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Differences between flamenco shoes for man and woman

29 March, 2019.

Shoes are a fundamental part of flamenco. They are not just relevant as an accessory to clothes, but as “ zapateo “ and “ taconeo “ are two essential elements of the dance, as they conform the rhythm of flamenco. We are ready to describe how flamenco shoes for dance are and the main differences between shoes for men and women.

Shoes for flamenco

Such a kind of accessories can be acquired in many shops, but professionals rather buy handmade shoes, as they prefer best quality footwear for dancing flamenco. Two are the parts of a flamenco shoe to consider: toe and heel. Flamenco shoes’ heel for women measures between  2,5 y 7 centimetres. In addition, female footwear includes a strap across the instep to add support of the foot while she is dancing. There are models that does not include strap, but shoelaces. They are usually made from the following materials:

  • Leather.
  • Suede.
  • Synthetic material

To know how to choose the best pair of flamenco shoes for dance it is advisable to know that leather is more resistant, but suede is more adaptable.


Regarding the kind of heel of a flamenco shoe for dance, these are the main models:

  • Cuban heel: the widest.
  • Straight: The most popular kind of heel in flamenco.
  • Reel heel: With the shape of an hourglass.

To decide which one is the best option for us is a question related to the number of hours that we are planning to dance flamenco, and to our style of taconeo.

What are the main differences to flamenco shoes for man?

In comparison to female footwear, flamenco shoes for man have some important differences. The main of those differences is that men used to wear flamenco boots, a kind of short-leg boot. Now, there are flamenco shoes for men, whose difference is that footwears for men are closed, and they include shoelaces.

Anyway, both talking about shoes for man or women, it is important that they adapt the footstep of the person who is wearing them and, of course, it is essential that they produce a good sound. That is the reason why some models include nails, but most people rather practice without them.

The most important marks and their history

To end the post, we want to mention two marks historically related to flamenco shoes for dance: Antonio García y Gallardo.

Zapateria Antonio García

With more than 35 years of experience in the world of shoes, this shop offers handmade products made from best quality materials. In their shop, which is sited in Madrid, it is possible to try the shoes in a real “ tablao flamenco “, so it is a good way to find out if they produce the sound that we are looking for. Big professionals whose products are worn by celebrities such as Suite Española, Blanca del Rey or Antonio Márquez.

Zapatería flamenca Gallardo

They work with flamenco shoes for dance since 1951. They make handmade and customized shoes too. Some of the best flamenco artists wear their shoes, for example:  Sara Baras or el Ballet Nacional de Danza.

The choice of a pair of flamenco shoes for man is personal, as it is essential that it adapts the requirements and the style of zapateado of the man, but it is important to point to quality to obtain a long-lasting product. Wear yours and… let’s dance flamenco!


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