This information will give you some recommendations for footwear for both men and women for West Coast Swing and Hustle. Your shoes can give you a significant advantage in your movement by preventing unnecessary resistance and placing your body in the right place for the respective dances. 

What Shoes Do I Wear?

All the dance shoes that are listed below are most conveniently tried and purchased at your local dance event. Aside from dancing, buying shoes is one of the main reasons to go to an event. Most of these shoes have suede soles, which makes them feel perfect on dance floors.

Worldtone Dance in NYC is an excellent source for all of these dance shoes and more. While they do not offer online shopping, check them out in person to try on different styles.

Shop local! When in doubt, support your local dance store. You’ll have the opportunity to try on shoes, and they can often order exactly what you need if it’s not in stock. Find a dance shoe store near you.

For Men

The Traditional Oxford

A simple, men's standard Oxford shoe (leather sole) will work very well for various occasions and floors. However, as you get more serious in your dance life, you'll want real dance shoes. 

This is a timelessly stylish and traditional Oxford style men’s dance shoe in full grain leather. Flexible suede sole gives greater ability to point, flex, spin, slide, and turn. 1” heel with cushioned insole for extra shock absorption.

Bloch: Mens Xavier Ballroom and Latin Shoes S0860M.

Dance Connection: Comfort Men's Shoes, Ultimate Men's Shoes

For Women

The Traditional West Coast Swing Shoe (highly recommended)

These shoes are the "gold standard" for women’s shoes for West Coast Swing. They are used from newcomer through Champion level. Although they come a variety of colors, most followers have the beige/nude color in their bag.

Although they don't have the same look as a ballroom high heel, they provide a small lift while still allowing you to "anchor" / settle your weight back. The front straps also allow comfort not found in closed toe shoes. Below are some suggestions:

Bloch: Ladies Annabella S0806L. Available in natural or black. Order the same size as your street shoe size. The Bloch version has a quick release buckle (not the hook). These are nicer than the VeryFine shoes in that they have a softer material on the inside of the straps.

These shoes can also be purchased at Attitude Dance & Activewear in Norwalk, CT (formerly Apple Dance Shoes): VeryFine 1670C Classic Tan Leather. Also available in additional colors and finishes. For the VeryFine brand, order a half size smaller than your street shoe size (e.g., if you regularly wear 8, order 7.5).

Dance Connection: Comfort Strappy – Tan Leather. Also available in additional colors and finishes.

Popular Shoe for 2022-24 (highly recommended)

 These strappy sandal-like shoes are quite popular. In 2022, you can find many of the top professionals using this style of shoe. 
Dance Connection: Ultimate Boho. Order them 1/2 size smaller than your regular shoe size.

Dance Boots

Dance boots have become trendy in recent years, which offer a more casual look (and comfortable feel). They can be found in ankle, mid-calf, and knee heights, and offer a low 1" heel and suede sole.

Dance Connection: Ultimate Fashion Boots.

Swayd: Dance Boots.

The High Heel

For Hustle it is very common to dance in a Latin heel. There are many different styles of the straps and height of heel. This is based on individual taste and feel. Although some women are able to social dance and perform in these shoes, many wear lower heels (such as those used in West Coast Swing) for social dancing and keep their fierce shoes for when it really counts (or for shorter intervals). Although, these shoes might be the most challenging in which to dance, they are also the easiest to find:

Get them from, GFranco Shoes

Dance Sneakers

Every true dancer's secret weapon—a great pair of dance sneakers. There are times for performance shoes, a time for fun social shoes, and a time for sneakers. If you are investing many hours on the dance floor for lessons, workshops, and social dancing, then dance sneakers are a must.

They are different from regular sneakers in that their soles a made of either suede or a hard rubber that does not stick like regular sneakers. They are a worthwhile investment, last for a long time, and will help prolong your dance journey. They are generally unisex, but some stores have various styles to match all tastes and fashions.

Get them from Sansha, Bloch, Dance Connection.

Fuego Dance Sneakers (Flat-Bottom)

I've recently been using these sneakers (2022), and I really like them. They are very comfortable and make me feel very creative. 

If you are interested in these sneakers feel free to use the discount code "SWINGSHOESFUEGO" or use this link to get a 10% discount on Fuego Dance Sneakers. 

Update, Feb. 1, 2024: I don't think that Fuego shoes are ideal for a follower as their first choice. The large flat sole is too much surface area on the dance floor and slows followers turns. Additionally, the hard-rubber sole can sometimes be either too fast or too slow on a dance floor. One way to counteract these effects is by putting suede on the bottom of the Fuego shoes. However, for followers especially, the surface area is still an issue that affects turn speed and foot articulation. 

Fuego Dance Sneakers (Split-Sole)


I have also purchased a pair of Fuego split-sole dance sneakers. They were extremely light. However, the rubber was so hard that it made the shoe very fast (almost slippery) on the dance floor. Other students have used these sneakers and have found that they were either too fast or were suitable. In order to correct this feeling, I put suede on bottom of each section of the sole, which helped the traction issues that I was experiencing. Nonetheless, after a few hours of wearing these sneakers, my arch was feeling very tired. Other students have really liked these sneakers and did not experience the issues in the arch that I experienced. 

If you are interested in these sneakers feel free to use the discount code "SWINGSHOESFUEGO" or use this link to get a 10% discount on Fuego Dance Sneakers. 

Chroming Your Shoes (Adding Suede)

Adding suede to the bottom of your dance shoes, is called "Chroming." For most of my dance career, I only purchased dance shoes that were already manufactured with suede soles. In the past 10 years, I have noticed that more and more West Coast Swing professionals were teaching, and even competing, in non-traditional footwear. While I have used Bloch and Sansha dance sneakers for many years for teaching and rehearsals, it was verboten to compete in anything but a traditional shoe. That has changed. 

Recently, I purchased Fuegos (see above), a pair of Converse, and a pair of Nikes. For each of these shoes, I had to put suede on their soles to make these shoes appropriate for partner dancing. Putting suede on my new shoes was a bit of an experiment. Here is some information to help you if you choose to chrome your shoes. 

This video helped me understand how I should approach the process of chroming my dance shoes. There are many other videos on YouTube that can help you learn how to add suede to your shoes

Suede: I have used Caydo 4 Pieces Black Suede Sheets. However, the self adhesive is not enough for dancing. You will need to use stronger glue to keep this suede on your shoes. Feel free to try other types of suede to get the feel that you want. 

Glue: The primary glue I use is Barge All-Purpose TF Cement. When I need to touch up an edge, I used clear Gorilla Glue.