There are many different types of jazz shoe on the market and new styles are introduced very frequently. They are mainly available in leather and canvas, though leather is preferred by most. The earliest jazz shoes were lace ups which allowed the shoe to be tightened for a snug fit. Though lace-ups are still widely available, some dancers complained that the laces dug into their feet so manufacturers developed the slip on jazz shoe. These are now highly popular as many dancers find that they are both very comfortable and highly stylish.
Getting the right fit for your is very important in order to get the most out of your shoe. This will enable the dancer to give their best possible performance and get the most enjoyment out of dancing. A good pair of jazz shoes should feel nice and snug on the dancer’s foot but not too tight. The dancer should be able to wriggle their toes a little and should be able to easily bend and flex the foot. The toes shouldn’t be pushed up into the end of the shoe but if it can move around on the foot enough to feel loose, then it’s usually a good idea to try the next size down.
If you’re new to dancing then it’s worth checking to find out whether your dance teacher recommends a particular shoe. Many dance schools and dance academies have a uniform and jazz shoes are often a part of this. Your teacher might also advise you whether they want you to use a full sole or a split sole.
If you find that your new jazz shoes don’t have enough grip when you first get them, there is a simple solution. Some dancers slightly dampen their soles before dancing but this has been known to cause the suede sole to shrink slightly. A better idea is to brush the suede soles from the heel in the direction of the toe with a suede sole brush. This will help create enough grip to stop you slipping around but not too much to stop you executing some fantastic spins and turns!
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