Country and Western > What kind of cowboy boots for two step dancing?

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by skunker, May 11, 2012.

  1. skunker

    skunker New Member

    I have these pair of boots, wondering if the sole is bad for two step/line dancing. It's a sort of a rubber sole.

    Is it time to ditch these boots for something more traditional? I'm having a bit of a hard time dancing in these, but I've only used them once so far.
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    My favorite shoes for dancing (country western, Argentine Tango) have a traditional leather sole. They turn pretty easy once they have the slightest bit of wear on them, and you can wear them "on the street."

    I also have a pair of Rockports that have seen better days, and it looks like those boots you have have about the same amount of "tread." Mine are worn enough that I've used them for dancing quite a bit, and they work really well. On the other hand when it's a bit slippery from frost or snow, etc, I have to be really careful in them.

    Other thing is, there's no way to know how "sticky" that material is on those boots unless you try them out. They don't say much about the soles in that page there.

    Even if you stick with the "traditional" two step where you don't let the woman go, you're going to pivot a bit on the front of your foot.

    Hey, I'm all for new materials if they work really well: Patagonia "long Underwear," Polartech, PowerDry, etc. So far though, I'm going to stick with tradtional leather soles for dancing.

    Hey, Shepler's is where I get all my shirts and jeans. Been buying from them for over 10 years. Wish they had more colors in the long sleeve traditional rancher shirts with the pearl snaps.

    Let us know what you do and how it turns out.
  3. chuck4788

    chuck4788 Member

    I agree, leather soles are the way to go, and a suede sole like dance shoes is even better. I've had several shoes, and boots, resoled for dancing by local shoe repair shops, even a pair of New Balance shoes (that is a lot cheaper than buying new shoes).

    One issue is the heel; dance shoes have suede on the heel, my Evening Star boots have rubber heels. If you inadvertently weight your heel during a pivot or spin it will upset the turn, so I suggest sticking with one type of heel and suede is probably the safest.
  4. skunker

    skunker New Member

    What I have found thus far is that dance floors are typically waxed enough so basically any shoes you wear would slide gracefully across the floor. I am trying to use my current cowboy boots (Ariat, yea...i know it's not a "real" cowboy boot) without having to purchase another pair. These have an anti-slip sole and they still slide nicely across the dance floor due to the wax.

    Of course, I am speaking as a beginner with only about 2 months of dancing experience.
  5. Desertdance

    Desertdance New Member

    A lot of places will have some sort of a polished floor, and a lot won't. I wear rubber soled ariats and deal with sticking on unpolished floors, but I do a lot of arials and flips with some of my dances and prefer to stick. Most people will be better off in a leather sole, I just have an odd preference.
  6. tananaBrian

    tananaBrian New Member

    I'm in Alaska and just now getting back into it, but when I lived in Texas the boot of choice for any cowboy dancing (2-step etc) was Ropers with leather soles and low heels. The floors were hardwood and were sanded (sand on the floors to help those boots sliiiiide). I never saw any waxed/polished floors ...these floors were dedicated to cowboy dancing and 'sand' was the rule. As far as I know, it wasn't beach sand was sort of special sand designed for the purpose and almost invisible on the floor. It would stick to my boots a bit and I kept one pair of Ropers aside just for dancing.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hello Tanana!
    Last week here in Portland one teacher who lived in Texas for a while taught "Four Step Swing." Someone who was there said it was same as east coast swing.
    I tell, ya. Texas is like a different country.
    tananaBrian likes this.
  8. tananaBrian

    tananaBrian New Member

    I'm thinking about moving back to Texas... I've been in Alaska for a lotta years now and there's nothing here that I haven't seen or done, several times over. I think it's time to get out of the dark and cold and back to the heat ...Texas fits me and my lifestyle better, honestly.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    One of our members, Joy in Motion, lived in Anchorage for I don't know how long. She moved to Portland not too long ago. Me, I lived on the Michigan Upper Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin, Madison, etc, and that was far enough north for me.
    Hey, the solstice is coming up, and the days will start getting longer soon! (Oh, why did 30 days of Night come to mind? I saw that one in Kathmandu of all places!)
    Met a gal who knew Rick Archer. who has the qqss web site, and did (does?) lots of teaching down Houston way. She said that she was one of the people who told him it should be qqSS, not SSqq.
  10. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Please help me choose boots!

