Tap Shoes - Choose a Good Pair

Choosing your first pair of tap shoes can be exciting, but it's sometimes difficult to know where to start. Firstly, it's a good idea to have a good understanding of what properties make a good pair. They're a special type of shoe designed specifically for tap dancing and have metal plates mounted to the bottom of the heel and toe. These plates are called taps, and make a loud tapping sound when struck against a hard surface.

As with any style of dance shoes, the most important element to consider is comfort. Without well fitting tap shoes, the quality of the sound they make along with their style will become insignificant because the dancer's ability will become inhibited. A good pair should fit snugly to the foot without being too tight. Even if the dancer's feet are still growing, allowing for growing room in the shoe should be done with caution because any movement of the shoes on the feet creates a high possibility of causing blisters and discomfort.

To make sure you select the most comfortable style, you should also take into account what they're made of. Most tap shoes have a leather upper which will soften with use and create a little more space in the shoe. Some tap shoes have a PVC upper which does not soften in the same way as leather but does offer a cheaper alternative.

The style of tap shoes you go for is largely down to your own personal choice. For men, the choices are fairly straightforward whereas women need to think about the height of the heel they want on their tap shoes. A higher heel may look more appealing to some but can make learning to tap dance very tricky for beginners. It's therefore advisable to begin learning with a pair of relatively flat tap shoes and then progress onto a heeled pair when you gain more confidence and experience.

You need to check whether taps are included with the tap shoes you want to buy. Most include a pre-attached toe tap but will require you to attach the heel tap. You can go to a cobbler to do this though it is fairly straightforward to do it yourself. Occasionally, you will need to attach both the toe tap and the heel tap but this is very rare. The most popular type of taps are Teletone Taps which include a sounding board. This enables the dancer to adjust the sound that the taps make with small turns of the screws which hold them to the shoe. This enables the dancer to ensure that their shoe makes a tapping sound that fits with the character of the dance.

Cost will no doubt play a big role in the tap shoes you choose and there's no need to spend a fortune. It's worth giving it a bit of time before you splash out on an expensive pair. Besides, there are many popular brands such as Capezio, Bloch and Dance Gear that have many years experience in manufacturing high quality shoes for dancers of all abilities.

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