split sole jazz shoe

A Jazz Shoe Fitting Guide

These days, lots of people are skipping the trip to the shop and instead, ordering their dance gear online. But is it smart to order Jazz shoes online? 

Absolutely it is! But if you’ve never ordered Jazz shoes before, it’s hard to know which size to order.

This fitting guide will provide all the information you’ll need for getting your perfect pair of jazz shoes.

Firstly, let’s take you through some factors you should consider.

What is the Sizing Like in Jazz Shoes?

The sizing on Jazz shoes differ from regular street sizing, each brand will have its’ own measuring system. But here is an idea of the sizing you should go for when ordering online – 

Girls should start by ordering Jazz shoes 1 or 1.5 sizes larger than their regular street shoes size

Boys should start by ordering Jazz shoes ½ or 2 sizes larger than their regular street shoes size

Trying Jazz Shoes on

Jazz shoes should feel snug, like a leather sock. It’s good to bear in mind that they do stretch; they can increase up to a whole a size bigger with wear.

But they’ll need to fit correctly in the first instance.

If they’re too big?

There will be gapping at the front near the toes, this will increase the risk of tripping.

There may be bunching around the arches, this can mean you need a narrower Jazz Shoe.

If they’re too small?

It shouldn’t ever feel like your toes are curling under and they shouldn’t feel too tight when you’re stood flat. If there is no room to wiggle your toes; they’re too small.

Types of Jazz Shoe

There’s a wide variety of Jazz shoes available on the market today, they differ in material, sole, style and color.

Split-sole or Full-sole Jazz Shoes?

The most common material for the sole of Jazz shoes, is rubber. This is because it has great traction and shock absorption, perfect for Jazz, Hip-Hop or Musical Theatre.

A big decision you’ll be faced with is whether to buy Jazz shoes that have split-sole or not. A split-sole Jazz shoe has 2 separate soles, one on the ball of the feet and one on the heel.

Split-sole Jazz shoes provide amazing flexibility and show off the arch in your point, but that’s not to say that a full sole is lacking. As discussed here

A good full-sole Jazz shoe should have great flexibility, whilst offering more support to your arches.

Lace-up Jazz Shoes or Slip-on?

Whether you wear Jazz shoes with laces or without, it won’t make a massive difference to your dancing.

It’s all down to personal preference, but laces do have one significant benefit.

If you have narrow or wide feet, it may be hard to find a slip on pair of Jazz shoes that fit. Whereas with laces, you can manipulate the width of the shoe to fit you.

A Fitting Guide for Jazz Shoes on Children

Fitting your child in their first pair of jazz shoes can be difficult.

As with adult jazz shoes, they should feel snug on children, but their feet grow so fast that this can mean buying a new pair every few months. There are some tricks to help with this –

When your child is trying on their new Jazz shoes, get them to wear a thick pair of comfortable socks. This way they’ll be more comfortable in a larger size and they can wear it like this to dance class.

Once this starts to feel too snug for them, they can wear simple ballet or dance tights and the Jazz shoes should still feel comfortable.

How to measure your feet

  1. Place your foot on a plain piece of paper

  2. Pencil mark a horizontal line from the top of your longest toe (the highest point)

  3. Pencil mark a horizontal mark from the bottom of your heel (the lowest point)

  4. Measure from these two points that that will be the size of your foot, this can be converted here

  5. Repeat on other foot

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Wear Jazz Shoes to Ballet Class?

If you’re sending your child off to ballet, or maybe thinking of starting it yourself. It is certainly recommended to get the correct footwear.

Jazz shoes are great for classes such as jazz, hip hop and excellent for drama and musical theatre. But they have a thick, rubber heel which is not appropriate for ballet.

Ballet shoes have a soft, suede sole. If the ballet teacher is happy for them to try a first lesson without the correct footwear it may be preferred that they’re barefoot, it’s best to discuss it with the instructor before turning up.

Should You Wear Socks With Jazz Shoes?

Yes, either socks or tights depending on the style of dance or your personal preference. If Jazz shoes are too small in tights, they must be changed. It is not recommended to wear Jazz shoes without socks, it can make them wear out faster.

So, now you’re ready to go shopping for Jazz shoes! For more information regarding the best brands, styles and a review of the best jazz shoes available, check this out.

Thanks for reading our fitting guide for Jazz shoes, we know how hard it can be to find your perfect pair. So, we hope it was helpful.

If you have any pearls of wisdom regarding Jazz shoe fitting, please leave us a comment below.