Best jazz shoes

A Review of the Best Jazz Shoes (2019)

Jazz shoes are a staple piece of dancewear for many different dance styles such as, Rock ‘n’Roll, Swing Dancing, Aerobics and of course, Jazz. But what are the best jazz shoes on the market?

Jazz shoes are available in a number of different styles such as low rise, split-sole and Oxfords, as well as numerous different brands; Bloch, Capezio and Balera. 

Everyone will have different needs, some will need jazz shoes that can accommodate wide feet with laces, or narrow feet with elastic. 

That’s why we have put together an article explaining the different features to review, before buying. As well as assessing each jazz shoe in terms of comfort, durability and style, to help you make that choice. 

First though, we’ll explain what features to look for when shopping for jazz shoes online. 

What to Look for in Jazz Shoes

The Sole

There are a few factors to consider here. Firstly, what floor will you be practicing or performing on? 

A rubber sole will provide great traction when dancing on wood or cement, this is a popular choice.

But as discussed here, they will be too sticky on marley floors. If your dance hall is lined with this vinyl material – you’ll be wanting a suede sole which will give you much more freedom of movement.

The next thing you’ll want to consider is

Durability

If you’re wearing a pair of cheap jazz shoes, they’ll start to fall apart really quickly. This will mean buying more and spending more. Go with a brand you can trust, and look for quality materials and manufacturing.

This takes us to our next to the final consideration

The Brand

best tap shoe brand

A very popular dancewear brand; Capezio has been around since the 1880’s making quality and stylish jazz shoes. They have great durability and sleek aesthetics available as lace-up, slip on or suede.

Capezio usually comes out cheaper then Bloch, with similar quality, however you are slightly limited on the number of styles available.

tap shoes adult

Bloch has been creating high-quality dance shoes for almost a century, their jazz shoes are perfect for the most demanding dance routines; giving stability and comfort. Their jazz shoes are made out of 100% leather, or as leather and mesh combinations.

They give stability and confidence to any dancer, at any level.

I find that Bloch has more options of styles and colours, so if you’re looking for something specific Bloch is your best bet.

If you have awkward feet sizes such as narrow or wide, Bloch do amazing jazz shoes for both, that will be discussed later on in the article.

How Should Your Jazz Shoes Fit?

It is very important that you buy jazz shoes that fit you properly, otherwise you risk injury.

When I first tried Capezio jazz shoes (my first pair), I thought they were way too snug. They were so much tighter than the dance trainers I was used to. But, this is how they’re meant to feel.

But there is a difference between snug and tight!

If they’re too tight you’ll damage your toes after a few classes. There are ways of loosening them if you have to, there’s a  but I think it’s safer to just find the right pair. 

It is important to note that the leather does stretch over time. Jazz shoes should be snug, like a leather sock.

If they’re not snug, they’re probably a size too big – here’s how to tell. There will be excess fabric around the toes and gapping at the sides. 

For a more in-depth Jazz shoe fitting guide, check this out

EVA Soles VS. Rubber Soles

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a material similar to rubber, that’s used on the sole of various different sport shoes. It has increased softness and flexibility over rubber.

It’s a great feature to have in your jazz shoes, something to always look for.

Best Split-Sole Jazz Shoes

In this article we’ll be separating the jazz shoes by style. The majority of these styles will be split-sole jazz shoes.

This is where there’s only rubber on the heel and ball of the foot, with nothing connecting them. They provide excellent flexibility and a defined point.

Here are some great options for split-soled jazz shoes

Capezio Women's EJ2 E-Series Jazz Slip-On

These Capezio slip-ons are a best seller, they’re made from soft durable leather with stretchy fabric supporting your arches.

They come with a foam padded insole and EVA forefoot patch and heel. This makes them extremely comfortable!

They’re good jazz shoes for wide feet because they come in a variety of sizes, to fit everyone (medium and wide).

Men should order 2 sizes larger than they usually wear. They’ll tight, but will stretch with time.

Type of Sole – Split-sole

Material – Leather

EVA – yes

The shoes run small and narrow. If you think you’ve got medium width feet, it may be ‘wide’ in these shoes, so best to buy W.

