Hey there followers! So you’ve started swing dancing and you’re having trouble finding the right shoes. Heels are too high and uncomfortable, sneakers have too much tread on the soles, and ballroom dance shoes don’t have enough support. What to do?
Keds are a classic tennis shoe with surprisingly awesome soles. Slick enough that you can swivel and spin, sticky enough that you can grip the floor with confidence.
Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers wore Keds back in the 1930’s! How cool is that. You can buy the classic Keds “Champion Sneaker” at Nordstrom, Macy’s, or online at Keds.com and Amazon.
But maybe the floor still feels too sticky in “street shoes” (a term for regular shoes with rubber soles). When it comes to dance shoes, you have the choice of suede or leather soles. Leather soles are excellent for swing dancing, but they are very slick – I don’t recommend them for beginner follows. Suede allows you to slide but also grip the floor.
These Keds-style dance shoes on dancestore.com have the cushioned support of tennis shoe, with suede soles:
There is another, cost effective option: go to a shoe store, find a comfy tennis show with little or no tread, and test it on a hard floor. If you can slide the ball of your foot across the linoleum without getting stuck, you can probably dance in them. (Look for imitation Keds!)
If you have your heart set on wearing heels when you start dancing (like I did), work your way up to it. Heels can be a great learning tool: they force you to think about your balance, and the distribution of your weight between the balls of your feet and your heels. But as you’re mastering the basics, you have plenty of things to worry about besides not falling over. When you are ready, low-heel, closed-toe shoes are easier to wear swing dancing.
Choose something like this:
See you on the dance floor!