How to Break in Women’s Tap Shoes: Techniques for a Perfect Fit

Dancing is an art form that requires precision and grace, and having the proper footwear is crucial. When it comes to tap dancing, finding the perfect pair of shoes can significantly enhance your performance on the dance floor. It is essential to ensure you use the proper footwear, such as womens tap shoes. This will improve performance and reduce the probability of injury. This guide will provide techniques to break in your new tap shoes and achieve a perfect fit. 

Select the Right Size

The first step in breaking in your new tap shoes is to ensure they are the correct size. Measuring your feet accurately and consulting the manufacturer’s sizing chart before purchasing is essential. An adequately fitted dance shoe should feel snug but not too tight, allowing your toes enough room to wiggle slightly. Additionally, consider the shoe’s width and arch support, as these factors can significantly affect your overall comfort and dancing experience.

Wear Them Around 

Wearing your new tap shoes around will help your feet adjust to the shoe’s shape and material. This will increase comfort and help you become familiar with the shoe’s fit and feel. Wear them for short periods at first, gradually increasing the time as they become more comfortable.

Use Heat to Soften the Material

Gently heating your tap shoes can help soften the material and make it more pliable. To do this, use a hairdryer to apply heat to the tight areas for about 20-30 seconds. You should be careful not to overheat the shoes, as this can damage the material. After heating, put on the shoes and walk around to help mould them to your feet.

Massage and Stretch the Shoes

Massaging and stretching your new dance shoes can help loosen tight areas and improve flexibility. Use your hands to massage the shoe’s material, focusing on tight or uncomfortable areas. Additionally, you can use a shoe stretcher or a similar device to help expand the shoe and provide a more customised fit.

Break Them in During Practice Sessions

Incorporating your new dance shoes into practice sessions is an effective way to break them in gradually. Wear them for a few warm-up exercises, then switch back to your old shoes for the rest of the session. As your new shoes become more comfortable, gradually increase the time you wear them during practice until they feel as comfortable as your old pair.

Use Shoe Conditioner or Leather Softener

Applying a shoe conditioner or leather softener can help break in your tap shoes more quickly. These products are designed to soften and condition the material, making it more pliable and comfortable. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance for the best results, and be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to confirm it does not damage the material.

Be Patient and Persistent

Breaking in a new pair of tap shoes takes time and patience. It’s essential to be persistent and continue using the abovementioned techniques until your shoes feel comfortable and secure. Remember that each individual’s feet are unique, and thus, a technique effective for one person may not give the same results for someone else. Be prepared to try various techniques and adjust your approach as needed.


Breaking in your new womens tap shoes may require effort, but ensuring a comfortable fit and optimal performance is worth it. Using the techniques outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the perfect fit for your dance shoes and dance confidently and gracefully. Remember, patience and persistence are crucial to achieving the ideal fit, and with time, your tap shoes will become an extension of your feet, allowing you to showcase your skills and passion for dance.

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