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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for you gentlemen who love to dance....

My wife and I have gotten serious about our ballroom dancing, serious enough that wearing dance shoes enable us to perform moves with speed and precision that we could not do in street shoes. However, the thin soled, lightweight, suede soled dance shoes are easily ruined if worn outside. So we find ourselves bringing our dance shoes to social events and changing them once we get there. The shoes look like black cap toe dress shoes and look fine with a suit, or sport coat and dress slacks, but carrying and changing them seems a bit awkward and possibly ill mannered. Any thoughts on how this should be done?
 

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Would they be ruined if you simply put them on in the car upon arrival and gingerly walked to the front door of wherever it is you are going. I totally agree that walking in with a pair of shoes in hand is bad form and not unlike a trip to the bowling alley. They must be able to survive a few paces across a parking lot - no?

If the purpose of the outing is to go ballroom dancing I am surprised others arent faced with the same challenge (at least the other serious ones). Have you ever seen anyone else walking in with a second set of shoes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Depends on the event

Thanks, deanayer, for your thoughts. Many times I drive my wife to the door so that she can wear her dance shoes into the event. I then have to walk across the parking lot. I do sometimes walk carefully across the parking lot wearing my dance shoes, but if the parking lot is wet, the suede soles would be ruined. Also once I walk across the lot, I need to brush the soles or every bit of pebble and grit would interfere with dancing especially in a dance like a rumba where the balls of the feet remain on the floor and the feet are "pushed" or drug along the floor. I have done this by carrying a shoe brush in my pocket and brushing the soles in the mens room. Of course valet parking makes all things possible.

I like your bowling comment. I was thinking it is like bringing your cleats to school for after school football practice.

Certainly if the event is primarily oriented to ballroom dancing then we do see many others bringing in their dance shoes usually in shoe bags made for the very prurpose. At other events we appear to be alone in our shoe delemma. I have carried shoes in an shoebag, changed in the mens room, putting my street shoes in the shoebag, and then checking the shoebag along with my coat. This does not work in the summer when there are no coat checks.
 

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If other's are not doing it, bringing special shoes that is, maybe the answer is not to bring special shoes. If it is a dancing event, fine, but if it is a wedding then maybe you need not put on a demonstration for the guests.

I could not care less, but just a thought.
 

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I have carried shoes in an shoebag, changed in the mens room, putting my street shoes in the shoebag, and then checking the shoebag along with my coat. This does not work in the summer when there are no coat checks.
Perhaps just leave them somewhere inconspicuous like under your chair, or maybe leave them with the bartender or some such?

My girl and I go ballroom dancing at least once a month. I've always done just fine in my regular leather-soled dress shoes but I have seen people come in with shoe bags. I would agree that walking in with a pair of shoes in no container would look tacky, but I wouldn't think twice about a nice shoe bag made of velvet or chamois or whatever. The hotel rarely has a coat check service except for really large-scale events, so apparently there isn't a problem with theft. It would surprise me if someone low enough to steal someone's shoes would be ballroom dancing in the first place.
 

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The hotel rarely has a coat check service except for really large-scale events, so apparently there isn't a problem with theft. It would surprise me if someone low enough to steal someone's shoes would be ballroom dancing in the first place.
I've never watched Sex and the City, but I'm reminded of a commercial for an episode in which Carrie goes to an event where everyone takes off their shoes upon entering, and someone stole hers.

Of course, she always wears extremely expensive and stylish shoes so I'm sure the temptation would be greater than if I left my cap-toe Aldens in a pile.

I agree with the comment that if the event isn't likely to attract people who wear specialized shoes for dancing, it isn't entirely appropriate to bring them and be alone in figuring out what to do with one's stree tshoes.
 

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I've faced the exact same question.

Lets say we are going to a wedding - we both wear our traditional dress shoes to the first hour or so of the reception, during dinner and so forth. Following the couples first dance I will fetch our dancing shoes from the car and we will be ready to go. I find that at this time no one notices my short absense nor that I am coming back with shoes in-tow.

The reason I've taken this approach is that I think it is better to just wear our dancing shoes only for dancing - for fear that wearing them around mingling and so forth will prematurely age them. Not that they were really expensive just I would rather not have to repair/replace the pair I have.

For those that don't know, dancing is very fun! I'm a guys-guy and find no shame in admitting it.
 

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I just carry my dance shoes and change. You're right, it seems a little tacky, but I've just accepted it as part of the event. For example, when I go skiing, I carry my ski boots until I'm ready to use them. Sure dance shoes look more like dress shoes, but they still serve a functional role as a piece of equipment and they're not really made for walking outside.
 

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I use rubber overshoes (Tingley's) when I go ballroom dancing. Easy to remove when I get there.
+1
I was going to suggest this.
Tingley has a model called Commuter.
That's a great model because you can see your shoes and protect them from gravel, pebbles, wet ground ect.
Their easy to slip on and off and aren't bulky like other models they carry.
 

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I just carry my dance shoes and change. You're right, it seems a little tacky, but I've just accepted it as part of the event. For example, when I go skiing, I carry my ski boots until I'm ready to use them. Sure dance shoes look more like dress shoes, but they still serve a functional role as a piece of equipment and they're not really made for walking outside.
+1. I just suck it up, carry my dance shoes with me in a shoe bag, and change at the event. Then I put my dress shoes in the bag and under a chair while I'm dancing.

I need the bag anyway, since I also carry a shoe horn, a suede brush for the soles, and nail glue. The last is a tip from a dance instructor after I had a "wardrobe malfunction" when the sueded sole came apart from the upper near the toe of one shoe and I had to quit dancing :( since I was 45 minutes from home. She told me nail glue will set in 2-3 minutes, instead of the 24 hours required for super glue. I discovered that it really works, since I've had occasion to test it. I would never risk destroying the soles of my dance shoes by wearing them outside, no matter how short the walk.

Edit: I don't want to hijack the thread, but does anyone know where to buy a high-quality pair of dance shoes, say Alden or C&J level? Does anyone even make welted dance shoes?
 

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Dance shoes

I dance and teach Argentine tango. At least in California, it is very common to change shoes at the site of the dance. Sit in your chair and be discreet, or step outside with the smokers if you are able to do so without walking through dirt and grit.

Limiting dance shoes to the inside of the venue is a courtesy to the host. Walking through a parking lot with your dance shoes on will result in a lot of dirt on the soles. Then the soles will be like sandpaper on a nice hardwood dance floor.

+1 on dancing is great. Wish I had discovered it long ago.
 

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The ballroom dancing that I do is mostly at formal Victorian Balls. Since formal wear is required, I really have no choice but to wear the pumps both outside and in. I like the Commuter idea, but I'd only do that if the weather were inclement. I have carried dance pumps in the bag they came with into practice sessions, because one dresses casually for that and wearing them on the street with jeans would look pretty ridiculous. Others change shoes at practice, so I don't feel out of place.
 

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For this I'd buy the Louis Vuitton excurstion bag, it's made for carrying a pair of shoes. I've contemplated buying one...
Hmmm, the LV Excursion Bag seems to run $700 to $900 depending on the model. I'd probably go with the $22 dance shoe tote available here:
 

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Hmmm, the LV Excursion Bag seems to run $700 to $900 depending on the model. I'd probably go with the $22 dance shoe tote available here:
At B.D. Jeffries I saw a selection of bags in various colors designed to hold a pair of golf shoes. The more expensive versions were entirely leather, but the canvas with leather trim can also be monogrammed (which is helpful if you might be leaving them in a coat check or somewhere they could get misappropriated).
 
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