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You’ve signed up for a class that teaches you how to dance in heels. But how are you going to find attractive heels to dance in that are also comfortable enough for you to make it through the entire class?
The best heels for dance support your feet, ankles, and body weight. They have thin soles and a flare or stiletto shape.
Your feet are the foundation of every dance move, so you should keep reading to learn which heels would best prepare you for your next dance class.
The 5 Best Heels for Dance Class
Below is a list of heels we suggest for dance class. There are various styles and heel heights. What’s most important is that you find a shoe that best fits your foot and bodily needs.
1. Best Low Heel Height for Beginners: Ballroom Dance Shoes for Women
Especially fitting for ballroom dancing, this attractive heel is 1.5 inches tall. If this height reflects your comfort level, then it’s perfectly fine to start here.
Note that these are indoor shoes. They should not be worn as street shoes because the soles would not endure outdoor surfaces. Also, the upper fabric is satin and doesn’t withstand outdoor conditions, either.
Made of suede, these shoe soles are flexible. They provide a sufficient amount of grip without gluing you to the dance floor. Since they’re smooth, you can turn more easily while dancing.
The insole is also made of suede. This is helpful because it absorbs sweat as you’re dancing which keeps your foot cool and comfortable instead of feeling sticky or slimy as you dance.
Elastic connects the satin straps to the heel base, giving you more flexibility in the ankle area. Your foot slides in for the perfect fit. It’s a lightweight shoe, lending itself as a great option for kicks, twists, and turns. Highly comfortable, you may even forget that you have shoes on during class.
Some people avoid lower heels because they tend to be less attractive than higher heels. But this shoe is well designed and complements attire. It’s a nice looking shoe that can be worn while practicing or performing.
This shoe is available in the following colors:
- Shimmery black
Another reason why this shoe is great for beginners is because it fully supports the foot. There’s top foot, rear heel, and ankle support. These heels will not only hug your foot, but remain on your foot as you’re dancing.
- Low heel
- Ankle and foot support
- Flexible, smooth suede sole
- Comfortable fit
- Accommodates wider feet
- For indoor use only
- Heel may be lower than some would like
2. Best Moderate Heel Height: CLEECLI Women’s Ballroom Dance Shoe
Another flattering but moderately low heel is this ballroom dancing shoe for women. Its upper materials are a combination of satin and mesh, making it breathable and gentle on your skin. There’s enough of an opening to allow your toes to comfortably spread out and feel each movement. No blisters!
This design comes in either a 2.5-inch or 3-inch heel, so it’s nice to have the option of getting a slightly higher heel. In addition to black, you can order this design in nude or silver.
Unlike the last shoe that you slide in, this one has a cross strap and small side buckle. But after adjusting for the strap length, you can use the hidden clasp to conveniently take the shoe off or put it on. The straps are elegant but not so thin they’d cause pain as you dance.
Absorbent suede insole material absorbs sweat. The bottom sole is also made of suede for smooth and easy movement across the dance floor. It’s very flexible and lightweight, yet durable.
In comparison to the last shoe, there’s less support on the sides of your foot. But the side strap that does exist is anchored through a slit on the bottom of the shoe, so you know that it won’t snap out or otherwise break. Your foot top and back heel are fully supported.
These shoes should only be worn indoors for salsa, mamba, and other Latin or ballroom dance styles.
- Flexible suede sole
- Absorbing inner sole
- Highly comfortable fit
- Fits true to size for most people
- Inexpensive price for such a durable shoe
- Heel height options
- Some people might have to order a ½ size up or down
- Fewer color options
3. Best for Latin Dance Class: Women’s Open Toe Ankle Dance Boot
Looking for superb ankle support? This boot offers that along with stability due to its slightly flared heel. You can move freely on the dance floor without fear of injury or falls.
You have two closure and adjustment options. There’s a rear foot zipper entry, which is convenient for quick placement and removal. You can also use the front straps, tightening its front straps, if necessary. This makes the boot more versatile and accommodating for multiple foot widths.