These jazz shoes give your feet an elegant point and they’re extremely comfortable. 

  • Flexible
  • Last for years
  • Foam padded insole for increased confort
  • Be careful not to order a child's size
  • They'll feel tight at first, but will stretch

Bloch Neo-Flex Split-Sole Jazz Shoe

These are classic slip on jazz shoes from Bloch, they provide excellent fit, flexibility and support.

The neoprene arch has been replaced with an elastic arch made from Satin Neo which allows more air to pass through and therefore your feet will be cooler when dancing.

These are similar to the Capezio pair above, so it is down to personal preference in choosing between the two, check out our comparison above to find out which brand is best for you.

This particular pair of dance shoes come in 2 different colours, black or nude.

Sizing – These jazz shoes come in M – medium and N – narrow, there is a Bloch jazz shoe sizing chart that you can refer to in order to get the perfect fit.

  • Satin Neo improves breathability
  • More flexible than other jazz shoes
  • Quality materials
  • Some find these to have a weaker sole than Capezio

Bloch Dance Women's Pulse Jazz Shoe

These split-sole jazz shoes from Bloch are flexible and stylish with cotton lining which helps the shoes to breathe.

The difference between these slip-ons and the previous, is the sole. As we were discussing before, these will be ideal for anyone dancing on a vinyl material. 

It’s made from a moldable suede front which allows spins, but brakes when flat, so you can stop.

They’re available in black or tan colour. With a leather upper, neoprene satin arch and a rubber sole

Because of the material they’re made from, they don’t stretch as much as other jazz shoes. So if they feel too tight; it is best to change them.

These are amazing jazz shoes for those with wide feet, they’re very comfortable. But some people find that they don’t last as long as other jazz shoes in Bloch’s collection.

  • Unique suede sole, great for fast movement on the floor
  • Cotton lining helps keep your feet cool
  • The suede sole can wear down with time, quicker than rubber
  • It is recommended that you buy 1 size higher than your street shoe size (or ½)

Best Lace-Up Jazz Shoes

Capezio Women's EJ1 E-Series Jazz Shoe

First up in our list of lace-up jazz shoes is the Jazz Oxford from Capezio.

These jazz shoes are made out of soft durable leather and come in tan or black.

The best feature of lace-up jazz shoes is that they’re great for those people who have wide or narrow feet as you can tighten or loosen them up to fit you perfectly.

They’re lightweight and great for beginners and ballroom dancing because they’re made out of soft, durable Leather and have an EVA outsole patch and heel.

It’s advised that you buy half a size bigger than what you usually wear; they may be tight at first but they stretch after a few wears.

  • Great for narrow or wider feet
  • Great quality leather
  • Great flexibility for a full-sole jazz shoe
  • They don't have amazing support

Linodes Women's Lace Up Jazz Shoe

The leather Linodes women’s lace-up jazz shoes are built for comfort and especially made for jazz and dance gymnastics.

They are lined with material which is both comfortable and durable. They’ve got a split-sole made from leather.

The heel has EVA forefoot, which offers amazing support and grip. These jazz shoes are made for women, but men can wear them if they buy a size and a half larger than what they usually wear.

They move across the floor easily without being slippery or sticky.

These are amazing jazz shoes for the price, they run slightly large so don’t bother buying a bigger size unless you have especially wide feet.

There is a size guide on the Amazon website, use this to find the perfect fit for you.

  • Comfortable
  • Don't need much breaking in
  • Some find the heel a bit hard at first, this will wear in

Bloch Dance Women's Jazzsoft Jazz Shoe

These jazz shoes offer both structure and flexibility, with strong leather upper laces and a round toe for perfect fit.

These shoes have a leather arch panel and a suede sock, which contributes to the comfort. Additionally they have a really strong heel counter and split rubber traction sole.

They come in 3 different colour varieties, white, black and tan.

This is number 1 on our list of best lace-up jazz shoes, they look so great for practices or performances!

Despite the title claiming they are ‘women’s’ jazz shoes, they are in-fact unisex, men just need to order half a size larger than what they usually wear and they should be perfect.

