All You Need to Know About Men’s and Women’s Ballroom Dance Shoes

Salsa, Rumba, Tango, Foxtrot, Waltz or any other style of Ballroom dancing… we at San Jose Dancewear can help you find the best shoes for your styles.


Ballroom Dancers Silhouette


First and foremost, it is important that ballroom dancers not use regular street-heels when dancing, as these shoes are not designed with the perfect slide to grip ratio that ballroom shoes have been designed with. The sole of a standard ballroom shoe is thin and made of suede to ensure easy and flexible movement.

Are there specific types of ballroom shoes to be worn for each different style? Well…yes and no. There are only three main types of ballroom shoes. Latin shoes are open toed, and typically have a 2.5″ heel. Men’s Latin shoes have a 1.5″ Cuban heel, though they are typically only worn for competition.


Latin Ballroom Shoes


Standard, or Court ballroom shoes, are a closed toe variety similar to the Latin style. The heel of these standard shoes are positioned more centrally under the foot than that of a Latin shoe to reduce the effort needed for backward movement. Men’s Standard ballroom shoes are comparable to a typical dress shoe with only a slight heel.


Standard Ballroom Shoe


And, lastly, the practice ballroom shoe. Practice shoes don’t always have to be worn for practice, but may be easier for those just starting out to learn in. A practice shoe has a slightly higher heel than men’s standard ballroom shoes and can come with a suede sole.

Head to San Jose Dancewear for any questions, or for a one-stop-shop to find the perfect dance shoe, with brands such as SupaDance, Stephanie, Capezio, Bloch and Freed.

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