Women's dance shoes – heel height and shape
One of the most common heel shapes for Latin dance shoes is the flare heel. To perfectly support the dancer during turns, foot placement and figures, this heel of the shoe is oriented towards the heel of the foot. Heel steps in Latin dance are rather uncommon during normal step sequences. This heel shape supports dancers in backward facing positions and weight shifts when performing certain figures. The usual height of flare heels is between 5 cm and 8 cm.
The stiletto heel is a heel shape specially optimized and balanced for Latin dances. The backward sloping heel provides optimal support for dancers when shifting their weight while performing special figures and movements of Latin dances. The slim shape of the heel gives the shoes a particularly refined and elegant look. While this heel shape is preferred by ballroom dancers, many amateur dancers also like to wear dance shoes with a stiletto heel.
Cuban heels are particularly suitable for novice dancers. They are wide block heels that, typical of Latin dance shoes, have a backward sloping orientation. This provides optimal support when performing figures and a firm footing throughout the evening. The wide heel is particularly comfortable and, with a height of often only 3.5 cm, especially well suited for dancers of all ages.
The most common heel form of standard dance shoes are contour heels. This heel is similar in appearance to the Latin heel shape Flare. However, the key difference between these two forms is the orientation of the heel. While the flare shape supports the foot by tilting it backwards with an appropriate weight shift, the contour heel is designed for heel steps. Contour heels slope toward the center of the foot to give dancers better control during standard dance heel steps and turns. The contour heel shape is used for dance shoes with a wide variety of heel heights.
With a low height of usually only 5 cm, the Social heel is particularly suitable for amateur dancers, novices or even older people. The wider tread of the heel provides more stability.
Slim heels are similar in shape to flare heels, but are narrower. The slim shape makes the shoes look especially classy and elegant. Slim heels are mostly used with high heels.
Men's dance shoes – heel height and shape
Men's dance shoes have less choice when it comes to the shape and height of the heels than women's dance shoes. However, there are a few differences here as well.
Latin men's dance shoes usually have a slightly higher heel than standard dance shoes. From a low 2.5 cm, the heel can range up to a height of 4 cm. This can take some getting used to for some gentlemen, but is meant to accentuate the swing of the hips while dancing Latin dances and create a better figure.
Classic standard dance shoes for men often have a low heel heel. The wide, flat heel improves balance and weight distribution while dancing and gives dancers a more confident feeling. Low heels are usually only 2 cm to a maximum of 2.5 cm high.