Dance shoes get dirty really quickly with practice and recitals, especially since dance floors are never the cleanest surface. The dust and floor wax dance shoes collect are terrible for the fabric and unfortunately most dance shoes cannot be thrown in the washer or dryer. Of course dance shoes are a vital to your performance and you need to take good care of them.

You should get into the habit of cleaning your shoes after every performance. If you don’t have time to clean them properly, just use a slightly damp paper towel to wipe off the grind. A lot of dancers use this as a quick fix. Then use a separate hand towel to dab the shoes dry. Try to remove as much moisture as possible with the towel. Do not rub the fabric vigorously as this can leave streaks.

A good way of extending the life of your shoes is if you put them into a small shoe bag inside of your dance bag so they don’t get damaged. If you just drop them into your dance bag then they will likely get scuffed up against other items, for example your lunch, hairbrush or other objects. Bagging your shoes also conveniently serves the dual purpose of protecting your other things from the dust from your shoes.

Depending on how often you dance, your shoes should be cleaned on average once a week.

Suede Soles

Dance shoes with suede soles are more delicate than your average sneaker or walking shoe and therefore require much more care if you want them to last. Your dance shoe should be brushed with a suede brush. Use short strokes to get the dirt and grind out of the suede. You can also use a touch of Vitamin E or Custer oil and rub it into the bottom of the shoe.

Leather Shoes

Shoes with a harder leather or rubber sole can be cleaned with a damp paper towel. It’s also best if you add a little sanitizer or Windex for the more difficult spots. Shoes with leather uppers, like a tap shoe or ballroom shoe, can be cleaned with a leather cleaner or shoe cleaner. The salt in your sweat can dry out the leather over time. You can buy leather cleaner at any shoe repair shop or superstore. If you can’t find the right colour you can also try a clear shoe protector or order the correct colour off the internet.


The sole will wear down in time and will be needed to be replaced eventually. Find a good shop to repair your shoe because this will save you money in the long run and extend the life of your shoes. However, if your sole is coming apart and has a large hole then they will eventually have to be replaced.

Second Pair

You might want to invest in a backup pair in case your primary shoes need to be thrown away. This is especially important if you dance more than three times a week. That way you don’t have to skip a rehearsal because you don’t have any shoes. The other advantage is that if you alternate between shoes, it gives your shoes a chance to breath between uses. You also want to take care of your feet and if you have pressure from the same points from the same shoe then it can put undo strain on your feet. We hope we have given you some good ideas on how to take care of your shoes. If you have any questions or you need to buy new dance shoes visit us at