Tap shoes can be a lot longer lasting than something like ballet or even jazz shoes. But there’s a little bit of care you need to provide them to get that maximum lifespan. Here are some tips on how to look after your tap shoes.
Clean your shoes regularly
Just like any type of shoes, tap shoes will benefit from regular cleaning. For leather shoes, a standard leather cleaner will work perfectly and help the material stay subtle and not split. If you have PU shoes, then a wet wipe is the perfect solution to cleaning them.
Maintain your shoes
There are a few things you’ll want to do to help maintain your tap shoes in top condition that often involve checking for specific problems. Then if you spot them, you can take action to keep the shoes going for longer.
Your checklist for your shoes should include:
1. Checking that there’s no sign of wear on the sole, particularly under the ball of the foot where there’s the most grip and the biggest chance of this wearing away to leave a shiny patch that leads to a hole
2. Make sure that the sole isn’t splitting away from the upper shoe which happens most often around the big toe area with frequent use
3. Watch the tap plates for signs they are wearing unevenly, where one side of the plate becomes thinner. Not only does this damage the shoe but also means that your balance can be affected
4. Test the heel to ensure it is solid and there’s no movement. Some shoes are more prone to this problem than others, such as Cuban heel or stage-shoe styles. Damaged heels can lead to nasty injuries so regular checking is important
Finally, make sure that you check anything like buckles, straps or laces for signs they are wearing or need replacing. You don’t want shoes that suddenly come loose when you are wearing them and cause an accident.
Air the shoes regularly
The final step in caring for tap shoes is to regularly air them, don’t leave them in your bag all of the time. Let them dry out in the fresh air as this will also help remove any odours.
But don’t be tempted to wear them outside, keep them for just your dance classes as you don’t want to risk damaging them with all the things outdoors that could affect them.
Protect your shoes
If you protect your shoes and take good care of them, they can last for a long time and will even help with your dance as the tap plate sound matures over time.