Dancing is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But you know what’s not so nice? Coming home from a dance club with your feet beat up — all because of the high heels you wore.
Don’t let high heels throw off your groove. Your shoes should be working for you, not against you, which is why we’ve picked some of the best high heels for dancing on the market.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice — Mary Jane Pumps by J. Adams
- Best Premium Product — Naturalizer Danya
- Best Value Product — Comfortable Foam Padded Round Toe Classic High Heel Pump
Keep reading if you want answers to commonly asked questions about high heels for dancing or other great shoe options.
How Do High Heels Affect the Body?
First and foremost, high heels your aesthetics. They elevate your height about three or four inches (depending on the type of heel you have), as well as force you to stand on the balls of your feet. Standing like that engages your calves more, which helps your legs look more shapely and athletic.
Aesthetics are the main reason why a person wears high heels. But these shoes also impact your spine and lower back. Standing on your toes throws off your center of balance, which is usually impinged on the belly button because your feet are flat on the floor.
But by standing on your toes, you have to overcorrect your center of gravity. You tilt your chest and lower back forward while pushing your hips back, throwing your spine out of alignment. You might not notice the misalignment at first, but you’ll feel a difference after several hours of wearing poorly made high heels.
Over time, you could seriously injure your back from such poor posture caused by bad high heels.
The second area high heels affect is your feet. When wearing heels, you put 70% of your weight on the balls of your feet, which puts a lot of stress on the bones in that region, including the toes. If your heels have a poor interior lining, your feet can grow sore, swell, grow blisters, or even start bleeding, since the pressure causes your skin to break.
Wearing poorly built high heels has been shown to cause plantar fasciitis, which is when the tissue connecting the heel bone to the toe muscles (called the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed.
High movement activities like dancing can cause you to put uneven pressure on your feet, which is why it’s sometimes painful to walk fast or jump in heels since your feet don’t land evenly on the ground. The shock is unevenly distributed, and the Achilles tendon becomes strained from such vigorous activity.
Sporting heels also increases the likelihood of rolling your ankle. The tip of the heel could become lodged in a crack between the club’s wooden floorboards. Before you know it, your body is going down, but your ankle is stuck in place.
Rolling your ankle is enough to cause you to sit out for the rest of the song, but it could also lead to permanent joint, bone, or tendon damage in your ankle.
In addition to all that, your discomfort to wearing heels could cause you to “hold your weight,” as they say. This phrase means you don’t distribute your weight to your feet. Instead, you clench your calf muscles to absorb some of the pressure you should be putting on your feet.
For your calves, it’s a bit like lifting weights since they’re put under stress they shouldn’t be under. Straining your calves is one reason why women who regularly wear high heels tend to have more sculpted calves, but those beautiful muscles come with risk. You could injure your calves from such prolonged stress over a long time.
As well as your calves, your knees absorb some of that excess pressure as well when you hold your weight. Your feet are supposed to absorb some of the excess stress on your knees. Since your knees get more pressure on them than they bargained for, the ligaments and tissue comprising the knee can be stressed over time and lead to tears in the ligaments or tendons.
Finally, the last part of the body high heels strain is your hips. You could constantly be “sitting” on one hip — imagine putting most of your pressure on one leg while you stick the other leg out like in this photo. You guessed it; that posture puts unnecessary stress on your hips, which causes swelling, joint damage, and pain developed over time.
As you can imagine, wearing poorly constructed heels puts you at greater damage to your body over time. The bodily harm incurred through heels could be hastened if you’re always moving in high heels, such as through dancing. Dancing on its own causes damage to the joints, bones, and muscles — ask any long-term dancer.
So wearing the proper high heels is crucial when dancing. You should not only be wearing the right heels but, before any excursion to the disco club, you should ensure you’re dancing as safely as possible.
How to Dance Safely
Everyone has a style of dance. Some people bop around like dads while others have a talent to truly grasp the music, twisting and grooving to the beat. Everyone, no matter who you are or what type of dancing you do, should practice proper safety techniques before, during, and after a vigorous dance session — especially in heels.
Avoiding Injuries While Dancing
Injuries happen in two broad ways while dancing — a quick mistake that could greatly harm the body all in one moment, such as through a bad fall or an injury incurred from the continuous pressure you put your body under by dancing without safety in mind.
Studies show that dancing for four to five hours a day or more increases the possibility of a stress fracture or other injury. If you give your body a chance to recover, you can stave off such stress-induced injuries.
But if you’re the type of person to go out clubbing on the weekend Thursday through Saturday, those three days of constant straining, especially when stretched over weeks, can cause you to break bones, tear muscles, or sprain joints. Those points are particularly true if you’re adding copious alcohol consumption to the mix.
