For beginner's tango classes we recommend that you wear dances shoes or any style of street shoe that is comfortable and allows you to easily pivot/turn on the ball of your foot. Avoid anything with a pointed toe that elongates the foot or any shoe with a black sole that would leave marks on a light colored dance floor. You can also get by in sneakers like Puma, Converse or Tom's shoes. Flats or heels are fine for ladies; wear what is most comfortable. If you already have some type of dance shoes, those are fine to wear. Clean socks are also an easy option for men and women.
You do not need to buy new shoes for class unless you want to. Once you are sure that you will be studying/dancing tango for a while, we recommend buying a pair of tango shoes. Shoes are the only "equipment" you need for tango, so if you have the money to invest, a pair of high quality tango shoes can really make a difference in your dancing. You are totally welcome to consult with me about what brand and style of shoe would be best for your feet; I am happy to help!
Examples of acceptable shoes: Tango shoes, ballroom shoes, salsa shoes, jazz flats, ballet slippers, character shoes, dance sneakers or socks. Street shoes that are non-marking (black marks on light wood floor) and allow you to pivot on the ball of your foot are OK if you do not have dance shoes and do not want to purchase any yet.
If you are going to buy tango shoes, please read the following tips on fit and heel height:
- Size & Fit Guide
- Five Tips For Best Tango Shoe Fit For Women
- Argentine Tango: All About the Heels-- How to choose the appropriate heel height
Recommended Online Tango Shoe Options:
Strictly 4 Dancers
This is a UK based business that sells a wide variety of high quality tango/ballroom/salsa shoes for men and women, including the Italian made Tangolera brand. They sell their shoes at very low prices even with the exchange rate and shipping. This is the most affordable place to buy Italian tango shoes for men and women, they can be up to a $100 less than buying them in the US! The only drawback is that return shipping to the UK is very expensive. If you are sure of your size, it is less of an issue. You can email the owner, Brian, with your questions and he is very responsive.
High quality hand made Italian tango shoes for women and men providing good customer service with a relatively easy return/exchange process. Based in Florida. They have a large variety of beautiful brands, styles, and heel heights including lower 6cm and 7cm heels, which are great for those not wanting to wear a super high heel. They also have a great selection of low-heeled/flat practice shoes for women. I have a few pairs of Tangolera brand heels from this company and they are super stable and very comfortable and have lasted for years. Expensive, but worth the price for the amazing quality and comfort.
Yuli-B--Regina Tango Shoes
The US supplier of Regina tango shoes. Handmade in Italy, theses tango shoes are very comfortable, stable, and well made. I have a few pairs from this brand and I love them. They have padding similar to the Tangolera brand, but a bit thinner, where you can feel the floor more with your feet. Some people prefer more of a floor feel, (I personally do) and some do not. If you like a lot of padding, go for the Tangolera brand.
Regina Tango Shoes
You can also buy men's and women's Regina shoes directly from the Regina in Italy. They are almost $90 less expensive when you buy them directly from Regina. But, please note that you will pay about $50 in shipping, which will still be a lot less than buying them in the US, but if they do not fit, it will be expensive to send them back. So I only recommend doing this if you are sure about your size and what you want. When I order from them I assume I am keeing whatever I get.
Mr. Tango Shoes
Hand made tango shoes, especially recommended for men's shoes at an affordable price. They also make customized shoes to your measurements which has worked very well for some of our students. My husband recommends suede soles for men's shoes as they are more flexible and comfortable to dance in. Based in Florida.
Luis Perez - Luis is a tango instructor in Tacoma, WA that sells Mr. Tango brand shoes at his studio. To make an appointment to check out his shoes you can call him at 253-304-8296.
Dancing Dot Dot Dot - Local PNW retailer that sells high quality men's and women's tango and ballroom shoes in person and online. You can make an appointment to try on shoes in their Tacoma location. You can call the owner, Barbara, to make an appointment to try on shoes at 235-363-7996.
Fuzi Dance Shoes - Located in Lacey, WA specializing in ballet and jazz shoes and dance apparel. This is a great place to go to buy jazz flats or sneakers for class or men's ballroom shoes.
Local Tango Festivals - There are tango festivals held a several times a year in both Seattle and Portland. Vendors bring their shoes to sell and you can try on several pairs at once before purchasing. Contact us if you are interested in this option and we can let you know when the next festival will be occurring.