Ladies, It's Time to Give Up Your High Heels

Lets make one thing, very clear , BR dancers do not dance on their toes. In matter of fact, in BR Tango it is a no no, and in other dances, it's primarily the"ball" of foot .

The term "toe/s", is quite misleading, altho it may be the 1st part of the foot to make contact with the floor in a given situation, that, is momentary , ( Waltz, to some degree, does sustain more "toe" height, in some cases ) .


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To finish maybe men could stop telling what women should wear. Let's leave the dance floor as a place of freedom, please. We already have enough rules at work, society, church, schools...
If someone (man or woman actually) was telling what shoes I have to wear, he/she will be received properly.
THANK YOU :) :) I was holding off a rant, assuming the OP was not intending to be prescriptive to women, but quietly feeling a little uncomfortable. I was considering starting a thread like 'Gentlemen, it's time to give up Your Body Odor' and listing health related reasons :D Oh dear, how unmoderatory...

Don't assume women dress with men in mind. I dress with me in mind, what I like, and what makes me feel confident. I wear heels because I find it easier to dance in them, and they've become better and better designed over the years and support your feet well. I don't need heels to make me sexy :p Possibly it's an issue for some men if many women are suddenly taller than them, but I wouldn't think that would be a problem for most.

I must admit I dislike the thin stiletto heels, which ALL the follows here wear. They are painful if you're trodden on. I wear thick heels.
From what I see women dance on high heels for all sorts of reasons - I've really seen it all. I know women that wear very high heels all the time and don't know how to walk in low heels anymore. Others it's just because they look nice, regardless of comfort or even ability to balance on them. In many cases because they see everybody else dancing on high heels so when they buy their first pair of dance shoes they go for high heels too.
Personally I wear a bit of everything. I find my legs, ankles and feet get stronger and my joint mobility improves if I work in all possible positions and angles. Also whatever I wear I choose it for myself and not to please anyone else. I couldn't care less about what the leads think of the shoes and heel height I'm wearing, mainly because most time I don't wait to be asked to dance - I will look around and start asking people to dance myself.
For lessons I usually wear flats or low heels like the ones you see on WCS. This will probably be after work and if I've been wearing high heels at the office all day I will need a rest from them.
For socials I always bring 3 different pairs of shoes. Sounds a bit crazy but since I started doing this my feet and ankles have got a lot stronger. It has also contributed to improved balance. I usually start with high heels (never higher than 2.5 inches because my feet are tiny and I don't want to be dancing on my toes). Throughout the evening I will change to progressively lower heels. This way I end the nigh with my feet and ankles at their natural position and they don't ache half as much as previously.
Another thing I have noticed is I prefer higher heels for linear salsa and lower (but not flat) heels for casino, though I can do both on any type of heel anyway.
As stated frequently in other threads, I go out of my way to dance with a lady wearing flats or jazz shoes. My natural assumption is they must be awesome dancers (which many times is true). The flip side is that not a good or fun dance with someone wearing jazz shoes is a disappointment to me :) May be because when I ask a lady wearing heels, I have no set expectations but when I notice someone in jazz my expectations/bias is that she is a good dancer.
Same, but chances of me asking stay the same
I love dancing in heels! I have never had a problem with body movement ;)
I normally wear 3-4" heels. Sometimes with jeans I will wear 2.5", I don't find them attractive but I do like not being taller than everyone!
I also love jazz shoes. But I am not about to wear them with a sexy dress :p. Bottom line, no way am I giving up my heels!
There's another downside though - heels negatively affect natural body movement. Sure it distributes your weight forward (as terrence previously noted), but it comes at a cost. When you stand on your toes, you change your center of gravity. You have to relearn how to move your body in this altered state
No this is crap. Having the weight over the balls of the feet is an entirely natural state of affairs, it's just useful for a different type of physiologically normal motion (running) vs having the weight distributed over the whole foot (as in walking).

The rapid directional shifts inherent to slot style salsa require the weight to be over the balls of the feet. WCS uses a slower, more grounded motion that works better with the weight over the heels.


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I love dancing in heels! I have never had a problem with body movement ;)
I normally wear 3-4" heels. Sometimes with jeans I will wear 2.5", I don't find them attractive but I do like not being taller than everyone!
I also love jazz shoes. But I am not about to wear them with a sexy dress :p. Bottom line, no way am I giving up my heels!
Yay. Good on you. I love my dancing heels too. Mine are 7cm high and 3x3cm across. All six pairs of them :)
As (I believe) the only salsera-casinera here, and someone whose main reasons for choosing dance shoes are 99% comfort/danceability/technique-efficiency and only 1% looks, I'll add my 2-cents.

