Salsa Dance Shoes: Selection Tips for Beginners

You can come in comfortable clothes and shoes for the first salsa lesson. But if you decide to take it seriously, you should think about purchasing specialized footwear. The best salsa dance shoes will significantly improve your progress in mastering the movements, help you develop the correct posture, and positively affect your overall style. So, how do you choose the very pair that is perfect for you?

1. Type

This parameter directly depends on your preferences. The following types of shoes are suitable for salsa dancing:

  • Open style provides a large number of adjustable straps. They fix your feet but at the same time do not restrict movement. This option is most suitable for wide feet.
  • Closed style. As the name implies, the toe and heel are closed, ensuring maximum fixation of the foot. Such models are suitable for dancers with narrow feet because they can squeeze your feet too much if you do not guess the size.
  • Semi-closed style. Such shoes have only one part closed, the heel or toe. The golden mean provides comfort and confident balance on the dance floor.

2. Heel

Latin dances, which include salsa, have clearly defined requirements for the shoes of professional dancers. You don’t have to follow them exactly if you’re an amateur, but you still need to know them. Heels take pressure off the heel and properly distribute weight so that you move easily and gracefully. Beginning dancers can purchase shoes with heels around 2 inches. If in everyday life you are used to walking in high-heeled shoes, it is quite possible that you can dance in them as well. Therefore, choose footwear with heels of 3 inches and above.

3. Upper Material

In stores, you can find salsa shoes made of the following materials:

  • Satin. It is lightweight and suitable for dyeing and decorating with beads, rhinestones, and sequins. It also rubs the leg less during long lessons but is not easy to care for.
  • Leather. Leather shoes are durable; however, this material stretches after a few rehearsals, which should be taken into account when choosing a size. The higher the heel, the faster the footwear will stretch due to the load. Luckily, leather is easy to care for, so your shoes will last a long time.
  • Nubuck/suede. It is a very beautiful material, but it quickly loses its appearance. Therefore, you should carefully treat them with brushes and special sprays.

4. Outsole Material

Since salsa involves slipping on the floor and turning on the spot, you need shoes that won’t get in the way of these movements. Usually, professional dance footwear has leather or suede outsoles. Other materials provide traction to the floor surface and do not allow you to make quick turns. For outdoor activities, choose suede soles; for dancing on the street, it is better to buy shoes with leather soles as it is more durable.

5. Size

Shoes should fit snugly enough but not squeeze or rub your skin. If you buy an open-style model, make sure that the toes do not go beyond the insole and do not touch the floor. It is acceptable if your big toes stick out a little while dancing, but the rest toes should remain within the toe box. When buying leather shoes, pay attention to the number of strap holes. There should be enough of them so that you can reduce the diameter as the shoe stretches.

Separate Pairs for Lessons and Performances

If you decide to take up salsa seriously, it is better to purchase several pairs of shoes. A simple and undecorated one is intended for regular lessons, and the second, more elegant and richly decorated, is used for performances. Remember to regularly update your collection as your shoes wear out to keep yourself from getting hurt.

How do you choose dance shoes? Please share your tips on how to find the perfect salsa footwear in the comments!

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