I want to buy my first tango shoes

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#21
Vidadance/Vida Mia Shoes

Maybe not, but your post did read somewhat like a blanket condemnation.
In good faith I bought them for tango based on the quoted
recommendations which the supplier endlessly trots out.
That was my mistake.

In answer to a blanket recommendation I think there are issues
people should know about - then they can make up their own minds.
Free speech and all that! And as a final point, the supplier of these
shoes knows what my issues are and prefers to ignore them -
- so can anyone else if they choose.

Just so you know, they seem to be being sold in the US as
a Vida Mia shoe here for instance:
http://www.guaranteedfittangoshoes....ist.asp?idCategory=34&curPage=1&sortField=pop
where they are being classed as dance sneaker, not a tango shoe.
However I wouldn't recommend buying them on line.

And this is coming from someone who has no personal knowledge or
opinion of the shoes themselves nor really strong opinions of the shoes
leaders need. It's just the way I read the posts.
Read it as you like, I have no further comment.
 
#22
I have bought VidaDance shoes; they are very comfortable and they fit me well; as I find shoes usually too wide once the length is right.
http://www.vidadance.com/
Originally Posted by JohnEm

There is no such thing as a universal dance shoe as these are being sold. They are quite well made and an attractive design but one width only and while they are narrow enough for BTM they aren't wide enough for me.
The Vidadance shoes seem to be popular in the UK. However I have found the same problem as JohnEm regarding the width of these shoes. They do seem to have been made with a narrow fit so I suspect that they will not suit people that normally buy wider fitting shoes.

There is too much shoe in front of my toe as a consequence.
I am not sure whether this is a consequence of the narrow fitting but the other major comment people have made about these shoes is that they catch their big toe inside the structure of the front of the shoe.

Maybe I'd like a slightly higher heel
This is the second time this week where a post has suggested a higher heel. I think UKDancer mentioned a Cuban heel as well in a different thread.
I have always thought that a flat shoe is best because I have never had an issue with forward projection. Do other leaders have a preference of heel type?

Regarding the OP I find that putting a suede dance bottom on a thin soled trainer (either Puma for narrow fit or Lonsdale for wide fit) works well for me.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#23
...This is the second time this week where a post has suggested a higher heel. I think UKDancer mentioned a Cuban heel as well in a different thread.
I have always thought that a flat shoe is best because I have never had an issue with forward projection. Do other leaders have a preference of heel type?...
This seems odd to me. If I was a block of wood, a higher heel would surely tilt me forward. In my mind forward projection doesn't come from the heels, it comes from the chest.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#24
This seems odd to me. If I was a block of wood, a higher heel would surely tilt me forward. In my mind forward projection doesn't come from the heels, it comes from the chest.
I agree. But surely, a built-up heel is traditional for tango leaders, but no longer fashionable?
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#25
This seems odd to me. If I was a block of wood, a higher heel would surely tilt me forward. In my mind forward projection doesn't come from the heels, it comes from the chest.
None of this is as scientific as we make out to be as a consequence
of writing about a dynamic dance of movement by humans and not
blocks of wood nor even pillars!

The forward projection of the chest is helped by a combination
of keeping the shoulders back, not breaking at the waist (though
this is just as much for preservation of the back), and some overall
forward intent which has to come from the floor and the ankles
if your tendons and muscles allow. Slightly tilting the platform
of your foot (the sole of your shoe) allows you to lean a little bit
and have the heel under you for stability.

People's experiences are bound to be different because we all have
slightly different experiences and abilities and/or wear and tear.

Ladies have their high heels for just the same reason - a high heel
enables a greater tilt when appropriate yet the heel of the foot
can still be in contact with the heel of the shoe which is in contact
with the floor. That's my understanding and the practical results
of partners help confirm it.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#26
The Vidadance shoes seem to be popular in the UK. However I have found the same problem as JohnEm regarding the width of these shoes. They do seem to have been made with a narrow fit so I suspect that they will not suit people that normally buy wider fitting shoes.

I am not sure whether this is a consequence of the narrow fitting but the other major comment people have made about these shoes is that they catch their big toe inside the structure of the front of the shoe.
This is possibly because the sole is not the full with of the shoe and the
leather is effectively wrapped around and under the foot and stitched
to the undercut sole. I have felt that too and problems with the position
of the split sole catching the ball of the foot uncomfortably. That possibly
would not be a problem if I hadn't bought a shoe longer than my foot to
get the necessary width and then exacerbated by my modifications to
the original very low heel height.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#27
For those of you searching for a dance sneaker that doesn't cramp your forefoot, I LOVE my Sansha Dynamo split sole sneaks. It could be that they are just the perfect construction for my foot, but they do seem to have wider front part.

