When you're measuring for dance shoes it isn't different than footwear in other sports and dance disciplines like ballet, yoga, jazz, hip-hop, running, etc. Therefore, it is very important to size and fit your dance shoes correctly to prevent injury.
Generally, we wear our daily shoes larger in order to have some room to be comfortable, which is perfectly acceptable for daily wear. Since we want our dance shoes to be more fitted overall, it is common for us to size down in dance shoes. There is not an exact conversion for this, since we all wear our street shoes differently, but here is a general rule of thumb below this informational video:
When choosing Closed-toe style shoes:
- If you wear daily shoes with little or no extra room, you can try the same size in most closed-toe styles with the same results
- If you prefer more room in your daily shoes, it may be recommended to try a half size smaller in dance shoes to get the correct feel for you.
When choosing Open-toe style shoes:
- Open-toe dance shoes are meant to be worn shorter than what we would look for in daily shoes, it is recommended to try about a half size smaller for open-toe styles to get the correct fit.
- Since how we prefer our daily shoes varies between most people you should keep in mind that some may need to size down more to achieve the correct fit in size.
- Note: A half size is about 0.25" in length. Width of shoes are always proportional to the size, so length will be the only factor you need in most cases.
The biggest mess-up new dancers make is to size their dance shoes as though they were normal daily shoes. Dance shoes may look similar to an ordinary shoe, but they are constructed differently and meant to be fitted in a specific way to allow us to perform correctly in our fields.
It's normal for dance shoes to feel tighter than usual. Allow yourself time using them to dance to adjust to the fit and feel and allow the shoes to break-in and form to our feet for the best overall fit.
Dance shoes of any kind should be worn with a snug fit all around. We wear our dance shoes shorter in length and more fitted in width than we would ordinary daily shoes for performance reasons.
You want to comfortably fill out your shoe. Dance shoes are much softer and will stretch and give over time so tighter in the beginning is not a bad thing.
You don’t want excess toe or heel room in your shoe. Very little to no space in the shoe is best. This is important because once the shoes stretches out there isn’t extra room to slip around inside the shoe as you dance.
In softer shoes, a more snug fit will give you more control. The shoes should fit like a glove to have the ideal fit.
A loose fit in soft shoes will be too roomy and feel unstable. We don’t recommend this because you can run the risk of over-working muscles in your feet to compensate and cause injury to yourself over time.