Recommendations for Dance Shoes


When looking for dance shoes, you want to consider how comfortable they feel, how much the sole of the shoe will allow you to spin, and the style (more casual vs formal, no heel vs high heel, etc). Some social dancers can find one pair of shoes that work for many different dance styles, but it's usually a matter of personal preference! As you become more specialized in specific dance styles, often there are certain shoes that are more popular for each dance style and you can invest in those.

For UT students, the Social Dance courses require shoes that are closed-toe, closed-heel, and smooth sole. The wood floor in Belmont 628 is a little sticky, so shoes designed for dancing (usually with leather or suede soles) tend to work best. We will provided loaner Dance Socks (see below) if you find that your shoes are too sticky in class, but it's recommended that you find some shoes that will work for the entire semester!

Beware that many shoes designed for dancing (especially ones with suede soles) should not be worn outside, to prevent damage to the specialized soles. In this case, you'll want to wear your street shoes to the dance and bring your dances shoes to change into.

Tom's


Made for both men and women, Tom's have a smooth sole that works for a lot of dance surfaces. Beware that some styles have a rubber or straw-like sole, and these may be too sticky.

Keds


Made for both men and women, Keds are popular among swing dancers and work for general social dancing. The soles of a new pair may be a little sticky, so many dancers apply duct tape or suede to the bottom to make spinning easier.

Aris Allen version of Keds


Made for both men and women, Aris Allen makes a Keds-like shoe that has a sueded sole. These are often sold in Austin at Movin' Easy.

Vans


Made for both men and women, Van's are popular among swing dancers and work for general social dancing. The soles of a new pair may be a little sticky, so many dancers apply duct tape or suede to the bottom to make spinning easier.

Converse


Made for both men and women, Converse can work for general social dancing. The soles of a new pair may be a little sticky, so many dancers apply duct tape or suede to the bottom to make spinning easier.

Ballet Flats


Designed for women, ballet flats are a style of street shoe that often have a smooth enough sole for general social dancing.

Dance Sneakers


Made for both men and women, there are many varieties and brands of dance sneakers. Most have a sole that is designed for spinning. You can find these in Austin at Movin' Easy and Capezio.

Aris Allen Dance Sneakers


Made for both men and women, Aris Allen also makes dance sneakers with a suede sole that work well for general social dancing. These are often sold in Austin at Movin' Easy.

Jazz Shoes


Made for both men and women, Jazz shoes are designed for jazz dancing but often worn by social dancers. The soles are designed for spinning, but some will not feel very supportive. You can find these in Austin at Movin' Easy and Capezio.

Character Shoes


Designed for women, Character shoes are designed for musical theater and ballroom dance practice and often worn by social dancers looking for a short heel. If you are not used to wearing heels, it's not recommended to dance in them until you're more comfortable! You can find these in Austin at Movin' Easy and Capezio.

Women's Ballroom Shoes


Designed for women, these can look like Character shoes with more narrow heel. UT students need to keep in mind that "sandal" style Ballroom shoes with open toes are not allowed in class. You can find these in Austin at Movin' Easy and Capezio.

Aris Allen Captoe Shoes


Designed for men, the Captoe shoe looks like a dress shoe and has a leather bottom. These are often sold in Austin at Movin' Easy.

Men's Ballroom Shoes


Designed for men, there are many brands and styles of Ballroom shoes. In general, they look like a slim dress shoe with a leather or suede sole. These are often sold in Austin at Movin' Easy or Capezio.

Ballroom Practice Shoes


Made for both men and women, Ballroom practice shoes have a heel and smooth sole for spinning. These are often sold in Austin at Movin' Easy or Capezio.

Cowboy Boots


Made for both men and women, cowboy boots with leather soles are popular for country dancing. You can find these in Austin at Cavenders.

Sway'd Dance Boots


Designed for women, these dance boots are popular for dancing West Coast Swing. They are meant to be both fashionable and functional for spinning.


What to do if your shoes are too sticky

If you want to dance in street shoes, make sure the sole isn't too sticky and allows you to spin easily. (Otherwise, you may be stressing your knees every time you turn.)

Dance Socks


These are socks you slip onto any shoe to allow you to spin more easily on a wood floor. We have a set of loaner Dance Socks for UT students to borrow during class if you find your shoes are too sticky, but you are encouraged to purchase your own if you want to use them regularly.

Stick-On Suede (DIY)


You can purchase stick-on suede and apply it to any shoe with a smooth sole (literally stand on the suede and cut around the outline of your shoe.
You can instead apply duct tape on the bottom of your shoes, which is less permanent but may be better if you plan to wear them outside.

Dance Shoe Stores in Austin

Movin' Easy


404 W 30th St (across from Trudy's)
10% off Coupon (print or show on your phone!)

Capezio


5114 Balcones Woods Drive, Suite 304 (in NW Austin)