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Turning Shoes - Ins and Outs

Turning shoes are a popular item for a number of dance styles. They elongate the line of the leg and allow dancers to turn on a variety of flooring types. In this post, we’ll go in-depth about how the turners work and what you can expect out of a turning shoe.

Types of Turning Shoes


As the name implies, there’s only a sole under the front half of the foot, leaving the heel exposed. Adjustable elastics stretch around the back of the ankle and over the arch of the foot to keep the shoe in place. The Angelo Luzio Twyla II turning shoe is an excellent example of a half-sole turning shoe.

Angelo Luzio Turning Shoe

Capezio FootUndeez

The Capezio FootUndeez are small turning shoes that look like little underwear for your feet (hence the name). These shoes only fit around the ball of the foot and are typically made from a Nylon Lycra Spandex blend with patented Exo Armor duet sole patches along the bottom. They feature one opening for the big toe, and second opening for the rest of the toes - almost like a flip flop.

Capezio Footundeez

Dance Paws

Dance Paws are similar to FootUndeez in that they only cover the ball of the foot, but instead of having two openings for all of the toes, they have individual openings for each toe. With a powermesh spandex upper and a suede leather pad on the bottom, Dance Paws offer a sturdy shoe to turn on.

Dance Paws

How Long do Turning Shoes Last?

The amount of wear you can get out of a turning shoe depends on how often you dance in them, what type of floor you dance on, and how gently you treat them in general. If you wear them twice a week on proper dance flooring and treat them well, the approximate life spans of turning shoes are as follows:

Half-Sole Leather 6 Months, Canvas 6 Months

Capezio FootUndeez 4 Months

Dance Paws 9 Months

What Kind of Wear & Tear is Normal for a Turning Shoe?


Leather: These will stretch and usually wear through the pleated leather under the toes first. These shoes become marked up across the top if the dancer’s dragging their foot across the floor.

Canvas: These don’t stretch and will usually wear holes through the toes first.

Capezio FootUndeez

The pads under the foot usually wear through first (often the stitching becomes loose around the pad after extended use).

Dance Paws

The toe holes of Dance Paws typically stretch out after time and the pads under the ball of the foot can be worn through after extended use.

We hope that helped clarify some of the questions you may have had about turning shoes. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to contact us.

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