7 Best Tap Shoes For Beginners & Professionals (2022 Updated)

Tap dancing has been around as far back as the 1800s, yet it is still extremely popular today among the young and old alike. To best practice and perform this dance, it is crucial that you have the best tap shoes money can buy. It not only gives you a distinctive tapping sound, but it will also protect your feet from injuries.

This guide will introduce you to some of the highest-quality pairs of tap shoes out there. Consider your preferences and your budget, then feel free to take your pick!

4 Best Tap Shoes For Beginners

You probably don’t need the best, highest-quality tap shoes if you’re a beginner. Instead, we recommend the following models, which are affordable, but still have good enough quality to be an excellent companion to dance classes.

You can consider upgrading later once your skills have developed and you know that you will stick with tap dancing for a long time.

1. Bloch Dance Men’s Tap-Flex Leather Tap Shoes

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Bloch is a familiar name for dancers of every discipline. The company specializes in making dance clothes and accessories. It has a reputation for making products that are high-quality and long-lasting. The Tap-Flex is the company’s entry-level offering for beginners to tap dance.

Its most notable feature is the split sole, which provides the wearer with enhanced flexibility without sacrificing support.

The upper is made entirely from leather. The inside of the shoes is lined with soft Kashmir for greater comfort. The lining also controls moisture.

Next to the front toe tap is a rubber pad, which provides traction to protect you from slipping. Additionally, it also levels the sole and improves your balance while you’re on your feet.

The heel is made from stacked leather and has a firm heel counter. There is also a notched collar to protect your Achilles tendon.

The taps are patented and are called “Shockwave” by Bloch. According to the company, these taps – made from a special alloy – can create a clearer, more distinct tapping sound. However, the sound it made may sound too high-pitched for some people.

For all of these reasons, the Bloch Tap-Flex is easily the best shoe for beginner adults.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Reputable brand name
  • Cleaner, more distinct sound thanks to Bloch’s patented “Shockwave” taps

Cons:

  • The tapping sound may be too high-pitched for some

2. Capezio Women’s Flex Master Tap Shoe

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Like the Bloch Tap-Flex, the Capezio Flex Master is built with affordability. Nevertheless, these shoes still promise great flexibility, control, and protection.

The upper is made from leather. Inside, the shoes are lined with a soft microfiber lining, which protects your feet from chafing and absorbs excess moisture from sweat.

These shoes are split soles, which makes them highly flexible and allows your feet to articulate better. These shoes are great for practicing and executing toe stands.

Further protecting your feet is the Poron® memory pad, which absorbs shock from footfalls. The company also promises that the pad will never flatten out. This seems to hold true from all of the reports we have gathered from users.

The Flex Master includes extra protection and comfort features, like folded edges, a padded collar, and a notch to protect your Achilles tendon.

At the bottom of the shoes are TeleTone® heel taps. These patented taps are stuck to the ¾-inch plastic heel, mounted further on a leather forepart and a fiberboard. This structure results in a clear, reverberating sound.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Available in two color tones: all-black and tan
  • TeleTone taps provide cleaner sound

Cons:

  • Limited insole support

3. Linodes Patent Easy Strap Tap Shoe for Girls and Boys

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The Linodes tap shoes are a good choice for kids of both sexes. It’s also a great choice of footwear for toddlers.

There are two variants of the shoes. They differ mostly in aesthetics. In one version, the upper is made from glossy leather material. In the second version, the upper is made from tan-colored PU leather. Both types are lined with synthetic velvet-like material, which promotes comfort and does a great job of venting excess moisture.

The shoe design has a classic Mary Jane style, which fits girls very well. But boys can rock these on stage without an issue, too. And like every Mary Jane shoe, the straps are easy to fix in place and adjust.

It has a flexible outsole and the sole is padded to improve comfort. The heel collar is padded to protect the wearer’s Achilles tendon.

The taps are integrated with soundboards, which amplify the tapping sound and make the performance far more memorable.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Unisex
  • The straps are easy to use and adjust
  • Taps are integrated with soundboards for clearer sounds

Cons:

  • Mary Jane-style shoes may not be a good fit for all children

4. Bokimd Child Jazz-Tap Shoes Girls and Boys

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The Linodes’ Mary Jane styling may not be to everyone’s tastes. So, an alternate best children’s tap shoes that we have found is the Bokimd Child Jazz-Tap shoes. It offers pretty much the same benefits as the Linodes, only with a more classic design.

The Bokimd shoes are made from synthetic leather, complete with a 1.5-inch tall leather sole. At this height, the child should be able to dance without being too off-balance. Microfiber is used for the lining. It is a soft material that can wick away moisture very well.

It has a split sole, which enhances the wearer’s flexibility and balance. And to protect the child’s Achilles tendon, there is a notched collar that cups the back of the foot.

According to Bokimd, the taps are built to be bigger and provide a deeper sound. The sound is indeed deeper and more resonant, according to users.

Pros:

  • Has a more appealing classic look
  • Unisex
  • Taps are bigger and have bassier sounds

Cons:

  • The complicated lacing can be an issue

3 Best Tap Shoes For Professionals

But you can’t stick with the same pair of beginner tap shoes forever. As your skills grow, your footwear has to change to suit your level and technique, as well.