Like other lace-up jazz shoes, it is generally advised that you order your street shoe size, or ½ a size smaller if you have narrow feet.

  • Extremely comfortable
  • True to size
  • Not much traction on the sole

Adult Gore Insert Jazz Shoes

jazz shoes for children

These slip-on jazz shoes for adults are made with lightweight, genuine leather, which is extremely durable. They’re available in a black and tan colour and are suitable for both men and women.

They feature a rubber split-sole patch for durability and cotton lining for additional comfort. These shoes run extremely small so it’s recommended to buy at least 2 sizes larger; once you find your perfect size, they’re an excellent pair of jazz shoes.

  • Heel counter stabilization
  • Unisex
  • They don't fit as expected

Best Jazz Shoes for High Arches

Capezio Women's Freeform Slip-On Jazz Shoe

We’ve saved the best till last, these comfortable freeform jazz shoes, give a ‘barely there’ feel. These jazz shoes keep your feet cool with breathable material. This also provides extra flexibility and give, to really extend that point.

They’re extremely flattering as there is minimal material and your arches are fully exposed.

They can be worn for so many different styles of dancing – ballet, jazz or modern.

They’re made from leather with nylon and have a split-sole made from rubber. The heel measures around 0.5” and they have M and W sizing for narrow and wider feet.

These are amazing jazz shoes for many styles of dance and they feel great. 

  • Flattering
  • EVA forefoot and heel
  • stretchy material for an amazing fit and neoprene sock lining
  • Not true to size (come up small)

Best Jazz Shoes for Children

Linodes Leather Slip-on Jazz Shoes

These are one of the best pairs of jazz shoes for boys and girls; they can be worn for both dance and gymnastics. The upper material is made from genuine, soft leather, which is flexible and comfortable.

They’re designed with quality materials for an affordable price, the fabric is smooth and there is great arch support.

Linodes jazz shoes can run small, especially if your child has wide feet – if this is the case it’s recommended to buy a size larger than street size. They’re available in Tan and Black.

Available from size 7 toddler to 5.5 big kid.

  • Comfortable, genuine leather
  • Small, flat heel perfect for children
  • Can run small

Arcliber Leather Jazz Shoes for kids

best jazz shoes for children

Here is another great pair of jazz shoes for children, they’re made from genuine leather and have a rubber sole. The shoes feel soft, lightweight and durable, all for an affordable price.

It’s great to get children slip-on jazz shoes to avoid tripping and having to interrupt class to tie them, and these come in a very easy to slip-on style.

The lining is smooth and has elasticity so they can be taken off with ease.

  • Good fit, neoprene hugs the arch of the foot
  • Durable
  • No option for ‘narrow’ feet

Best Jazz Shoes for Narrow Feet

Bloch Dance Women's Super Jazz Leather and Elastic Slip On Jazz Shoe

jazz shoes for narrow feet

Typically lace-up jazz shoes are better for narrow feet, as they can be tightened to match the width of the foot. That said, elasticated jazz shoes are often narrow enough – especially those with the elasticated band on the top of the foot. 

We find this to be an amazing example of a good jazz shoe for narrow feet, they’re made of leather with an average heel length and have an upper elastic fixture, for easy changes. 

  • Soft leather
  • One of the best jazz shoes for narrow feet
  • Best to order 1/2 size up from street size if your feet are not too narrow

FAQ's: Do Jazz Shoes Stretch?

Jazz shoes will stretch slightly after a few wears, the leather becomes more supple and you’ll have a little more wiggle room for your toes.

That said, if you’ve bought a pair of jazz shoes, and think they’re a little too small because they’re uncomfortable.

Watch this video for tips on how to stretch them out a bit. 

That’s all the jazz shoes we will be reviewing, we’ve tried to put one of each style. This should give you an idea of what is on the market currently.

The top jazz shoe (in our humble opinion) is the Capezio Freeform Slip-on jazz shoe.

They come with all necessary function like EVA. They’re durable, made from quality materials. 

They ooze elegance by exaggerating your point and are exceptionally comfortable.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review, please keep us informed of any new releases, in the comments below.

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