Ballroom shoes should fit comfortably and snugly. A general rule of thumb is that the fit should be tight but not painful when dancing.

, Should Ballroom Shoes Be Tight, Days of a Domestic Dad

While this is the case, your new ballroom dance shoe, like any other, may require some break-in time for you and your feet to adjust to the feel of the footwear.

You should note that unlike your street shoes, which can be worn loosely, dance shoes must fit like a glove. This is for both safety and ease of movement.

How easy is it to spin if your shoe slips off your heel? Feeling a wobble in your ankle because the shoe isn’t tight enough? Dangerous.

When a dance shoe moves with your foot, you’ll know if it’s the proper fit. It should feel snug but not uncomfortable.

How do you buy the right ballroom shoe size?

Put your foot on a sheet of paper. Draw a line between your longest toe and the heel of your foot. It helps to keep the pencil straight. Using a ruler, measure the foot length distance.

How do you know if your ballroom dance shoes fit properly?

They are snug but not uncomfortable. 

When you buy your shoes from a website such as your toes should be at the end of the shoe. Due to the emphasis on pointed feet in dance shoes, your toes should reach the end of the shoe.

Your heels sit tightly in the heel cup. 

While you should not be uncomfortable or in discomfort, the heel should also fit snugly. If there is no spare room in the heel – that is, no gapping, you should get another pair. 

The width of the shoe fits snugly and comfortably. 

Your feet’s width should comfortably fit the width of the shoe. You don’t want any wiggle space or gaps.

How do you know if your ballroom dance shoes aren’t a good fit?

Your toes have too much space. 

Extra toe room may seem more comfortable, but it might lead to incorrect footwork.

Accurate footwork is one of the most important components of dancing. What you do – or do not do – with your footwork affects the movement of the whole body. More importantly, it will ruin your performance and you don’t want this, do you?

It’s not enough that your toes reach the end of the shoes; you also need to make sure the toe box (the space between your toes and the shoe that rests on top of your foot) has no extra room. If your finger can fit between the two areas, your ballroom shoes are improperly fitting.

Your shoes have too much extra space at the heel. 

Make sure there is no gap between the rear of your heel and the shoe’s material. If you have extra space, your foot will not be properly supported, resulting in instability and potential damage. It may also cause friction and unsightly blisters.

Should you size up or down for ballroom dancing shoes?

It’s always a good idea to go one size lower from your regular street shoes. While ballroom shoes may appear to be the same size and form as street shoes, the way you use them, as well as the criteria for dancing comfortably, varies significantly, so it’s always good to go a size lower.

This way you get to have comfy shoes with a better fit. While this is the case, you should note that you may have to break in the shoes for you to be comfortable wearing and dancing in them.

Other factors to consider when buying ballroom dancing shoes

Besides considering the fit of the shoes, you also should consider plenty of other factors such as:

Heel height

As a man, go for a heel height of 1″. The heel, in conjunction with the shoe’s balance, guarantees that when standing in a ballroom shoe, your weight is over the balls of your feet, which is an important aspect of the ballroom dancing routine.   

That being said, if you’re new to dancing, go for a lower, wider heel. Once you’re happy with, say, 1/4″, you can increase the height if necessary.


Another crucial aspect of ballroom shoes is the suede sole. The suede sole provides enough slip-and-grip to let you use the floor for every pivot, flare, and underarm turn while remaining stable.

The sole you choose should provide the necessary support for your arches, ankles, knees, and legs. This way, you get to dance with confidence.


You don’t want to cut shortcuts on your dance shoes. You have two fabric options for ballroom dancing shoes: satin and leather.

Satin is a great choice because there are many different styles to pick from. Leather, on the other hand, is more durable and has a longer average lifespan. 

A high-quality shoe will give you the necessary strength and stability to dance comfortably.

Proper padding

A decent ballroom dancing shoe will have sufficient padding to cushion all parts of the foot. The padding absorbs all of the harsh motions you make in your steps, preventing blisters from ruining your routine.

If you are buying shoes from a physical store, you should try them on and even make a few moves before deciding to buy them. If buying online, always do your research and read reviews to determine the amount of padding they have.

Of course, you should go for properly padded shoes that will ensure your comfort when dancing.

Parting shot

As you have seen, your ballroom dancing shoes should be tight but not too tight to be uncomfortable. It’s up to you to try on the shoes and find the most ideal for your situation.

Most dance shoes are best worn in a smaller size than conventional street shoes. They must fit snugly without causing discomfort so that you can retain correct balance on the dance floor.

This means that your feet should cover the entire shoe. If your feet move easily inside the shoes, you will be unable to maintain good balance and dancing posture. And you don’t want this, do you?

, Should Ballroom Shoes Be Tight, Days of a Domestic Dad