top of page

Dance Shoes - All You Need To Know!


Having the correct equipment is very important for any sport, and as such having the correct footwear is just as important for your dancing.  A good dance shoe will enhance your dancing whilst protecting your feet and ankles.

There are many companies that provide dance shoes, however, as with everything in life you do get what you pay for. At the Chelmsford Dance Centre we only recommend Supadance, who are the world’s leading manufacturer of dance shoes. When it comes to choosing the right shoe for you, there are a few things to look out for.

The Difference between Ballroom and Latin Shoes and Regular Shoes
The biggest difference lies in the soles. Ballroom and Latin shoes have a thin layer of suede sole, this allows the shoes to glide well on the floor while also retain a certain level of grip.  Ballroom and Latin shoes are also very flexible, enabling the dancers to articulate their feet and show off their techniques.

When to Buy Your First Ballroom Shoes
Shoes are not required at beginner level; however, we recommend that you get them ASAP. Preferably 8-12 weeks into dancing.  The shoes will allow you to become a better dancer. Whether it is because you can rise further onto your toes in a Ballroom shoe or stand more forward on the balls of your feet in a Latin shoe, a dancer in flexible dance shoes will usually dance slightly better than an equal dancer in limiting street or dress shoes.

The Different Types of Ballroom Shoes

Women Latin Shoes
These shoes are open toe, generally look like sandals; heels are long and thin, ranging
From 2 in to 3.5 in. Beginners are recommended to choose 2.5 inch heels.

Women Ballroom Shoes
These shoes are closed toe, closely resemble court shoes; heels are shorter and slightly
wider. This should usually be your second pair of shoes if required

Men Ballroom Shoes
Men’s Ballroom shoes have a much lower heel, often 1 in. and the heel base is wider
than that of men’s Latin shoes. They resemble regular dress shoes.

Men Latin Shoes
Men’s Latin shoes have a higher heel, usually 1.5 in. But unlike women’s Latin
shoes, the heel area is much bigger. This should usually be your second pair of shoes if required.

Dance Trainer
Dance trainers are usually split sole canvas sneakers specially designed for 
hip hop.  Other features include a breathable arch and tongue, as well as a spin spot for increased control and balance. 

How to Find the Right Shoes
Ballroom and Latin shoes must fit your feet well. Just half a size bigger or smaller can make a huge difference in your dancing. So please do not purchase a pair of shoes one size smaller just because it is on sale. We recommend that when you purchase your shoes, buy a pair that fits snuggly on your feet they will loosen up and therefore fit your feet comfortably. However, do not get shoes that are too tight, because they will injure your feet.

Recommendations for Newcomers

Women - For newcomers, your first pair of shoes should be Latin shoes, since both Latin and Ballroom style dances can be danced in Latin shoes. We recommend that you get a pair of flesh tone Latin shoes, since they elongate your legs and blend your feet into the floor.

Men - For newcomers, your first pair of shoes should be Ballroom shoes, because it is far easier to dance Latin and Ballroom in Ballroom shoes due to the lower heel and wider base. Most of men’s shoes are black, so go with a black pair.

Heel Covers (for Ladies)
Heel protectors perform three important tasks: they protect the floor, grant you more traction, and most importantly, they protect your heels.  If your heels are not properly protected this will cause problems. The tips of the high-heeled dance shoes are generally made of hard plastic. Most dance floors are made of wood. The most compelling reason for using heel covers is to protect your dance shoes The little heel tip on the heel is the first thing that will wear out, and replacing it will cost about £6 or more, and are available in the studio. These heel tips wear away quickly when they aren't protected; just one dance can wear them down to the nail that is keeping them attached to the shoe. The heel protectors are much cheaper and more convenient than constantly replacing the plastic heel tips.

Children's Shoes

Girls’ shoes
These are a sandal type shoe, in either leather or satin with a regulation heel. Again, a good fit is very important for little growing feet. A good dance shoe will provide cushioning and protection around the ankles. Girls do not need to go into heels until they are approximately 12 years old. This does differ from child to child so please speak to Zara, Phil or Hannah before you move your daughter into heels.

Boys Shoes
Boys shoes come with either a Ballroom or Latin heel, as for Men we recommend a Ballroom pair as both Ballroom and Latin can be danced in these.


There are two ways to purchase your Supadance shoes.  They are available online at  or, conveniently, their retail shop is located in Buckhurst Hill, near Loughton, just off the M25, which from our studio is just a short 40 minute drive.  At the shop, they have a full range of sizes to try on, to get the perfect fit.

If you go to the shop, please mention the Chelmsford Dance Centre – our principal Phil has had a very long-standing relationship with the owners for well over 46 years, and our pupils almost always are offered great prices and preferential treatment because of this!

Supadance International
159 Queen's Rd
Buckhurst Hill

0208 505 8888


bottom of page