Hard Shoes/ Heavy Shoes

7th April 2016

Photo by Fay’s Shoes

Hard shoes are the second type of shoes a dancer will receive and are again predominantly made from leather. A dancer will usually get their hard shoes after approximately twelve months from the first class as many teachers prefer students to learn the beginner soft shoe dances first. Hard shoes are commonly associated with Irish dance from the popular shows “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance”. The tips and heels are usually made from fibreglass, which give a clear and loud tapping sound when dancing.

These shoes usually cost approximately $170 AU brand new or from $50 AU second hand. Most dancers in more advanced levels prefer to buy brand new as the shoes can be worn through and provide better support if broken in by the dancer.  Popular Brands include Fay’s, Rutherfords and Antonio Pacelli. Before a competition, sometimes dancers choose to polish the shoes with black shoe polish and add a bright buckle to the laces. This can help enhance the dancer’s appearance on stage.

Dancing in hard shoes is variably different to dancing in soft shoes/pumps. There are new moves introduced such as the shuffle, the knock and the bang. Also, en-pointe (toe work) moves can be performed in these shoes as some of the more modern designs have a flat edge. Hard shoes are used to perform competition dances such as a hornpipe, treble jig, set dance or traditional set. The shoes are generally used in the first round and the final (out of three).

These shoes can be bought online, but a shoe fitter should first size you. If your feet are no longer growing or developing and you are happy with your shoe, then buying online can be an option.



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