Updated: Feb 18
One of the most crucial investment for a ballroom dancer is his or her shoes, and they can get dirty really quickly with practice, competitions and performances. Even the cleanest dance floor will have your dance shoe collecting dust and floor wax.
Unfortunately, you can't just throw them into a washing machine or a dryer. Dance shoes are made specifically to offer maximum support, protection and performance. With soles made out of suede, increased arch support and heels that provide more flexibility - the care given to your dance shoes make an impact on dancefloor performance and presentation.
1. Use paper towels for a quick fix
This is one of the quickest ways to clean your shoes - use a slightly damp paper towel to wipe off the grind and use a separate dry one to dab the shoes dry. Remove as much moisture as possible with the second towel.
2. Deodorising balls are your best bet to shoes smelling fresh
Place your dancesport shoes in a shoe bag with shoe deodorising balls to keep them smelling fresh. They can last for months, longer than any air freshener you place inside your shoes.
Quartz, Gentleman's Ballroom Shoe by d.a.n.c.e.p.a.s.s.i.o.n
3. Spritzing isopropyl alcohol kills bacteria and deodorises.
Keep a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol (or anti-septic liquid) to disinfect and deodorise your shoes after dancing. You can add tea tree oil as a natural fragrance and disinfectant.
4. Clean your shoes with a shoe brush after every practice
Dance Shoes with suede soles require more delicate care than your average walking shoes. Using a shoe brush, you can get the dirt and grind out of the suede. Do it diligently to get the most out of your shoes.
Diamond, Lady's Ballroom Shoe by d.a.n.c.e.p.a.s.s.i.o.n
5. Alternate between at least two pairs of shoes
Alternating between two pairs is a great way to extend the life of your dance shoes. This allows your shoes enough time to dry completely after every practice or rehearsal, ensuring that the material of your shoes does not break down quite as fast.
6. Air-Dry your shoes
Dance shoes absorb a lot of sweat, just as much as a pair of sports shoes would but as ours are made for the ballroom in leather, suede and satin - they aren't as easily washed or deodorised. Allow 24 to 48 hours of airing of your shoes in well-ventilated areas. We recommend airing your shoes in direct sunlight occasionally. Take note not to leave leather shoes out in direct sunlight for too long.
Sphene, Gentleman's Ballroom Shoe by d.a.n.c.e.p.a.s.s.i.o.n
7. Stuff your shoes with dry newspaper
It may seem surprising, but crumpling and stuffing dry newspaper into your shoes is one of the best ways to absorb moisture while maintaining their shoe shape.
8. Change your socks after each training session
Socks help with the absorption of sweat on our feet. Changing socks after each session helps to prevent the build-up of any odour-causing bacteria or foot fungi in your dancesport shoes.
Amethyst, Lady's Ballroom Shoe by d.a.n.c.e.p.a.s.s.i.o.n
9. Kids under 12 should wear socks with their dance shoes
Children are prone to getting foot infections with their sensitive skin, so socks are necessary to prevent the build-up of bacteria inside their dance shoes. The formation of blisters and the build-up of bacteria inside the shoes. They'll also protect your children’s feet from the formation of blisters and any foot infections.