Tango Shoe Shopping Tips
By Megan Harrington
These are my experiences shoe shopping in the Argentine Tango world. Hopefully this will help. Feel free to ask any questions! Everyone has a different foot and preference. What works for one may not work for you. There is an element of trial and error in your first pair of shoes. I find dance shoes have the weirdest sizing, read the sizing info carefully.
Where to buy
I recommend this sneaker for learning tango. It is affordable and comfortable. https://www.amazon.com/Sansha-Salsette-Jazz-Sneaker-Black/dp/B003VWCE7Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1508431071&sr=8-4&keywords=dance%2Bsneaker&th=1&psc=1
My shoes are sold by Axis Tango. www.axistango.com Their shoes have a padding on the sole that I find the most comfortable. (Ladies, don’t get me wrong they’re still a heel.) They sell men’s and women's sneakers, mary janes, and heels. These are all imported from around the world so supply is limited and changes frequently.
I have a product that I sell for $20. It is a suede sole “sticker”. You can stick it to the bottom of shoes you already own. The suede in this product is made especially for dancers. I would suggest to do this to a sneaker. Ask, I carry it around with me.
Why not just wear a street shoe???
Street shoes are rigid and have less flexibility. I’ve found even if they have leather soles, they are a different type of leather that doesn’t pivot as well. Being able to turn with little resistance is very important.
Men’s street shoes have a sharp edge on them and when you dance, that edge is painful if you touch the follower’s foot, which is inevitable! I’ve been sliced, very unpleasant.
Think about the closeness of dance, your dance shoes should mold to your feet. They are not something you buy large. However, this doesn’t mean they should pinch or jam your toes.
Practica shoes vs Milonga shoe
Practica shoes usually look like a sneaker. Follower’s wear a sneaker, mary jane or sometimes a small heel. Shoes for the milonga will look like classic dress shoe or heels.
Your shoes will become a part of you when you start to dance tango. They go with you like your wallet and keys. You should love your shoes and feel comfortable in them for the hours of practice.
These are just suggestions and I stress that if you find something that works for you, go for it! Your health is very important to me.