Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Holy Grail of Salsa Shoes

If at some point in your life you have been around a salsera, or are/have been one yourself, you would have a sense that one of the few things that cause her anguish is the lack of shoes that have it all – form, function, and at a price you would not mind paying.  Sounds like the search for Mr. Right, I know.  I am somewhat of a dashboard junkie at work so my brain sees this quandary this way:

I have gone through a couple of Very Fine dance shoes since I started salsa dancing and the forlorn-looking one on the left is my last pair that is ready to retire.  Their typical life span is six months.  They average about $50 a pop and they are quite rampant online.  I would say they are okay shoes but after a few months (i.e. regular social dancing + one festival weekend), you will find yourself Googling podiastrists in your area.  I dance on the balls of my feet and these shoes just don't have enough cush where I need it (or at all, actually).  There's also so much more left to be desired when it comes to color and style choices.  

These are Ballo shoes that I used as a practice shoe when I still danced with a team.  They are really men's shoes that fit the length of my feet.  Seemed like a brilliant idea in the beginning, but trust me, it really isn't.  There is no ball support whatsoever and the fit is sloppy.  No shock there.

Both these shoes fall short on performance and yes, style.  But they were all I had and they were still better than my non-dancing shoes so I kept wearing them.  This is how they fall in the little quirky diagram in my head:

Burju shoes are what they use in Dancing with the Stars.  True, they are very stylish and fashionable and if you have $100+ to spend on salsa shoes, eat your heart out!  But if you consider that that is already a half a festival pass somewhere, I would hold off on charging that plastic.  This is how they rate in my books...

BUT look at what I scored online at this obscure website called Light in the Box.  

I absolutely cannot wait to bust them out on the floor!  They have standard suede soles and this is the part that really thrills me - they have extra padding for the balls of my feet!  They are custom made and are shipped all the way from Hong Kong, so if you're ordering these as your performance shoes, allow eight weeks for delivery (mine came in at six weeks).  Door-to-door, they cost me $35 which is 30% cheaper than the Very Fine ones that I order online.  If you do end up ordering them, take time to measure your feet according to the instructions on the website and then order the next size down.  If you're still reading this post, you already know that these shoes stretch out after hours of dancing.

I think I just might have geocached on this holy grail!

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