Character Shoes

Written by Jill Morrison
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Character shoes are most commonly worn for musical theater, jazz, and tap styles of dancing. They are similar to ballroom dance shoes because they have a heel and straps over the top of the shoe. However, ballroom shoes tend to be more elaborate in terms of colors, style, and accents. Ballroom shoes may have sequins, rhinestones, or other accessories, while character styles are usually rather plain.

Styles of Character Shoes

Character shoes are usually available in one, one and a half, two, or three inch heels for women. Men's character styles are flat and are stiff, unlike men's jazz shoes. They typically have a lace-up oxford style as well. The classic character styles for women are closed toe shoes with single straps across the top or t-straps. Women's styles can also be found with x-straps, multiple rows of straps, off-center straps, elastics, or laces.

Capezio is the leading maker of men's and women's character shoes. Capezio men's styles include the Canvas Latin Oxford and the Premier collection. Capezio makes a larger selection of character styles for women. Classic styles include the Chorus Characters, the Classic T-Straps, and the Footlights. These styles are available for children and adults.

Capezio also makes a few character styles that are quite different from the classic styles. These styles are often more covering and may have laces instead of straps. For instance, the Femme Oxford is an oxford style shoe with a large heel and laces. Most Capezio character styles are available in the colors of black or tan. Some styles are available in white or specialty colors such as silver as well.

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