What Are Your Dance Shoes Telling You?

Turns out we can tell a lot by simply flipping over our shoes.

“It’s not about the shoe, it’s what you do in them”

-Michael Jordan

Patterns of wear reveal repeated motion. From sneakers to heels, paying attention to these patterns can tell us how we are moving. By knowing how we are moving we can analyze alignment. Deviation from proper alignment often leads to discomfort, even pain and injury. What are your shoes telling you?

Normal foot pattern

For someone with a normal foot pattern, the bottoms of your shoes would show generally even wear. Likely the middle of the heel and the middle of the front of your foot where you are striking the floor and pushing off will show the most wear.


If you’re an overpronator the bottoms of your shoes will show wear on the inside edges.


Supinators show wear on the outside edges of your shoes.

Let’s look at tango shoes!

My left tango shoe

Lots of wear on the inside of the left heel. I really need to get these reheeled… There is a lot of “pushing off” of the left leg for the follower due to the usual direction of circular motion (counterclockwise to the open side of the embrace).

My right tango shoe

Not as much wear as the left side. But still, the wear is on the inside.


I am clearly putting more pressure on the insides of my shoes. Either I am putting weight inwards, or scraping the inside of heel as I am moving. I will try to be more aware of the inconsistencies in weight moving forward.

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