Hip hop is a style of dance that originated not in a dance studio, but in the streets of New York City in the 1970s and 80s so the types of shoes best for hip hop back then were street shoes.
Attire for hip hop dancers in its early days required only authentic style, and in fact, there were no dedicated shoes in the hip hop world.
As it has evolved into a popular studio class, style is still valued, but function comes into play as well in hip-hop footwear and there is a multitude of brands and shoes that you can choose from!
The best hip-hop shoes provide traction, support, flexibility, and style. When you begin looking for hip hop shoes, you need to decide between a split-sole dance sneaker, a full-sole dance sneaker, or a street shoe. Then, you must make sure they fit well, with a little extra room for a snug fit.
Some dance studios may have a shoe requirement for hip hop, so before you purchase, check the dress code.
If you are unsure about how to begin your search for the best hip-hop sneaker for your dancer, read on for an in-depth look at the most popular types of shoes available!
This post includes affiliate links which means if you choose to purchase a product using our links we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you – your purchase, however, helps keep me keep running the website with free helpful information made just for you!
Why Should I Buy dedicated shoes for Hip Hop?
You might think why can’t I just wear my sneakers to a hip hop class which is as I said earlier authentic to the origins of hip hop?
Street shoes can be worn in a hip hop class and I address this further on in the article, but wearing your regular everyday sneakers into class would mean you are bringing all the dirt and muck from everywhere you have been in them into the studio and not all studio owners or dancers appreciate that!
Just like most basketball players have their game shoes that they put on at the stadium, try to make it a habit to have studio only shoes, and read on to see all the different options you can choose from!
What Are The Benefits of a Full Sole Dance Sneaker for Hip Hop Dance?
Full sole dance sneakers have the advantage of looking more like a street shoe rather than a dance shoe.
But everyone knows that spinning and moving in regular sneakers can be tough, which is why the owners of Fuego have gone ahead and created their own brand of sneaker, that look like streetwear but are made for the purpose of dancing and in particular street and hip hop dancing. Click on any of the images below to be taken to their site to look at their range!
The great thing about these shoes is that they have spin discs on the bottom to help you swivel smoothly, but have enough grip to ensure you never slip and slide as well. They are made to be used on all surfaces from concrete and grass to the studio floor covered in Marley.
Take a look at their range here using our affiliate link here – and if you enter the code DANCEPARENT101 you should be able to receive 10% off your purchase price subject to any of their terms and conditions.
Another brand of hip hop Dance shoe is by Pastry which are especially great for dance studios taking groups on stage as they have created functional shoes for dancing that also look super stylish.
Usually, a full sole dance sneaker has memory foam or cushioned footbed, a smooth spin spot on the outsole, and a flexible and lightweight construction that allows for movement of the foot.
Should I Buy A Split-Sole Dance Sneaker?
Split-sole sneakers, like other split-sole dance shoes (jazz and ballet shoes for example), were created to allow dancers more flexibility in their feet than a standard full-sole street shoe allows.
Split-sole sneakers, like the ones on offer by Fuego, offer arch support through a neoprene midsection that hugs the arch, a padded insole for shock absorption, and a spin-spot on the ball and heel of the foot that allows for frictionless turns.
These type of dance sneakers are popular with dance teachers who are on their feet all day, due to the support, but flexibility they provide.
You will also see split-sole dance sneakers in the pro dance team world, but they have recently become less popular for hip hop dancers who are looking for a more authentic style, but since Fuego have brought out their new range wearing split soles is coming back into fashion!
For a 10% discount on Fuego shoes add in the code DANCEPARENT101, subject to the companies terms and conditions.
How Are Dance Sneakers Supposed to Fit?
Dance sneakers, like all dance shoes, should fit snug to the foot. Unlike a ballet or jazz shoe, dancers typically wear socks with a dance sneaker, so be sure to bring the socks you would wear to your fitting.
Dance sneakers won’t stretch much with wear, so be sure to choose the correct size. Most dance sneakers run the same as street shoe size, but double check the sizing chart for the most accurate conversion.
How much do Hip-Hop Dance Shoes Cost?
Sneakers manufactured by dance brands will range in price from $50 USD to $90 USD.
Saying that you can actually find shoes for around the $30 mark and under for stage shoe for hip hop dance that look similar to Chuck Taylor’s at Dancewear Solutions by clicking here!
Can I Wear a Regular Sneaker for Hip Hop?
You can wear some regular sneakers for hip hop, but in general, many street shoes lack the flexibility and targeted support that dance sneakers offer.
If you’d like to wear a street shoe for hip hop, choose lightweight sneakers without thick treads, that have some flexibility and a cushioned insole.
High top Chuck Taylors are popular due to their ankle support and lightweight construction. It’s also important to note as I wrote earlier that going from the street into the studio with the same sneakers is frowned upon in most studios, as street shoes track in dirt onto the dance floor – so save your Chucks for class!
You are ready to hit the shops!
Hip hop is one of the most individualistic styles of dance, and the footwear options allow dancers to show their individuality and choose their own unique flavor (except if your dance studio has a type of shoe they require you to wear, usually for uniformity so everyone looks the same on stage).
If you are wanting to shop online why not try Dancewear Solutions which have a great range of hip hop shoes as well as colors!
As you shop for hip hop shoes, remember the information you learned here to make the best decision!