How Should Tap Shoes Fit [FAQs]

How Should Tap Shoes Fit

If you’re a tap dancer, then you know that having the right pair of tap shoes is essential. Not only do they need to look good, but they also need to fit properly in order for you to perform at your best. In this article, we’ll be discussing how tap shoes should fit and what you need to look for when buying a new pair.

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When it comes to tap shoes, there are a few things you need to consider in terms of fit. Firstly, the shoes should be snug but not too tight. You don’t want your feet to be squeezed, but you also don’t want them sliding around inside the shoes. Secondly, there should be enough room in the toe box for your toes to move freely. Finally, the shoes should be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time without causing any discomfort or pain.

1. Measure Your Feet

Before buying a new pair of tap shoes, it’s important to measure your feet to ensure you get the right size. This can be done at home using a tape measure or at a shoe store using a brannock device. Once you have your measurements, you can use them to find the right size tap shoes.

2. Try Them On

When trying on tap shoes, make sure you wear the same type of socks or tights that you’ll be wearing during performances. Walk around in the shoes and try some basic tap steps to get a feel for how they fit and how they sound. If they feel too tight or too loose, try a different size or style.

3. Consider the Material

Tap shoes come in a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic materials, and canvas. Each material has its own pros and cons, so consider which type would be best for your needs. Leather shoes are durable and long-lasting, while canvas shoes are lightweight and breathable.

4. Check the Sole

The sole of your tap shoes is important for both comfort and performance. Look for a sole that provides enough cushioning to absorb shock and protect your feet, but not so much that you can’t feel the floor beneath you. The sole should also have enough grip to keep you from slipping, but not so much that it interferes with your movements.

5. Look for Adjustable Features

Some tap shoes come with adjustable features, such as laces or buckles, that allow you to customize the fit. This can be especially helpful if you have feet that are wider or narrower than average.

6. Consider Your Skill Level

Your skill level as a tap dancer can also play a role in how your shoes should fit. Beginners may prefer a shoe with a lower heel and more support, while more advanced dancers may prefer a shoe with a higher heel and more flexibility.

7. Take Care of Your Shoes

Once you’ve found the perfect pair of tap shoes, it’s important to take care of them to ensure they last as long as possible. This means cleaning them regularly, storing them properly, and replacing them when they start to show signs of wear and tear.

8. Don’t Forget About Arch Support

Arch support is important for tap dancers, as it helps to prevent foot fatigue and injury. Look for shoes with a supportive arch or consider adding an orthotic insert for extra support.

9. Pay Attention to the Heel

The heel of your tap shoes is also important for both stability and sound. Look for a heel that is sturdy enough to support your weight, but not so heavy that it interferes with your movements. The heel should also be able to produce a clear, crisp sound when you tap.

10. Don’t Sacrifice Comfort for Style

While it’s important to have tap shoes that look good, it’s even more important to have shoes that feel good. Don’t sacrifice comfort for style, as this can lead to discomfort or even injury. Look for shoes that are both comfortable and stylish.


Can I wear tap shoes without socks?

It’s not recommended to wear tap shoes without socks, as this can cause blisters and discomfort. Always wear socks or tights when wearing tap shoes.

How tight should tap shoes be?

Tap shoes should be snug but not too tight. Your feet should be able to move freely inside the shoes, but they should not be sliding around.

Do I need to break in my tap shoes?

Yes, it’s a good idea to break in your tap shoes before wearing them for extended periods of time. This can be done by wearing them around the house or during short practice sessions.

How often should I replace my tap shoes?

This depends on how often you use them and how well you take care of them. As a general rule, tap shoes should be replaced every 6-12 months.

Can I wear tap shoes on concrete?

It’s not recommended to wear tap shoes on concrete, as this can damage the shoes and cause injury. Stick to dance floors or other appropriate surfaces.

Can I wear tap shoes outside?

No, tap shoes are not designed to be worn outside and can be damaged by rough surfaces or moisture. Stick to indoor surfaces only.

Can I wear tap shoes with a dress?

Yes, tap shoes can be worn with a variety of outfits, including dresses. Just make sure the shoes match the style and color of the outfit.

How do I clean my tap shoes?

Tap shoes can be cleaned using a damp cloth and mild soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals or soaking the shoes in water.


Properly fitting tap shoes can help you perform at your best and prevent injury. They can also provide support and comfort during long rehearsals or performances.


When buying tap shoes, always try them on and consider factors such as size, material, and sole. Don’t forget to take care of your shoes to ensure they last as long as possible.


Finding the right pair of tap shoes can be a challenge, but with the right knowledge and approach, it’s possible to find a pair that fits well and feels great to wear. Remember to consider factors such as size, material, and sole, and don’t sacrifice comfort for style. With the right tap shoes, you’ll be able to perform at your best and enjoy every moment on stage.

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