“That’s what you strive for – you strive to take your move to the next level. It’s about shock value, always shock value, but keeping it flavoured and stylized and making it yours.”
Have you recognized the quote?
You probably did.
It was Crazy Legs talking to you, imparting his dance floor WISDOM with us, the rest of the hip hop dancers wishing to be like him. And what is the key to achieve that?
Practice, lots of patience and good dancing shoes.
Speaking of good dancing shoes, when it comes to hip-hop we need to pay attention to a few KEY FEATURES such as:
- Their weight (try to avoid really heavy shoes as they won’t come in handy during your choreography)
- The sole type, the ankle support and of course
- The price range because they can get pretty expensive sometimes.
With so many brands that are now available and so many models with complicated names and features it can feel quite exhausting and OVERWHELMING to choose the right pair for your routine.
I’ve made a list based on my own preferences and my fellow dancers’ SOPHISTICATED tastes.
Trust me, we’re hard to please when it comes to finding the perfect dance footwear.
And we are like that for a good reason, as bad shoes can turn even the greatest routine into a disaster.
Adidas says that these shoes reinvented running. I say that they reinvented hip hop dance REHEARSALS.
At least for me, they did.
They are extremely comfortable, lightweight and they deliver a GREAT deal of energy return. It feels like the dance floor pushes you back up, facilitating the fancy jumps we all try to pull off.
They feature a second-skin fit, with a seamless knit upper that seems to become part of your body after the first few moves in it.
Compared to earlier designs of the same shoe, featuring more than 15 pieces, this new one comes in fourcompact ones: the Primeknit™ 360 upper, the torsion spring plate, the very RESPONSIVE boost midsole and a stabilizing torsion spring.
The Boost™ technology is what actually made them my number one choice as this cushioning system turns these shoes into a very soft, yet sturdy pair.
Adidas first used this technology on Yeezy Boost 350, the product they have actually developed in collaboration with Kanye West – and I am so GLAD they kept on developing it.
The Continental™ Rubber outsole is perfect for any type of dance floor be it wood, vinyl or concrete and it will allow you to dance under any weather conditions.
And I say that because not once I had to dance in the rain for certain events, so we always need to be prepared.
As specifications, Adidas Ultraboost 19 shoes weigh around 10 ounces, the midsole drop measures 10 mm (as the heel is 29 mm and the forefoot is 19 mm)
And they have an adaptive 3D heel frame – which means that they’ll adapt take the shape of your foot.
This model features lace closure and it is available in over 25 different colours, so I am sure you’d find one to MATCH your outfit and taste.
- The sole is extremely reactive offering amazing energy return
- Very durable fabrics
- Comfortable upper, with a large toebox that prevents the so common in-grown nails in professional dancers
- They are versatile, so you can wear them in your everyday life, outside the rehearsal hall and be very stylish
- The lace closure can be uncomfortable during a routine if not tied correctly
- Some models have a less fashionable colour scheme
I grew up watching tennis and if there is something this sport taught me is that tennis players always know how to choose the highest quality sportswear to help them in the field.
Even if I’ve never practiced tennis in my life, I pay attention to what kind of shoes some of my favourite athletes opt for so I can use them in my DANCE ROUTINES too.
You can imagine what happened when the one and only Novak Djokovic signed with Asics, right?
I have obviously started to research this brand more and I did find a few models that really attracted my attention.
The Asics Gel Excite 6 made it to my top featuring their GEL™ Technology offering the comfort and BOUNCE effect we all are looking for.
Through this technology the shoe reduces the impact, offering high shock absorption – exactly what we, the dancers, need when we come back to Earth from one of our awesome backflips.
The Jacquard mesh fabric keeps the feet cool and dry for a full REHEARSALS day.
The outsole seems to me very durable, featuring the AMPLIFOAM™ Technology for the midsole offering us the much desired flexibility.
They are lightweight, making it for an easy routine, with the ORTHOLITE™ sockliner moisture management and REARFOOT GEL™ TECHNOLOGY CUSHIONONG SYSTEM providing superior padding and support for your tired dancer arch.
The Gel Excite 6 pair is made for neutral pronation and it is available in sizes from 6 to 16, for narrow, standard, wide or extra wide types, and in a variety of colours.
