Tap dancing requires special shoes with loud, firm soles that produce noise when touching the floor. The audience can better understand the dancer’s rhythm thanks to the noise, enabling the dancer to stay in tune with the music. Additionally, the heel of tap shoes is slightly raised, which aids in giving the dancer more lift and height.
Knowing this, it’s not a big surprise to learn that some tap dancers refer to themselves as musicians and their shoes as instruments. So, it’s crucial to pick the right shoe, just as a violinist would want the highest quality sound from their violin. And, of course, once you do, remember to keep them neatly stored or packed in the perfect dance bag.
How Do I Choose Tap Shoes?
Although the plates are one of the most crucial shoe components, there are also many other things to consider when looking for the right tap shoes for your dance, including the variety of materials, heel heights, plate sizes, and fastening options. We’ve put together this guide to assist you in finding the ideal model for you.
Tap Shoe Types
Your tap dancing style will determine the kind of tap you have on your shoes. Two metal plates on the bottom of dual taps produce a loud noise when they touch the floor. That keeps dancers alert and offers a steady beat for them to move to. That’s why they’re among the most widely used varieties of these shoes. Conversely, the sole of super tone taps is softer, fitting more loosely, which makes them cosy to wear for extended periods.
Low vs High Heel
The two primary types of shoes for tap dancing are low-heel and high-heel. Both have benefits and drawbacks, so before making a choice, it’s essential to consider your requirements and preferences.
Low-heel shoes are a fantastic option for novices or people with joint trouble because they are typically more comfortable and easier to dance in. Additionally, they’re frequently less expensive than the high-heel-tap alternative. However, they may not offer the same support and stability level as high heels, making it challenging to do some techniques.
High-heeled models typically provide superior support and stability, making dancing in them less problematic. Depending on your preferences, their sophistication and frequent dancing noise may be beneficial or the opposite.
Lace-Up vs Buckled
When you aren’t sure which shoe size you should get, lace-up shoes may be a decent option because they’re usually more adaptable. Additionally, they offer more ankle support, which is beneficial if you have weak ankles or are new to tap dancing. Conversely, buckled tap are typically simpler to put on and take off. Also, they slip less, which is beneficial if you’re tap dancing quickly.
Split vs Whole Sole
Due to the required foot strength, split-sole tap dance shoes aren’t suitable for beginners. However, more experienced dancers love them, as they’re more flexible and provide better control over the plates, enabling complex footwork.
Although we should note that some dancers prefer weightier shoes, particularly for rhythm tap, split-sole shoes are significantly lighter than whole-sole shoes. Sometimes, the foot’s sole includes a helpful non-slip grip behind the toe plate in some split-sole and whole-sole tap shoe designs.
Different Types of Plates
One tap shoe’s most crucial aspect is the plate, distinguishing it from an ordinary shoe. The sound might differ significantly depending on the plate quality. Some options have adjustable plates riveted into place. However, you can fine-tune others with a screwdriver to suit the dancer’s preferences or the surface they are performing on.
For the dancer to use different parts of the foot to create distinct sounds, a tap shoe must be fitted with both a toe plate and a heel plate. Most of these shoes already have the plates affixed. However, some require plate attachment. So, consider both the:
Pre-attached heel and toe plates: These tap-shoe plates make an excellent option for starters because they sound good, are safe, and don’t need fine-tuning. The shoes already have them fitted.
Heel and toe plates without attachment: Shoes for tap dance often arrive with the toe plates already in place, but the heel plates must be attached. But occasionally, both need to be fitted. You can purchase heel plates in either a standard tap-shoe design or a horseshoe shape.
What Size Should I Get?
For tap dancers of all skill levels, from beginners taking tap dance courses to seasoned dancers, proper tap shoe fit is crucial. Blisters, bunions, heel soreness, and collapsed arches are just a few of the issues resulting from improperly fitted shoes. Also, ill-fitting shoes can hinder a dancer’s ability to execute steps correctly and impact their technique.
Dancers should ensure their shoes are snug but not too tight while fitting them. They shouldn’t come off when dancing, but there should be enough room for the toes to move around. The arch should be supported without being uncomfortable, and the heel cup should be firm without being restricted.
What Colour Should I Buy?
Choosing the hue of your dance shoes is ultimately on you. Black tap shoe design is adaptable and suitable for various tap dancing styles. However, you might want to go with white if you’re primarily interested in tap dancing as a form of exercise. White shoes frequently weigh less and give your feet more significant support.