Tap Shoes? What you need to know first

If you’re like millions of people, the day you buy you’re first pair of tap shoes is an exciting one. But when you get to the store and see the numerous brands and styles, it can be quite intimidating. Capezio shoes? Bloch? Split sole? Full sole? Follow these simple tips for the optimum tap shoe for you!

Tip #1- LISTEN TO YOUR SALESPERSON- Tappers that are just starting out will rely on the knowledge of the salesperson A LOT. If you’re visiting a dance boutique, these people are experts not only in brands and styles of shoes, but how they should fit on different types of feet. If the store doesn’t currently have the shoe that fits you best in stock, they should be able to make a special order for you. Which also means, tip #1.1- order early enough for your tap shoes to arrive. Assume your shoes will need extra time to arrive!

Tip #2- Split sole shoes or full sole?- Even though you can rely on your salesperson to know what they’re doing, it’s good to know a few things. A split sole won’t have the stiff sole that runs the length of the shoe and will be more comfortable. However, your feet will have to work extra hard to create the sounds of a full sole shoe. These shoes should only be worn with the approval of your tap teacher. While it’s easier to point and bend these shoes, they’ll give less support making moves done on the tips of your toes more difficult. A full sole tap shoe will give more support to your feet, but may be more uncomfortable. These are better shoes for newer tappers as they produce a clearer sound without as much effort as a split sole shoe.

Tip #3- Capezio or Bloch?- The brand of your shoe will more than likely be dictated by your feet. Each brand has a slightly different cut which will fit different types of feet better or worse. If your salesperson says you have more of a “Capezio foot,” it means you have a narrower ankle. A “Bloch foot” doesn’t mean your foot is a “block.” Simply, you don’t have a narrow Achilles tendon.

Tip #4- Expensive brand name shoes or Payless brand?- Answer? It depends. If this is your first year of taking tap lessons and your “just trying it out,” go with the cheaper brand. That way you won’t spend as much money if you decide tap isn’t for you. Keep in mind, though, these shoes are “cheaper” in every sense of the word. They aren’t near the quality of the brand name shoes, are more likely to give you blisters, and won’t produce the quality sounds.

Hopefully, these tips will take some of the mystery out of finding the shoes for you. The right pair of tap shoes can be the difference between frustration and joy. Be one of the millions that chooses the right pair and enjoys their “happy feet” time.

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