Heels are the bane of a dancer’s existence. They’re not just uncomfortable; they can also be dangerous. If you’re serious about your dance classes, you need to invest in a pair of shoes that will help you stay safe and comfortable as you dance.
The best shoes for heels dance class are ones that offer plenty of support and cushioning for your feet, as well as strong ankle support so you don’t twist or sprain anything while dancing. You also need to find shoes that will keep your feet from slipping around inside their structures, which can cause blisters or worse when combined with the pressure of dancing on hard floors.
There are many different types of shoes available out there; choosing one that fits your needs well depends on what type of dance class you attend most frequently (or even just one).
Best Shoes For Heels Dance Class
The Best Shoes to Wear to Heels Class
So you’re starting some Heels classes and wondering which shoes to wear so you:
- DON’T injure yourself
- Align, strengthen and SUPPORT your body correctly
- REDUCE the chances of pain significantly
- Are able to ENJOY the class, and not worry about falling over
- Yes. We know you also want to LOOK AWESOME
- Actually accomplish those KICK-ASS MOVES you’ll learn in class
Good for you!
You’re one of the more conscientious dancers who obviously cares about their body!
Well, we care too.
Safety is paramount in our classes, as it should be for any studio or teacher instructing heels classes.
This is one of the main reasons why our classes are actually part of a “dance course” which builds up to dancing in Heels – and why we’ve prepared this heels class shoe recommendation guide. You won’t get thrown into a routine without covering the basics including posture, alignment, warm-ups and correct technique. Of course, routines are a given! They are fun but definitely suited to the level of each group. In more advanced classes and once you’ve developed a good foundation, you’ll spend more time on routines and choreography per class.
So without further ado,
Here are 4 tips for Best Shoes to Wear to a Heels Dance Class, followed by our Shoe Guide.
1. Comfort and stability are key
Put your chosen Heels on and see if they fit like a glove – no gaps, not too loose and not too tight. You should feel instantly if they are ‘comfortable’. Now, walk around the house with them on. Does your foot stay supported and are you walking without wobbling?
You should feel the ground underneath you, feel relatively stable and they should be secure on all sides.
No pinching, no gaping and definitely NO flying off your foot when you do a small kick.
Go on. Test it!
Wearing Heels for Level 1 classes is NOT compulsory however, we do suggest giving them a go as exercises and routines will make more sense when wearing the proper shoes.
2. Start low
As a beginner, we recommend wearing low heel boots, cabaret or chorus shoes with a heel height of 2-inches instead of open-toe heels or sandals. We recommend up to 3-inches for everyone, no matter your ability.
Why start low? For many reasons including safety but one of the key physical reasons is because wearing heels (of any sort really) do change your body’s natural positioning, alignment and the way you move. You’ll literally fire-up and activate different (more) muscle groups to walk or simply to stand-up straight – let alone when you start to move and dance! Due to this genuinely big physiological shift, it’s best to keep the changes for your body as small as possible, and allow more time to adjust. While still getting the look of wearing heels of course!
Please note No stilettos of any kind allowed in our classes, and No shoes that mark the floors. See below for What NOT to wear to a heels class! [images]
3. Bring options, just in case
Sometimes your shoes can trick you, because they’re extra fabulous and they might want you to wear them to dance class.
However, this doesn’t mean they are the most suitable for dancing in! The course is about learning to dance in heels and having fun dancing – not getting blisters or hurting after class. So, instead of missing out on quality dance-time for the sake of wearing your fabulous shoes, just bring a few other options to class if you’re not 100% sure, and your teacher can help you select on the day. Worst case scenario, if your fabulous shoes betray you, at least you’ll have an extra pair to change into, or simply take them off. So, bring options just in case.
We do love options.
We love shoes!
We love shoes!
Yes, we said that twice. Moving on.
Also note that some parts of class eg. warm-up are done in normal shoes like sneakers, jazz boots or flats (no thongs please). Students should come to class wearing any normal shoes they’d wear to an “active” class. Clothing? Wear any comfortable clothing like active wear, shorts, leggings, yoga pants and any tank tops, t-shirt, or even a crop if you’re feeling extra sassy. Whatever you feel you can move easily in.
[Fun Fact Break]
Did you know that shoes with chunky ‘platforms’ at the toe area, make it much harder to feel where the floor is.
This makes it easier to stumble or trip! Now you know the secret why a lot of fashion shoes make it almost impossible for you to walk well in, and to look good. This leads to what we like to call the classic bent-knees, ‘horse-walk’ at 2am on a Saturday night look. Or worse, when they can’t take it any longer and remove their shoes completely. On the street.
But, some shoe styles are just against us from the start.
This is true of some other platform styles, poorly made shoes, and just poorly designed shoes. Even a professional dance would find it hard to walk-well in the above.
4. Our recommendations
Here are our top recommendations for Best Non-Professional shoe styles (you probably own something similar already) or if you’re ready, we highly recommend buying a professional dance shoe! After all, they are the reason why we professionals can dance many hours straight, take many classes in a row or can do those amazing moves you see in videoclips or youtube.
Best NON-Professional Shoe Styles
Just starting out and not ready to buy proper dance shoes just yet? Absolutely fine! You probably own a pair that may suit already. Just remember to try them on and have a walk around in them at home first.
They should fit well, be secure, fairly comfortable and provide your foot with enough support – so straps or an enclosed shoe with no platform is best. Need inspiration?
Here are the 2 best non-professional shoe styles for absolute beginners Heels Classes:
1. Ankle Boots with a low heel
Benefits: Fully enclosed, providing best support and stability, most people may already own a pair. Buy in any shoe shop, options for any budget. (Examples from Betts)
2. Mary Jane style
Benefits: Enclosed heel with a strap, supports the arch of the foot, variety of heel heights and widths, Buy in any shoe shop, options for any budget. (Examples from Myer, Overstock, Shoe Shed)
Best Professional Dance Shoes
Wherever possible, we recommend investing in a pair of professional dance shoes to maximise learning.
Why invest in proper dance heels?
1. Better for your overall foot health.
2. Much more comfortable.
3. Easier to Balance and Move in.
4. Feet won’t get tired as easily. Less painful.
5. Helps prevent joint pain and injury later down the track.
However, our beginner classes truly are for everybody so please see our other, non-professional shoe suggestions also. Professional Dance Shoes include the Cabaret, Chorus or Character style of shoes, as well as some Latin & Ballroom styles. Dance boots may be harder to shop for, but plenty of online retailers do sell them. For beginners however, we suggest trying them on first. For this reason, we recommend the following professional dance brands and stores.