Irish Dance Shoes: Out With The Old But How To Break In The New?


Breaking up with your Irish dancing heavy shoes is hard to do! You are SO comfortable together now, so used to one another that you don’t even mind the worn leather, split seams and worn-out tips. Whether you’ve stretched your well-loved jig shoes for one or two or even three years now, it’s time. New laces or new tips just won’t do. No amount of gaffers tape will hold the two of you together for another competition. Your growing feet, your pinched toes, your hornpipe NEEDS new hard shoes!

photo courtesy Montague Irish Dance

Feis America on Irish Central reached out to our FaceBook friends who've ‘been there, done that’. From adjudicators and teachers to World Champions and trainers, we've got a plethora of suggestions for breaking UP with the old shoes and breaking IN those perfect, shiny, rock-hard new ones. Here's what they have to say:

"Practice, practice, practice! When I get new shoes, I don't put the old ones back on!" - Drew Lovejoy, Open Champion under 16 from McGing (Ohio), World Irish Dancing Champion, All Ireland Irish Dancing Champion and North American Irish Dancing Champion

“Wear the shoes around the house before dancing in them or try sleeping in them so they mold to your feet. Also bending the shoes help so they get an arch. Then start practicing in them!” - Mairead Early, McLoughlin School of Irish Dance (New York/New Jersey)

“Wear heavy socks and wear [the shoes] around the house or have your Mommie wear them for a bit!” - Jackie Nonienwicz, Feis Mom at The Gray School of Irish Dance (Connecticut), jokes.