The best shoes for 
swing dancing

are the ones created by swing dancers themselves.

Here's a very quick guide  and a list of dance shoe brands that are created by swing dancers for you 
with links to their websites so you can check them out right away.


Collected by:

PS: We create towels for dancers and musicians, but we truely believe that you should get some good dancing shoes before you get a dance towel. A dance towel is a great accessoire and a great present, but good dance shoes are important to protect your joints, so get them first and then get a dance towel immediately after. 

The soles are the most important part of your dance shoes


  • Rubber usually has the most grip that will help you on slippery floors, but don't even try to do spins on a sticky floor, you will feel like you are glued to the ground. Many just use ordinary sneakers for training.
  • Suede leather is the most versatile, because you can change its texture. (I am doing that on the picture here ) It's the most common sole for ballroom dance shoes for a reason. (And I won that competition, so clearly it must have been the shoes! ;)
  • Pure leather is the most slippery sole and you can slide the best with it. Most professional swing dancers use this for swing dancing, but it requires more control, technique and strength in the legs.

Shoes for swing dancing have rather flat heels

Many ballroom dances are danced primarily on the forefoot. In swing dances you use the whole foot to dance, including the heel. Mens and unisex shoes typically have a rather flat heel. For womens shoes, there are 2 options: Flat heel and about 3 cm heel. Both are viable options, just remember that the higher your heel, the less heelslides you will be able to do, dancing on heels can be more tiring for your feet if you are not used to it and ... heels really hurt when you step on someone's toes. (For your first swing dancing shoes: pick a flat heel.)

What really matters is inside the shoe

Yes, I know, I want my shoes to be pretty, too. But ... What's most important about your dancing shoes is their material and how the sole is created on the inside. Real good dance shoes are made from very soft leather because its most durable and flexible and they have all got varying degrees of dampening material inside of them which will help your joints dampen the impact of dancing all night long.

Here, there is no real "right" or "wrong" some people prefere the shoe to feel like they are dancing barefoot with almost no dampening, some people prefere a lot of dampening so they are dancing like they are on clouds and some peoples joints just need more support from the inner sole (like me).

When looking for your dancing shoes make sure you look at the dampening inside. The more dampening and the softer the leather, the longer hours you will be able to dance in them.

How much money should you spend on dancing shoes?

Let me set one thing straight first: Noone gets rich from selling dance shoes! All brands you see here are small brands that just get by and during the last years many of them went out of business.

Your shoes are the most important part of your equipment, yes,  even more important than your Dance Towel. ;)

If you want a good dance shoe that will last, be prepared to spend around 150€ for it. (Sometimes you get lucky for less, but... don't be surprised about the amount.)  Most of the shoes in this list here are mini series, handcrafted and carefully developed to be perfect for swing dancing and they are absolutely worth it!

I have used all kinds of shoes for swing dancing so far. from cheap ones for 10€ (which lasted for a total of 1 evening till the inner sole was done) up to 250€ ones, which I use for staged performances and festivals. You only ever really need one pair of good dance shoes and if you take care of them they will last you a lifetime. 

What about those cool dance shoe hacks I've heard of?

Honestly... most of them don't really work. And I've tried almost all of them.

  • Tape on the soles will rubb off and ruin the dancefloor for everybody.
  • Gluing suede soles onto normal shoes needs to be done by a professional to actually last and you will still end up with a shoe that is not built to withstand daily dancing. It just won't last.
  • Dance socks will wear out very fast and you will have very slippery spots and very sticky spots on your shoes, which will mess you up while dancin. It also looks pretty bad to be honest.
  • Lacquer or glue on the soles... I heard that's supposed to be for very very sticky bar floors... well... basically everything you put under your soles will get hot and rub off onto the floor. ... Please don't ruin floors ... that will get you in trouble with dancers and owners alike.

Here's a list of what we call "the best shoes for swing dancing" 
because they are made or designed by real swing dancers. 

collected by:

If you know any other active swing dancer owned dance shoe brand, 
plz contact us so we can put them on this list, too.

Balboa Zin

Balboa and vintage dance shoes from Korea.

Boun' Shoes

Bounce Shoes made in Italy. (Even if you don't need new shoes, just check out the style of the pictures on the website, these are just awesome!)

Comfydance_Shoes

Swing dance and street shoes handmade in Mexico. They don't have a website, only this instagram account, but you can order via DM.

FROMChloehong

Online and local swing dance clothing and shoes store from the Republic of Korea. 

Groovy Fox

Vintage-inspired swing dancing shoes from Bulgaria.

Harlem Shoes

Custom made swing dancing shoes designed in Ukraine, manufactured in Turkey.

Hepcats

Swing Dancing shoes designed and manufactured in Poland.

Madame Dynamite

Swing Dancing shoes and accessories designed in Spain.

Re-Mix Vintage Shoes

Faithful reproductions of classic shoes from the 1910s to the early 1960s designed in Los Angeles.

Saint Savoy


Shoes for dancers designed in honour of the 20s - 50s in Vienna, Austria, produced in Spain.

Slide & Swing


Swing dancing shoes and acessories, made from leather, handcrafted in Spain.

SuAli Shoes


Swing dancing shoes from Italy, founded by Susy and Alice.

Swingin' Shoes


Limited edition modern dance shoes and accessories designed in Lithuania by Pamela.

Swing It

Swing era inspired clothing, accessories and shoes from Poland, based on original patterns from 1930 – 1960. 

(Our friends from Swing It also bring you Dance Towels to the festivals they go to. Meet them and say hallo for us, they are lovely!)

Swing love

Swing dancing shoes and acessoires from Vietnam.

Swingz Begona Cervera

Vintage and modern swing dancing shoes from Spain

Swivells

Swing dancing and streetwear shoes designed in Paris, handmade in Spain. (Official sponsor of the Frankie Manning Foundation)

Tranky Shoes

Handcrafted swing dancing Shoes passionate about '40s and '50s vintage style from Italy. (It might look strange that they only have a fb page and no website, but they are very real and you can mostly find them in person at festivals.)

Volare

Luxury custom handmade dance shoes, designed in Detroit, USA, handcrafted in Turkey.

This collection was originated by our dear friend Laura Périon so swing dancers could support swing dancer run businesses.

Laura initiated this google sheet where people could list their projects and companies: Link
As a Dancer owned project, Dance Towels is trying to maintain update and expand that list here on this page. Many of the businesses originally on that list have gone out of busines by now, so here you see only the ones that remain. If you have or know any business that you think should be on this list, too, please message us directly so we can add you/them, too.