How to choose the right jazz shoes?

Jazz dance shoes, or in other words jazz shoes, belong to the dancer's basic equipment. It is important that they fit perfectly so that the feeling of dancing is as good as possible.

In this article, I`d like to help you choose the right jazz shoes.

What should we pay attention to when choosing the right model?

  1. Clarify what kind of jazz dance we need them for,
  2. Choose according to the age of the dancer,
  3. What are our demands for quality and financial possibilities
  4. What color do we prefer
  5. Don`t buy dance shoes which are too big for you (in general, dance shoes are not slippers, they must fit exactly so that the teacher can see the work of the foot).

And now check out the basic information on how jazz shoes differ from each other.

The cut

  • High (ankle shoes), popular in show choreography, for example, lyrical dances but also among folk dances
  • Low classical, suitable for contemporary dancing, for majorettes, disco dancing, but also as pedagogical shoes, or training shoes for folk dancing
  • Lacing
  • So-called slip-on - jazz shoes without lacing.

As I have mentioned, high jazz shoes are often used by folk dancers, such as the Slovak Lúčnica. In contrast, for classical jazz dance, low shoes are used more often. Lacing or putting on laces is more of personal preference, although e.g. mothers and children of disco dance or majorettes prefer slip-on, without strings for practical reasons.

Outer sole

  • Full - suitable for folk dance beginners
  • Split - used for all kinds of dance styles
  • Rubber -  popular with disco dancers, majorettes or it is also suitable for twirling, acrobatic rock 'n' roll
  • Suede (or leather) - contemporary dance, show dance, lyrical dance, and so on.

    From the above, I would like to emphasize the suitability of the full sole for folk dancers. This type is more suitable for stepping on the heel more than jazz shoes with a split sole, especially for small dancers. There is also a difference in the suitability of the rubber sole for disco dances, majorettes and so on. This sole is more suitable for stability in acrobatic elements (jumps, impacts). Conversely, the suede sole is more suitable for styles that require slip and rotation.

    Inside the shoe 

  • Canvas
  • Antibacterial material
  • The combination of leather and antibacterial material
  • The highest quality models have a special cushioning insert under the heel (some even in the toe area) in combination with antibacterial material and leather.

    Of course, the antibacterial insole is more comfortable and safer in terms of hygiene during training.

    Upper material

  • Canvas -  basic models
  • Pigskin
  • Cowhide
  • Neoprene, elastic materials
  • Fabric-based stretch material
  • Leather material with a mixture of elastane (acts as stretch material of leather).

    When choosing the right jazz shoes, choose according to what`s important to you. The style you are going to dance will tell you a lot. You can adjust other details as you wish. Check out examples of individual types of models of jazz shoes with my description in the attached video.

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