A lot of tap dancers find it difficult to produce the right sound on the dance floor, and the reason is not far-fetched – they do not have the correct type of shoes designed exclusively for tap dancing.
Tap dancing requires a lot of choreography, fast music, and full-body expression to achieve the desired effect – incredible sounds and magical movements.
As such, you need the right shoes if you don’t want the thought of comfort and balance to occupy your mind at the detriment of those intricate and mesmerizing moves.
To help you stay focused on getting your steps right always, we embarked on an in-depth market analysis to discover the seven best tap shoes of 2021.
Our extensive research shows that the Bloch Dance Women’s Tap on Leather Tap Shoe is way above the rest, thanks to its uniqueness, flexibility, fabulous design, and the ability to get the job done.
Can any other tap shoe compete for the top spot?
Let’s dig in to find out!
Things to Consider When Buying Tap Shoes
A factor that is important when shopping for tap shoes is getting the right size.
Wearing a snug fit means you can transit from one move to another without fear of your shoe slipping off your feet.
The wrong sized tap dance shoes lead to blisters and soreness around the toes, feet, and will not give you the right ankle support, which will, in turn, affect your performance on stage.
To get the right fit, do go for a proper fitting session where you can try on different sizes, shapes, and patterns to get the one that fits your feet like a glove.
Getting the right fit is a function of the brand and the shape of your feet.
Your comfort on stage is dependent on the fit of the shoe, so you need to find a style that is snug but not uncomfortably tight or make you feel pain.
The best fit does not allow for space in the toe box for the fact that it will stretch with constant use.
It is important to remember that your regular shoe size will not work when buying a tap shoe since the sizing is not the same.
To be at your best on stage, the right fit with the right size and style is non-negotiable.
The finest tap shoes should be able to support your heels and arches.
For a newbie tap dancer, you should opt for a full sole, well-cushioned shoe, and a shock-absorbing insole so that you can be comfortable.
With this in place, you will avoid injuries when making choreographed moves that may require some acrobatic jumping.
Since the sole is hard and thick, it is not flexible; however, it must be able to produce the right sound with the tap attached to it.
Different soles are available, ranging from split-soles to insoles, and double soles.
The bottom line is that the right sole should aid traction and grip while offering stability and balance.
The right materials, support, breathable lining, flexible shanks, and toe box are essential features so that you can be comfortable in your choice of tap shoes.
Wearing a tap shoe with a wrong toe box shape that is not suitable for your foot shape will make you uncomfortable, and you will end up with sore feet and blisters.
Most importantly, though, you must seek to be comfortable when performing toe stands.
The use of soft leather guarantees comforts, considering that it is stretchable to accommodate your feet well.
You can add more support with the use of gel inserts or orthotics if you are suffering from Achilles Tendonitis.
Soundboard & screws
The sound produced by the most advanced tap shoes will depend on whether they come with an adjustable tap or a permanent tap.
Whereas the screw on the adjustable tap gets tightened or loosened to get a great sound, the nailed tap shoe will give the same tone and sound.
While the screw is vital to sound production, the soundboard is also a significant factor in getting the right combination of sounds.
Since the taps get screwed on the soundboard and attached to the sole, the material used will have an impact on the sound.
Note that most modern soundboards are made from fiberglass.
Best Tap Shoes
|Bloch Dance Women's Tap-Flex Leather Tap Shoe||Check Price||Leather||Leather|
|Capezio Women's CG18 Riff Slip-On Tap Shoe||Check Price||Leather||Synthetic|
|Theatricals Adult Neoprene Insert Tap Shoes T9100||Check Price||Leather||Split|
|Capezio Women's N625 Jr. Tyette Tap Shoe||Check Price||Synthetic||Synthetic|
|DanceNwear Youth/Adult Applause Black and White Spectator Tap Shoe||Check Price||Leather||Rubber|
|Soft Leather Split Sole Jazz Tap||Check Price||Leather||Split|
|So Danca TA05 Black Lace Up Tap Shoe||Check Price||Leather||Rubber|
1. Bloch Dance Women’s Tap on Leather Tap Shoe
Since 1932, Bloch has become a household name in the dance market; it is no surprise its Mary Jane style tap dance shoe always takes center stage as far as comfortability and effectiveness are concerned.
