Buying Tap Dance Shoes? Consider These 4 Things…

Fri, Aug 10, 2007

Tap Resources

The first two questions that I am always asked by new students is, “Where can I get tap dance shoes?” & “What kind of tap dance shoes should I get?” Given that this is the season when many students are taking tap classes for the first time, I thought this short list of tips might be helpful and timely. Once you have your shoes, click this link for your first tap lesson!

Your 1st Pair of Tap Dance Shoes Should Fit Snugly

Comfort is the most important consideration when purchasing tap shoes. If the shoe doesn’t fit properly, the style and sound quality really will not matter. A tap dance shoe should be snug. There is no need to have extra space in a tap shoe unless you are still growing or have a medical condition.

Over time, and with frequent use (and practice), the leather in the shoes will stretch some…this means that if you start with a shoe that’s too big, you are likely to eventually crack a mirror or some poor audience member’s head with it!

The Style of the Tap Dance Shoe is Up To You

Quality tap shoes tend to last a long time and you don’t want to be married to something that you can’t stand to look at. Ladies this means, that if you really want heels – get ’em, if it doesn’t matter to you – don’t get ’em. Sorry guys, most male tap dance shoes don’t have high heels.

Heels (not that I wear them) can be a little more difficult to balance on and will require you to be a little more “up on your toes” while dancing. If you are willing to put in the extra work, go for it. Otherwise, stick with the flat shoes.

In general, I recommend a firm, leather character tap shoe with a “box” toe (supports the toes) and a firm sole (supports the foot).

You Should Spend As Much As Possible On Tap Dance Shoes


I knew that subtitle would get your attention. Tap dance shoes can be very expensive but there are many reasons not to spend a lot of money on them. Here are a few:

You are a beginner. Very expensive shoes are not going to change that. Did the Michael Jordan basketball shoes make you play like Michael Jordan?

If you later decide that tap dancing is not for you, do you really wanna be out $150? FYI…The resale market on tap shoes is not very generous.

You probably don’t yet know what you like in a tap dance shoe. After tap dancing for a while, you will be more knowledgeable about your personal preferences and what’s important to you.

A good price for your first pair is anywhere between $30 – $60, though, this is not a hard and fast rule. The most popular brands are Capezio, Bloch, & Leo’s.

Please note that the taps are sometimes not included with the shoes and cost about $20. You may also have to pay a few bucks to get them attached at a local shoe repair shop.

What else you need

If you happen to have your own dance studio at home, you can skip this part. If not, read on!

In order to get the most out of your tap lessons, you’ll need someplace to practice. Class time alone won’t cut it! I recommend my portable tap floor as the ideal solution. Follow the link to learn more about it.

If you visit now, you can even get a money-saving discount coupon. You’re welcome!

Where To Purchase Tap Dance Shoes

You can either purchase them at your local dance supply store or from an online retailer such as All About Dance.

They offer very good discounts and lots of choices.

All About Dance 35 Percent

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Sara Says:

    As a tap teacher, I, too, advise students not to spend too much on their first pair of taps. Unfortunately, some of the low cost brands out there are not holding up, even for one semester of dancing. (If you are heavy, you should consider a sturdier shoe, for sure.) Avoid taps that are riveted on. Once they break, you can’t fix them. Also, some of the low heeled shoes have hollow, plastic heels and, again, if you pop a tap, it’s impossible to fix it. The nice thing about using your local dance shop is that they will usually back up their products and give you credit should you have a problem. It’s always a good idea if you check with your vendor up front to see if they will guarantee their lower end products.

  2. Leslie Tyler Says:

    Hi Terrance
    I would value your opinion on what tap shoe to use for advanced students doing toe stands in their routines.
    SO GLAD I came across your website – tap is my passion!

  3. Taps Says:

    @Leslie For Toe Stands go with a firm shoe rather than a split-sole. It makes them easier as you can rely some on the strength of the shoe.


  4. Ashleigh Says:

    Just found this advice! Thanks for making it short and to the point. I appreciate the passion in your site.

  5. Taps Says:

    You’re welcome… and thanks for the link from your site!

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