So, in short, the type of shoes you wear while dancing is crucial to maintaining your overall health. Don’t take the high heels you throw on with your cute dress lightly, as they can have serious, long-lasting effects on your health.
You should be cognizant of future you. But at the current moment, let’s take care of present you by learning how to avoid spraining your ankle while wearing high heels.
How to Avoid Spraining Your Ankle While Wearing Heels
Avoid Gaps in the Floor
First and foremost, check the ground you’re walking. You could have the smoothest floor in the world, but just one perfectly sized gap in the floorboards could cause you to go down before you know it.
You can’t always keep a vigilant eye on the floor while you’re at the club, especially if it’s your first time there. But if you have a few seconds of vigilance before the music completely consumes you, glance over the floor to see if there are any potentially dangerous gaps that could catch your heels.
Wear Chunky Heels
Conversely, if you want to worry less about potentially face-planting while wearing heels, you can wear heels that reduce your chance of getting wedged into a small imperfection on the floor.
As you can imagine, the thinly pointed, blade-like points comprising stiletto heels are the perfect candidates for getting stuck in things. Heck, stilettos are scary enough that you could imagine the point stabbing through the floor and getting stuck that way.
Chunky heels are the way to go. The heel is made from a wider piece of wood (or whatever other material comprises the shoe), and there’s a reduced risk the wedge will get caught in something, as most bar managers would notice a quarter-sized gap in the floor and take measures to fix it.
Chunky heels, though, look less sexy than a thinner heel. Chunky heels edge closer to a grandma outfit, but depending on the heel, you can still look young and wild with a cute pair of chunky heels.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It means a little bit of precaution or planning now saves you time, energy, and (in the case of high heels and dancing) pain in the future.
Sometimes you get dressed up, head out with your friends to the bar district, and have no clue where you’ll end up that night. You could end up sipping beers at a pool joint or hitch a ride to a wild house party.
If you know you’re going straight to a club with a well-loved dance floor, though, take a few minutes while you’re clear-headed and sober to do some light stretching. You’ll loosen up the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your legs by doing so, which will decrease the likelihood of getting a stress-induced injury.
If you forget to stretch and are already well into drinking, don’t lose hope. Inebriation brings with it a delicious disregard for social norms, so you can start loosening up your hamstrings and touching your toes even as the party’s going on. Who knows, people might think it was a part of your intentional dance moves!
Do Leg, Back, and Core Exercises in Your Free Time
Make leg day every day. You’ll not only look better in the dresses you wear to the club, but you’ll have a much easier time protecting your legs and feet from injury in the process.
When you exercise at a gym, you intentionally put your body under controlled stress. Lifting weights, for example, pushes your bicep muscles just a little bit past their comfort zones. That stress causes slight tears in your muscles, which is why they feel sore. When the body repairs those tears, though, the muscle grows bigger and stronger.
You can apply the same principles to growing and strengthening your leg muscles so that they’re better suited to handle the stress of high heels. You can do squats, calf raises, and burpees, among other exercises, to bolster these muscle groups. You’ll break a sweat, but you’ll have a much better time walking around in your stunning high heels.
What Should You Have If You Injure Yourself While Dancing?
No matter how much preparation you do, a fluke can always happen. Someone dancing next to you gets too into a Drake song, and before you know it, you’re on the ground. You’ve landed on your ankle funny.
Life happens, but be prepared for it happening with these essentials in your bag or car (or your friend’s car if you know you’ll be drinking that night) — if you can fit it.
- An instant cold pack. These are cold packs in which you agitate the bag, and the chemical reactions inside of it cause the material to become cold. If you keep them in a secure, hard-shelled case in your bag, you can whip them out at a moment’s notice to reduce the swelling of a fall. They’re usually disposable and relatively inexpensive.
- Pre-wrap and athletic tape. You’ll want to wrap up your swollen joint to reduce swelling, so carrying around a role of pre-wrap or athletic tape does that. These items are also inexpensive. They’re also lightweight and not bulky, so that they won’t take up that much space in your bag.
- Bandages or Band-Aids. In case the fall broke open your skin. You’ll want to stop any bleeding for your safety and the safety of everyone around you.
- Topical pain reliever. Oral pain relievers could also work, but don’t ingest them if you’ve also been drinking that night — you don’t want to mix the medication with alcohol.
What Should You Know When Dancing in High Heels?
If you’ve always worn flats or sneakers, high heels will take some getting used to. As mentioned previously, you’re warping your center of gravity, which is why many people look like baby giraffes learning to walk when they first put on a pair of high heels.
