Do i need dance shoes in my salsa lessons? The answer is yes! Before explain the numeros reason why you need shoes let’s first think about few similar disciplines where you need gear up to actually fully enjoy and have a easy experience, let me tell you about running, of course you can start with any shoes you want but if you use the proper gear you will find out that actually proper running shoes make the difference especially for professionals, of course when we start to dance salsa as beginner no one is a professional, but still after few years of experience and research of observing dance students, we notice that after 3 or 4 lessons, dance shoes are essential!
As we mentioned before there are numerous reasons why, we want mention the most important ones which they are all about safety, believe or not shoes can influence the health of your knees with the time, Salsa Dance is very dynamic, turns and pivot are required for beginners too, that means if you are performing a pivot with snickers which are creating a friction with the floor you will create 2 opposite twisting force applied to your knees, of course no pain is percept on the beginning but it will compromise the future health of your knees.
Another safety reason is most of the dance students prefer instead to buy a proper gear, such as shoe, they prefer bare feet or socks, that make your feet more vulnerable to anything like little peace or splinters on floor, plus its very easy to over twist your toes and as last you will be exposed to high heels from your followers (she is a beginner as well), the choice of practice dance shoes is actually a protection for your feet and plus a boost for your performance.
Let’s now talk about why dance shoes increase your performance, as you will notice there are dance shoes with smooth rubber sole or suede sole, about the first one is acceptable and easier to find it on online shops such as amazon but in our opinion and experience with time they will collect a lot dust and they will step by step be consumed by slightly frictions with the floor. Be careful use them on tiles floor is very dangerous. Let’s finally talk about the suede soles, smooth when you need but still safe on every type of dance floor (please do not wear dance shoes with suede on the gravel or concrete floor such as in the street, you will destroy and waste you shoes), they will give you the right amount of control and freedom at same time, really light, flexible and they meant for the most easy way to learn faster!
In our years of experience i suggest classic shoes on the first lessons or second, after that depend which kind of shoes they are. Most of classic shoes they will have smooth sole and that is good for the experience of learning, but with the time the hard hide of the most of classic shoes will find the way to create few blister on your skin, it’s absolutely normal they are not meant to be dance shoes, as results if you need to start salsa dance the classic shoes are fine for the first and second lesson but not ideal, you can decide in a second moment to consider a proper gear.
What i find really performing, safe and quite charming is loafers shoes, the right material can give you a nice experience till actually lesson 6! Plus you can wear them at social events if they look nice and match your style.
Here is the list of shoes that we suggest on amazon for practice and socials (Salsa dance events) we tested them with numerous students and customers along few years, low price, nice quality and good performance: