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Alternatives to Dancing Barefoot

Some dance teachers insist that their students learn how to dance barefoot. While this can have its benefits, it can also be detrimental to the dancer and sometimes dangerous. In this post, we’ll be exploring how wearing shoes that mimic being in bare feet could be the best way to go.

Preventing Injuries

First and foremost is safety. Dancers who dance in bare feet are more susceptible to injuring their feet than dancers in shoes. Having that extra protective layer can really make a difference, especially when dancing on dirty floors or rough surfaces.

Dancer Experience

Many dancers claim that wearing minimalist shoes is their favourite way to dance, since it allows them to fully feel the floor while also making turns and spins easier. Shoes also let dancers dance on a wide range of surfaces, whether it be hardwood, carpet, concrete, or proper Marley dance flooring. These shoes can also provide support for the foot that you would otherwise dance without. This extra support can help with alignment, reducing pain, and boosting performance.

Capezio Pure Knit Jazz Shoes


Let’s face it, dancers’ feet aren’t exactly the prettiest. They can become quite weathered and torn up from all of the rigorous exercises we put them through, so wearing a shoe can give a clean and polished look. If the shoe is close to the colour of your skin, it also helps extend the line of your foot and leg, which judges love during competition.

Twyla Half Sole

Examples of Minimalist Shoes


Some of the most popular shoes that mimic bare feet are turners, otherwise known as half-soles. These shoes are used often for competitions and recitals by studios. Common ones include:

Foot Paws

Often used for lyrical or jazz, these shoes are similar to half soles in that they only cover the front half of the foot, but they don’t have an elastic that wraps around the back. Instead of being closed-toe, these shoes feature small holes for the toes and are very lightweight, which dancers love. Popular styles include:

Sock-like Shoes

These shoes are typically knit, have a sole, and fit very closely to the foot (like a sock would). Lots of dancers love dancing in socks because it makes them feel connected to the floor while also being comfortable. It also allows dancers to focus on the emotion of the pieces that they’re using instead of what’s on their feet. Top-selling sock shoes include:

Each dancer has their preference, but if you’ve never tried out a minimalist shoe, we definitely recommend giving it some thought. If you have any questions about minimalist shoes or other dancewear, feel free to reach out and let us know.

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