Proper character shoes (which can also be fitted with taps) help actors audition with confidence and offer necessary support for long rehearsal and performance days. As a performer, your body is your most valuable instrument. It is what you are selling, your character type, abilities, etc., every time you walk into an audition room, so you must take care of it.
Bad character shoes destroy your feet; I know I’ve experienced it with bleeding heels and pain after only wearing them even a few minutes. Protecting your feet is worth the investment, regardless of whether performance is your hobby or your profession, and if you’re doing this as your career, make it a priority to save for the right tools for your craft.
So Danca Character Shoes
These durable (and attractive) shoes were first made in Brazil over 20 years ago, and are gaining popularity with dancers worldwide. The company makes shoes for every style of dance, and musical theater actors are drawn to the three-inch character shoes in black and caramel. This Ch40 T-Strap Character Shoe heels are braced for maximum support, but man-made leather uppers may not stretch as easily as their leather counterparts.
Capezio Women Shoes
Capezio Women’s Jr. Footlight offers a wide variety of ballet, jazz, tap, and character shoes in classic styles, and its footwear is far more affordable (and widely distributed) than the high-end competition. The “Manhattan Character” shoe for women is straightforward and sturdy, and can easily be outfitted with taps. Strong dancers craving flexible soles can try the “Broadway Flex Character” or “2” Heel Flex Character” for an elegant look and lots of bendability.
Bloch Split Flex
These Bloch Women’s SFX Split Flex professional dance shoes are also very reasonably priced, and serve beginners and more experienced dancers alike. The comfortable character shoes come in soft black or tan leather, and most actors opt for a “T-Bar strap” and a two-and-a-half to three-inch heel.
La Duca Y Strap
Serious performers can’t go wrong with these pricey Italian leather heels, which are designed “by a dancer, for a dancer.” Popular styles for women include the “Alexis,” featuring an elegant “Y” strap, or the “Elizabeth” featuring criss-cross straps across the arch of the foot. Both styles come in nude or black, and actors can choose two-and-a-half or three-inch heels. Pro tip: East Coast actors should make the pilgrimage to the LaDuca store in Manhattan to try on a few pairs and find the perfect fit.
Check out Audition Update for some more LaDuca know-how from fellow musical theater performers. There is a reason that these shoes are so expensive and so famous. LaDuca makes shoes for the dancer. They are intended for long dance rehearsals, classes, and performances.
These shoes are no joke… In my 3″ pair, I’ve survived 12+ hour rehearsal days in dance-intensive shows, and the only pain is from the fact that I was on my feet that long. They simply feel like an extension of my legs/feet, and if they fit right, you do not feel the shoe when it’s on. With these, I have been able to ignore what’s going on down at my feet, and really focus on my work. This is so incredibly valuable. I own the Black 3″ Alexis (right), and I absolutely love them. I’ve now rehearsed 3 dance shows in them, and they’ve remained solid throughout. Best purchase ever.
Miller and Ben
This esteemed company from tap dancers/teachers Avi Miller and Ofer Ben got its start in Israel before relocating to New York City’s Tap Emporium 15 years ago. Dubbed “Musical Tap Instruments,” Miller & Ben Triple Threat Pink & Silver shoes are hand-crafted, comfy, and ultra-attractive, designed with the performer in mind. The premium shoes can be found worldwide and come in a variety of styles and colors.
With that in mind, here are five major Costumer Most Choice: Adult 2″ T Strap character shoes brands that professional actors swear by. Hope you guys and girls inspired !