tangó cipő lábakThe First Shoes for a tango dancer

I met a girl who was just about to buy her first pair of Argentine tango shoes. An “expert” advised her to get shoes that are at least 9 cm tall which struck me.

I don’t agree. The height of the heels is a very sensitive issue and it depends on many things including height, body structure, experience, flexibility of the feet, condition of joints and so on. It is worth getting advice from more experienced dancers or even shoe dealers.

A couple weeks ago I wrote an other article on where to buy tango shoes. Now let’s take a look at the height of the heels!

Luca and the shoes

Let’s find out what Luca Csatai thinks about the height of tango shoes.
Luca is a popular milonguera and also a great tango dj. Her father is a teacher of folk dances and Luca herself used to perform folk dances on stage before beginning her tango career. Not so long ago she wrote a very-very-very useful article about the “Left arm of the leader in tango – the dangerous embrace!”. Let’s see what is her opinion about the height of the tango shoes!

By Luca Csatai:

Dear girls and boys, who are about to buy high heel tango shoes!

Cipő sarok magasság

measuring the height of the heel

The following post might offend many admirers of swaying hips… many of whom will take the defensive and think “I am fine, I can dance like this”. What I am about to share is my personal experience regarding the use of different height shoes…

Tango newbies usually buy relatively low shoes the first time (approx. 7 cm – yes, this is considered low in tango) and they do so very wisely! After a little while when they are not-so-beginners any more and  can walk in their “low” shoes without stumbling they think that time has come to buy a taller ( let’s say 10 cm) shoes. I did the same, of course.

Without any doubt we look much sexier, more feminine in high heels, not to mention the beautiful curves of the feet in those shoes…! One has to be completely unable to walk in tango shoes not to have their benefits – and let’s admit, we seldom see women like that. (…well…sometimes…)

Hurraaaay, we became sexier!

I happened to attend a milonga in New York. Fantastic dancers everywhere, and to my surprise, the best, most popular milongueras were all wearing lower heel shoes!!! Oh-ooh! That is very peculiar indeed!

I thought to myself: if the best New York milongueras dance on small heels than not wobbling around in 10 cm shoes should improve my dance skills as well.
And it did indeed! Allright, I’m not saying that 7.5cm heels made me a tango-star but they did bring improvement of quality to my own dance. I learned to use the heels, i.e. to properly step on them.

Those who know me also know I am not sky-high (not even 160 cm) – so to me it does make a difference whether those shoes are 3 cm taller or not.

Recently I dug out those extra-high-heels thinking how much more enjoyable dancing with tall partners will become. …Unfortunately not so…

nagy sarok cipőThat extra couple of centimeters is not worth loosing your balance! I was tip-toeing carefully – hottttt – but could not feel the ground. Almost like a ship, lifted a little bit above it’s water level. It prevents the rudder from immersing in the water. Instead, it is gently touching the surface, unable to navigate the ship. Well, this is how I feel when I have to dance on shoes too high for me.

This is the point when we have to decide – to be sexier or to dance better?
I chose the second – and didn’t regret it! Try it out yourselves!


What is your opinion? Do you have any advice on buying tango shoes? Let us know in a comment or on Endre’s tango facabook page!