You are sure of producing the right sound and getting stability given that the toe tap is well secured to a resonating board.
The use of an adjustable buckle means you are getting the right fit to your feet, making you free to concentrate on your taps and moves while other people worry about falling and getting injured.
- 100% leather upper
- 1” heel
- Adjustable buckle closure
- Reinforced heel counter
- Cushioned insole
- Breathable cotton lining
- Non-slip balance rubber pad
- Stacked leather heel
- Cushioned insole to provide comfort and absorb shock from jumps
- The right fit comes from the elastic adjustable buckle which reduces tension on the instep
- The presence of sound resonating boards makes it produce great sound
- The sturdy heel and toe counter give durability to the tap shoe
- Good quality at an affordable price
- Irregular sizing
The presence of a cushioned insole protects the metatarsal, especially for people with narrow feet.
The Bloch Dance Women’s Tap on Leather Tap Shoe is available in different sizes for young girls and women as well as in black and tan colors.
It is one of the best shoes for beginners since it has a low heel. This means the dancer is not prone to injure her feet and toes while practicing.
2. Capezio Women’s CG18 Riff Slip-On Tap Shoe
A Capezio brand made to allow you to enjoy foot articulation, stability on your toes with ease, and flexibility while showing off your tapping skills on stage.
Since it comes without a lace, it is easy to slip off and on between changes in a dance routine.
It comes with a padded collar and Achilles notch that gives relief to pressure points while promoting comfort for the feet.
You will get extra support during the toe stand moves, thanks to the split-sole construction pattern and an extended leather forepart.
- 100% leather upper
- 1” heel
- .25” platform
- Heel taps
- Synthetic sole
- Foam padded footbed
- Strong toe box
- Elastic gore inserts
- Non-slip sock lining
- Sturdy heel counter
- The gore inserts give it a comfortable and secure fit
- Microfiber lining and non-slip sock lining helps absorb moisture
- With the use of tele-tone toe taps on a fiberboard, the sounds produced are deep and resonating
- The use of a strong toe box helps to avoid toe spring
- It is very flexible in the arch area and gives a loud clap sound
- Size runs small
Capezio Women’s CG18 Riff Slip-On Tap Shoe is made from high-quality materials; it has the needs of dancers in mind, which makes it long-lasting.
When you buy a pair that is a great fit, you do not need to put on socks before you enjoy it, unlike other shoes that require socks always.
3. Theatricals Adult Neoprene Insert Tap Shoes T9100
A distinct feature of this brand is the neoprene insert that is elastic. It is designed to adapt to any foot shape and provides an excellent fit for the dancer.
You can slip it on and off without stress since it does not have a lace front.
The stretchy material used for its manufacture allows room for grow-in for children and young adults while providing a snug fit at the same time.
- Human-made leather upper
- Molded taps with the soundboard
- Adjustable screws
- Non-skid rubber patch
- Safety that helps prevent sores on the toes and feet, ankle, and knees, thanks to the non-skid rubber patch
- It has adjustable screws on taps to get the type of sound you want
- Cushion sock lining for comfortability
- It is suitable for people with feet that have a high instep
- A well-made shoe at a reasonable price
- Screwed-on tap shoes can get loose
- Small toe box area
- It is not recommended for professionals
- It has a noticeable chemical smell
Theatricals Adult Neoprene Insert Tap Shoes T9100 is one of the most functional tap shoes for dancers with wide feet since it accommodates any foot widths, making it an excellent choice for beginners who want a shoe to practice in.
