How to tie dance shoes

Fitting My Dance Shoes – Ballroom Connection

Fitting My Dance Shoes
Ballroom dance shoes are no different from footwear equipment in other sports and dance disciplines like ballet, rock-climbing, bowling, etc. Therefore, it is very important that we size and fit our dance shoes correctly.
Generally, we wear our street shoes slightly larger to have some room to be comfortable, which is perfectly acceptable for everyday wear. Since we want our ballroom shoes to be more fitted all around, it is common for us to size down in dance shoes. There is no exact conversion, since we all wear our street shoes differently, but here is a general guideline:

Closed-toe styles:

  • If you wear street shoes with little or no extra room, you can try the same size in most closed-toe styles
  • If you prefer a bit extra room in your street shoes, it may be recommended to try a half size smaller in dance shoes to get the correct fit.

Open-toe styles:

  • Open-toe dance shoes are meant to be worn shorter than what we would look for in street shoes, so it is recommended to try about a half size smaller for open-toe styles.
  • Since how we prefer our street shoes varies between different people, please keep in mind that some may need to size down more to achieve the correct fit in length.

**Note: A half size corresponds to about ¼ inch in length. Width of shoes are always proportional to the size.

The #1 mistake new ballroom dancers make is to size their dance shoes as though they were ordinary street shoes. Ballroom shoes may look similar to an ordinary shoe, but they are constructed very differently and are meant to be fitted in a specific way to allow us to perform the correct foot action.

It is normal for dance shoes to feel a bit tighter than what we are used to. Please give yourself some time using them and engaging in the activity to adjust to the fit and to allow for the shoes to break-in and form to our feet.

Ballroom shoes of any style should be worn with a snug, glove-like fit in width and length. We wear our ballroom shoes slightly shorter in length and more fitted in width than we would ordinary street shoes.
  • We want to comfortably fill out the shoe as much as possible. Dance shoes are much softer and will stretch and give over time through usage.
  • We don’t want excess toe or heel room. Very little to no space in the shoe is ideal (think how gloves are fit on our hands). This is important so that once the shoes stretch out, there isn’t extra room to slip around inside the shoes as we dance.
    • Ideal fit: In softer shoes, a more snug fit will give us more control. The shoes should feel like a part of the foot, like a second skin.
    • Poor fit: A looser fit in softer shoes will be too roomy and feel sloppy. We don’t recommend this because you run the risk of over-working muscles in your feet to compensate or even injury.

What is an ideal fit:
  • Toes reach close to or at the end of the shoe with no excess space.

  • In an open-toe style, we want our toes to reach the end or come a bit over the front edge of the shoe. 


This is important for Latin style dances, where technique involves pointing the feet. We do not want the lip of the shoe to be too long, which may catch the floor or impede in proper foot actions.

  • Heels sit in the heel cup without gapping or excess room. Front of shoe (width) hugs as much of the foot as possible without gapping or excess room.


What is a poor fit:
  • Extra toe room may result in a “sloppy” fit and can get in the way of completing our foot actions.


  • Extra heel space means the heel cup does not hold our foot into the shoe and may result in instability or slippage, or unwanted rubbing, which can cause blistering.


A roomy, unstable fit can cause injury! Shoes that are too wide and roomy don’t hold our feet well enough. This causes us to overwork our feet against the shoe due to a lack of support.

**Note: Please use your best judgement based on these guidelines to find your best fit. We DO NOT recommend or encourage a fit that hurts or causes extreme discomfort. Please be aware that dance shoes will feel different from what we are used to in street shoes and will often take a period of adjustment, but they should not hurt you.

So what style should I look for?
The appearance of the dance shoe is less about fashion and more about the type of dance. Here is a very general guideline to the differences in dance shoe styles:

Open-toe VS Closed-toe

  • Closed-toe styles:
    • Offers more support and is more structured than open-toe styles
    • More support makes them ideal for proper technique in American Smooth and International Standard style dances
  • Open-toe styles:
    • Offers more flexibility and range of motion than closed-toe styles
    • More flexibility makes them ideal for proper technique in American Rhythm and International Standard style dances
    • Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, and various Swing style dances often fall under a similar family of dances; if more flexibility is desired, open-toe is recommended

Solid front VS Strappy front

  • Solid front styles:
    • More material covering our feet provides more support and protection
    • Extra support often means slightly less flexibility
  • Strappy front styles:
    • Less material covering our feet makes the shoes faster to break in
    • Strappier styles offer more flexibility and range of movement and articulation

Low heel VS high heel

  • Low-heel styles:
    • Offers more stability and is easier to balance in
    • Great for practicing in or if you have injuries or weaker muscles and joints
    • Lower heels will shift more balance away from the balls of feet
      – We generally want to be more on the balls of our feet when partner dancing to avoid being too “back-weighted”
      – But lower heels will relieve some pressure from the balls of the feet if dancers are struggling
  • High-heel styles:
    • Higher heels put our balance more towards the ball of the foot which is ideal for Latin and Rhythm style dances (or other similar styles)
    • Higher heels also aid in proper posture for correct “Cuban motion” technique

Split-sole VS Full-sole

  • Split-soles:
    • Has a shorter shank to allow for more flexibility in the shoe
    • Easier to point our feet for proper Latin/Rhythm style dance technique
  • Full-soles:
    • Has a longer shank, which gives shoes more structure and support
    • Less flexibility, but will help better-maintain balance and stability

Differences between the buckle types?

