The Only Dance Heels You'll Ever Need, by Rebecca Pizarro

The Only Dance Heels You'll Ever Need, by Rebecca Pizarro

Salsa dancer and physiotherapist Dr. Rebecca Pizarro from New York gives her review on Adriana Gronow Dance Shoes.

Just so you know, I never recommend anything unless I’ve tried them for a bit and believe in it. I take your trust very seriously. With that said, not every foot is the same and these shoes may not work for everyone. They did work for me (with some adjustments, read below 😉) and I hope they work for you too!

As a salsa dancer for 20 years, I’ve gone through MANY, MANY shoes. They were all pretty much the same but I’ve recently found a pair of shoes that are different

This story starts out with a random scroll through Instagram. While scrolling, I came across some very cute salsa shoes - AG shoes. Reading the description, these shoes touted being different because they were designed through a collaboration between professional dancers AND a physiotherapist. Hmmmm interest piqued...

I message the seller and she tells me the specifics. Because I’m always super skeptical and because the shoes are a new on the market, I’m hesitant to buy. After mulling it over a few days, and doing my research on return policies 🙂, I go for it and purchase my shoes. 

When I got my shoes, I also pulled out my standard salsa shoes so I can do a side by side comparison. After wearing both of them, what struck me the most was my 3” AG shoes felt MORE stable and comfortable than my 2.5” shoes. That just didn’t make sense. The whole point of getting smaller heels was to be more stable. So, with my PT eye, I started looking at the shoes and noticing some differences. 

The first thing I noticed was the roominess in the front. If you’re a dancer with wide feet, these shoes are for you! Unfortunately, I don’t have wide feet, so I had to put some cushions to fill out the extra space. Now, this doesn’t bother me and I wouldn’t say this is a negative for the shoes because I ALWAYS had to put ball-of-feet cushions in ALL of my previous shoes - not because of a roominess issue, but because the sole would always compress after a few wears, feeling like I was dancing on the hardwood itself and my feet would hurt sooooo much!!!! I NEEDED the extra cushion for pain relief not to fill in the shoe. 

Second, I noticed the front of these shoes are completely about support. They provide extra cushion in the sole than your standard salsa shoe and from what I can tell, the construction offers more rigidity, which in turn offers more stability. Now, to be fair, because of the extra rigidity, you sacrifice the toe flexibility and it makes pointing in these specific shoes more difficult. However, since I’m only looking to social dance in AG shoes, this doesn’t bother me. I much rather have the extra stability and cushion to support my feet and keep them pain free. 

Next thing I noticed was the back of the shoe being smaller and slightly curvier than my standard salsa shoes. This is a great design feature because the back ends up hugging my heel. While subtle, this is a huge difference because you don’t have to waste extra energy keeping the shoe on your foot. This also allows for less strap. It’s always so annoying having to wrap these extra long straps around my ankle super tight just so that my shoe would stay attached to my foot. What a difference this adjustment makes.  Now, some standard salsa shoes have backs that hug your foot but these shoes usually come with smaller fronts, which end up  compressing your toes making them uncomfortable. AG Dance shoes are the opposite, they have a back that hugs the heel while leaving room in the front. 

The last thing I noticed in AG shoes was the angle of the heel relative to the rest of the shoe. If you check out @yourspinonit website, you’ll see that the heel on AG shoes is more vertical and allows for the weight of your wonderfully hugged heel to fall straight down. And because of this small change, it allows for the heel to be thinner and hella more sexy and chic!. Win! Win! Win!

Individually, none of these changes makes a huge difference. However, when you combine them all in one dance shoe, you get a shoe that offers more stability and comfort. Those two thing are worth so much when it comes to feeling amazing on the dance floor. You don’t want to be thinking about your shoes while learning a new dance step or social dancing with a new person. Learning something new is hard enough without the added distraction of unstable, uncomfortable shoes. 

Finally, this wouldn’t be review if we didn’t talk about the price. These shoes are more expensive than your standard salsa shoes. Nowadays, you can get cheap salsa shoes for less than $100, but they’re cheap. Your standard, nicer salsa shoes will run you between $100-$160 per pair. The reason why I was so hesitant to buy  is these shoes cost around $200…..…but guess what…….I do not regret it. I love my shoes. I’m already saving money for my next pair. I have no problem paying for better quality, comfort, stability, and style. It’s totally worth it. 

If you’re a salsa dancer that is tired of having shoes with little front support, wear down easily, feel unstable, and tired of wrapping long straps around your feet, then I suggest you look at these shoes. You won’t be disappointed. 


To know more about Dr. Rebecca Pizarro-Matos visit:


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