Breaking In New Tap Dance Shoes: Expert Advice

Tap dancing is an exhilarating and rhythmic dance that requires precision and agility. To excel in this art, one must have the right gear, including adequately fitted dance shoes. However, breaking in new tap dance shoes can be a daunting task. Uncomfortable footwear can hinder your performance and lead to injuries. So, read on to get expert advice and techniques to ensure your new dance shoes are comfortable and ready for action.

Right Shoes Make the Difference

In contrast to typical footwear, this type of dance gear features metal plates on the soles responsible for creating unique tapping sounds. These metal components can be tough on your feet if they require proper breaking in. Here are a few reasons highlighting the importance of breaking in tap dance footwear:

Should Be Comfort

Unworn footwear can feel stiff and uncomfortable. Dancing in uncomfortable ones can lead to blisters, calluses, and sore feet. Breaking them in ensures a snug and comfortable fit.

Flexibility is Essential

These kinds of footwear need to flex and bend as your feet move. New ones

 may need to be more flexible, making it difficult to execute certain moves. Breaking them in improves flexibility.

Sound Quality

The sound produced by these footwear is central to the art of tap dancing. Well-worn shoes create a smoother and clearer sound compared to new ones. Breaking in your tap ones enhances sound quality.

Expert Advice for Users

Here are some expert advice and techniques to make the process easier and more effective.

Wear Them Around the House

One of the easiest ways to get accustomed to these footwear items is by wearing them around your house. This allows your feet to adapt to their feel and helps them conform to the shape of your feet. Practice basic tap steps, such as shuffles and brushes, to understand how the footwear responds.

Stretch Them Out

If your tap footwear feels too snug, think about gently stretching them. Utilize a shoe stretcher or fill them with socks or newspapers to make them more comfortable. Be careful not to overstretch, as it may harm the footwear.

Moisture and Heat

A widely used method to break in leather tap shoes involves using moisture and heat. Begin by dampening a cloth with warm water and gently wiping the interior of the footwear, paying extra attention to any tight spots. Next, put on them and engage in some dancing for a period. The combination of moisture and the warmth from your body gently loosens the leather, improving its flexibility.

Consult a Professional

If you require assistance breaking in your footwear or desire a perfect fit from the beginning, consider seeking guidance from a professional cobbler or a dance shoe specialist. They can provide personalised advice and make adjustments for a comfortable fit.

Gradual Intensity

When breaking in your tap shoes, start with low-intensity practice sessions and gradually increase the intensity as they become more comfortable. This approach helps prevent excessive strain on your feet.

Maintenance Tips 

Once you’ve successfully broken in your footwear, it’s essential to maintain them to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Here are some maintenance tips:

Clean Regularly

Keep them clean by wiping them down after each use. Remove any dirt or residue from the soles to maintain sound quality.

Replace Taps

The metal taps on your shoes can wear down over time. Keep an eye on their condition and replace them when necessary to maintain the quality of your performance.

Store Properly

Store your tap dance shoes in a cool, dry place to prevent any damage from moisture or extreme temperatures.


Breaking in new tap dance shoes is crucial to ensure comfort, flexibility, and sound quality in your performances. By following these expert advice and techniques, you can enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable dancing experience. Remember, well-maintained shoes are a tool and an essential part of your journey as a dancer.