There are five color options: black, blue, red, purple, and leopard print. Three heel height options add to the versatility of this shoe model. You can choose between, 2.33 inches, 3 inches, and 3.33 inches.
Not only will you have heel support, but there’s ample room for heel expansion as you move. Your feet will be cushioned by a suede insole that also absorbs perspiration.
Its peep toe helps you present clean lines with every dance move. And the open cuts on the front of the boot allow for adequate air flow to keep your feet cool and prevent perspiration build up.
It’s a comfortable boot with a terrifically flexible sole, which enhances your dance moves without hurting your feet. Made of leather, this bottom sole is ideal for interior dance floors.
- Heel height options
- Multiple shoe color options
- Multiple fit adjustment options
- Anti-skid leather sole
- Stylish, yet comfortable
- Those with wider feet might have to order one size up
- It’s a distinct style that may not suit everyone
4. Most Enclosed Boot: Minishion Latin Ballroom Dancing Boot
This heel is the highest one mentioned thus far, at 3.55 inches. Similar to the last boot, there’s a rear zipper and front lacing, which provides a more customized experience for finding the right fit.
There are a wide array of color and style options for this boot, but I’ll focus on this model. There’s a stiletto heel, meaning it tapers down as it meets the floor. Not everyone will find this heel to be all that supportive. Be sure to consider if this heel would be a good option for you.
The side gold buckle accent gives this boot a more distinct style as do the two types of material used on the upper exterior. On the interior, you’ll find soft material that lends to the comfort of this shoe.
Although the interior is soft, the shoe itself is not very flexible. Some movements might prove to be slightly uncomfortable.
In addition to Latin dance, these shoes might also work for hip-hop choreography. This boot should fit true to the size of your streetwear shoes.
- More enclosed for additional support
- Suede sole
- Multiple color and style options
- Can be adjusted to fit wider feet
- Shoe construction might not be the best
- Less comfortable than other shoe models
5. Most Sultry Dance Heels: Geottin Peep Toe Dance Heels
In addition to being sultry, these are the highest heels we’ve mentioned, coming in at 4 inches. Upper mesh material allows for breathability. Available in black, black with gold applique, red, and skin hues.
Only a portion of the insole is suede. So, there’s sweat absorption from the heel to the front arch. At the ball of your foot and in the toe area, the interior sole looks to be made of vinyl or some other slippery material.
But the bottom sole is made of suede, so you can feel confident bending and twisting for sultry dance moves. Easily transition from move to move on the dance floor.
I think this shoe is best for those who have some dance training and are adding heels to their dance repertoire. It does not offer as much ankle support as past shoes we’ve mentioned in this post.
They may not be as supportive, but they are comfortable and would likely work out well for the more experienced dancer. You can also tighten or loosen lacing along the front of the shoe to adjust for wide, average, or narrow width feet.
Although these are described as Latin ballroom heels, they can be used for multiple forms of dance that require heels, like burlesque, hip-hop, and more.
- Comfortable fit
- Perfect heels for sexy dance moves
- Suede bottom sole
- Front lacing adjustments
- Doesn’t offer as much ankle support
- Shoe quality might be lacking
Choosing the Best Heels for Dance Class
Whether you’re new to learning how to dance in heels or are searching for an alternative set of heels to dance in, there are some things you’ll want to look out for.
Moderate Heel Height
When you are new to dancing in heels, you want to be safe. If you’ve ever worn heels outside the dance studio, you know that every part of your body responds to wearing them. Your posture changes. Walking in a straight line can feel like learning to walk all over again.
So you can imagine how much more difficult it would be to properly execute dance moves while wearing ridiculously high heels.
Since wearing heels changes how your body relates to the ground beneath it as you walk, it’s much safer to learn to dance in shorter heels in order to ease yourself into these adjustments.
Starting with a heel no higher than three inches protects your back, helps you stay grounded, and allows you to adjust to this height shift while engaging in dance movements.
