We thought it would be good to give people suggestions for places to buy dance shoes and suggestions on what to look for. We will make multiple posts over the next couple weeks, and continuing on when we find new sites, of great places online to look at dance shoes.
Ok, some things to look for when buying a pair of dance shoes...
First lets start with the difference in dance shoes from normal street shoes. Salsa/latin dance shoes have a compressed suede sole to make spinning easier. The compressed suede gives you a smooth surface to spin while also still allowing you to have some traction to keep your balance. Salsa/latin shoes are also designed to set your weight forward just slightly to help you better dance on your toes. All dance shoes also have straps for support around the back of the heel, over the top of the foot, and around the toes to ensure the shoe will not come off while dancing.
Practice salsa shoes vs salsa shoes: Practice salsa shoes will usually be made more like a sneaker with a smaller heel than normal salsa shoes. Salsa practice shoes are mostly for people who are practicing 8+ hours a day and get super tired legs from practicing that long. We would recommend the normal salsa shoes for dancing.
Cuban heel: Not sure what style cuban heels are for but we've never seen any salsa dancers wearing them so we would not recommend them.
Heel height: A lot of this is personal preference, but heel height also can affect your dancing. Some girls love the high heel as they say it helps them balance forward better, while others prefer a smaller heel as they say it helps them sink down into their spins better. We would recommend starting out with about a 2.5" heel for your first pair of dance shoes as its about a medium height heel.
Style: This is mostly personal preference. The closed-toed shoes will provide a little more support than the open-toed shoes, while the open-toed shoes provide a little more room if you tend to have a wider foot. However, this is really personal preference on what you like and think looks best on you.
Color: This is strictly personal preference. The only thing to keep in mind is that certain colors will go with anything, while others will not. If you are getting your first pair of dance shoes we would recommend you get a black, silver, or tan color, which will match pretty much anything you wear (keep in mind that black shows dirt and scuffs less than tan or silver). Then when you get your second pair, go for something fun! There are many colors to pick from on different sites!
***Men, We are sorry to say you guys have a lot less shoe options (this is probably true for normal shoes too). Men's dance shoes are made with a softer material to allow more flexibility in movement. They also have the suede soles to allow for better spinning. Some men's dance shoes actually do have a decent heel, this is mostly just for ballroom performances so we wouldn't recommend those. All the sites we post carry both men and women's dance shoes.