I’ll be honest though, – I don’t like to spend a lot on shoes. I’m pretty hard on them and it breaks my heart to see a $100+ pair of shoes destroyed because I accidentally stepped in mud, or went out in the rain or that time my former dog ate them?
Note… I said “former dog”.
So, I usually only buy shoes around $75 and under. I also apply this toward my fitness and dance shoes. When it comes to Dance Trance you can find a good shoe in the $50-range.
Here’s what I look for when I’m buying shoes specifically for DT:
- A shoe that allows you to safely pivot and turn; especially important when you are a new student. Too much tread or grip on your shoe and you will likely tear or strain a knee ligament or twist your ankle.
- The shoe should have some grip though, avoid lots of cuts or pieces. Yeah – because if it’s too smooth you’ll be slipping all over the floor and now, there’s a good chance you’ll pull a muscle while compensating and trying to keep your feet under you. And I’m talking about groin muscles, calf muscles and even Achilles tendons. Students who wear Blochs and aren’t yet trained dancers, may notice this. While we’re talking about it, I’m not a fan of the Bloch dance sneaker for our class. I think it is too slippery, and stops offering support for your arch pretty soon after getting it. It’s also got a pretty high price point for a shoe you’ll likely replace after a three-month stint.
- Get a shoe with great shock absorption, especially with support in the heel. If the shoe is too flat you could feel strain in your knees and hips after all the jumping we do in a class.
- Last but not least, make sure you only wear these shoes in the studio. Streets have grease, oil and dirt. That ruins the bottoms of your shoes, making it harder to dance or train and it’s definitely going to filth up the floor making it hazardous for everyone else. Plus, your new gear will last longer if you don’t wear them all the time.
Here’s my general set of rules for when it’s time to change your shoes:
- When pieces of the shoe are falling off. For real. If the bottom of your shoe is peeling or leaving skid marks on the floor, chuck it.
- When the bottoms of your shoes become worn and smooth.
- When you notice knee, hip or low back pain that feels like it came out of nowhere.
So, what’s my DT shoe?
Lately I’ve been sporting some Adidas footwear. I love the Adidas Element Refine Tricot. Clinton and I have them, along with a few of our students and they’re great because they’re light, yet supportive and have just enough tread to keep you from sliding around but still allow you to spin and turn like a fairy princess. They also come in great colors. If you can find these, because they’re no longer manufactured, they’ll run you anywhere from $35-$80 and it’s usually an Ebay purchase.
Other options, the Nike Flex Run, especially the 2015 model. They are comfy, they cushion your jump and are easy to turn in. The only issue I have with these shoes is there’s a little more tread than I’d like and the toe box is a bit wide. Otherwise they’re great and I’ve owned three pairs of them.
I think the Nike Free RN would also be a good comparable option to dance in, but it is still sold in most stores for about $99 so I haven’t tried it.
I am also curious about the Adidas Arauana dance shoe created by Stella McCartney. Someone get these so I can see them in person. They are on sale right now at Adidas.com
If you have any questions and want to try on some shoes I own, let me know. I keep most of mine at the studio because I have forgotten them before and barefoot DT is just not a good idea. Ever! Or, if you want to give me your feedback on a shoe I haven't tried, please post below.