What are Flamenco Shoes?

Flamenco shoes are a type of shoe used for dancing to the Spanish Flamenco music style, which has enthralled audiences for centuries. Because most flamenco dances require men to wear boots, the term “flamenco shoes” usually refers to women’s shoes. These shoes are unique because the nails in the heels and toes allow dancers to use their feet as percussive instruments that complement and enhance the music.

They’ll Come in Handy When They’re Needed

These special shoes may not be required right away someone who is just beginning flamenco dance lessons. The majority of companies that teach flamenco dance to beginners only suggest wearing a sturdy shoe. Because flamenco shoes are almost always high-heeled, a good jazz or ballroom dance shoe is usually a good place to start. However, if you want to keep dancing, you’ll need the right shoes because so much of flamenco dancing relies on using your nails and taps to create a rhythm.


The most common colors for women’s flamenco shoes are black and red, and they resemble high-heeled jazz shoes. The shoe has a sturdy heel that measures approximately 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm) tall. The heel of the shoe, in essence, provides almost complete support beneath the heel of the foot. Because one of the most common problems with flamenco shoes is the heel breaking off when the dance becomes too vigorous, it’s critical that this heel be long-lasting.

The shoe usually resembles a pump, with a roomy and rounded toe box and a strap across the top of the foot to keep the shoe in place. Instead of straps, more upscale flamenco shoes may have ties, and some even have ties that cross the foot and lace up above the ankle. Unless the shoes are being worn as part of a costume, a pair of black flamenco shoes with a simple ankle strap might be the best option. A slightly elasticized strap will provide a more secure grip on the foot.

Shopping for Shoes

Many people buy these shoes from shoemakers in Spain, where the shoes are often partially handcrafted or custom made. Even handcrafted flamenco shoes are not prohibitively expensive, though shipping may be. Flamenco shoes and boots are available for purchase on the internet. A dance instructor can recommend the best brands to someone who wants to buy these shoes. Flamenco dance instructors are often the most knowledgeable about the types of shoes that will last the longest and provide the most comfort.