Because you use your flamenco shoes as percussive instruments as you dance, it's important to get the right ones to protect your feet and ensure a good performance. Though you might not need flamenco shoes when you first start learning, you need to get at least one pair if you continue to study the dance.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Take classes before you decide to invest in good flamenco shoes, since they're expensive and specialized for flamenco. Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes with a heel and a hard sole to class. If you have some, a pair of character shoes make a good choice for an initial class shoe. Once you're sure you want to continue in flamenco, get a pair of actual flamenco shoes.
Determine your preferred heel size and shape. Though flamenco shoes are relatively low-heeled, you can find heels that are nearly 3 inches tall. The heels are wide to offer full support to your feet, but they come in a variety of different shapes. Select a shape that you feel comfortable and stable in.
Choose the strap design you prefer. T-straps are common in flamenco shoes, but you can find flamenco shoes that feature ankle straps or ties instead if you prefer.
Check the sole for nails, which should be present on the heels and toes to create the best flamenco sound.
Invest in a basic color before you purchase a colorful shoe. A black shoe is the most versatile, unless the group you dance with has a specific color the artistic director prefers.
Acquire additional flamenco shoes to match your costumes after you choose your initial pair.
Tips and warnings
- Ask your instructor for a brand or style recommendation if you can't decide.
- If you're going to be dancing on a slick or especially hard surface, such as stone or concrete, you may want to invest in a second pair of shoes that doesn't have nails.
- Flamenco boots, while harder to find, are another option to pursue as you build your flamenco shoe collection.
- The most common problem with flamenco shoes is heels breaking during practice or performance. Be sure you get real flamenco shoes with sturdy heels.
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