Ballroom Dance > regarding heel protectors

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancing_moogle, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Angelo

    Angelo Member

    The plastic heel protectors. I guess I just used the terms interchangably out of ignorance since this topic is out of my realm of experience.
  2. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    Chris, do you mean for smaller size feet?

    It took me a loooong time to get used to the extra height of heel protectors. Then again, I wear a size 6, so every millimiter counts!
    I personally really hate the way they look, but I also hate paying for new lifts every three weeks, so I put up with the ugliness.
    Ha ha, "heel condoms"! Hilarious. Very true, too.
    For competitions I would take them off. They won't wear off that much in just one event, even a 5 dance, and my feet love me for the slight change in height.

    But now I have a problem...I just got the new Dance Naturals with the metal heel (swoon!) and their heels are really thin, so no heel guards will fit. They say a heel guard is not necessary on their shoes, but that just means I'll have to do the new heel lifts every three weeks thing again :(
    Oh well...they're so beautiful, it's worth it! :D
  3. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Why don't you use suede heel covers then?
  4. Angelo

    Angelo Member

    I just now became aware of the irony in this past message. looks like I'm the obtuse one here
  5. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I have put plastic heel protectors on all my shoes. Much cheaper than getting new heels put on and they grip the floor better. I had the heel tips replaced on one pair of shoes and they were great for about a month until I wore down the grip. They became really slippery so out of frustration (and lack of funds) I put heel protectors on them and they are much much much better.

    I really don't care what they look like. I have a pair of Supadance shoes that I had to glue the protectors on because they were too loose. Once I wear them down to the heel again I'll be able to pry them off with a little nail polish remover and replace them.

    Never heard of or seen the suede heel protectors here. Will ask at my local dancewear shop, but I would imagine they would go the same way as suede on the front of the shoe and become slippery quite quickly. The thing I love most about the plastic ones is the additional grip on the floor. When I'm driving forward in smooth, my heel doesn't slip out from under me.
  6. Laura

    Laura New Member

    1/2 a centimeter isn't much, just about 1/5th of an inch. I can't say I've ever noticed the difference.
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It's not a half inch, it's a half centimeter, which is less than 1/4 of one inch. If you're so sensitive that you can tell the difference of a less than 1/4 inch change, then the approximately 1/8 inch change using the suede ones will probably bother you too. I guess.
  8. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I can't stand the grip, which is why I like the suede ones. I like the feeling of the heel being able to slide along the floor rather than sticking like when I take a heel lead in the soft plastic ones. That's one good thing about the ugly hard plastic ones -- at least they side when you take a heel lead on a forward step. But the suede ones do that too, and they're prettier (especially if you dye them to match your shoe color).
  9. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I could have twisted my ankle really badly when my heels were slipping. Almost did the splits a couple of times but my instructor pulled me out of it. We had to stop and change to latin practice because I just couldn't smooth dance in my shoes the way they were. The next week the first question he asked was "Have you fixed your shoes yet?". :lol:

    I don't know how anyone can dance on slidey heels. You must have very strong ankles to be able to control you balance over such a small, moving area. Not sure whether I would class the ones I have as hard or soft plastic. I can cut them with scissors so maybe they are the soft ones? I tend to rotate my shoes quite a bit and the protectors last about 12 months.
  10. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    This actually raises an interesting point. I know everyone has experienced the skidding heel at some point (men's shoes wear too). But when I think about how I've been taught to place the step under my body, it seems like the mechanics of it all would mean that there really shouldn't be much opportunity for the heel to skid if I took the step correctly. It would only be if I reached the foot out in front of me (which of course still happens sometimes) that there'd be a large potential for sliding.
  11. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I have thought about that Chris, and while I would tend to agree with you, to me it is not worth the risk that I take one step not quite right and hurt myself. Would much rather have the grip. No-one's perfect, right?
  12. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    I buy scraps of suede at the craft store and cut it to fit whatever shoes I wish to cover, then use leather cement to adhere it to the bottom of the heel. It's called leather cement, but it looks and smells just like Elmer's glue. If anyone wishes to see the approximate pattern I use, I'd be happy to share. These are not the "star-shaped" ones you buy. Since you can purchase suede in various colors, you can pretty well match them to the shoe, if that's an issue. I actually got called over during a comp because they couldn't tell I had heel protectors on and they were required. Plastic heel protectors wear out. Suede, for the most part, doesn't. If you like the slightly larger base of the plastic slip-on heel protectors, you can still add suede over them so they'll last a long time.

