How to Attach Taps

Written by alyssa brode
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How to Attach Taps
Buying taps separately and attaching them yourself saves you money and gives you more shoe options. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Tap shoes are a necessity for anyone who wants to take up tap dancing. You can buy shoes with the taps already attached, but for those who want more freedom to choose their own dance shoes, taps are also sold separately. A cobbler can apply these, and some dance shops also offer the service for a fee. However, you can save money and learn how to attach taps to shoes yourself.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Shoes
  • Fiberboard
  • 2 toe taps
  • Sharp tool
  • Screws
  • 2 heel taps

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  1. 1

    Find the fiberboard that came with your taps. Place it on the bottom of your shoe, lined up with the front outer edge.

  2. 2

    Place the toe tap over the fiberboard, lined up with the outer edge of your shoe.

  3. 3

    Use a sharp tool to puncture through the fiberboard and just into sole of the shoe at each of the holes in the tap.

  4. 4

    Remove the tap and fiberboard. Use your sharp tool to widen the punctures slightly to make screws easier to insert.

  5. 5

    Place the fiberboard and tap back on the shoe, aligning the holes in the tap and fiberboard with the holes you've made in the sole.

  6. 6

    Begin to screw in the first screw. Stop after several turns. Repeat with the other screws until they are all in place.

  7. 7

    Tighten all the screws to your liking. Perform a dance step, if necessary, to see if you are happy with the sound.

  8. 8

    Repeat this process with heel taps, lined up with the back edge of the shoe.

  9. 9

    Repeat on the other shoe.

Tips and warnings

  • Taps can become loose over time. Check your taps consistently to see if the screws must be tightened.
  • You may choose not to use the fiberboard, which is meant to assist the screws in holding the tap to the shoe. Some believe that it's unnecessary; others choose not to use it in order to achieve a different sound.

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