They do not come in half-sizes and since I like my shoes snug, I ignored their recommendation to buy the next size up. So they are on the verge of being too short, but they are still wider than I really need. (but not enough to mean they don't feel secure)

They also come with removable insoles that you could cut in half to boost the heel slightly or replace completely with something you prefer. I took them out and leave them out (since I bought the size down from my half size)

They do not have sueded soles.. they have that sole material that isn't really like a rubber sneaker sole, but isn't slick either. IF I'm wearing them to follow on a sticky floor, I cover the front with a cut up sock or use baby powder. On slippery floors, they are fine. And I like them for leading.

They also don't have that ugly bulky look that so many Dance sneakers have.

http://www.sansha.com/ShowModel.php?id=54
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#28
They do not have sueded soles.. they have that sole material that
isn't really like a rubber sneaker sole, but isn't slick either.
IF I'm wearing them to follow on a sticky floor, I cover the front
with a cut up sock or use baby powder. On slippery floors, they are fine.
And I like them for leading.

They also don't have that ugly bulky look
that so many Dance sneakers have.
The Rumpf dance trainers are similarly non-ugly, split soled, and
with a hard composition sole that seem to have both control
and spinability. Mine seem nearest to the 1556 Flite seen here:
http://worldofdanceshoes.com/rumpf-sparrow-split-sole-sneaker-1573
Edit: original dance sneaker link may have moved and this model 1573 seems to be be what they offer now.
also available in half sizes which Vidadance/Via Dance are not.
While I pack the heel for tango (it's not really high enough)
the actual sole is really flat and very stable though inevitably
it feels different to a solid leather soled street/tango shoe.

I'm afraid my reaction to a sticky floor is not to spin or pivot
but to step. Talcum (Baby) powder is not liked by many and
can be dangerous to some. And though I don't much like the
idea of a sock over the shoe, and I've never tried it, I think
I'd prefer it to the talcum powder which can produce
variable slip and unexpected results.
 
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Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#29
I'm afraid my reaction to a sticky floor is not to spin or pivot
but to step. Talcum (Baby) powder is not liked by many and
can be dangerous to some. And though I don't much like the
idea of a sock over the shoe, and I've never tried it, I think
I'd prefer it to the talcum powder which can produce
variable slip and unexpected results.
If I'm following, I don't have the option of not pivoting, since almost everything requires some pivoting and if you tell a leader to eliminate all those things, he's going to wish he hadn't asked you to dance!

There are actually a few places here where we talc the whole floor in summer because the humidity makes them so sticky. When I want talc for my sneaks in other venues, I'm usually not the only one, and there will be a little talc pile in a corner for people to get it on their shoes without it creating a problem for those who don't want it.

I don't usually plan on putting a sock over the toe end of my shoe, but I carry the cut socks just in case I am having to choose between doing that and not dancing. Again, this is only for following. I don't have to worry about not being able to do what I'm led if I'm doing the leading. Also, the sock piece I use leaves a bit of toe exposed in case i need the grip in an emergency, and only goes past the front sole into my arch. They do not cover my heel. This is mostly a last resort, not a typical scenario. But if I'm wearing sneaks for an all day workshop where heels would be tiring, or when I'm having a problem that prevents me from wearing heels, I need a backup plan in case the floor isn't "fast".
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#30
The Rumpf dance trainers are similarly non-ugly, split soled, and
with a hard composition sole that seem to have both control
and spinability. Mine seem nearest to the 1556 Flite seen here:
http://worldofdanceshoes.com/rumpf-sparrow-split-sole-sneaker-1573
Edit: original dance sneaker link may have moved and this model 1573 seems to be be what they offer now.
Those shoes (in the link) seem to have extremely nubby soles or something. The Sansha's are almost smooth without "tread". Like if you put your foot in paint and made a step, it wouldn't have a lot of pattern to the imprint.
 
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bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#31
Be careful with dance sneakers; look at the soles; I have a pair of capezios which are clunky but nice to practice in; the bloch's I have ar useless they have too much grip under the toe, but they do one with less grip. but pivoting is impossible.
 
#32
I am liking my gretaflora men's dance sneakers (or also called tarrostango) but I'm into that style and like lower heels. Only recommend though if you get a chance to try them on first as the fit varies a surprising amount even in the same size. In fact IMHO I think it's only worth buying dance shoes that you can try on first for fit and balance.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#33
Those shoes (in the link) seem to have extremely nubby soles or something. The Sansha's are almost smooth without "tread". Like if you put your foot in paint and made a step, it wouldn't have a lot of pattern to the imprint.
You're right, these trainers/sneakers do have a "tread" pattern
but you will see that it incorporates a pivot spot. The pattern is
different to my first pair and to begin with wasn't as fast but wearing in
has improved that so now I don't notice much difference and works
rather like a chrome leather sole.

The sole of second (and probably current) pair have a less cushioned sole
so an insole insert helps if you are going to be on them all day. Personally
I think this choice is better than having an over-cushioned trainer type
sole unit which can dull the contact feel of the floor.

Neither pair was originally bought for tango but with just a simple
temporary modification in the heel they suit me better than Vidadance,
they are more comfortable, more stable and safer for practice.
 
