With school starting, it’s time to buy new dance shoes for your little dancers. I remember being daunted the first time I had to purchase dance shoes for my daughter. My daughter’s dance teacher has always been helpful with shoe recommendations. Now that my daughter has been part of her dance school’s performing company dance team for the past three years, I have had to buy many pairs of tap shoes, ballet shoes and jazz shoes. Here are my recommendations for the best dance shoes for children.
If you are preparing for your child’s first dance class, you may not want to purchase expensive dance shoes until your child has taken a few classes and indicated that they do indeed enjoy dance class. Some kids love dancing, but are unhappy when they need to perform the dance steps the teacher is teaching instead of dancing to their own beat. If you are not ready to invest in quality dance shoes, here are a few inexpensive options:
- Borrowing shoes: Your dance school may allow you to borrow shoes for a class or two. Alternatively, older children may have dance shoes they have outgrown and are happy to pass on.
- Payless ShoeSource: Payless has tap shoes for around $25 and ballet shoes for around $20. Prices are even less if you have a coupon and there are often specials like BOGO half off.
- Target: My local Target has a small selection of dance shoes and dance apparel. Tap shoes are around $25-$35. Ballet shoes are $15.
If you would like to buy quality dance shoes for your child, there are several good options. The difference will be better fit and comfort. High quality dance shoes are usually made of leather which is softer and will even stretch a bit as your child’s feet grow. For tap shoes, the metal tap plate will make a higher quality sound as well.
I sometimes go to my local dancewear store. The clerks are very good at finding the correct fit for my child. A good fit is important, especially if your child will be dancing in competitions. Additionally dance shoe sizing does not match street shoe sizing. However, now that I know which shoes our dance teacher prefers, I often buy our dance shoes on Amazon and guess at the size my child will need. I make sure to only purchase them if Amazon is offering free returns if the shoes do not fit.
Best Tap Shoes
The Bloch S0301G for toddler and little kid sizes or the Bloch S0301L for women’s sizes is a superb leather tap shoe. MSRP is $68, but usually under $60 on Amazon. The full laces allows you to securely tie the shoes. You don’t want your child’s shoe falling off when they are on the stage!
Best Ballet Shoes
I’ve been told by dance teachers and experienced teen students that stretch canvas ballet slippers with a split sole are more comfortable. Bloch Zenith S0282G (or women’s sizes Bloch S0282L) is what my child wears. MSRP $25.
Best Jazz Shoes
I love the smooth look of the Bloch Neo-Flex S0495G leather and neoprene jazz shoes from Bloch (for women’s sizes: Bloch S0495L). MSRP $39.90. My daughter has these in black and tan.
Another great choice is the leather Bloch Super Jazz S0401G (see Bloch S0401L for women’s sizes). MSRP $39.90. Our dance teacher recommended this shoe, but my daughter preferred the smooth look of the Bloch Neo-Flex S0495G.
My dancer has worn many pairs of these dance shoes through years of dance competitions and conventions. She has complained about uncomfortable or itchy dance costumes, but has always been happy with her dance shoes. My hope is that this information will help your dancer light up the stage!