Tap Shoe Components and Getting the Best to Suit Your Needs

Tap dancers rely on their feet as much, if not more than other dancers, which is why it’s especially important for them to know their shoes and be sure to have the best for their personal needs. Below we’ll walk you through the main components of a tap shoe and describe the best options for different purposes and requirements.

Tap Shoes


The heel of most tap shoes can be modified to produce different sounds and increase comfort. For example, the plastic heel that most starter shoes come with is cheap, and may not produce the nice, deep tone of a leather heel. Keep in mind that the higher the heel is, the more pressure the front of the foot will feel.

Toe Box

The type of toe box that is best for you will largely depend on your particular flavor of dancing. If you do a lot of moves that involve pressure on the toes, a nice, sturdy toe box might be for you. If you need flexibility in the toes, get a lighter leather toe.


The proper topline can prevent issues such as chafing, blisters, and a twisted ankle. Higher toplines offer more support but may require padding or notching for comfort. Low toplines offer ankle flexibility but lack the sturdy support of high toplines.

We know we’ve given you a lot to think about. Come check out our vast selection of tap shoes at one of our locations in Marin, Santa Cruz, or San Jose and stay tuned for more information on tap shoes, such as how to achieve the best sound, and how to care for them.

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