It is available in black and tan colors and suitable for men and children – though made for women to thrill the audience on the dance floor.
Click on this link to find the best Tuxedo shoes for the boys and men in your life as they prepare to compliment you on the tap-dancing stage.
4. Capezio Women’s N625 Jr. Tyette Tap Shoe
Getting the best from tap dancing requires excellent shoes that will enhance the fitness and as well provide comfort for your feet on the dance floor.
Not surprising, Capezio tap shoes are the best tap shoes for beginners considering features such as foam padded footbed, Achilles notch, and low heels which provide comfort, stability, and security.
Although it comes in three colors, they all have a shiny look, and then added ribbon tie makes it look attractive on the feet.
- 100% synthetic
- PVC and PU leather upper
- Foam padded footbed
- Micro ploy lining
- Ribbon tie
- Tele tone toes and heel tap
- Flexible outsole
- Firm heel counter
- Padded collar
- Lower vamp and side heights
- The thick low heel and microfiber lining is for extra support and comfort
- The use of a rubber sole helps to prevent friction
- The adjustable screws on the soles help to improve on the sound
- The brushed microfiber lining absorbs moisture
- It is a comfortable choice for oldies who want to take up tap dancing
- Zero break-in time
- Shoe size runs small
- The ribbon is short
Durability is a common feature of the Capezio brand, and this tap shoe does not lack in that department.
The foam-padded footbed alongside the synthetic construction makes it last despite the usage time.
Toddlers, young girls, teenagers, and adults can tap away with confidence in Capezio Women’s N625 Jr. Tyette Tap Shoe.
5. DanceNwear Youth/Adult Applause Black and White Spectator Tap Shoe
If you want to look cool while tap dancing in a soft leather shoe that is also comfortable on your feet, then this exceptional footwear from DanceNwear is a valuable addition to your wardrobe.
With its outstanding look, quality, and competitive pricing as a two-tone tap dancing shoe, you are sure to have a terrific time onstage.
The color pattern is its major highlight besides the pleasant sound the tap produces.
- ¾” heel
- Lace-up frontal
- Full-grain leather upper
- Adjustable super tone taps
- Foam Cushioned footbed
- Full heel counter
- Rubber sole
- Contoured skidpad
- Good support for natural toe stands
- It has a low heel and full heel counter for balance and stability
- The adjustable tap system allows you to boost the tapping sound as you desire
- The taps are removable, and you can wear them outdoors just like regular shoes
- It is a unisex pair and available in sizes for young and old
- Sizes are not accurate
- Screws fall out
Whether you are performing your tap-dancing moves as part of a choreography routine or acting in a stage drama, you will attract attention putting this on as part of your ensemble.
It is no wonder it is among the best professional tap shoes for accomplished tap dancers who place value on quality.
6. Soft Leather Split Sole Jazz Tap
Do you want a quality tap dance shoe at a top price?
This Soft Leather Split Sole Jazz Tap from Danshuz is friendly to the pocket and will suit your needs.
Although it is a top-price pair of shoes, it will serve you well for tap and pointe shoes since it has a split-sole design that aids “en pointe.”
This pair is indeed real value for money well spent.
Comfort is also not compromised in that it has all the extra support in place to keep you stable while tapping your feet.
- Leather sole
- ¾” heel
- Soft leather upper
- Split sole design
- Cushioned footbed
- Full heel counter
- Reinforced toe box
- Adjustable super tone taps
- It has a contoured fit, a feature it owes to the soft upper leather
- The split-sole shape is designed to enable flexibility in movements
- With the reinforced toe box, you get the right support when standing on your toes or performing suspended toe movements
- High-quality materials make it durable
- It can serve as a dress shoe for parties and other such occasions
- It is narrow around the toe area
- Small sizes
With the stretchable soft leather, it serves well given that it is one of the best tap shoes for wide feet also.
Though it is well constructed and conforms to the shape of your feet, you can use gel inserts to get additional support for your soles.
