Those that know me in real life know I love making lists. So here I give you my list of pros and cons regarding ballroom practice shoes for ladies.
–You’ll feel more stable. Practice shoes have a “Cuban heel” which is lower and wider that normal ballroom shoes have. It’s easier for me to do great spiral turns in my practice shoes because I feel so balanced and stable.
–They’re versatile! I can go right from doing a waltz to doing a chacha in the same set of shoes. (Usually dancers get one pair of strappy heels for latin/rhythm and a pair of closed-toed heels for standard/smooth.) But practice shoes are designed in a way that they work well for all styles of dance.
–They’re comfortable! The lower heel is probably one of the main factors in them being comfortable. My current pair of practice shoes are International Dance Shoe brand and the sole is nicely padded and soo comfortable! That makes practice shoes perfect for attending dance camps or if you have a night with back-to-back lessons.
-Ok, a little less important, but they come in a wide variety of cute and color designs! Just like having cute workout clothes makes you more excited to work out, having cute practice shoes makes you more excited to practice. You’ll find that traditional ballroom shoes are pretty limited to various shades of tan, with the occasional black or silver thrown in. But if you compete and want to look professional then you really need to go for tan, which makes practice shoes the perfect opportunity to express your personality!
Having practice shoes in your rotation can make your main ballroom shoes last longer. Let’s say you own a pair of rhythm heels, smooth heels, and practice shoes – 3 pairs total and that you dance 5 hours a week. Over the course of a year that’s 260 hours of wear and tear. If you only wore your rhythm heels for all of those hours, you would absolutely wear out that pair by the end of the year. But if you dance 2 hours a week in practice shoes, then you are extending the life of your smooth and rhythm heels.
–If you wear them all the time, it’ll be a rough dose of reality returning to your other shoes. Trust me, I only wore my practice shoes for 2 months straight and it sucked adjusting back to my latin heels. I had blisters, my calves hurt (higher heel), and I felt so unstable. And if you dance smooth or standard then you may notice the difference when it comes to heel leads and heel turns.
-Building on my last point – it’s generally frowned upon to compete or perform in practice shoes. But if you don’t compete or perform, then this isn’t really an issue – you can live in practice shoes all year long!
…yep, that’s all the cons I’ve got. Practice shoes are great!