There are a variety of different types of buckles and closures used across many different dance shoe styles.
Which kinds are used typically depends on the choice of the shoe brand. For example, all of the Supadance brand shoes will feature quick-release style buckles, while others like Ray Rose will use traditional style buckles. Since the methods of adjustment and fixing and undoing each type of closure is different, it may be worth noting what kinds your dance shoes will use. However, no matter which kind, they all serve the same purpose of keeping the shoe straps secured around the foot while dancing.
  • Traditional buckle:
    • Simple and classic buckle style; these are familiar to everyone, but often takes a bit more time to do and undo
  • Quick-release buckle:
    • Allows for quicker clasping and unclasping for faster changes in and out of shoes
    • May take a bit of time to get used to for those unfamiliar, but just keep practicing!
    • Tips: after you find your correct hole setting, there is no need to ever undo the buckle from the strap again unless an adjustment needs to be made. It’s advised to keep the buckle on the strap, since it’s easy to lose if left undone or removed.
  • Snap button buckles:
    • A variation of the quick-release for easy on and off
    • Allows for full customized adjustments without a need for hole settings to be punched in
    • Tips: Adjusting the buckle to the right spot on the strap might be tricky at first! It might be easier to undo the entire strap from the buckle, slide it to the right spot, then slide the strap back through.
    • Like the quick-release buckle, there is no need to ever undo the buckle from the strap again unless an adjustment needs to be made. 

Differences between the strap styles?

There are many different straps used in dance shoe styles. Some of the most common types are the arch strap, the T-strap, or a basic ankle strap. Generally, the way the strap looks is completely an aesthetic choice, and all of them will do the job of securing the shoes to our feet while dancing.
The arch strap is perhaps among the most common types of shoe straps for dance shoes and is known to provide extra security, since it wraps underneath the arch and back over the top of the foot. Many new dancers may not be accustomed to the look of the arch strap, but it is widely used in many different dance shoe styles for its added support and security.
  • Arch strap:
    • Wraps under the arch, then back over the top forming an X (often also referred to as X-strap)
    • Offers added security with how it wraps around the entire foot
    • Very versatile, since dancers are free to wrap the strap in any way–under the foot or even around the ankle
    • Can also be cut to a shorter length to make a simple ankle strap
  • T-strap:
    • A classic look that offers a bit more of a “vintage” aesthetic
    • Offers added security to a simple ankle strap
    • Some dancers may prefer this over the arch strap if they don’t like the feeling of being “wrapped into the shoe” quite as much
  • Ankle strap:
    • The most basic form of shoe strap that is simpler and easier to adjust
    • While a classic aesthetic look, some dancers prefer having the added security in other strap styles

Practice shoes or no?

  • Practice shoes are lower-heeled alternatives for dancers to train and teach in. They are typically lace-up styles with a wider shaped heel, offering more comfort for longer durations of dancing.
  • Not everyone prefers to use practice shoes, but they allow us to execute certain dance actions and techniques more easily.
  • They’re a great way to preserve our feet and our nicer performance or competition shoes! We recommend regularly switching in and out of your practice shoes to make adjustments easier back and forth.

We recommend highly that all dancers note the pros and cons of the different dance shoe styles. Dance shoes are not fashion wear, but are equipment. Please consider what types of dance styles you are practicing and what your needs are when choosing the right type of ballroom shoe.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding how to fit and choose a ballroom shoe! Our staff are all experienced ballroom dancers who want our customers to find the right dance shoes. Our goal is to help equip all dancers with the best tools possible in order to learn and enjoy ballroom dance.

Black Dance Shoes -

Etsy is no longer supporting older versions of your web browser in order to ensure that user data remains secure. Please update to the latest version.

Take full advantage of our site features by enabling JavaScript.

Find something memorable, join a community doing good.

(1,000+ relevant results)

Shoe lacing | 5 ways to tie your shoelaces beautifully

September 28 2018

When we buy shoes with lacing, we do not attach much importance to it, believing that it is only a design element without any practical load. The lacing is really a stylish element of .
Lace-up shoes are versatile shoes, it is convenient to adjust the fullness of the foot. The way the shoes are laced plays an important role.
We offer to analyze some of the most interesting options . For ease of perception, we will consider all methods schematically: from standard to more original.

