Practice shoes

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by SnowDancer, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Any suggestions for men's shoes to wear to classes and practices that provide decent support? The jazz slippers I have are too thin and leave my feet aching. Do dance-sneakers work?
  2. TrulyMadlyAmanda

    TrulyMadlyAmanda Shine Officer

    yes. :cool:

    personally, i like Blochs....they're marginally less geeky-looking than most dance shows. and i accidentally discovered that if you're teaching so much you wear them in the street as your day shoe:

    1) you can wear them in the street with no ill-effect, provided it's not too rainy


    2) if you do wear them as your regular shoe, your arches strengthen and lift to compensate for the lack of support [medical advisory, pretty sure this is inadvisable].

    getting good dance trainers make a full-on salsa congress a much less painful experience! :cool:
  3. Have you tried putting gel or cushion insoles in your jazz slippers? they worked wonders for me.

    Dance sneakers would kill my arches
  4. theamoebaman

    theamoebaman Son Montuno

    I usually just use Jazz shoes for both practice and for socials. They are rather thin and I do end up with sore feet but I've found that as my feet started to get used to the abuse I didn't really feel the pain as much. Wearing some socks with padding will probably helps as well to cushion your feet. If your arches are hurting a lot, and especially if you have flat feet like me, you may need to get some arch support inserts to help as well.

    I'm not a big fan of dance sneakers as I find the soles a bit too thick for my liking. A few years ago I bought a pair for Capezio dancesleekers which I loved. They're a cross between a jazz shoe and a dance sneaker. Very lightweight and flexible and the sole is slightly thicker but not as thick as a sneaker. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the same pair again and I left mine overseas with my family who have them stored up somewhere.
  5. Flujo

    Flujo Sabor Ambassador

    If you take a look at the Sansha website they have a good range of dance sneakers. They seem to be pretty good on most floors I don't know how they compare to Blochs spin wise.
  6. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Just got a pair last night, and tried them out during a short practice session. So far, they feel really nice. The real test will be during my 3-hour class tonight.
  7. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Any guys tried swing shoes? I'm considering it next, since I'm sick of split soles and want something that looks a bit less ... uh ... dedicated ... than a jazz shoe.
  8. noobster

    noobster Pattern Police

    How about jazz shoes that look like sneakers?

    (Scroll down a bit for some jazz shoes masquerading as Converse or dress shoes.)

    If you really don't want a split sole, Aris Allen has some cool-looking men's swing shoes with a full suede sole. But I'm not sure what the advantage is supposed to be.
  9. Aris

    Aris Changui

    I use the Aris Allen wing tips for practice and for the club. They're swing shoes, but they're nice for spinning.
  10. miércoles

    miércoles Nuevo Ritmo

    I find them about the best compromise.
    I have a couple of pairs of Rumpf dance sneakers and get on really well with them.
    I dance Casino, including Rueda, meaning I'm covering a lot of distance with steps and not doing any spinning, so I find for most classes normal sneakers are ideal because I need grip and comfort.
    I use my dance sneakers for "Movimiento" class (footwork and body movement) because the sole helps spare my knees for some of the more intricate footwork which involves twisting on the balls of the feet.
    Because the special type of sole material is a little harder than on a normal sneaker they don't quite provide the same cushioning as a normal sneaker - I wore them once for 2 hours of Rueda and my heels ached a little - but I'd venture that there's more overall comfort than a pair of leather-soled dress shoes and the soles will allow you to spin just as well.
  11. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Thanks for the responses so far. Noobster it is the retro runners that I'm considering. I've seen the faux converse shoes up close and they're pretty nice but (a) everybody I know bought some a couple of years back (exaggeration) and (b) they have a split sole and therefore look funny from the side.

    Aris: I love shoes with wings, but you have to be sure you are going to be da pimp if you walk in a venue in them! I would want a dozen privates with Tito Ortoz before being confident enough to walk in just any random venue wearing those badboys!

    Blochs don't work for me: (1) the split sole is really obvious when viewed from the side, so they don't score for camouflage, (2) the sole is too grippy for my taste on multiple free spins. If my spinning's going to take a hit, it must be for something with more style than a bloch! and (3) the sole seems kinda thick, I feel as if it divorces you from the floor. Probably fine for females whose other option is usually heels, but it's a long throw from a jazz shoe.

    Ballroom shoes are where I'm exploring now, but I'm not really a shiny shoe person. I would have to find a pair of ballroom shoes I liked, then change my entire wardrobe (it would be worth it for wings though!)

    Jazz Shoes are very practical, hard on your feet for a long night of dancing, but cheap, and give you great control over spinning etc. But every couple of months someone will say "are you dancing in your socks?"

    I hadn't seen Rumpf dance sneakers miércoles mentions. At a glance, it looks like I'll personally have the same objections as Blochs though.

    Anyone know what is the intended benefit of a split sole? Is it for pointing your toes? Or is it for maintaining the contact patch with the ground when rising up? Either way, I don't think this feature is needed in a men's salsa shoe.