So don’t slap on a pair of heels, then immediately head to the ride-share over to the club. You’ll want to practice walking around in heels first to get the hang of them before you start bopping around in them. You’ll not only look more graceful, but you’ll stumble into the people around you far less.
Of course, practice proper safety precautions when wearing high heels. Always stretch beforehand, check out your surroundings.
And, most important of all, get a pair of high-quality heels. Bad heels with no padding and stiff uppers will make your life miserable. You don’t want your toes to bleed and your feet to feel like they’ve got metal knives jammed in them right when you’re starting to have the most fun.
A good pair of heels will not only last you a long time, but they’ll make every night you spend in the club feel like a breeze. No foot pain for you, no having to walk home with your heels in your hand when the bars finally close.
Here are some of the best high heels to dance in.
Best High Heels to Dance In Review
Regal, elegant, and available in a variety of colors, the City Classified High Heel Pump not only looks good with the rounded toe and elegantly thin heel, but they feel good as well.
You might see an ordinary matte black pair of heels on the outside, but on the inside is a foam padded interior sole. That’s right — the nights of wishing you could shove bar napkins inside your shoe without your date knowing it is over. Your heels are ready to go.
They also come with a textured rubber sole to reduce the chances of slipping. Drinks spill on the floor, and you don’t want to slip in the wetness. Having rubber soles will add additional safety to your dancing endeavors.
Not only that, but the outer parts of the shoe are flexible and stretchy as well. They’ll conform to the shape of your foot after a while, meaning these shoes will be designed for you and just for you to wear and dance and be merry in all night.
Though they seem like they should break the bank, the City Classified High Heel Pump is relatively inexpensive, meaning more money to spend on more important things, like Uber, on the way home.
For a reliable pair of shoes that look good, feel good, and come in a variety of colors, get the City Classified High Heel Pump.
- Interior padded foam sole will make you feel like you’re dancing on clouds.
- The rounded sole looks elegant and timeless.
- Affordable and available in a variety of colors.
- These shoes take some time to break in.
- They don’t come in wide sizes, so order a half size up if you have wide feet.
Not only are they adorable, but they have a secret ingredient to a comfortable night of dancing — padded soles. These shoes are extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Since the Mary Jane Pumps have a vintage flair to them, you could throw up some traditional dance moves like the Charleston or the twist. Everyone loves a good throwback — and these shoes luckily won’t throw your back out.
They’re constructed from high-quality leather than molds to the shape of your foot. They’re comfortable and easy to put on with the simple ankle strap. The heel is three inches tall, so not super crazy to risk serious injury.
These shoes are great for those who want to look good in their retro outfit and feel good as well. The nights of coming back to bloody toes are over — the Mary Jane Pumps by J. Adams have got you covered.
You not only have a variety of options to choose from, as this shoe comes in 19 different colors, but the high-quality construction means you’ll be wearing them for years to come.
- These padded sole and high-quality stitching make for a well-crafted shoe.
- The J. Adams Mary Jane Pumps have a cute, retro vibe that will appeal to vintage connoisseurs.
- Well-constructed yet still affordable.
- The shoe material isn’t very breathable, so your feet could get sweaty and smelly while dancing.
- No wide options, so order a half size up if you have wide feet.
Right off the bat, you can see that the Anne Klein Leather Dress Pump has thick padding on the interior sole, which is perfect for long nights at the dance club. Some users say the shoes have more padding in them than their Nike sneakers. That means maximum comfort you wouldn’t expect in a high heel.
Not only that, but the shoe lacks sides. This design frees up your shoes and allows them to breathe more, meaning less foot sweat to stink up your shoe potentially.
The ankle strap adds a flair of elegance and poise to the look as well, and the adjustable buckle means you can loosen or tighten the strap to your liking.
These shoes are made from 100% leather unless you get the reptilian version. That’s going to be made with synthetic material. The heels are 2.25 inches tall, so it will give you a boost in height but not get too crazy.
The shoes come in four colors and two different styles — smooth leather and reptile. You don’t have as many options as other shoe brands, but you have something else: a high-quality shoe that will make dancing feel less like something you dread because of what it does to your feet and something you actually look forward to doing.
- The thick padding makes wearing these shoes feel extremely comfortable, reducing foot fatigue after hours of use.
- The open sides give a modern vibe to a classic shoe style.
- These shoes are made of only the highest quality materials.
- These shoes run a bit expensive, but you can consider that an investment.
- No wide sizes, so people with wide feet will have to order a half to a full-size up.
