What Are the Right Shoes to Wear to Hip Hop Dance Class?

Hip Hop dancing came to prominence in the 80’s when audiences watched dance crews perform their breathtaking moves on American television. Since then, it has achieved worldwide mainstream popularity, a fact demonstrated by its wide popularity in dance schools.

If you have a dance student interested in attending Hip Hop dance classes, it’s important that they get properly equipped with the right attire. Out of all these requirements, the top priority concerns shoes. 

What kind of shoes should you wear to Hip Hop class? Find out before your student dancer attends the first class. Read through this primer to find out the essential facts on Hip Hop dance shoes! 


How is Hip Hop different from other dance styles? Are the shoes different as well?

To begin, it’s important to note that Hip Hop dancing is very different from dance styles like Ballet and Jazz. Compared to the discipline needed in ballet, this kind of dancing is very loose, free, and unrestricted. As a result, hip hop clothing is much the same as the dancing from which it comes from, resulting in casual and comfortable clothes that are easy to move in.

Hip Hop dancing, or street dancing, requires a type of athletic shoe or sneaker that provides a snug fit and traction where you need it. As well, these types of shoes are very different from other types of dance shoes. These shoes are meant to be worn with socks, unlike the case with Ballet and Jazz shoes which are worn with thinner tights.


What type of shoe do I need to wear for Hip Hop dance class?

A proper hip hop shoe needs to provide traction, support, flexibility and style. It has to fit well and feel comfortable, allowing you full mobility and movement. Because these conditions can be satisfied in a number of ways, opinions will vary on how to select the best hip hop shoe.

The consensus coalesce around three main shoe types:

  • A regular pair of sneakers
  • A pair of split-sole dance sneakers
  • A pair of full sole dance sneaker


Are running shoes okay to wear for Hip Hop dance class? What type of sneakers are best?

Hip Hop dancing is casual and unrestricted, meaning that there aren’t many hard and fast rules when it comes to mandatory attire. At the most basic level, a regular pair of sneakers will allow your student dancer to attend classes without much problem.

However, sneakers are designed to help people walk firmly and surely, and aren’t made for the special spins and movements associated with this type of dancing. Running shoes are designed to provide grip at the toes and heel for forward motion, but are limited in flexibility.

Examples of sneakers ideal for Hip Hop dancing:

  • Converse Chuck Taylors trainers
  • Adidas Originals Superstar Sneaker, the original street shoe that have been immortalized by Run DMC in the song “My Adidas”


What about split-sole dance sneakers? 

Split-sole dance sneakers are an excellent choice for Hip Hop dance shoes. They offer a higher degree of flexibility in your feet. These shoes provide arch support, a padded insole for shock absorption, and a spin-spot on the ball of the foot that allows for frictionless turns.

The downside to these practical dance shoes is that they are not authentic to this culture. And although they are used to great effect in other dance styles, split-sole dance sneakers are usually too tame in appearance to be used for Hip Hop dancing.

Good examples of split-sole dance sneakers include:

  • The Boost by Bloch
  • Capezio DS11 Fierce Dansneaker


How about full-sole dance sneakers?

Full-sole dance sneakers look just like street shoes, but are specially designed to be fully functional for dancing. These types of sneakers are equipped with a memory foam or cushioned foot bed, and a smooth spin spot on the outsole. They are made with a flexible and lightweight construction that allows for full foot movement, allowing dancers complete mobility. 

Not only that, these sneakers are known to be super stylish, and are great to use on stage in front of an audience.

A great example of a full-sole dance sneaker is:

  • Pastry Youth Glam Pie Glitter High-Top Dance Shoe


What characteristics should all types of hip hop shoes have in common?

No matter what kind of shoe you wear to this class, please be sure that your footwear:

  • Has non-marking soles that won’t leave scuff marks on a wooden dance floor
  • Is for indoor use, and aren’t shoes you wear outside
  • Is not dirty and will not leave dirt on the dance floor


What type of clothing should I wear to Hip Hop dance class?

Street dancing requires street clothes. As such, this class requires you to wear clothes that people wear out on the street such as loose T-shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, and shorts. If you like, your student dancer could wear trendy Hip Hop pants and tops if desired.

Improper clothing and accessories include:

  • Spandex and yoga pants that are more commonly seen in other classes
  • Loose jewelry that can hurt you if you’re not careful

Are you interested in learning how to dance Hip Hop? CDM Dance & Music offers Hip Hop dance classes for children aged 5 and up!

Check out our available classes:

  • Kinder Hip Hop (4-5yrs): Saturdays, Sundays 
  • Hip Hop 1 (6-7yrs): Thursdays, Saturdays
  • Hip Hop 2 (8-10yrs): Thursdays, Saturdays
  • Boyz Hip Hop & Popping (8-11yrs): Thursdays
  • Hip Hop 3 (10+): Saturdays
  • Teen Hip Hop (11+): Thursdays, Saturdays

Learn how dance classes can benefit your child in our blog! Find out how dance students can overcome stage fright, and how contemporary dance lessons can benefit children!