How to select the right tango shoes!

Balancing our body and maintaining the balance is a prerequisite for beautiful movements, be they simple or complex. Our high heels influence and effect our spine and pelvis, knees, ankles and the feet, but with all the sparkling heels out there, how do we know what shoe is right for us?  

These tips are primarily for women, because high heels create particular challenges, but some of the advice can also be useful to men. 

womens dance shoes


If you just started dancing and want maximum support, go for the fully enclosed heel cage. The shoe strap should keep the shoe securely (and comfortably) on your foot, despite all the dynamic flexions of your foot while you dance. Flex and point your ankles to test the fit.

Select heel height:

Take off your shoes, stand on your tiptoes and walk around for a while. Once you're comfortable with walking, let’s check how high your heels are raised above the floor; this is the ideal heel height for you. If you like, you can add about a 1/4", since heels provide slightly better support compared to walking on tiptoes. Avoid taking it to the maximum – it’s better to start with the lower sizes and train your muscles gradually towards higher heels, if the latter is absolutely needed for whatever reason.


For maximum stability when you dance, your toes have to work!  You should be able to stretch them long and open them wide, almost as if you were barefoot. This is why many tangueras prefer open toe models. 
Keep in mind that suede and leather material stretch more than the shoes that use satin or patent leather. 


Your toes need protection from minor brushes with your partner's shoe. For this reason the sole should extend slightly beyond the length of your extended toes.

If they don't feel 100% good when you try on your shoes, don't buy them.  If you've ordered them online and they're not quite right, return them. No stretching, no "breaking in" period. Shoes are comfortable or they're not.  

Always remember: feet before fashion!!!

Karabel is our local partner for dance shoes. They have great affordable options for your first tango shoes.