To the untrained eye, dance shoes seem like just another pair of shoes. A lot of new students will put off buying the proper shoes for far too long. 

When buying dance shoes, although it's not usually necessary to pay a fortune for good quality, nor is the cheapest option always the best. Try before you buy, if you can, and make sure the shoes you buy are comfortable. Dancing quickly becomes an ordeal with sore feet or uncomfortable shoes. Never underestimate the need to keep your shoes clean and in good overall condition. Spend a couple of extra dollars on a shoe brush and you'll wonder how you managed without it.

Thankfully, dance shoes are all lightweight, which prevents your legs from getting tired as quickly. This is an important feature, especially for men. When learning to dance, male students are always worried about stepping on their partner’s feet. No matter how good of a dancer you are, at some point it’s bound to happen. Getting stepped on by a man’s heavy dress shoe or boot is no joke – proper dance shoes definitely lessen the pain.

Unless you have no intention of dancing Latin routines, then Latin shoes will suit most ladies for both styles. For men, basic ballroom shoes will do the same thing.

Most of all, good dance shoes will help you to really enjoy your dancing far more than if you don't have them.

Maintenance and Repair

Don't wear your ballroom dance shoes on the street. Rough surfaces and dirt will wear them out quickly. Carry them in a bag and put them on when you get to class or to the ballroom. 

If you need your shoes repaired, call before you drop them off at your local shoemaker to be sure the shop is familiar with handling dance shoes.

It's important to polish your shoes on a regular basis in order to keep them in top condition. You might also consider applying silicon-based oil occasionally in order to prevent cracking. Proper care of the suede soles is important, too. Be sure to brush them regularly to remove any dirt or wax buildup, which will cause the soles to wear faster. Lastly, don't wear your shoes when not dancing. Sidewalks will ruin the soles.