Many male salsa dancers want shoes that give them more height. It’s empowering, sometimes it’s more comfortable to dance and turn when you have more lift, and if you have a partner who’s taller than you (especially with her heels on!), your own extra height can make partner dancing a lot more seamless. Fortunately, there are many options for salsa shoes with an extra-high lift for men—and, in fact, most men’s salsa shoes have a higher heel than the average dress shoe anyway. If you’re just starting to shop around, ask your local dance studio if they have a pair you can rent or borrow to test out various heights in action. You might find that just a few centimeters can make all the difference when you hit the dance floor.
If you already have a good idea of the height you’d like, there are many online options for high-quality, flexible and lasting salsa shoes for every budget. Still unsure of exactly what height you’d like? Go with a “test pair” that is very affordable but may not be made to last. If you’re confident about the height and style, it might be time to invest in a long-lasting pair of shoes that will keep you moving from classes to the local club for months or even years of consistent comfort.
Here are a few of the best options for added lift to take your salsa dancing, literally, to the next level:
This classic, black men’s Latin dance shoe with a Cuban heel adds instant height for $82. It’s available in half-sizes, and Capezio is an established brand that’s beloved by many professionals in the salsa world. Crafted with a durable yet soft polyurethane upper sole, this vegan-friendly shoe has a suede top lift and patches on the forefoot and heel, always stitched for extra durability. The shankless design means optimal flexibility, and an insole and heel that’s cushioned to absorb shock promises more cozy hours on the floor. Capezio is usually on par with your street shoe sizing, but returns from the brand are fast and easy if necessary.
A gorgeous option because the leather is swapped for black patent artificial leather, the Eckse Tiko features black mesh sport material for flexibility and comfort along with an impressive 2.44-inch Cuban heel. The similar Eckse Oskar is nearly identical but with a supple black leather for $110.
This British company is renowned for making some of the best quality and best looking dance shoes in the world. The Jackson brings some serious flash to the dance floor in a black leather nubuck with heavy glitter detailing. The suede sole and two-inch Cuban heel make it the perfect option for the dancer looking for both height and a dash of flash in one affordable package. This shoe retails for about $100 and the company ships anywhere in the world. A similar option without the glitter is the React or Competition.
The 8100 features a higher heel and a higher arch, ideal for male dancers who have a naturally high arch in need of a little extra support. Enjoy the rich leather in a customized, made to order shoe with a Latin cushioned two-inch heel. The split sole promises even smoother movement, and half sizes are available in this personalized fit. It takes four weeks for this shoe to be ready to ship and there are no refunds due to the custom status. As such, you want to be certain of your style and size preferences before ordering and give yourself plenty of time if you’re looking for a shoe for a specific event. Supadance is based out of the UK, so extra shipping and time may be necessary.
The Jones is what made IDS famous for men’s dance shoes and is now available in brand new Black Nubuck materials beginning in 2016. The material is light, flexible, and makes it feel like you wearing a sock it fits so comfortably snug. Extra cushioning equates to extra support, complete with a foam lining and gel pads that ensures you can dance the night away. It was developed with the input of Neil Jones, UK Pro Latin Champion and WDC UK & World Amateur Latin champion. The new heel design offers a material covering the complete heel for a smoother drag and better protection. Jones wears it in his own performances as does Gunnar Gunnarsson, Nikolay Govoroy, Zi Long Wang and many other finalists and champions from around the world. It comes with a 1.5-inch Cuban heel and costs around $120.
As you can see, the options for more lift in a variety of styles and budgets are widely available. If it’s height you’re after, you’re dancing in the right era! Start shopping today and make your next dance class or night out one for the record books.