  13. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I tried doing what you do Melissa and it was a dismal failure, but thanks to your post I now know why. I think the secret is in the glue...I was using E-6000. I'll have to find me some of that "leather cement." Thanks for the tip!!
  14. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I think gripping qualities of plastiic heel protectors depend on the brand. Freed that I have are very good. Don't wear out too quickly and don't grip the floor the way some other ones do.
  15. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I used to get the Freed ones. They are what I was referring to when I mentioned the "hard plastic" ones. They slip decently and last a good long time.

    I've also tried the Supadance ones. They are what I meant by the "soft plastic" ones -- and yes, they can be cut with a pair of scissors. I feel like those stick to the floor. I hated it when I'd be going backwards in something like Foxtrot and I'd release my toe and the soft plastic would stick to the floor -- sometimes the heel protector would start to get pulled off my shoe! Or, even weirder, the soft plastic would rub away just like an eraser does, even leaving behind those weird "eraser crumbs." I guess I'm just really hard on shoes.

    swan had some heel protectors that were soft like the Supadance ones but had suede on the bottom. I really liked those but I don't know where they came from.

    I danced in Dance Naturals for a while and they have some special composition plastic heel that doesn't rub much at all. They advertise that you don't have to wear heel protectors, and for the most part they are right. If the shank on Dance Naturals wasn't so soft I'd be wearing them now, sans heel protectors. Right now my shoe of choice for Standard and Smooth is a Diamant style with an elasticised foot opening and a wide heel. I stick those suede heel crosses on them, and I'm super happy.

    All this goes to show is that people really have to experiment to find what works for them!!
  16. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    This is exactly my experience with both supadance and freed heel protectors.
    I can't stand the soft supandace ones. I don't mind freed heel protectors, but I don't use them on my standard shoes as the heel becomes too high for me. I use Freed heel protectors on my latin shoes.

    I haven't experimented enough with shoes yet. Right now I'm dancing in supadance 1008, and recently bought Freed shoes that seem to be super comfortable, probablty a better fit for me than supadance. Supadance feel like they have too steep an arch. In Freed this arch is somehow made smoother even though the heel is exactly same height.
    I use suede heel covers on all my standard shoes. I just went from 2" heel to 2.5" heel and am still adjusting. it is only about 1 cm difference, but feels like a lot! Thats why I'm saying a 1/2 cm heel protector height on top of that would be very noticeable!
  17. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    I am sure that using the heel covers, whether soft or hard plastic or the suede, feels better to the ladies (or guys) who wear heels. However, I have two points to make regarding them.

    (1) ladies danced for decades without them using only hard rubber heel tips or suede on rubber or leather heel tips. It is only in the last, hmm, 5 to 10 years that the covers have come out. The suede heel covers have been out for longer but weren't used in competition. There were, and still are, heel TIPS of suede that work just fine.

    (2) The heel condoms don't look good - plastic or suede. To me, they are as bad as using the clear stretchy loops to keep pumps on while dancing. It's like doing up a lady's hair and then putting a rubber head band on to prevent the hair from coming down. I simply prefer the clean lines of a foot in a pump with a smooth heel. Rant over.

    By dancing over one's feet all the time (yeah, right!) one is less likely to slip on the heel. This is true for both men and women, especially on slippery floors. In the ballet world, if you are on a slippery floor and you try to dance carefully, you are more likely to fall simply because you are not dancing over your feet. Same thing in ballroom. (Thank goodness the ladies in DanceSport aren't in point shoes!)

    I once gave my first partner a small fabric bag with a pair of pliers and 10 pairs of suede-tipped heels so that she could change her own heels. (Yeah, back in the old days, we walked 10 miles in the snow to get to the studio and we did it on our knees to protect our shoes.)

    Being a technical type, I can envision a shoe that incorporates a good heel such that the look is not compromised. Should we all get together and demand such a shoe? I know my partner is ready.
  18. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Pliers! That's what I need. I've got a few pairs of replacement heel tips for my new shoes but haven't gotten to the point of figuring out how to change them. Hence, the suede.
  19. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    They may not look nice, Turtle, but they sure keep the girls from ruining the studio floor when they wear through the OEM heel tip and expose the nail...
  20. Angelo

    Angelo Member

    I can't believe I didn't catch that it was 1/2 cm rather that 1/2 inch. I guess I was more obtuse than I thought yesterday.

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