Another open-sided high heel, except this one comes from City Classified. These shoes look comparable to the Anne Klein shoes, except they have a T-strap instead of just an ankle strap. These shoes are also slightly less padded, but they have ankle pads that help nestle the bones in your feet.
The City Classified Women’s Pumps are more affordable than the Anne Klein heels coming before us. They’re nearly as good a quality, though, so you’re not only saving money but not losing out on enjoying yourself at a dance club as well.
These shoes are completely made from human-made material, so they don’t involve animal products. Vegans and other people concerned about ethical consumerism will have a better time buying these shoes, then.
These shoes also have rubber, textured soles to prevent slipping. You know you’ll want that at the club when you’re sweating and perhaps walking on other people’s spilled drinks. The soles of these shoes are perforated as well, so there’s more airflow. Your shoes will smell better as a result.
For a cute, affordable pair of high heels that give you long-lasting comfort, consider the City Classified Women’s Pumps. They’re available in three colors, and they’re guaranteed to get compliments.
- Affordable pair of high heels that are comfortable and easy to wear.
- Available in three bold colors.
- Rubber, perforated inner sole helps breathability.
- Textured rubber outer sole decreases the chance of slipping.
- Some customers report these shoes run big, so they’re not true to size.
- It might not be comfortable for people with wide feet.
Who said chunky heels were for grandmas? The Naturalizer Whitney High Heels are perfect for strolling into the club with power and control.
These shoes are excellently made. Your choice of leather or suede comprises the upper, and the N5 Contour technology provides a patented cushioning experience in the footbed. The inner sole nestles up against your arches, giving them the proper support they need to prevent fallen arches.
The outer sole is durable and slip-resistant, meaning less chance of tanking while on the dance floor. The textile linings of these shoes are smooth and strong, so you’re not going to bust a seam any time soon. Also, the heels are 2.5 inches tall, so you’re not augmenting your height a dramatic amount.
These shoes are a bit more expensive than the others on this list, but from the comfortable inner padding to the high-quality leather upper to the slip-resistant sole, you’re in for a long-lasting investment. These shoes will be worth the money you put into them.
- The inner sole padding and arch support will be what you need to dance for hours on end without getting sore feet the day after.
- These shoes have a strong, durable textile lining.
- The slip-resistant soles reduce the chance of falling.
- These shoes scuff easily.
- No wide sizes, so people with wide feet will have to order a size up.
Sometimes you want the pedicure you just spent a lot of time and money on to get the attention it deserves. With the Dream Pairs’ Stiletto Peep Toe, you can give your pedi that well-deserved time in the spotlight.
Not only do these shoes have a small hole at the front that allows you to look at the toes, but the outer sole is made from rubber. While your toes will be out, you don’t want to get them into suspicious materials through a poorly timed fall.
The shoes are designed to be slip-on, so you can get them on and get out the door without skipping a beat. The heels are approximately 3 inches tall with the shoe’s platform an additional half-inch, giving people with smaller gaits a considerable height boost.
The outer portion of the shoes is available in 17 colors. All of the inner soles will be made from finished, slightly padded faux leather for heightened comfort.
These shoes are both mature yet casual. The high heels themselves look upscale and put together, but the toe hole is reminiscent of a sandal. You can add a personal flair if you have painted toes as well. If you want to look less stuffy but still show up in a gorgeous pair of heels, try on the Dream Pairs’ Women’s Pump Heels.
- Padded faux leather interior soles help prolong the comfort of wearing these shoes.
- The peephole adds a fun flair to the shoes.
- These shoes are available in 17 different colors.
- You might experience discomfort with the toe hole, depending on the length and width of your feet.
- These shoes take a while to break in.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of open-sided pointed toe high heels. Not only do these shoes look great, but they’re also comfortable as well.
The heels measure in at 4 inches, so you’re adding a dramatic increase to your height. That’s perfect for shorter women or taller women who want to be even taller. The heel-strap has a convenient buckle that helps provide a quirky look that never leaves the realm of “fierce.”
These shoes are also easy to wear. They’re made from faux leather and are designed to slip right on. No need to find a place to sit while you fiddle with your shoes. You could put them on while standing — or wobbling, depending on your blood alcohol levels.
You also have a variety of options with these shoes as well, as they come in many different colors and sizes. If you want to add personality and flair to your wardrobe while staying comfortable on the dance floor, the Premier Standard Women’s Pointed Shoes are for you.
- The padded interior sole and open-sides will look great with a myriad of outfits.
- These shoes have a strong, durable design.
- They add four inches of height.