#34
If I'm following, I don't have the option of not pivoting, since almost everything requires some pivoting
when the floor is very sticky or if i dance outdoors in non-pivoting shoes, i replace a step+pivot with a step+step+step almost on the spot in double time, to face the leader again. this works well in forward ochos. in back ochos I don't pivot, just cross my legs, and in a giro as well. I haven't found a solution for a carousel (calesita) though :confused:
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#35
I don't think there really is one...apart from making a (nice, non-judgemental, non-accusatory) comment to the leader that you really can't do those at the time since you can't pivot. Now and again I've run into issues with horrendous floor/"floor" conditions which didn't allow for various things, and a simple comment to my leader was well-received. Most guys, IMO/IME, don't actually want to cause their partners pain and are willing to be mindful of things that can be difficult, but might not always realize. Just a simple, "Ooh, I'm really having a hard time pivoting. The floors are really sticky. Can you try not to lead calesitas? They're just about impossible for me tonight" works pretty well.
 

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
#36
when the floor is very sticky or if i dance outdoors in non-pivoting shoes, i replace a step+pivot with a step+step+step almost on the spot in double time, to face the leader again. this works well in forward ochos. in back ochos I don't pivot, just cross my legs, and in a giro as well. I haven't found a solution for a carousel (calesita) though :confused:
Just say "No" to calesitas. ;) But seriously, I like hearing when my partner tells me there are floor difficulties. Normally I switch to non-pivoting dancing if that is the case. Sometimes crossing "milonguero" ochos are still ok.
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#37
when the floor is very sticky or if i dance outdoors
Or you can try 2x4AlPié shoes, they come with three different soles that you can choose according to the surface. Well, not entire soles, just the part of the sole you're pivoting on.
 
#38
Well yes, JohnEm did explain to me at length what he feels is wrong with my Vidadance mens shoes, and suggested I’m wrong to sell them for tango because the heel is too low.

But I’ve sold many hundreds of pairs now to guys around the world, mainly for tango, particularly through personal recommendation, and with great feedback. They’re the most popular mens shoes in milongas at places like Eton, Totnes, Bramshaw, Bristol, including some pretty good dancers.

I only sell shoes from stock, and am always happy to exchange or refund returns in their original condition if you ever want to judge for yourself.

Or rely on the opinion of someone who clearly has a bee in his bonnet!

David Venney
Vidadance - dance shoes for guys
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#39
Vidadance Men's Shoes Again!

Well yes, JohnEm did explain to me at length what he feels is wrong with my Vidadance mens shoes, and suggested I’m wrong to sell them for tango because the heel is too low.
Previously all I got in response to my observations were copied
emails all expressing customer satisfaction.

It is worth pointing out that this was originally a private exchange after David
was advertising his shoes on a UK Tango email list which I felt was misleading
to other tango men. There was no request for refund (nor any offered) as I had
already had the shoes modified in an attempt to resolve some of the issues,
ultimately unsuccessful. But David was not interested in any such opinion
nor in seeing the result of my experimentation with his shoes.

The low heel was not the only objection at the time - small contact areas
with the floor, the curved heel and instability were also mentioned.
I even compared them to MBTs, the very opposite of what tango requires.

http://uk.mbt.com/

Comments in this thread were in response to a post of uncritical recommendation.

But I’ve sold many hundreds of pairs now to guys around the world, mainly for tango, particularly through personal recommendation, and with great feedback. They’re the most popular mens shoes in milongas at places like Eton, Totnes, Bramshaw, Bristol, including some pretty good dancers.
That is more typical of the supplier's reaction to a contrary opinion.
People may indeed use them but many do not realise their many limitations.
A tango shoe supplier should know. Even before my order we were exchanging
emails about posture and projection in tango and my preference of a higher
than typical heel height.

I only sell shoes from stock, and am always happy to exchange or refund returns
in their original condition if you ever want to judge for yourself.
It is impossible to satisfactorily test tango shoes without using them
to dance. They are then not in their original condition. This is an offer
which provides no practical possibility of test in order to accept or reject.

You buy them as much at your own risk as I did mine.

Or rely on the opinion of someone who clearly has a bee in his bonnet!
David Venney
Vidadance - dance shoes for guys
That was an expensive bee to have in my bonnet! Tango is personal.
The criticisms are based on my experience, not on that of anyone else.
But my own years of dance experience should also have warned me not to buy
a shoe which is claimed to be near universal. There is no such thing in dance.

The modified Vidadance shoes are now discarded and I have followed in the
footsteps of the porteño men by using appropriate street shoes. Bought
in the Uk they are now modified with a wedge inserted in the heel
to raise it by an average of 5mm to approximately 3cm.
 
#40
Vidadance shoes

Personally I hardly dance in anything except my Vidadance aka my "Venney shoes". Great stability good fit and I think they look great in all but the most formal of situations.

I've tried Darcos shoes as well and find them plasticky very liable to scuff and not at all comfortable.

I guess it's horses for courses. Still, I know there are loads of guys in the UK who love wearing Venneys, and I'm unashamedly one of them!
 

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