In the 1980s, a new dance raised its head from the rave scene in Melbourne, Australia. Combining the T-step with the running man, shuffle dance rose in popularity until the 1990s. Yet, that doesn’t mean that shuffle dance has gone the way of the dinosaurs. There are still online communities and forums dedicated to shuffling for those keen to get their shuffle on. Being a heel-to-toe dance puts a bit of demand on your feet and you may want to think about proper footwear. In this article we are going to look at the best shoes for shuffling.
Though there is a lot of debate about the appropriate shoes for shuffle dance, there are some shoes and brands that shuffle dancers constantly recommend. Adidas, Converse and Puma are some of the most loved manufacturers for shuffling. Shoes that are firm underfoot and lightweight are the most ideal if you want to pull off moves that will impress the crowds.
In the world of shuffle dancing, you will find that those dedicated to this style will tell you that any type of sneaker is sufficient for you to dance. But, you want to make sure that you have shoes that give you enough grip so that you can slide and shuffle freely, while your heel and toe are supported.
Damn, I’m injured
Dancing is fun and energetic, yet demanding and requires a lot of Istamina, strength and rehearsal. The ongoing practice can make you tired and then when you literally put a foot out of place, the pain comes. Some of the more usual injuries suffered by dancers are:
When you cause your ankle to move beyond what it naturally should, you are going to tear the ligaments in your ankle. Strengthen the muscles around your ankles as well as wearing high top shoes.
This is caused by the Achilles tendon at the back of your foot becoming inflamed and it is an easy tendon to damage due to its length. Pain can become so severe that you can find it difficult to walk. To reduce the possibility of getting Achilles tendonitis, look for shoes that provide support for the arch of your foot as well as your heel.
Overusing the muscle that runs down the back of your leg, under your foot and connects to your big toe can cause this muscle to become inflamed. You know you have a case of Trigger Toe if you feel pain in your ankle and in the base of your foot while pointing your big toe. You can avoid trigger toe by ensuring you have good form when executing any dance moves that require you to stand on the tip of your toes as well as footwear that have protection and padding at the forefront of the shoe.
Exercises that strengthen the core muscles in your feet and ankles, having a good rest when you feel tired and good shoes all work together to minimise the possibility of you hurting yourself doing what you love.
What makes a good shuffling shoe?
When shuffle dancing you want to look as smooth as possible when moving your feet, but you don’t want to feel like you are wearing two blocks of concrete. Nor do you want your feet slipping out from under you as you shuffle and slide along the floor. So what goes into making the ideal shuffling shoe? Here are the characteristics of a great shuffle dance shoe:
- It’s lightweight but with a solid feeling underfoot.
- The bottom of the shoe is flat
- Your foot arch and heel should be well supported.
- Your toes should be protected yet not cramped
- The insoles need to be cushioned to keep your feet comfortable
- The fit of the shoe shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
- Traction needs to be balanced between giving you the grip you need without affecting the ability to slide your foot smoothly.
Can’t I just use any shoes?
As we have mentioned, when it comes to selecting the right shoes for shuffling, there is a lot of debate out there. You can even dance in your socks if you want! Yet, you want to look good, have killer moves and not be concerned about hurting yourself and, unfortunately, any old shoes won’t do.
The best shoes for shuffling
We entered the discussions, distilled what the experts in the realm of shuffle dancing recommend and now it’s time to bust a move. Here are some of the top shoes any respectable shuffle dancer will be pleased to slip their feet into.
The Chuck Taylor has a lot of fans out there and it’s easy to see why. The versatility of these sneakers make them great for a range of activities and that includes shuffle dancing. Originally designed as a basketball shoe, the Converse shoes will keep your feet comfortable as you stomp and slide across the ground. The high shaft offers ankle support while still allowing you flexibility to pull off stunning dance steps while the front of the sneakers have a toe cap to keep your forefoot protected. Amazing shoes that have stood the test of time since its introduction in the 1920s.
Want to make a statement on the dance floor? The EliteShine shoes have LED lights in the uppers so you can truly light up the room. A 2 to 3-hour charge will have you illuminating the way for at least 5 hours and you can always turn out the lights with the switch in the heel of the shoe. The EVA outsole permits flexibility yet is tough enough to protect your feet. You can decide what colour you want to glow…it’s as simple as pressing a button. Now go and shine you good thing!
Red. Yellow. Blue. Green. Purple. Heck, it’s like having a beautiful rainbow underfoot. Talk about making an impression, not only with your slick moves! Charging of the shoes can be done through with your phone charger or the USB port of your computer. Shoes that are comfortable to wear and great traction means you are going to be dancing till you drop.
Ever dreamed of dancing on air? Well, now you can, kind of, thanks to Nike’s Max Air. With the lightweight feel of these sneakers and comfortable cushioning you will feel like you are stepping on clouds. The laces and low cut collar offer a solid fit against your foot without restricting movement. Grip is provided via the Waffle design at the base of the shoe ensuring that you can slide but not slip over. Nike…helping you look amazing on the dance floor.
This may look like just a shoe, but the beauty is in the simplicity. The rubber sole will keep underfoot nice and snug while the padded tongue and collar takes care of the top of your feet. Comfort all around means that you don’t have to be worried about your feet and can focus on the thing that counts… your awesome dancing.
Who said shuffle dancing was just for teens and grown-ups? Start your kid’s dancing career off in these adorable shoes from WONZOM. With a 1.5 hour charge time, your child will be sliding and doing the running man in no time. The cotton inner works to keep your feet dry while the breathable PU leather outer regulates the heat transfer. Kids are renowned to stomp and stomp hard. The rubber sole will absorb the jolts so your kid can shuffle, slide and dance to their wee heart’s content.
