What’s worse than halting a night of Latin dancing with your friends to complain about your feet hurting? Perhaps you’re just wearing the wrong shoe. The repetitive rhythm, spins, and foot bevels demand support and comfort if those feet are going to keep going. Ladies, the stiff stilettos aren’t going to do it. An avid salsa lesson taker in Milwaukee, Savannah Sparks, says, “I always try to go for a heel or shoe with the most flexibility. I want to do my best and you can’t do that in the usual patent leather pump, no way.” Wise words and advice, especially looking at the high arches of professional Latin dancers’ feet.
Half of that credit is given to the shoe. For social dancers, there are ways to alleviate your foot stress while moving. Believe it or not, that perfect shoe can be found right in your closet. To elongate your foot, go for a strappy heel that secures your foot yet gives you room and space to point and flex those toes. Opt for tractability, soft soles, and durable footwear. The more bendable the arch in the shoe, the better. Worn and broken in? Now we’re talking. And don’t forget that strap around your ankle. You don’t want your shoe flying off when you do a kick ball-change. A chunkier heel that tapers out instead of in will become your best friend in the art of salsa dancing, especially when you stamp the balls on your feet on the dance floor. If you’re not a heels gal, a gym shoe or boot with visible arch is your best bet.
Guys, it’s a bit easier for you. Opt for your favorite dress shoes with a raised sole to give you some elevation. Everyone will be focusing on your dancing, don’t let the wrong shoe steal the show.