Here are a few professional tap shoes that you should consider investing in if you think your skills have grown far enough.

1. Miller & Ben All Black Tap Shoes – Best Professional Tap Shoes

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The Miller & Ben All Black tap shoes are built by Avi Miller and Ofer Ben. The pair is legendary in the tap dancing community and they have been consistently building excellent footwear for advanced tappers for over 40 years.

These shoes are unisex, but there are two versions for males and females. If you have wider feet than average, the company also has a size for wide and flat feet.

Each pair is made from 100% leather and has a full, leather sole. However, the leather is quite stiff and needs a lot of time to break in properly. If you’re looking for a new pair to wear just one or two days before a competition, this won’t be a good choice.

Once they have broken in, these shoes are very comfortable to wear from all of the paddings. The cobblers built into the shoes have many convenient features for tap dancers, too, like padded toe boxes that allow you to comfortably perform toe stands.

And if you’re wondering how the taps are, they’re great and they are very loud. These taps are far louder than anything we have ever got our hands on before and are the best for sound quality.

These shoes do not come with anti-slip pads pre-attached.

The model we have here is all-black. But if you want to bring a bit more distinction and uniqueness to your performance, these shoes are also available in all-white, black and white, white and gold, and pink and silver.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Loud, clear taps
  • Available in many different colors and style

Cons:

  • Needs some time to break in properly

2. Bloch Dance Men’s Jason Samuels Smith Professional Tap Shoe

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While the Bloch Tap-Flex is for beginners, they have many pairs of shoes for professional tap dancers. The Jason Samuels Smith, for example, is marketed toward male pro-level tap dancers.

As expected, this pair is made from 100% leather and has a solid leather sole. It’s styled like Oxford formal shoes and has a full sole. They are comfortable to wear, and the leather is supple enough that it doesn’t need to be broken in. You can slot your feet in and dance right away.

But we should warn you about one thing: if this is your first pair of professional tap dance shoes, you’ll need some time practicing to get used to the weight. This is a hefty pair of tap shoes. To dance with it well, you will need a period of adjusting.

The toe box is built solidly for toe stands and similar demanding maneuvers. The outsole is made from layers of stiff leather for padding, and the heel is made from several stacks of leather to improve durability.

We like the taps on these shoes, which sound very loud and bassy. Bloch said that the taps are attached to the shoes via a unique bonding technique and guarantee that the screws won’t come loose. That is unless the dancers tamper with the taps themselves.

These shoes come either in all black or all white.

Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • Doesn’t need to be broken in due to the supple leather material
  • Taps are built with a special metal bonding process, so screws won’t come loose
  • Available in several color schemes

Cons:

  • This version is for men only

3. Bloch Dance Women’s Jason Samuels Smith Professional Tap Shoe

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Another variant of the Jason Samuels Smith is available for women. This pair has the same basic design as the male’s version (Oxford-style with full-leather construction, full sole, and loud, bassy taps). The only difference lies in the sizing, which will fit the feet of female dancers better.

Like the male version, you can purchase these shoes in either all black or all white.

Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • Doesn’t need to be broken in due to the supple leather material
  • Taps are built with a special metal bonding process, so screws won’t come loose
  • Available in several color schemes

Cons:

  • This version is for women only

FAQs

1. Do you wear tap shoes with socks?

You should always wear your tap dancing shoes with socks or at least a thin pair of stockings. They will wick away sweat, keep your shoes from becoming smelly, and, more importantly, protect your feet from blisters, chafing, bunions, and plantar fasciitis.

2. Should you go up a size in tap shoes?

Unless the manufacturer tells you that you should order a size above or below, always buy shoes that are your exact feet size. Your tap shoes shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Otherwise, you will have a greater risk of injuring yourself while practicing and dancing.

3. Can you wear tap shoes outside?

While it may sound harmless to wear tap shoes outside of class, it’s not good for your shoes. If you walk or dance outside, the metal plates at the bottom of the shoes will scratch or become dull. Before long, you’ll end up with broken or damaged taps and have to replace the entire pair.

4. How long do tap shoes last?

So long as you take good care of it, a good pair of tap shoes can be used for several years. Not only are they a lot more durable than jazz or ballet shoes, but the sound of the taps can also actually become clearer and more “mature” with age!

5. How do you know when you need new tap shoes?

Your shoes can give off many signs when it’s time for a replacement. For example, if it looks visibly worn out (tears, scratches, unusual bending in the soles), then you know that you should get yourself a new pair.

But the most obvious sign of all is decreased sound quality. If the taps no longer sound as great, then either get a replacement or an upgrade.

Final Words

All in all, for beginners, we recommend the Bloch Tap-Flex. Despite being super affordable, these best tap shoes are built well enough that they’re fully able to meet the demands of new tap dancers.

For professionals, the Miller & Ben All Black Tap Shoes are our top pick. The name “Miller and Ben” is trusted in the industry. And of course, the quality of the shoes is nothing to sneeze at. They are totally capable of withstanding the rigors of an advanced tap dance routine.

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