Finding the Right Swing-Dancing Shoes
There are so many reasons to love swing dancing, it’s easy to pick-up, it’s a great workout and it’s so fun!
Whether you’re a beginner or you’re a pro, looking for a new pair for your collection, we’re going to be explaining exactly what you should be looking for in swing dancing shoes, and point out the best swing dancing shoes available online today.
When it comes to finding the best shoes, it all depends on the style of dance you’ll be trying and your personal preference of style. We’ll be explaining which shoes are best for each occasion, but we’ll start with the most important factor to consider with swing dancing shoes, the sole!
Types of Sole
Rubber soles would be traditionally worn when dancing the Lindy Hop, this would be performed in street shoes as they are much stickier, meaning you’ll grip to the floor better when moving fast but this can make it very difficult to spin.
Leather soles are the most popular choice for swing dancers, especially if you’re practicing a smooth style swing like Balboa, as they slide along the floor so you can spin around with ease.
Flats or Heels?
The most important factor when buying heels is that the heel should be small to medium in height, and wide in diameter. Ideally they will be strong and sturdy so you don’t twist an ankle and I prefer to wear closed toe shoes when swing dancing as I hate getting my feet trodden on, with straps so they don’t slide off!
Undoubtedly the most popular style of swing-dancing shoes especially for the Lindy Hop, are canvas style pumps or plimsolls. A popular choice is Keds, they’ve got a rubber sole that is amazing for dancing outside, they’re comfortable and they look amazing.
In this review we’ll be starting off with flats, then discussing medium heel and finally looking at swing shoes with a heel.
Best Swing Dancing Shoes
Flat Heel (0.5" or below)
Ollio Women's Classic Lace Up
If you like to bring that vintage look to your Swing dancing classes – these wing tip Oxfords bring class and comfort in one.
They’re light, made from a high quality material that is durable and doesn’t scuff over time. If they do get dirty (like most Swing dancing shoes do) you can simply wipe them and they’ll be good as new.
Unless you have high arches and usually use an insole, these shoes are true to size so you can be confident they’ll fit like a glove.
They come built with a rubber sole, so they’re perfect for those that love dancing with a bit of traction to catch you as you move quickly. For those that prefer suede soles, you can always stick some suede (see above).
Keds Champion Sneakers
These canvas Keds sneakers are perfect for Swing dancing. They’re made from a comfortable canvas material and available in over 10 different colours and styles, to match any outfit.
These swing dancing shoes are great for any foot shape or size because they’re available in multiple widths.
They come with a cushioned insole to help your feet and knees during long hours of practice! Amazing for those that need extra arch support.
They can be stiff, so may need a few sessions to wear them in.
Linodes Lace-up Jazz Shoe
Jazz shoes are a popular choice for practicing any type of ballroom and swing dancing is no exception. They’re specifically designed for quick movements, pointing, flexing and working hard on your feet.
This pair in particular from Linodes is one of the most popular jazz shoes for swing dancing because they fit as expected, last a long time and have a small heel of 0.4”.
They come with a soft fabric lining, split sole and EVA sole patch and heel, which offers support to your feet and incredible traction with the floor. These can be used as swing shoes for men – they need to be purchases 1-1.5 size larger than street size.
Medium Heel (1" or below)
Traditionally swing dancing was performed in whatever women wore out on the town, so some ladies would wear shoes with a little heel.
This is still the same today, not everyone will be in flat pumps and you can get some excellent swing dance shoes with a small heel.
If you’re new to swing dancing, and have your heart set on wearing heels, I suggest starting with a smaller wider heel and working your way up.
Jig Foo Practice swing dancing shoes
The second pair from the Jig Foo Collection comes in slightly cheaper but made with just as impressive quality.
If you’re looking for elegant dancing shoes with a heel but also comfort, then these are shoes for you. The heel is perfect for swing-dancers who are new to wearing heels because it is smallish in height (1”) and wide in diameter, meaning you’ll be stable on your feet.
There is an ankle strap to keep them tight and a metal shank embedded from the heel to protect your arches.
These shoes come with a suede sole. There is a choice of 3 decorative colours, all black, gold and silver.
Dress first T-bar dance shoes
Last on our list of heeled Swing shoes, are these elegant T-bar shoes. They’re genuine leather with a soft breathable lining, to keep you cool as you dance.
The sole is made from a thin piece of suede so be careful not to wear them outside as they’ll spoil. These shoes have a moderate heel which measures 1″ exactly, meaning they’re great swing dancing shoes for beginners.
