Forum: Irish / Irish - Beginners

Irish - Beginners
Shoes - brand and fit for an adult beginner
By erinm Comments: 1, member since Wed Mar 22, 2017
On Wed Mar 22, 2017 08:16 AM

I started dancing two years ago as an alternative exercise activity. I'm in my early 30s. I've been doing softshoe and am going to be taking an adult beginner hardshoe class. I bought the Inishfree shoes off the Rutherford site, but was curious about what adults think of these and how they like them to fit. The pair I have has a good amount of wiggle room in the toes, but I'm afraid if I returned them for a half size down there might be too little room. For reference, I take adult tap, and I have some room in those shoes at the end, which works fine for me. The half size down left me with no room.
Do you think the Inishfrees will be fine, or would I do better with another Rutherford shoe instead? And how do you like your hardshoes to fit?

2 Replies to Shoes - brand and fit for an adult beginner

re: Shoes - brand and fit for an adult beginner
By lhc12 Comments: 19, member since Wed Jan 29, 2014
On Thu Mar 23, 2017 05:30 PM
I think Rutherford is a good choice to start, though I have never personally tried the Inishfrees. If they're comfortable, definitely dance in them for a while. If you don't like them, try a different shoe next time you buy hard shoes. I'd recommend getting your teacher to look at them before you start breaking them in. Also, these are not a one and done purchase. My teachers recently did a shoe check and found that a lot of students (all adults) had worn out or very old shoes, and suggested many people buy new. If you aren't sure if your shoes are worn out, ask your teacher.
As for sizing, it's up to you. I like my shoes to be very tight, with no wiggle room, but my classmates all like more room. As long as you aren't tripping or losing your shoe, wiggle room isn't a bad thing, but dancing in shoes that are uncomfortably snug is!
re: Shoes - brand and fit for an adult beginner
By boleyngrrl Comments: 2550, member since Sat Apr 15, 2006
On Wed Mar 29, 2017 06:03 PM
You're a beginner--you're not going to be doing toe walks, so having the shoes be tight isn't a necessity. Tightness brings stability. I like my shoes tight because they feel like an extension of me and I feel more stable fully en pointe or even just overall dancing. For you, go for comfort. That being said: if they're too loose, you'll get blisters. I'm not sure about tap shoes, but hardshoes stretch out. What may be just a little big right now may end up being very loose in a few months, depending on how often you wear them. I'm not sure how much the Inishfree's stretch.

Personally, I dislike Rutherford's. I'd go with a different brand for your next purchase, especially if you don't like the Inishfrees or are moving up in level or intensity. I think Pacelli makes great shoes that are built well and should work better comfort-wise. They used to make a padded one, but I'm not sure they still do. They should also last longer than Rutherford's, so even if the initial price is higher you wouldn't pay it as often.

Hope this helps and good luck! Have fun with hardshoe, it really is a ton of fun.

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