How to quickly and correctly tie shoelaces? Standard methods

Traditional types of shoe lacing:
Method-1. The classic "Cross-to-Cross" is known and familiar to everyone. It is versatile and simple.
How to tie shoelaces:
1. Take the cord and, observing the length, thread it through the holes at the bottom from the inside.
2. In turn, thread the edges of the lace into opposite loops, forming a diagonal “cross”.

Method-2. The second most popular easy way of lacing shoes "Straight" .
Assumes the following algorithm:
1. Take one of them and thread it through the bottom loops.
2. Draw the left lace from the inside through one loop on the left side.
3. Pass its right part into the loop, which will be sequentially on the right side. And then, already along the top, draw into the loop that was skipped on the left. Do the same with the left section of the lace.
4. Follow point 3 regarding the right section of the lace.
5. You should get 3 horizontal parallel lines.
6. Repeat the steps according to the algorithm to use all the loop holes.

The "straight lacing" method is appropriate for both 3 loops and 5 loops. Such lacing of shoes looks sophisticated and interesting.

How to tie shoelaces in an original way

Having mastered the traditional options, let's move on to the original ways of lacing shoes. Applying one of them, you will bring some zest to the image.

Method-3 Cross Over Under indicates that a sequence of crosses will be present. The number of loops for lacing will help determine how much "X" will be on top.
How to tie your shoelaces beautifully:
1. Thread the lace according to paragraph 1 of the straight lacing method, make a hidden cross inside and bring the edges to the surface.
2. Arrange the edges of the lacing crosswise, forming an "X" on the outside.
3. Repeat steps until shoe lacing is complete.

Method-4 "Diagonal Lacing" is specific, because with it, you can unusually and mirror tie shoelaces. For this you need:
1. Thread the string from the outside, starting from the bottom loops. Pass the right lace into the depth of the sneaker, and bring the left piece of lace out.
2. Thread the right one from above into the loop on the left side, and bring it out from the inside to the opposite side.
3. By analogy, draw the left segment through one connector.
4. As a result: change of types of lacing.

Method-5 will be appreciated by lovers of minimalism. It is called "reverse lacing" .
Easy algorithm how to tie shoelaces in an original way:
1. Thread the string from the outside into the lower loops;
2. From the inside, cross it;
3. Pass the left part on top along the left side into the higher hole. Do similar manipulations with the right side of the lace;
4. Repeat the hidden "X" from the inside and bring the lace out;
5. Follow sts 3-4 until the row of sts is completed.

All suggested methods are designed for lacing classic shoes.
By choosing lace-up shoes, you will replenish the men's or women's wardrobe with a modern accessory. Experimenting with the possible ways of lacing shoes, make your image original and expressive!





New comment

Sign in with


Bloch "Rosalina" Women's Latin Ballroom Shoes S0839SA - "Bloch ballroom shoes are soft as a cloud and inspire to dance"

Hello everyone!

Today I'm going to talk about my first Bloch ballroom shoes.

When I went to a dance school in St. Petersburg for several months and learned Latin American dances (ballroom sports - samba, cha cha cha, rumba, paso doble, jive) ( I don't like social latin like salsa, bachata, kizomba) , I really wanted to buy ballroom sandals, but there was no financial opportunity and I danced in ordinary suede shoes with heels. It was all a long time ago, but I remember how at the beginning the dance steps were not easy, and precisely because there were no special ballroom shoes.

Those who want to dance in schools - just the sea. There are many girls, but none of the boys, or they were paired with their girlfriend. I, especially with my height of 176 cm, could not find a like-minded male partner who would be interested in dancing. True, now, latin solo is gaining popularity, you can dance alone ...

One way or another, I didn’t manage to continue dancing (work + study), but deep down I always regretted it, because I really love ballroom dancing . ..

Lately, probably due to self-isolation, I I got carried away with body ballet and do it at home using video lessons. But I didn't have for rehearsals loudly hehe ballet slippers, the so-called Czechs. And I also wanted to buy a leotard and a skirt for choreography. Just to be beautiful. I was inspired to search for ballet and dance clothes and Czech shoes.

I remembered my childhood in the House of Pioneers in the choreography class, I was 7 or 8 years old.. My mother made me a short half-sun skirt from white poplin, and I had a simple black knitted leotard for classes, white tights and ballet slippers . How many years have passed, but I remember everything very well. And a ballet class, and a strict choreographer ... At present, the choice of clothes for rehearsals is simply incredibly huge. Swimsuits have lace inserts, and skirts are made of smoky chiffon with patterns...

So. I found a wonderful site. Where you can truly plunge into the world of ballet and dance with Bloch!

