I've spent more than a few hours trolling the aisle(s) of local dancewear boutiques. Not for ballet flats. (The ones sold at those kinds of stores typically don't have the sole support needed for pavement pounding.) And not for tap shoes. (I gave up on clickety-clacking down the stage way back in fifth grade.)
I am there for shoes, though. The ones you wear when you're ballroom dancing. Or making jazz hands. Or taking tango lessons. Those kinds of dance shoes are perfect for women like me who enjoy being able to walk in their heels—or maybe even run for a cab in them.
The great thing about dance shoes is that they look a little sexy, but they're sturdy and practical. Fashion is not oblivious to their charms. Most recently, APC designer Jean Touitou, who has showed us many times over the years that he understands the value of a great ballerina pump/not looking like an idiot in uncomfortable heels, commissioned an Argentine company to make tango shoes for his fall collection. (Vanessa Seward, who designs capsule collections for APC, is from Argentina.) If you don't want to wait until those hit stores later this year, why not visit your local Capezio, Bloch, what-have-you and try on the real thing? Click through to shop a few of my favorites.
Capezio "Alandra" T-Strap, $109, Capezio.com These remind me of the shoes Jennifer Grey wore in Dirty Dancing.
Bloch "Isabella" Open-Toe Heel, $95.50, Zappos.com Users say this shoe "doesn't bind," which means no blisters. Wear with thick tights and a pleated skirt in the winter, an inegenue-y shift dress in the summer.
Tic-Tac-Toes "Carolyn" Mary Jane, $73, Tictactoes.com A grown-up Mary Jane looks cool with worn-in jeans. I like the red, but you could do black, white, even metallic powder blue. Because every style of Tic-Tac-Toes dance shoes can be made in one of 14 pretty metallic colors for an extra $10.
Very Fine Salsa Shoes, $60, Amazon.com Easy summer sandals. That you can actually walk more than a few blocks in.