Tap shoes consist of 1-2 tap plates attached to a sole and upper with a series of screws or rivets. How tightly the screws are attached, and the number of screws, determines the sound that you get from your tap shoes. The screws are adjustable to achieve the desired sound; you can get a deeper sound if your taps are looser. These adjustments are made by the manufacturers when the tap shoe is made, which is why our customers love to put their musical trust in them when they buy shoes with the taps already attached.
Tap shoes can come with or without taps attached. Most of our customers prefer their tap shoes to come ready to dance in straight from the box. If you like to attach your own taps to choose your prefered tightness and pitch, check out our available tap plates. Tap plates are typically made of aluminium or metal alloy, whilst some tap shoes for children might have a plastic heel. There are a few different types of taps, which are as follows:
Tap shoes come in many different styles, like: lace-up, ribbon-tie, slip-on and buckled. It's really your preference when it comes to choosing a style, but that best type of tap shoes for children tends to be the open front Merry Jane bow-tie style, whilst the best type of tap shoes for adults is usually higher-heeled lace-up West End tap shoes.
Split sole tap shoes are popular with dancers who want more flexibility and range in their shoes. A split sole means that the base (underside) of the shoe is in two parts rather than one piece of material running from toes to heel. Full sole tap shoes are a standard and popular for children and beginners. The soles of your tap shoes will most often by leather or suede. The sole of a tap shoe can be more weighted to offer a louder sound.
The top edge and sides of the tap shoes that meets your foot is known as the topline. A lower topline means that your ankle is less encased, has more room to move, less restriction and therefore more flexibility. A higher topline will restrict the foot more, but it will however offer more stability in comparison to a lower topline.
You should try your tap shoes on for the first time with your socks or tights that you'll wear to dance. We recommend to our dancers that they should wear socks or tights to extend the life of the tap shoes, which has multiple benefits as inner-shoe footwear also acts as an extra layer to cushion and protect your feet from possible blisters.
It is no secret that tap dancers grow very fond of their tap shoes. With the high level of aesthetic customization that exists today, it is easy to attribute fond memories with a particular pair of tap shoes.
I loved my blue Capezio K360s. I kept them around for over two years. When the lateral side, or outer edge, of my feet started to ache, I figured I must have landed wrong during a difficult step. When they got really sore, I thought that I must have been doing something chronically wrong. When sharp, electric jolts of pain kept me from dancing, I realized I had been doing something wrong. I needed new shoes.
Three days after receiving my new pair of shoes, my pains from the previous six months had disappeared. If I were to put on my old blue shoes, the pain would come back. I had learned my lesson the hard way.
A dancer may wish to refurbish a pair of shoes for a number of reasons. Sentimentality, financial circumstances, and a light dance schedule are all valid arguments for refurbishment, but it is unwise to leave such specialized work to a standard cobbler. Tap shoes should be interested to the care of the company from which they were purchased, or outside parties with specialized training focused on tap shoes.
A used pair will never regain the level of support and manageability of a new pair, and after seeing the price tag that comes with major refurbishment, a new pair of shoes could save time and prevent traumatic injury for a small additional cost.
These WORLD FIRST taps turn any flat-bottomed shoe into extraordinary dance shoes. Our fabulous slip-on taps come in 3 sizes and stretch to over 40% of their original size. The taps are stainless steel so rust-proof and scratch-proof. Our patented design also includes a non-slip grip. IT'S A GAME CHANGER!
Anywhere! Our Taps have been used in schools, beginner tap dance classes, aged care facilities (from a chair), in physiotherapy, in rehabilitation.... you name it! We are really proud of our taps and how they can bring joy, dance and music to anyone.
One of the most important elements of a tap shoe is the plates, but there are many other factors to consider when buying tap shoes, too: they can be purchased in a wide range of materials, heel heights, plate sizes and with different fastenings. The writers at Dancewear Central have therefore compiled this buying guide to help you find the best tap shoes for you.
For more advanced dancers, the two main styles of shoes are Oxford shoes and stage shoes. Oxford shoes are often in a unisex design, meaning that they are usually the best style of tap shoe for boys and men. For example the Capezio Tic Tap Toe tap shoe.