- You can’t add an orthotic, should you want it, unless you’re not afraid of people seeing it.
- Some users report that these shoes squeak while they walk.
Who doesn’t love some strappy flair? These shoes have a fun design that will still help you feel good on the dance floor. You can ramp up your feminine flair and look stylish with the Danya high heel sandals from Naturalizer.
The uppers are human-made, assuaging concerns from the vegans in the audience. They also have a striking strappy vamp design that adds much visual diversity to your wardrobe. The heels also have a heel strap with a hook-and-loop closure, making putting on and taking off these shoes a breeze.
These shoes are sure to have a secure fit, so no slipping around or sore footbeds. The inner lining is soft and breathable, keeping your feet cool and dry.
Not only that, but the inner soles have N5 Comfort technology that makes the footbed contour to your foot. There’s built-in arch support and flexibility to make these shoes incredibly comfortable for dancing.
The outer sole has a synthetic, lightweight textured design that prevents slipping. If you want to have a great pair of heels to dance in, choose the Naturalizer Danya high heel sandals.
- These shoes have a funky, quirky strap design that’s sure to get attention.
- The padded, flexible soles are great for dancing.
- The outer soles are durable and non-slip.
- These shoes are a bit expensive.
- There’s not as much padding on these shoes as other shoes on the list. So, you could experience some discomfort after vigorous dancing.
Another stylish pair of high heels to dance in comes from Dream Pairs’ Women’s Kucci High Heels. These shoes are also made from human-made material, so you don’t have to compromise your morals if you’re a vegan looking for a pair of dancing heels.
The heels of these shoes measure in at approximately 3 inches, and the platform adds 0.2 inches of height. The company says that these shoes tend to run small, though, so consider ordering a size up if you have wide feet.
What’s best for dancing endeavors is the latex padded insole for maximum comfort. The padding cushions the feet from the pressure of every step, jump, or slide you take, protecting the bones in your feet from stress. You’ll be able to dance the night away and not feel like you can’t walk the next morning.
The outer sole of these shoes are made from TPR rubber, so they’re sturdy and slip-resistant — exactly what you need in a pair of dancing shoes. Bar floors and dance clubs can be unforgiving places for shoes, so you need a pair of heels that are up for the challenge.
For another fun pair of shoes to facilitate your dancing needs, get a pair of Dream Pairs Women’s Kucci High Heels.
- These shoes have latex padding for additional comfort.
- TPR rubber comprises outer soles of these shoes, making them strong and slip-resistant.
- They are an affordable pair of shoes available in multiple colors.
- Customers report the toe box can pinch, so order a size up if you have wide-set feet.
- The shoes scuff rather easily.
Remember chunky heels? They’re great for more stability and ease while walking, but a lot of them make you look out of place in a dance setting. These Women’s Octagon Pumps from Aerosoles give you the elegant chunk without the displacement vibes.
These shoes are made from 100% leather, so they’re high-quality and made to last a long time. The inner soles are padded, and there’s a slight cushion for arch support. Perforated holes in the inner sole aid breathability, while the ridges on the outer rubber soles prevent slips and falls.
The Aerosoles Women’s Octagon Pumps are stitched with quality and are designed to be durable, making them great footwear for the dance floor.
- These shoes have padded soles for comfort.
- They include arch support for foot safety.
- These shoes are affordable and stylish.
- Some customers say these shoes run big, others too small. You might have to return a pair to find your perfect fit.
All the shoes are great and will feel great while dancing. But the below three are our personal favorites.
Best Overall Choice — Mary Jane Pumps by J. Adams
These shoes are well-constructed, comfortable to wear, and adorable to look at. They’re made from high-quality materials and provide additional padding in the feet to facilitate great dance moves. They’re also affordable and easy to maintain, making them an investment in future dance nights.
Best Premium Product — Naturalizer Danya
Because these shoes don’t have a designated toe box, your toes aren’t restricted by firm material. In other words, they won’t chafe against the hard fabric that comprises most heels. Your toes are free to move.
The heel pad makes walking and moving in these heels much more comfortable, and the slip-resistant soles ensure your feet land where you want them too.
Best Value Product — Comfortable Foam Padded Round Toe Classic High Heel Pump
Foam padded high heels that look good and are affordable? What else is there to ask for? Your feet want thick padding to ease the pressure placed on the bones, joints, and muscles. If you want to reduce foot fatigue after several hours of dancing, these are the shoes for you.
There you have it — some of the best high heels to dance in, whether you’re joining a dance team or want to enjoy a night at a club. You can’t go wrong with one of the options here, as they’re sure to help you enjoy hours of dancing.