Bloch was founded by Jakob Bloch, a shoemaker who emigrated from Eastern Europe to Australia in 1931. Block began making pointe shoes in a workshop in Paddington, Sydney in 1932 when he noticed a ballerina struggling to stay on pointe shoes and suggested that she make a better pair of shoes. Later he made custom-made ballet shoes for Tamara Tumanova, David Lichin, Elena Kirsova and other visiting Russian ballet dancers. With the popularity of his product, Block began selling pointe shoes throughout Australia.
The company has since expanded its product line to include dance and streetwear and accessories. Today, the Block is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with a European head office in London.
Bloch manufactures various types of footwear including pointe shoes, ballerinas, jazz shoes, character and slipper shoes, ballroom shoes, dance sneakers, barre shoes and trendy flats, as well as a wide range of dancewear, gymnastics and sportswear.

The site has a very beautiful design. Photo models-ballerinas demonstrate clothes, standing on pointe shoes!

So, I chose my ballet slippers and leotards and ordered them. And I also liked the dance shoes so much that I couldn't help but buy them.

. I looked ahead and was sure that the package would come from France .. But, unfortunately, it turned out to be from England ... I had experience with orders from Asos and Accesorize - terrible and careless packaging of goods and disrespect for the buyer just takes me out of ruts ... And again on the same rake. It would seem that the world of performing arts, classical music, but they send the order in a box that is not intended for product clearance and throw everything mixed in there, without putting any brochure about ballet, nor a thank you letter for the purchase and not a small amount of , I was upset to the core ...

The only plus was that the package was sent by high-speed airmail, and five days later I received it.

The shoes were in this branded box in a light yellow shade

To my chagrin, the shoes were touched for trying on, as the paper was wrinkled many times and the holes in the satin straps were stretched.

The box contained a large bag of silica gel to keep shoes dry.

It was also nice to see a pouch made of thick cotton fabric to match the shoes

When I looked at the heel, sole and insole, they were in perfect condition. So I don’t even understand ....

But that's not the most important thing...

I thought for a long time what size shoes to take. Dance shoes also come in half sizes. I took risks. I measured seven times and ordered 40.5. If the shoes are closed, I usually take 41 sizes so that they are freer. And the dance sandals made of satin and suede are soft, but I would like them not to be very tight, but also not very large ...

Thinking and measuring, because I take risks and buy without trying, it took three days, that's for sure... And what did they do. They mixed up the shoes, putting them in the wrong box . .. That is, they put size 40 shoes in the box with my ordered 40.5 size. And before sending the parcel, it was impossible to check and see and make sure before sending to another country that the size of the shoes and the box are correct, do they match??? Honestly, this is the first case of this kind in my life!!!

My ordered size is 40.5 or 10.5

Shoes size 10

Everything went cold inside me, and the first thought, of course, was spinning, but suddenly they were small ... My indignation knew no bounds ... I wrote an e-mail to the online store, attaching these photos and told them about it. And what do you think? They didn't answer! In a week!!!! And I had to write a letter to France, where they answered me on the same day, but they said that I needed to contact the store where I ordered. Then they answered me from England, apparently Monsieur reminded them .... And the British write me something like Hello by last name and bring their dry apologies and supposedly are ready to help . ..

I once worked as an assistant secretary, and I know business correspondence, so such unprofessionalism and disrespect just jar me ... I was nervous for a whole week waiting for an answer, I wrote to them every day ...

But let's move on to the ballroom shoes... I wasn't in the mood to do a return as I wasn't sure of my luck a second time in the event of a return. Since the shoes themselves are of excellent quality!

My husband comforted me and how does he know that??? and began to assure that they would stretch))) Although opinions differ on this issue. Some sources say that shoes should be taken 0.5 sizes larger, others - exactly on the leg... . The back is closed. Long straps with buckle of the same shape and with rhinestones as brooches

Heel measures 2.3" or 5.84 cm. Very comfortable height for dancing

Sole soft and flexible natural suede, non-slip and stable

Strap can be wrapped around the leg crosswise

Or as an option for fastening on the leg, a strap under the foot, which also holds the instep well

You can dance in these shoes all day long and not feel tired. Straps hold the foot well

The buckle is very easy to fasten

Description of shoes from website

Delicate diamond buckle latin dance sandals with vamp decoration and 2.3" flared heel.
Buckle strap top provides support and adds elegance and sophistication to the design.
Concealed quick-attach buckle allows quick fastening and unfastening of the ankle strap.
The 2.3" flared heel is perfect for salsa, latin and social dancers.
Strap that goes under the arch of the foot for a comfortable and secure fit in the shoe
Flexible outsole for more flexibility
Suede outsole is ideal for spinning, sliding and turning on many types of floors
Luxurious padded footbed provides extra cushioning for long dance sessions
Comfortable, absorbent microfiber lining.

Learn more