Dance Shoes

Written by Jill Morrison
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Dance shoes are different from street shoes because they are specifically designed to enhance dance performances. Unlike street shoes, dance styles of shoes should not be worn outdoors or on surfaces that are not designed for dancing. Dirt and outside elements can damage dance shoe designs and make them less effective for dancing.

Types of Dance Shoes

Many different types of dance shoes are available for the many different styles of dance. Jazz, tap, ballet, character, ballroom, and dance sneaker styles can be found in dance wear stores and online. Dance styles of shoes are also available for children as well as for men and women. Children's shoes are usually more supportive and have a lower heel than adult dance shoes to protect children from injury in the learning phase of dancing.

Jazz shoes and jazz dance sneakers are available in the same styles for men, women, and children. Jazz shoes are usually flexible and are made from either leather or canvas. Some jazz shoe styles are enhanced with materials such as Lycra or Gore-Tex as well. Black, tan, and white are the most popular colors for jazz shoes. Dance sneakers are like regular sneakers, except they have a split sole that allows dancers to point their toes in the shoes. Black is the most popular color for dance sneakers.

Ballet shoes are different for males and females. Women's ballet shoes are very thin and are low on the sides of the feet. They are available in the colors of black or white, but pink and peach are the most common colors for women's ballet slippers. Men's ballet shoes are only available in black or white and they are higher on the sides of the shoes. Styles of tap and character shoes for men and women are similar because they are both stiff and sturdy. The main difference is that women's shoes have heels, while men's are flat.

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