My preference for dancing salsa is a low ("Cuban") heel (1.5 inch). These are the only heels I use; the crossed straps give extra stability:

I will note that when I was a beginner, I found it very difficult to dance salsa in flats; dancing in my low heels made quick movements like turns much easier; perhaps paradoxically, flats made my balance worse during fast movements. I have a video of me dancing in flats during my first year of salsa, and it is not pretty. :p (I also have videos of me dancing in heels from that same period for comparison and my dancing looks a lot better in heels.) I have now gotten to the point where I can dance equally well in flats as in heels, and in fact prefer dancing in flats sometimes. I actually always carry two pairs of shoes when I go dancing (especially in unfamiliar venues): my heels for normal/sticky floors, and my jazz shoes for slippery floors.

My preference for dancing casino is flats. That said, classic casino (not the pretzely/complicated turns modern/fusion kind) and son can be danced equally well in heels.

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I also find heels to be very helpful, but once they get too high for me - they ruin some of the fun.

For dancing, I have 4 favorite options:

1) Soaks. (Or at home - even better: barefoot).

2) Nike Flyknit Free 3:

Designed for "forefoot runners" who don't want to be barefoot - they are made for toe->heel type of footwork.
They have their disadvantages and require some technique adjustments, but they quickly became my "everyday" shoes for everything, and I managed to adapt.
They are very light, worn like a sock (the ties are just for looks), and the sole of mine is so worn-out I can pretty slide on every dry surface that isn't rubber.
As far as I learned: There are better sneakers for the same purpose, which I should definitely eventually try, once I want to buy a new pair.

3) Low heel: 1.5cm (roughly 0.590 inch)

I really like them. I also had split soles from the same company, which I lost after my second time dancing with them. It was long ago and I can't compare. :S

3) Split-Soles, tailor-made, beautiful pointe: the pictures do absolutely no justice to them. (And the lost some of their former glory due to not being well matintained):

While looking absolutely gorgeous, I find that their shorten my step way too much for my liking: I really enjoy "squeezing the ground" with my feet, and I feel that they do not allow me to do it, or at least not in the way I like doing so...Doing spins, or quick footwork with them, however, feels like a cheat. It's too easy. But that "magic" has a price: I don't tend to use them, but when I do - after the party, I feel like I have to "rebuild" my technique again - as if they have the power to momentarily "ruin" what that I do with other shoes.

*I tried buying soft-jazz shoes. They ended up being too small for me; I tried them regardless and switched back to my sneakers after a few minutes. They were NO FUN. I believe I just got the wrong shoes for me, but the experience was so disappointing I never got myself to try again...
Dangerous and unnecessarily sexualized? I couldn't agree more. I suggest something like this - 100 % safe (but I'm not sure - maybe there are still some fetishists around who might find this sexy...):


And a matching dress (for both girls and guys) might be, for instance:

I find it quite unfortunate that this thread started off with a list of rather heterogeneous arguments against high heels. People don't like it when you patronize them and try to control their personal choices, especially when it's connected to their sex. Even if high heels hurt my feet, they are still my feet, and my choice to put them at risk is no different from my choice to smoke or drink excessively. The argument about wider effects such as sexualization might lead to interesting sociological discourses, but in its abstractness it pales in comparison to the fact that what I choose to wear tonight is still my choice.

Yet hidden between these dubious arguments is one of a very different kind: the danger towards other dancers' feet. This makes high heels no longer just a personal hazard, nor a minuscule contributor to societal attitudes, but a very concrete externality. In general we seem to value other dancers' health quite highly, placing emphasis on good floorcraft and safe technique (such as avoiding rough leads and "pincer hands") -- yet we remain silent when it comes to endangering other people through our footwear.

In this sense, I see high heels no different than spiked wristbands. Both are personal choices, and perfectly safe in a non-moving environment; but in a highly moving environment such as a dancefloor they become a real danger, especially, and most unacceptably, to other people.

Yet it may that the potential benefits of moderately high non-stiletto heels, such as subjective aesthetic appeal, easier technical execution, and reduced height differences, are worth the slightly increased risks.
Casino is impossible to dance in ballroom shoes with high thin heels because the stepping action is heel toe and ballroom shoes are intended to be danced on the toe part, they cant support weight on the heel.


Son Montuno
Casino is impossible to dance in ballroom shoes with high thin heels because the stepping action is heel toe and ballroom shoes are intended to be danced on the toe part, they cant support weight on the heel.
What is a definition of "ballroom shoes" and are these among them, or heels need to be higher and thinner for ballroom shoes ?
What happens if you put the weight on the heels in those shoes, do they break ?


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