How to Attach Taps

Updated November 21, 2016

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Repeat on the other shoe.


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.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoes
  • Fiberboard
  • 2 toe taps
  • Sharp tool
  • Screws
  • 2 heel taps
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About the Author

Alyssa Brode began writing in 2001. She served as a staff writer for her high school newspaper, "The Arrowhead," and has been freelancing ever since. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a double major in voice performance and computer information systems and is pursuing a Master of Music in opera performance.