    I have wide feet, wide calves, and am short, so I don't have as many choices as some people. I would like boots that I can wear in a variety of venues, including on a standard ballroom floor, a CW place, etc. A lot of the boots that I have found that might fit me have a rubber outsole which doesn't seem like such a good idea for dancing (great for the barn, however!). Evenin Star's "lower level" boots are welted, leather, and I think leather soled and they have the wide calf and sole that would fit me so I could always go with that, but, uhm, a lot of the other brands are more fun. (It looks like Boot Barn has a good selection online.)

    Suggestions??? Opinions??? Comments????

    I'm hard enough to fit that it's usually not all that productive to go to a physical store, btw, so that's why I'm primarily looking online.

    Thank you for your help.
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    If you're coming to Portland any time soon, there's a a Boot Barn out in Troutdale right across from where used to dance all the time - the world famous Mr B's Lounge.
    I can vouch for someone who can get you custom boots made for your feet and ankles if you want fun + fit, but it'll cost you, of course. On the other hand, I've had my boots for, man, 15 years now, and dancing on them 2 nights a week. So it was money well spent.

    Looking for eye protection for an upcoming trip and trying to find somewhere I can try on the ones I'm thinking of before dropping (big) bucks on them (prescription lens), so I can relate.
  12. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Steve, I'm on the east coast and am not going to be in Portland. Who is the custom boot person? I might as well inquire.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "Every year Desperado celebrates another year in operation with a trunk show and anniversary party. 2014 marks 18 years for Desperado and owner Joanne Sunnaborg. "

    Joanne had someone she worked with make boots for me, and they didn't quite fit. After they were supposed to have redone them, and they still didn't fit right, and even though I had dragged my feet at trying to wear the boots (Had a big vacation and new house to move into, etc), she had a new pair made for me at no additional cost. Looks like she still works with Tres Outlaws.

    You can start here.

    She used to have a place here in Portland, but moved to Bend years ago.

    If you do contact her you might tell her Steve from McKeesport says, hi. (She might even remember me.)
  14. chuck4788

    chuck4788 Member

    Dancing is tough on the legs/feet, the follows probably have it tougher because they do more spins. Suede leather soles are the best but they need frequent brushing for optimum results. My partner, and others follows that I dance with, usually wear ballroom dance shoes. I prefer Evening Star dance boots because of their good support and suede soles. But I also have ballroom shoes that lately have been more comfortable to dance in, must be adaptation. LOL Ballroom practice shoes are the cheapest dance shoes, the cheapest shoes that work for dancing are Bowling shoes. My most comfortable dance shoes for long nights are a pair of New Balance that I had converted by adding suede bottoms, but my partner thinks the white color looks dorky.
  15. calimd

    calimd New Member

    I prefer leather soles, rubber heel CAN work - easier to stop, as I try to do most turns etc on the balls of my feet anyway. I've invested in a good pair of dress shoes - it is easier to just go from the street into a dance event. Also the support is good. You pay 150-200 bucks but they last you years. But I would always try any shoes on first, as they must be comfortable.
  16. agmtb

    agmtb New Member

    Stewart Boot Company, South Tucson, AZ. Hand made custom for you. Very soft leather or basically any material you want, they use several. Since the leather is so soft I would suggest they NOT be used in stirrups.
  17. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Don't bother with suede bottoms if this isn't for competing. Leather bottoms will do just fine, and they won't wear out after one night.
  18. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Find what fits well, try it out, and if you don't like the sole, every decent rural area in Texas has a shop that can resole boots. Tell them you want boots you can dance in but won't destroy walking in from the parking lot. Most of them really know what they're doing, and can help you pick exactly what you want based on that. The vast majority of them also sell boots, so they can let you test out a couple of different sole types to see what you like best.
  19. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Evening Star boots aren't a good choice for me because they don't have many options when it comes to instep, width etc. They aren't cheap either -- the cheapest men's boot starts about $200.

    From what I am told there are very few companies that make dance cowboy boots, and choices are limited; so if your feet are a bit unusual you will have to have them custom made. That means way more $$$!
  20. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Depends on where you're looking; small-to-medium rodeo towns will usually have a couple of real western wear shops. These may carry some Village People costume stuff, but most of their products are for actually going out and climbing on a horse or branding cattle. Some of those have a boot repair business on the side, which can resole whatever you find that fits with whatever sole you want, others will have a full custom boot shop. Their prices will be better than a fancy name, and their quality will be a lot better.

    There will be cowboy dress-up stores too, and they try to look like the real western stores. When in doubt, ask around at Tractor Supply. If there's not a Tractor Supply in town, you're not even in the right county.

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