Tap is an exciting and explosive style of dance that is as entertaining to watch as it is to perform. As always, the “right” fit of a tap shoe is however your teacher wants it to fit. However in this post, we’ll look at different ways tap shoes can fit and the advantages to each.

Dancers in Tap Shoes

Fitting for Growing Room

If the dancer is still growing, fitting for growing room will allow them to get more use out of the shoe than a more snug fit would. We usually have the dancer try on the shoe, then lift their toes so we can gauge how much room is in the shoe. In tap shoes, we like to leave about a thumb’s width of room in front of the toes when a dancer is growing to give them room to grow without making the shoe dangerously large. If the shoe is slipping around on the foot, it’s too big. To counteract any extra space in the shoe, we recommend using either a heel grip, thick socks, or an insert to take up that space.

Fitting for Precision

If the dancer is doing advanced levels of tap or simply wants a more precise fit, fitting for precision is their best bet. In a fit like this, the ball of the foot sits directly over top of the front tap. This gives the clearest sound when the tap strikes the floor and allows the dancer to control and fine-tune their footwork in this intricate style of dance. If the toes are touching the end of the shoe, it’s likely too small. Tap shoes will usually stretch a bit widthwise, but not lengthwise, so make sure they’re comfortable in the length when they’re being fitted.

Hopefully that cleared up some of the questions you may have had about the fit of tap shoes. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to contact us and let us know.