ASICS brand name is actually an acronym for Anima Sana In Corpore Sano which translates to A healthy soul in a healthy body And their care for their customers’ healthy feet and joints is apparent in the quality of their products which are now based on over 25 years of research.
They may be a little PRICEY, but they are worth it.
- Very lightweight shoe, perfect for dancing
- The midsole is flexible, allowing your arch to bend as necessary
- It is a budget show, with great price-quality ratio
- The toebox seems not to be wide enough in the standard width models.
- They are primarily intended for athletes with high arches.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10 feature a full-length Fresh Foam midsole, a double JACQUARED mesh upper and the popular Ortholite™ insole.
They may seem a little chunky at the first sight but they are actually very flexible and lightweight shoes (294g for men, 254 for women), designed for running long distances – which translates to me into shoes that are designed for long hours in the rehearsal hall.
They have an 8 mm drop with a 30 mm heel height and 22 mm forefoot height.
The blown rubber outsole developed using a data-driven design, with pressure-mapping colours to indicate the highest IMPACT areas.
They are available in black, black & white and red combinations and they come in all sizes and width types. The arch support type and pronation are neutral and they have a midfoot strike pattern.
- Comfortable shoe due to its full length foam midsole
- Lightweight design with a good energy return
- Fashionable design, making it easy to be worn outside the rehearsals and shows
- A little too expensive
- The heel is a little narrow and it may cause blisters if not worn with adequate socks
Yes, Adidas made it to my top again.
What can I say?
They do make really good products using highly RESEARCHED technologies.
Adidas Solar Boost 19 is no exception to the rule.
It features Tailored Fiber Placement (inspired by NASA technology) which means that the midfoot area is reinforced with stitched-in extra support, the already well-known Boost ™ Technology, making it a very responsive shoe with high energy return – a very important trait for dancing routine.
The outsole is very flexible featuring the Continental™ Rubber that offers very good traction and DURABILITY.
Adidas Solar Boost has a fitcounter heel that will adapt and fit your foot with Solar Propulsion Rail guiding the foot.
The Stabilizing Torsion System – a thermoplastic arch connecting the heel with the forefoot – was created in order to assist the fore foot and rearfoot to move on their own, independently, and it probably feels like magic in some of the more difficult moves.
The heel to toe drop is 10 mm, with a 32 mm heel height and a 22 mm forefoot height.
They are mainly created for neutral pronation and high arch types. They weigh 312 g for men models and 269 g for women models.
They are available in all sizes and the colour palette you can choose from is very GENEROUS.
- The Boost™ technology makes them extremely comfortable and easy to wear long hours
- The Stabilizing Torsion System comes in handy for your hip hop footwork tricks
- The upper feels like a second skin, fitting the foot, while providing a secure support
- They a little heavier than what I would normally choose as a dance shoe
- They seem a little stiff at the first trials
I present to you the winner of the 2019 Runner’s World “Recommended” Award. Featuring the UA HOVR ™ technology these shoes make you feel like you’re dancing in ZERO-GRAVITY.
The energy return is amazing and the impact is very well ABSORBED, protecting your joints.
The engineered mesh upper keeps your feet dry and it secures them with reinforced strategic support in areas where it is needed.
The EVA sockliner and midsole offer great padding and perfect match to your feet shape.
If your plantar region feels sore after rehearsals, you might mike the anatomically placed, flex grooves that will offer FLEXIBILITY and support your feet during long hours of training.
What actually caught my attention is the possibility of connecting to UA MAPMYRUN system which tracks and analyses your running metrics.
Although we are dancers, we need to train outside the dance rehearsals.
Some will choose to do it in the gym, other will choose running.
If you are part of the latter category you may fall in LOVE with this feature.
To me it seems like we’re living in a S.F. movie…
The shoes can tell you how great of a runner (dancer) you are…
What a time to be ALIVE!
- The energy return is very good.
- The UA MapMyRun connection option which is great for training outside the rehearsal hall.
- The materials seem really durable.
- The insole provides good and anatomically correct support
- It feels stiff in the first week or two of wearing
- The MapMyRun system sometimes breaks down and disconnects
In the end, remember that as Crazy Legs says if you’re not messing up every now and then at PRACTICE, you’re not doing anything above your ability to progress.
So put on your dancing shoes, whichever you choose to wear and win that battle you’ve been practicing for!