They are quite narrow at the toe so perhaps not so good for those of you with wider set feet.
Swing dancing was originally performed in street shoes, so these aren’t conventional but they make any swing dancing outfit look so great!
DanceYou Jazz Shoe
This is another take on the Linodes jazz shoe discussed previously, however this one has a more elegant appearance, with a medium sized heel. They have a classic 50’s/ 60’s style T-bar strapping made from lightweight and durable leather.
The sole is made from suede so they’re perfect for indoors, the suede has been perfected so there is the correct amount of grip and slip. Just like classic jazz shoes, these come with EVA sole for added support and comfort meaning you can dance all day!
Whether you’re dancing lindy Hop of classic Swing; these are the perfect swing dancing shoes for those that are seeking comfort with class and style.
Rockport Cobb Hill Collection
These T-bar style sandals are also excellent shoes for swing dancing because they’re very supportive and comfortable. They’re made from 100% genuine leather with a heel measuring 0.5”.
Similar to the jazz shoes in this review, these come with EVA foam foot bed so you can be on your feet dancing all day, with no pain.
They’re available in a number of striking colors to suit your style and have an adjustable ankle strap. As well as being comfortable, these shoes are extremely well made – the manufacturing is perfect because they can last years without needing replacing.
Higher Heel (1" and Above)
Jig Foo Women’s Dance Shoe
The Jig Foo Collection of swing dancing shoes are elegant and stylish ballroom shoes that I would recommend to any beginners who are looking to wear heels.
They are great for swing dancing as they are made from black synthetic leather meaning they are lightweight, and they have a small 1.6” heel with elastic straps keeping them tight to your foot.
These dancing shoes have rave reviews online for swing; they are easy to put on with amazing support.
If swing dancing isn’t your only passion, these shoes are very versatile you can wear them for Latin, Quickstep, Viennese waltz, Salsa, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, ChaChaCha, Swing, Disco, Samba and Jive.
Tic-Tac-Toes Women's Swing dancing shoes
In our opinion these are the number 1 heeled swing dancing shoes that you can buy online.
Based out of New York, USA Tic-Tac-Toes have made an excellent pair of stylish, real leather swing dancing shoes that feature an asymmetrical top strap that has a slide buckle for infinite adjustments.
They come in 6 different colours so you can buy a pair to match any swing dancing outfit that you own!
The best feature of these shoes is their sizing, whether you have extra narrow feet, or extra wide, they have a size to fit you perfectly!
The sole – these shoes use real leather for the ball of your foot and rubber for the heel, this will give you ultimate traction and glide around the dance floor. The suede is thicker, providing dancers with soft cushioning; it also lasts longer than your typical sole so you are guaranteed to keep these shoes for a while!
FeetCity Swing Shoes
Here we have a pair of swing dancing shoes with a slightly higher heel, but equally as comfortable. The heel measures 1.6” with a sole made from TPR, which is sturdy and has fantastic grip.
These professional dance shoes are extremely comfortable, flexible and lightweight, so you’ll have no problem swinging your legs at top speeds! Swing shoes such as this are still perfect for beginners because they’re designed specifically for dancing.
One of the best factors of these shoes however is that they can be worn outside, I am always looking for swing dancing shoes for outdoors practicing as this is what I do once a week, and these were perfect!
Stick on Suede Soles for Heels
Turn your favourite heels into suede soled dancing shoes in a matter of minutes, or use these soles to repair a worn-out pair of existing dance shoes. Very easy to apply, perfect for wooden dance floors.
Don’t worry about cutting the right shape out of a sheet of suede. the soles are shaped optimally for fitting most high-heeled ladies’ shoes while providing an excellent dance experience. If you do find the soles to be too big, you can cut the excess with regular household scissors.
For a little inspiration, check out this video from the Moscow Lindy Hop finals. These dancers are really showing off some amazing footwork and technique and all wearing different styles of swing dancing shoes!
That’s it for our review of the best Swing dancing shoes in 2019. I know that each person has a unique taste when it comes to dance shoes, so there is plenty of choice to suit your style!
As I mentioned before, my current favourite are the Tic-Tac-Toes women’s Swing dancing shoes, they’ve got a unique, modern design and come available in a number of different colours.
Most importantly, they’re so comfortable and barely feel like you’re wearing heels.
I hope you like this review; please let us know about your favourites if they haven’t made the list. We’ve also got an article on The Best Clothes for Swing Dancing, so you can really look the part!