Jazz shoes: boring or brilliant? Jazz shoes are one of the most versatile dance shoes in your arsenal and here's why. They are slim, light and comfortable. They come in a range of colours and styles to suit every dancer and can be used for pretty much any style of dance you can think of. The only problem is getting the fit right. Jazz shoe sizing can be a nightmare, whether they are split sole jazz shoes, tan jazz shoes or canvas jazz shoes...so here are a few handy hints to help you get it right.
How should they feel when I try on a new pair?
4 steps to ensure you’ve got the perfect jazz shoes sizing:
- Run your hands along your forefoot. When you try on a new pair of jazz shoes you should be able to feel all your toes lying flat on the ground. You want your toes to be close to the top of the shoe but not scrunched.
- Point your foot and check how much loose material is above your big toe. Pinch the extra material above your big toe. About the width of a thumbnail is generally enough space.
- Lift your foot from flat to demi-pointe. This lets you check whether the heel is loose. If the heel pops off when you lift your heel the shoe could be too big. This is very important with split sole jazz shoes.
- Walk in the shoes. This is an important step. You’re going to be moving in them so...give your jazz shoes sizing a test drive and check for niggles or wiggles.
Jazz shoes are the queen of the dance shoe
Split sole jazz shoes work really well as teaching shoes. They’re also fab for stage work and a real essential for long studio days. Jazz shoes give better foot support than ballet shoes so they can be a good option for rehearsals. Tan jazz shoes also give you that barefoot look so they can work well for contemporary and for performances. I’ve seen dancers order jazz shoes every style of dance under the sun because they’re so damn good! Jazz shoes for Zumba, jazz shoes for ballroom and salsa, jazz shoes for circle dancing, jazz shoes for circus...you name it; Jazz shoes are the queen of the dance shoe right now! But it can be tricky to nail that sweet spot of sizing with a jazz shoe.
Top Jazz shoes sizing Tips
Everyone always wants to know if their jazz shoes are going to stretch. This will depend on what your jazz shoe is made of. If you’re buying a leather shoe you want to get it a little on the snug side. This is because that shoe is going to stretch with a bit of wear. My advice is to find the perfect fit and then buy half a size smaller. Your shoes will be a little tight for the first few wears, but you’ll be delighted when they stretch out and still look neat. Stretch canvas jazz shoes should fit perfectly when you buy them as they will not stretch out.
In general, it’s not a good idea to have space in your dance shoes. You want your toes as close to the end of the shoe as possible. This allows you to articulate your feet properly and will prevent slips and trips. When you stand flat on the ground you want your toes to lie flat and not feel scrunched up at all. If you buy dance shoes with growing room for a child it is a good idea to fill up space inside the shoe with an insole. This will make the shoe fit better and once the child grows the insole can be removed.
Remember that jazz shoes sizing, like the fitting of all dance shoes, is highly personal. I like my jazz shoes tight so my feet look good but others like a bit more room for their tootsies.
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