One of the biggest differences between tap shoe styles is heel height. Rhythm tap and funk/urban tap are more suited to a lower heel and a weightier shoe. For this reason, Oxford shoes are often the preferred choice. In Broadway/musical theatre tap, a higher heel is usually preferred.
For tap examinations, some exam boards specify that dancers are only allowed to use Cuban heels/higher heels once they have reached a certain grade. Before purchasing a new style of shoes, always check with your dance teacher to find out if your exam board has any rules about this.
Split-sole tap shoes are not recommended for beginners because of the strength of foot required. For more advanced dancers, however, they are a more flexible shoe and give greater control over the plates, allowing for intricate footwork.
In order to choose the proper tap shoes for dance class you need to check for a snug fit just like school or dress shoes, with little to no extra room for growth. A tap shoe can be lace up or buckled and should be a well-constructed shoe with attached tap plates or have the ability to attach plates.
Yes and No, lace up shoes are generally preferred by professional dancers because they fit snuggly to the foot and can be tightened and loosened by the dancer to suit their preference and foot width. They do not have a high heel and professionals are able to customize the heel to produce the best sound for them.
Buckled Mary Jane or character style tap shoes worn mainly by females can also be customized, give an elongated look to the leg whilst dancing, and keep the dancer on the ball of their foot if high heeled. So at the end of the day, it comes down to preference for females and for males, they generally wear the lace-up anyway!
Made of patent leather, leather, or synthetic materials, often in black, white, or tan, Mary Jane tap shoes will have either an elastic strap across the foot with a ribbon to be tied, or a buckle strap. Mary Jane tap shoes only come in a full-sole option. Mary Jane tap shoes, like these from Bloch, are an excellent choice for a first-time young tapper!
Yes, Mary Jane style tap shoes are great shoes for beginners! Mary Jane shoes are often what young, female dancers will use as their first tap shoes. This style of shoe is very traditional for young girls and can be seen in dance on film all the way back to the Shirley Temple days!
Yes, full sole flat oxford tap shoes are a good option for beginner dancers. Many beginner dancers will start with this style of shoe to achieve a uniform look if the class has boys and girls. A style like The Cadence by Capezio is a great choice for a beginner dancer wanting less of a feminine style shoe, but with a sturdy construction.
Split-sole tap shoes allow for more flexibility in the shoe, which can often lead to some tap skills being easier to accomplish quicker than having to fully break in a hard sole shoe. However, the benefits of using split-sole tap shoes end there, especially for beginners!
Full sole tap shoes provide the support that dancers of all ages and levels need to tap dance to their best ability. Tap dance requires the muscles in the feet, ankles, and legs to work incredibly hard, from the tiniest muscles in the arch to the glutes in the legs.
A full sole tap shoe forces the dancer to use their muscles correctly to execute steps properly and to break in the shoes well. To help break in a full sole tap shoe, have your dancer wear the shoes around the house (but not in the garage on concrete!)
There is a long standing debate in the dance education world about the benefits and detriments of split sole tap shoes, but in my experience, a full sole tap shoe is the best choice for all ages and levels of dancer to prevent injury and poor technique habits from developing.
There are two main differences between a character tap shoe and a Mary Jane heeled tap shoe. The first is a character heel is usually higher or taller than a Mary Jane style tap shoe. The second is that the heel tapers in being thinner at the tip or end that hits the floor and wider at the the top or the part that is attached to the shoe. Mary Jane tap shoe heels are generally the same width from the top to bottom like Oxford style tap shoes.
No, you should not buy slip-on tap shoes as they are generally split-soled like jazz shoes and we have already warned you earlier about the dangers of wearing split soled tap shoes in this article. If you do find a full soled slip-on tap shoe, you need to make sure they fit properly and are not too loose which is why lace ups are better. Slip ons can seem like a good idea if you have quick changes for a recital or performance between different shoes, but you can always replace shoelaces with thin elastics in the holes of lace-ups to make them easy to slip on and off for this purpose and then have the ability to put laces back in them for classes!
Advanced tap dancers have many choices on the market, from ready-to-buy professional level Oxfords to custom-made shoes. Once a tap dancer is to the point of seeking out a high level shoe, the requirements vary from dancer to dancer. Think of advanced-level tap shoes as instruments, and their musicians have unique preferences for how those instruments perform. 781b155fdc