It is available for teens, males, and females.
7. So Danca TA05 Black Lace Up Tap Shoe
Anyone new to tap dancing will find this shoe affordable and comfortable because it has features that can keep you safe on the dance floor.
Whether you have a wider metatarsal or a slender foot, there is a size for everyone which then fits by adjusting the lace.
With the aid of the semi-flexible shank, dancers can curve their feet a bit while moving as they deem fit.
- 1” heel
- Cushioned insole
- Lace-up frontal
- Human-made upper
- Semi-flexible shank
- Flexible sole
- You can use the lace to tighten the shoe to your feet to enjoy a snug feel
- The cushioned insole provides the required comfort to the foot to avoid swelling and soreness
- It is suitable for feet with a high arch
- Good quality at a low price
- Nailed in taps affects the sound produced
So Danca TA05 Black Lace Up Tap Shoe is durable, stylish and fits like a glove such that you can perform your routines and get a standing ovation in the end.
All in all, it is a classic oxford design shoe that is available in black, caramel, and tan to match any of your attire.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Why Do You need a Tap shoe?
A. The peculiarity of tap dance requires that you have the right footwear to achieve your purpose.
Your regular shoe won’t be able to produce sounds no matter how hard you click them on the floor in that they do not have a tap attached to their soles.
In effect, you need to own a pair that has the right tap nailed, glued or screwed on a soundboard attached to the sole.
With a pair of tap shoes, you can produce sounds that are melodious to the ears while moving your body to the rhythm and entertaining the eyes of your audience.
Q. What Style of Tap Shoes is Appropriate for You?
A. Having the right style of tap shoes is essential; your age and level of experience with tap dancing go a long way to determine this.
Whereas as a beginner, the best tap shoe style recommended is the Mary Jane variant because it gives the right support for balance and stability.
You can identify them with the bow which has a ribbon attached to the upper area.
Such a pair will make it easy to learn the tricks of tap dancing.
On the other hand, a professional tap dancer can opt for tap shoes with heels, given that they have become accustomed to most of the routines involved and will be able to balance on such shoes easily.
Be that as it may, there is the flat leather oxford, split-sole, and pointe styled tap shoes all available to serve your purpose as a male or female, old or young.
No matter the style you settle for, kindly ensure it has a firm sole and a sturdy toe box.
Q. How much should you spend on a tap shoe?
A. Tap shoes are available at different prices ranging from $25- $85 (or even beyond) based on the quality of material used and the brand that manufactures them.
Do note that before you decide to splurge a lot of money on a pair, ask yourself the reason why you want to tap dance.
You need to have garnered some considerable amount of information about the essential features that will fit your feet and give you comfort before you buy an expensive tap shoe that won’t serve your purpose or suit your style of tap dance.
Always seek professional advice before going on a shopping spree or ordering online.
Q. What sort of Materials is right for a tap shoe?
The soft leather is stretchable and will mold to your feet with use, thus reducing the time for a break-in, unlike a thick one that may take time to break-in.
While patent leather gives a shiny look that some dancers find attractive, some brands use synthetic or fabric materials.
Being a beginner or professional is another condition that will help you decide on the material that gives the right fit and appeals to your fit without disregarding comfort.
For the fact that tap dancing evolves around getting the right rhythm when tapping or striking the floor, the right shoe with the right tap is the key.
It might be a little challenging to get the appropriate choice and style if you don’t have experience or an expert with you during a fitting or when shopping online.
This is why we have worked so hard researching to lead you by the hand with tips and features gathered after an extensive analysis of the 7 greatest tap shoes for 2021.
Amidst the various brands, patterns, shapes, colors, sizes, styles, designs, and quality, you will find a tap shoe that is functional, stable, and comfortable to serve you well.
With all these in place, the stage is yours to dominate with your tapping skills, churning out sounds that appeal to the ears of the audience and sensational dance moves their eyes cannot resist.