoes in this category feature a “tap” plate that offers a rich sound on the floor during tap dancing. They come in a variety of colors and designs that are suitable for plenty of outfits.
Comfortable and specifically designed for tap dancing performances and practice, tap shoes are one of the most important things for a dancer to own. Tap shoes last for many years and as long as you look after them, they’ll keep giving.
Advice for buying tap shoes
Any great dance performance always starts with a great pair of shoes. But it is not as simple as it sounds. It can be challenging to find and pick the ideal shoes for you depending on your level of expertise. There can be quite a few differences between beginners’ tap dance shoes and experts’.
Comfort: The right pair of tap dancing shoes will make the crisp sound that the audience adores. They should also be very comfortable and elegant. Even a bit of negligence when it comes to your feet’s comfort can have consequences on your performance.
Next, come the soles: Depending on your preferences, you can either choose leather or suede. They can be split, offering you optimal flexibility, or full.
Most of the time, heels are one or more inches high. However, a new trend is the tap sneakers which totally lack any type of heel. If you are not familiarized with heels, stick to flat types of shoes. Your performance could be affected if you struggle to get accustomed to heels. But if you are willing to do the extra work, definitely go for them!
Support: For optimal toe support, choose a leather character tap shoe with a “box” toe, while a firm sole properly supports the foot.
Beginners: If you are a beginner dancer it is not important to buy an expensive pair of tap dancing shoes. You will only wear them off while learning and the investment won’t be worth it in the end. Try choosing a medium-priced pair of shoes before you reach an advanced level.
How to look after your tap dancing shoes
First of all, the objects listed below, make up a great kit that is kind of a must-have if you own tap dancing shoes. Make sure you have at least most of these following items that can be included in the regular maintenance of your valuable shoes:
- Leather cleaner
- Baking soda
I know they are quite a few, but they will come in handy, believe me!
Clean materials. Always make sure the material of your shoes is squeaky clean. Any residue can damage them, so carefully cleaning them when you notice any foreign substance on their surface is the best approach. A great idea is to use shoe polish, leather cleaners or saddle soap to thoroughly clean your shoes.
No outdoors. Never wear your tap shoes outdoors. You need to make sure they stay dry especially if they are fabricated out of leather because damp can cause the material to stretch. This will ultimately affect the shoes in such a manner that they won’t even fit properly.
Always keep dry. Even if you don’t take your shoes outside, they can get wet. To avoid damage keep them as dry as possible at all times. This way you will certainly contribute to their lifespan. Also always wearing specific dance socks that are usually created out of breathable materials will inhibit bacterial growth caused by sweat.
Constant care. Having a perfect looking pair of shoes takes a bit of special attention. Do a close examination on a regular basis and you will be able to do any repairs on the spot if needed. By being careful you can easily avoid further deterioration.
It’s also vital not to neglect the bottom nails. If by any chance they come loose, make sure you have them replaced immediately. If the taps are glued, always check that they are secured properly to the bottom and re-glue them right away if needed.
Neutralize smells. To remove bad odors use baking soda on a regular basis. Using protective insoles is a great idea as well.
Keep your shoes in shape. While giving your shoes a rest make sure you insert a wooden shoetree to maintain their perfect shape.
As a last piece of advice, always keep this in mind when you put on your shoes: “A shoe is not only a design, but it's a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you're going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” Christian Louboutin