When it comes to shoes that are best for vintage swing dancing, is there is no right answer!
What is important is that you find a shoe that fits well and doesn’t cause you pain.
Over the years my preferences have changed a lot! I started out with Keds which I still love for dancing. Nowadays I really love a great vintage style heel. (As a note to all dancers a low heel is best.) When it comes to trying to find a shoe that works; there are a couple things that are helpful for you to bring into account. What dance will I wear these for Lindy Hop, Balboa, etc.? Personally, I love a good leather sole shoe with a rubber heel. A leather sole allows me to move quickly and stop or stylize as needed, and they are also great for Balboa! For beginners, I would recommend starting out with flats or a kitten heel (no taller than an inch tall). Both allow you more control and contact to feel the floor, which are necessary for the beginning of your swing dance life.
When it comes to your feet after a night of dancing whether in class or on the social dance floor. You need to take care of your feet. I’m only going to list 3 of the ways I’ve learned to take care of my feet.
Stretch your feet. Yes, you can and you should stretch them! For example, sit on the floor feet out in front your knees straight. Using an exercise band place the band around the base of your toes and gently pull until you feel that stretch and hold for 15 - 30 seconds for 3 - 5 sets.
A pumice stone is your friend! Our feet get pretty beat up, and not only does it get all those dead skin cells it also can help keep those calluses at bay and keep your feet looking good longer.
An ice bath. I know it sounds cold and awful, but the cold water helps so much. By doing soaking your feet in ice water you are slowing down the cell process that causes muscle soreness. Trust me your feet will thank you!
Back in the 30’s & 40’s when swing dancing was all the rage. You would go out in whatever shoes you liked to wear. Some of those styles you would see on the dance floor were:
Now with all of that said, let’s get down to business. Where to find those illustrious shoes! Please note good shoes are going to cost more period. If you want to dance a long time whether that is socially or professionally; then investing in your footwear is well worth it!
Vintage Shoes for your dancing needs!
Modern Vintage Inspired Shoes
Shoes made for Swing Dancers by Swing Dancers
Men’s and Women’s