Appreciating Jazz Shoe Designs

Appreciating Jazz Shoe Designs

Jazz can be a very demanding style of dance, and it requires every dancer to push their body to perform well.

Jazz can be a very demanding style of dance, and it requires every dancer to push their body to perform well. In particular, the feet are used in a myriad of ways to perform a wide variety of moves, and they are often required to bend and flex in all directions!

Consequently, jazz shoes need to be as flexible yet supportive as possible, to allow a great of movement for the dancer. Most jazz shoes are made from very soft and supple leather, which moves easily with the foot. This is essential to allow the foot to bend and stretch as much as possible, as jazz dance uses not just the sole of the foot but the top and toes as well to create movements.

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Most jazz shoes have evolved over time to feature what is known as a ‘split sole’. This design features a separate sole for the heel and toe, and the portion of the shoe which lies underneath the arch of the foot is made from supple leather. This gives the best amount of flexibility to the middle of the foot, as it allows it to move without the restrictions of a full sole.

There are a number of well known dancewear manufacturers who make split sole jazz shoes, and Bloch have even designed a pair with no leather or fabric around the middle of the foot at all! Known as the ‘Elastosplit’, the shoe has had the entire middle section removed and replaced with a strong yet simple framework of elastic.

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This design obviously offers a very high level of flexibility when wearing the shoe and the network of elastic has been highly designed to provide a good level of support in such as open shoe. This split design does not feature laces, which can also be a bonus for dancers, and they can be slipped on easily and quickly.

Jazz shoes are mainly available in black, and tend to be designed for a very high level of support, flexibility and performance rather than to look beautiful. However, there are a wide range of jazz shoe styles ranging from the ultra-modern ‘Elastosplit’ to much more traditional black leather styles with laces.

Some manufacturers even make sneakers in a style similar to modern trainers. These also have a split sole which is surrounded by a very flexible mesh insert, which also has the added bonus of creating a breathable shoe. Jazz sneakers can look very modern and striking, as many designs feature bright colours.

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Whichever style of jazz shoes you prefer, it is important to check that they have a good quality rubber sole, which will provide a good amount of grip during movement.

Jazz dancing can often be fast paced and require quick movements, so a sole which has been designed to offer good grip is essential to avoid slips and trips. There is a very wide selection of jazz shoes available to buy online, and most good websites should offer styles from leading dancewear manufacturers in a wide range of sizes.

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