    The motivation for this? From my experience and conversations with beginners, specialist footwear is one of the blockages for males starting out. I theorise that it's important for male beginners to be able to disclaim that they are serious about dancing until they feel confident enough in their skills. In other words, if you're just crap you can say "yeah, well I only came to meet chicks huhuhuhuhh" but if you're crap and you bought special gay shoes then you don't have that crutch any more.

    So I don't want to wear jazz shoes while teaching beginners. If beginner males see me teaching in them and think "that is what I will have to do to get good at salsa" they will stay away in droves.
  12. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Steve , the variety in mens shoes is quite large at this time. there are " dress " types in plain leather, basket weave ( i like these ) and other sundry colors and styles..

    Supadance is a major dealer.
  13. crazygirl

    crazygirl Rhythm Deputy

    Yes I was looking at mens shoes recently and as terence says there are lots that look like normal shoes but with the benefits of dance shoes so avoids the stigma.

    Watching both girls and guys think lots of them miss out by avoiding getting the right tools for the job! Think us girls tend to go there first because of the spinning issue generally.
  14. Jolinia

    Jolinia Descarga

    When you can say "yes" to that question with confidence it is yet another sign that you're becoming a salsa star - Juan Matos taught his footwork class at the Munich congress in his socks.
    And no, he was not wearing Jazz shoes that looked like socks.
  15. TrulyMadlyAmanda

    TrulyMadlyAmanda Shine Officer

    our heels should constantly be slightly off the floor,and a split sole helps with that, toe-points, pushing back of the floor with the ball of the foot and foot flexibility makes dancing in general better, imho. anyone with a better technical explanation, please.

    LOL at insightful post about male psychology! at one point i was teaching with 2 male dance teachers, one very camp/out gay and they other very macho...i figured that learning from a gay male teacher might put some guys off, but i'd rather have a good teacher and good values than additional homophobic students. besides, having the other very macho/muscular teacher provided and example that 'not all male dancers are gay'. but then i found that everyone assumed the macho teacher was gay too! because he was SO very muscular, and the other teacher was so camp, and they'd flirt a bit....LOL. :D
  16. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Not true, the heel for both man and lady should make contact with the floor, if even for a split second on back, fwd breaks ,and other sundry steps ( tech. name is a Kiss. ( except in spin and pivoting actions where one heel will remain in contact ) .

    and ..ALL fwd steps in rhythm are ball flat with the heel lowering to complete the action, ( a challenge step which is heel lead is one exception ) the weight being centered over the inside fwd quarter of the foot on the leg supporting the weight .

    The same action would be true in backwards continuing action ( e.g. like back spot single and triple turns )where one foot would remain " ball " whilst the other would be flat .

    This is standard technique for all rhythm dances.. Intern, American style , Latin and T/Arg.
  17. TrulyMadlyAmanda

    TrulyMadlyAmanda Shine Officer

    we'll have to agree to disagree about this when it comes to street salsa. course, lots of people do roll back through the foot from ball to heel, ending up with the heel flat, especially doing cuban-style (me included in that case). but either way, a split sole is helpful.
  18. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Ive been teaching " street" style for more yrs than you care to know. Good techn. has little or nothing to do with style of dance. And as an examiner in all branches, incorrect footwork would be cause for failure .

    ALL dance is predicated on dynamics of motion, and the physics of those actions, are firmly embedded in the teachings of world class coaches , teachers and dancers.

    This a tried and true techn. And, if the " split " sole was all it was cracked up to be ( no pun ) world champion latin dancers would have been using them long before now... not the case.

    And, this has nothing to do with personal preference, but more about advice from a prof. standpoint .

    Which ever shoe one chooses is always going to be a personal one, but this could have a bearing on HOW you apply footwork and weight distribution (especially if its a flat shoe.. perish the thought ) .
  19. SheilaB

    SheilaB Changui

    Popping into the conversation late - and getting back on topic :)

    What do you think of the Aris Allen Retro Runner? I recently bought a pair looking for a change from my usual jazz shoes. I have only worn them a few times but I like them so far. No split sole, not as thick a sole as Bloch dance sneakers. Overall, I still think I prefer the jazz shoe with the thin sole, though.
  20. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Homophobes aside, I'm a strong supporter of "hetero-looking" male role models in dance. Plastic grins and jazz hands are not encouraging to the average male. (I'm not saying these are orientation-dependent characteristics!)

    Hacha y machete and Yamulee both have this going on. I'm certainly not meaning to invalidate grace, poise, technique or softness in male dancers, but I think it's a real boost for guys to see people dancing who -- to look at -- you might expect to be nightclub bouncers or wearing a hard hat or any number of many things.

    /edit: oops, sorry for the OT. I'll be trying to seek out some retro runners at the weekend to try on!

    /re-edit: On the split sole front; remembering jazz shoes without split sole, pressure at the ball of the foot would push the sole backwards along the foot, moving the back of the shoe away from the foot, giving a slightly less secure fit. Maybe this is one advantage.

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