With “Shuffle” in the name of these shoes, you know they have your feet covered as you do your thing on the floor. Though available in different colours, the gold finish looks amazing, C’mon, who does love gold? The PU leather is lightweight, making your footwork all that much easier while the solid outsole can handle the slickest of moves without you losing your footing.
Your feet will feel the love in these shoes. The generous size sole will protect your feet from the smallest of impacts and the soft upper as well as the padded colour hugs against your foot to make you feel snug. Put on your Disruptors and get your groove on.
Built with comfort and support at the forefront of the design these shoes will make it a pleasure to dance and dance and dance. The motion weave technology allows the outer to stretch while still firmly holding your foot in place. The heel frame supports the back of your foot and Achilles whilst the cushioning gives you the bounce you need to effortlessly shuffle. Shocks underfoot are absorbed by the inbuilt Torsion Spring.
The gold trim on these sneakers will garner you attention not only for your fashion style but also for your incredible dancing as your feet shuffle and slide along the ground. The leather outer combined with the well-cushioned inner will make your feet feel like they have just slipped into heaven. Comfort and glamour in one shoe. Get ready to dance the night away thanks to PUMA.
If you have kids that love bling, then these shoes will definitely be a hit. From a company that specialises in shoes, you know you’re onto a winner. A lot of light up shoes aren’t made for wet weather, yet these ones are waterproof, so you have peace of mind if you suddenly find yourself in a sudden rain shower. The breathable material of the upper keeps your feet cool and fresh. Lighting time lasts for up to 11 hours (8 hours if you leave the lights on). Your kids will be begging you to turn the lights off so they can show you their luminous dance show.
Nancy Sinatra said “These boots are made for walkin'”, well these shoes were made for dancing and that’s just what they’ll do. You will shimmer and shine under the spotlight courtesy of the glimmer trim with the overall design made to give you the flexibility and support you need as you show the crowd your style. The outer fabric and perforations at the front of the shoe allow your feet to breath. These shoes will make you look sharp out there.
Tap shoes for shuffle dancing? Why not? You can slide and tap knowing that your shoes will conform to the natural flex of your feet whilst the outsole provides the strength you are needing to minimise any risks. The non-skid pad and non-slip heel counter will keep you from landing on your butt. These shoes will definitely add a dainty touch to your shuffling.
As all dancers know, ballet is demanding yet delicate. Ballerinas need shoes that won’t confine the movements of their feet yet also need bracing to save them from injury. So why not chuck on a pair of ballet shoes when you shuffle dance? The easy slip-on design and ortholite footbed cushioning your feet make these a pleasure to wear. Great heel support means no rubbing against the back of the shoes. Goodbye blisters! Inject some poise and grace into your shuffles.
These shoes look solid and they are, yet lightweight allowing you to move freely. Your feet and ankle are kept comfy through the paced tongue and collar while the good-sized midsole absorbs each shock caused by the impact of your feet. The sole flexes so your movements aren’t constrained with traction that will keep you from slipping yet allows you to slide and shuffle with ease.
Being knee-high gives your legs and feet the ultimate support while looking trendy at the same time. Designed with both fashion and comfort in mind, your girl can dance all night without having to worry about walking home with tired feet. The rounded front keeps toes from being compressed together. The great thing is that these boots can be worn beyond the dance floor, so your daughter can look like a young fashionita wherever she goes.
With 11 different light modes to choose from, your child has a range of options to choose from to make them look stunning as the shuffle dance. If your kid wants the shoes to feel more secure, especially on the instep, they use the laces otherwise the hook and loop system provides a looser fit. Grip is offered through the hexagonal print of the outsole and with six different colours to choose from, it’s just a matter of asking your child which one they love the most.
Adidas first introduced the Samoa as a soccer shoe but then overhauled it to make it more street-friendly. The forefront is reinforced to protect your toes while the rubber sole offers you the traction you are wanting as you glide through your dance. Superior arch and heel support make these shoes super comfortable while still leaving room to flex with your feet. If you are planning to stand, walk and dance for an extended period of time then you want shoes that will keep your feet feeling fresh…time to get some Samoas
Feeling like your midfoot needs a touch more security when you are dancing? Time to get the TR8s. The flywire cable system locks the shoe down over your midfoot while being cushioned by the innersole. Also, the sock-like fit gives you the support you need as you shuffle dance while the larger heel area is designed to give you greater balance. When it comes to following the natural flexing of your feet, the outsole was made specifically to conform to the movements. Is it time to try some Nikes? Just do it!
If you are into old-school looks yet with modern innovation in a shoe, these sneakers were made with you in mind. The classic suede maintains a retro look with the midsole giving you comfort and support you need. Laces and padded tongue offer a secure fit so that you can feel confident as you show off your killer dance moves. Time to show them what you’re made of tiger…oops, Puma!
A note about LED light shoes
In our list, we have introduced several shoes that contain LED lights, and the major issue with this type of footwear are lights that stop working. Solutions are to reattach the wiring to the lights. These shoes offer a fun aspect to shuffle dancing, but you need to be aware of the lights having a tendency to malfunction sometimes.
Shuffle dancing was a phenomenon that struck the world in the 80s and 90s before quietening down. That doesn’t mean it has completely disappeared. Online you can find groups and forums dedicated to the dance and when it comes to which shoes are the best, you will find everyone has their own opinions. We have given you a range of shoes that shuffle dancers love. It’s up to you to decide which pair suits you.
By the way, you better choose fast as the audience is waiting for you. You’re on next….