What you need to know to choose the dance shoe that is best suited to you
The shoes are for dancing, so it is fundamental for them to be comfortable. The width of the shoe is important in order for it to adapt to one’s foot. Consider that they tend to give a little with use, so don’t get shoes that are too wide. It is normal for them to feel a little hard when they are new, especially ones made of hide tanned into leather, and it is not uncommon for them to cause grazes. The ones made of hide tanned into suede are more flexible and comfortable from the start, but they also lose their shape more quickly.
As for the heel, there are different heel heights. Professionals tend to use a classic 7-centimetre heel (2.36 inches); however, if you are a beginner or are not used to wearing heels, it would be best to start using a 5-centimetre heel (2 inches). Moreover, there is also the Cuban heel, which is a little bit wider, and it gives the shoes greater stability.
Quality is very important, and it starts from the choice of material. Avoid plastic. They are cheaper, but they tear quickly; moreover, your foot will sweat profusely and they will eventually take on a bad smell.
Genuine hide is the best. It doesn’t matter what kind of tanning it has undergone. Leather tends to be more resistant, withstands use better and, with a little bit of care, the shoes will last for years. Suede is a good material as well, but the shoes last somewhat less, because they lose their shape more easily and may eventually become worn and lose colour.
If you want to be sure about the excellent quality and resistance of your shoe, the best thing to do is to get some hand-crafted shoes, made using traditional craft methods by a master shoemaker who knows how to ensure that your shoe will last forever regardless of how much taconeo (rhytmic combination of sounds made by repeatedly stepping onto the heel) you do.
Once you clearly understand all of the above, you just need to pick the model that you prefer, but we can’t offer you any advice on this point.
It is best to keep them somewhere fresh, with a room temperature of 18ºC. After using them, they must be left to air themselvesfor at least fifteen minutes in order for them to dry, because sweat dries out the leather or suede, and causes it to become rougher. Afterwards, the best thing to do is to keep them in a plastic bag in order to stop the hide from drying out.
In order to clean the shoes of hide that has been tanned into leather, or any form that doesn’t have any external “hair”, it is best to spread normal skin-cream for personal use, onto them. Afterwards, once the shoe has absorbed the cream, one should spread shoe cream (not shoe polish) onto them. The next step is to rub them with a cloth and to brush them. In this way, it is possible for the hide of the shoe to remain permanently hydrated, and for it not to dry out and get ruined.
For shoes made of suede, nappa or nobuk (materials which are furry), it suffices to brush them and to spray some protector for nobuk or suede, which helps to preserve them and makes them a slightly more resistant to water.