Whether it’s your first pair of tango shoes or you’ve been taking Argentine Tango classes for a while, finding the perfect fit tango shoe can be an arduous task. So we asked the specialist, Yuyo Brujo Tango Shoes, what to look out for when choosing your dance shoes.
These 5 tips will help you find your match made in shoe heaven. Both for women and men:
1. Height of Heels
When it comes to women’s tango stiletto sandals, you’ve probably noticed a variety of heel heights and some of them look really high.
If it’s your first pair of tango shoes, and you are not used to wearing heels, then a low heel is the best option for you. A lower heel will help you develop your balance gradually. As your feet become stronger with practice you might want to progress to higher heel if you so wish. But remember, a higher heel doesn’t make you a better dancer.
However, if you’re very comfortable in heels (let’s say you wear them regularly) then starting in a medium heel height could also be an option for you.
Regardless of the heel height you choose (low, medium or high) the key thing you will be looking for is stability in your heels. Even on very slender stilettos you should feel grounded.
For men shoes, a stable heel is also important. A wooden heel (like the one we use in our men shoes https://www.yuyobrujo.com/tango-shoes-for-men/) will give you a more grounded and firm step. Some brands use a high density foam in their men shoe heels. While this can feel kind of cushy at first, you will find that over time your feet might be buckling outwards as the foam gets deformed.
When choosing your Yuyo Brujos, go for the same size as your street shoes. The urban myth that you have to go one size down in tango shoes doesn’t apply to us. Top tip: this is more so for some Argentinian brands that size differently or if your feet at pretty narrow in width.
When purchasing women’s tango sandals, you don’t want a lot of room between the end of your toes and the end of the shoe. If your toes are quite close to the edge this is ok.
For men shoes, as we’re looking at a closed laced up shoe, you do need about 1cm to 1.5cm at the front of the shoe so your toes don’t get crushed while dancing.
3. Open Back or Closed Back Shoes?
For ladies dance shoes you can find two versions. Sandals with a covered heel back (closed back) and slingbacks (open back).
The closed back shoes are great for first timers as it helps with balance and makes you feel more supported and secure.
But even if it’s your first pair of tango shoes, don’t discount the closed heel’s more glamorous sister, the open heel. If you have wide or narrow feet and need to size up or down, an open back heel can give you the few more millimetres your foot needs to manoeuvre.
4. Snug or tight shoes?
As a rule of thumb, snug shoes will stretch and mould to your feet; shoes that dent, cut into your skin or hurt the first time you try them on will only give you pain.
Shoes that are “roomy” and comfortably a bit loose straight away will end up not supporting your foot and in the long term you will strain your foot more.
This applies to both men and women’s tango shoes. Men might have it a little easier as the shoe is laced up and can be adjusted but a snug fit is also preferred for men.
5. Comfort or looks?
For tango shoes that you are planning to dance in and practice for hours, always go for comfort. The point if that the shoes fit you so well that you can forget about them and focus on what matters, the dance.
All our shoes are made of leather including the lining (the part in contact with your foot). Our men shoes have a whole-piece leather lining, no seams inside, that make them feel like a glove. We can’t stress enough the importance of a leather lining for comfort. Leather is a natural material that absorbs sweat and moulds to your feet. Synthetic linings will make your feet sweat more and will cause more blisters.
And finally, it’s always a good idea to try shoes on in the afternoon or evening. That will give you a closer idea of what the shoes will feel like when your feet are a little tired after dancing.
Are you looking for men or women’s tango shoes? Discover Yuyo Brujo’s collections on their website www.yuyobrujo.com or book an appointment at their London studio to try shoes on in person by emailing email@example.com