Appropriate Heel Shape
I’m sure you’ve noticed that some heels become narrower, or taper in as they reach the floor. Then there are heels that flare out, or widen, and they rest on the floor. And then there are heels that are just straight up and down, like blocks.
The type of heel you choose is partially influenced by the dance style you’re learning.
The tapered heel, also called stiletto, is a great option when learning jazz dance moves. You may also sport this heel for urban or hip-hop dance. Flared heels are usually worn in flamenco, salsa, and ballroom dancing.
This is one of the most important factors to consider. Dancing in stiff shoes that press into your foot is no fun.
You don’t want shoes that are too tight or rigid. But you also want to steer clear of shoes that are too roomy. If there are gaps and bulges, then the shoe might cause you to get off balance or trip over your own feet.
Find a pair of shoes that comfortably hug your feet like your favorite pair of socks. You should not feel pain or pinching.
Try bending, kicking, twisting, and moving in them. Do you feel supported? If you feel uncomfortable in any way, continue your search for the best heels for your feet.
Feel the Floor
Another thing to look out for in terms of fit is whether or not you can feel the floor beneath your feet.
Dance heels should help you feel more grounded, not less stable.
If the base of the shoe is too thick, then you can’t really feel where your feet are going. These shoes might look cute, but they can also cause you to fall as you try to gain footing during the dance routine.
You are almost certain to face injury when wearing shoes with a thick, platform base.
By choosing a heel that has a thin, pliable sole, you’ll feel more grounded and can more confidently move across the dance floor.
It can also help if your shoe sole is made of leather or suede. In addition to being more flexible, these soles protect the dance floor and help smooth out your turns. If you’re vegan, materials similar to suede or leather would be fine as well.
You’ll notice that a lot of professional dancers wear heel boots. These heels provide ankle support. With sufficient support, you’ll be able to flex, rise, and turn for the duration of your class.
Types of Heels to Avoid
There are some design features you’ll want to flat out avoid when selecting heels for dance class.
- Narrow straps – these can cut into your skin leaving marks and blisters
- Mule-back (open) heels – these can cause you to slip and fall; they aren’t supportive dance shoes
- Platform (stacked) heels – these prevent you from feeling the floor beneath you and they don’t offer any ankle support. Platform heels can cause you to lose balance and repeatedly fall down.
- Fully open top – your foot and ankle won’t feel supported in open shoes. If you like how open shoes look, then search for ones with a supportive strap across the top of your foot.
- Open sides – these won’t support your feet, either, and may lead to soreness and long recovery periods after class.
- Extremely high heel – these can harm your spine and cause falling.
- Pointed toe – they get in the way, preventing you from feeling your turns and other dance movements
Dancer Gaylyn Lareese offers more detailed explanations with one additional tip in this video summary on how to pick heels for dance class.
Best Heels Checklist
That was a lot of information, so here’s a quick checklist that you can use to find the best heels for dance class:
- Thin, flexible sole
- Leather or suede sole (or the vegan alternative)
- Fully enclosed (especially for beginners)
- Low to mid-height heel
- Rounded closed toe or a peep toe (no pointy toe shoes)
- Heel shape to match dance style
- General comfort
- Foot and ankle support
If you keep this list in mind as you search for the perfect heel, you’ll be more likely to enjoy your dance class, focus on the moves, and make progress over time.
Another good point I came across is that you should avoid wearing your dance class heels out in public. Instead, wear street shoes to dance class, and then change once you’re there.
Glass and other particles can lodge into the soles of your shoes, and then damage the dance flooring once you’re in class. To help preserve the flooring in your dance studio – only wear your heels indoors.
If you plan to dance for years to come, then you have to take care of your feet. Selecting safer footwear for dance class is at the top of the list for proper foot health.
You’ll have to select a shoe based on the kind of dance you’re doing. For Latin dance, try this women’s open toe ankle dance boot, or this one which offers more coverage.
For an elegant ballroom dancing heel, try the CLEECLI women’s dance shoe.