Which are the best dance shoes? India’s street dancers list some favourites

Check out a list of the most preferred pairs of shoes for street dance, as described by some of India’s prominent professional street dancers.
Written by Omkar Dhareshwar
6 min readPublished on
We asked some of India’s best dancers about the type of shoes and brands they prefer for different dance styles. Let’s take a look at what they had to say.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly

Marathoner Eliud Kipcoge with the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly
Marathoner Eliud Kipcoge with the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly
Sambo Mukherjee is one of India’s most prolific dancers. He’s been dancing for over 15 years and represented India at Juste Debout in Paris in 2016. His favourite shoes for dancing are the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly.
“I'd read an article about how marathon runners were banned from using the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly in races because it elevated the performance of athletes and counted as cheating. I instantly knew I wanted to buy the shoes after reading the article. Each athlete that ever wore those shoes performed better than they did in the previous race, and that’s crazy,” says Sambo.
“I’ve danced in these shoes and find they really have an advantage. I don’t get tired as easily and really get more out of my performance,” he adds.

Puma Suede

Puma Suede Classic
Puma Suede Classic
Lucknow-based B-Girl Astra finds comfort in a classic. “I find Puma Suede shoes extremely comfortable for floor work. They have a good grip and a great casual style,” says B-Girl Astra of Beats in Motion crew.

Converse All Stars

Converse All Star
Converse All Star
“When I started, I just fell in love with Converse. It has a hard outfoot and there's so much you can do. I also like running shoes because I get a high level of comfort in them while doing toe movements,” says B-Boy Burst of Break Guruz Crew from Kolkata.
He feels that Converse All Stars are particularly good for fast footwork, toprock and flares in breaking. “When I do my flares, I like to drag my feet to give it that slide effect. So, Converse go really well with that vibe,” he says.
Ahmedabad-based dancer and choreographer Sri Lakshmi practices multiple dance styles like waacking, hip-hop, dancehall, house, etc. She also says Converse All Stars hold an advantage for certain dance styles.
“For waacking, I like something like Converse because it has a lower base. That gives me more space to do fast footwork,” says Sri Lakshmi.

Reebok Classics

B-Boy Burst says there are three important factors that he looks for in any good shoe for dance – comfort, flexibility and grip. “To attempt hardcore moves, these three factors are most important. I think Reebok Classics are the most comfortable and tick off these boxes,” he says.
“I really want to get the Reebok Classics also because they look good and at the same time they're concise. I think they will be good shoes for breaking,” says Sri Lakshmi.

Lotto sneakers

Mumbai-based dancer Elvis Mascarenhas is the founder of Rare Grooves Dance Company and the winner (with Namrata Wittke) of the World Salsa Summit 2018 in Miami, USA. Elvis usually prefers wearing Puma Suede shoes and has recently started practising in Lotto shoes.
“I don’t care much about looks; the grip is what is most important to me. My feet should feel good when the shoes are on, and that’s what I get from Lotto sneakers,” says Elvis.

New Balance sneakers

New Balance trainers
New Balance Windbreakers
“I have three pairs of shoes, each for a different purpose – one for running, one for dance practice and one for cyphers. I own a Nike Zoom Fly 7, which is one pair that I absolutely love. I rock a lot of New Balance as well; they have a good shape to mould around your foot. Of course, there’s my Adidas Alphabounce as well,” says Sambo. He adds that he prefers flat-soled shoes while dancing as they make it easier to manoeuvre. He likes light shoes with less grip for dancing.

Nike Air Max

Nike Air Max 97
Nike Air Max 97
“I love the Nike Air Max for hip-hop. So far I’ve done all my hip-hop battles while wearing my Air Max. They’re absolutely lovely because you get this extra bounce from them. They look really good with all types of clothing as well. So those shoes are my favourite for hip-hop battles,” says Srilakshmi.

Puma basketball shoes

Puma high-top shoes
Puma high-top shoes
Velu Kumar is a choreographer, creative director and dance coach. He’s been dancing since the age of four and professionally for over 11 years.
“I prefer wearing Puma high-top shoes, like basketball shoes, as they are lightweight,” says Velu Kumar, adding that high-top shoes protect his ankles from injury when doing footwork.
“For me, it is all about the grip and the hard outfoot. I prefer Puma over Nike or Adidas because the grip is so good on the floor and they move how I want,” he adds.

ASICS and Mizunos

Mizuno Mujin 7
Mizuno Mujin 7
B-Boy Tornado represented India at the Red Bull BC One Last Chance Cypher in 2019. He swears by the simple sports shoes of ASICS and Mizunos. “They're the best in terms of value for money in the Indian markets. I am used to training and battling in sports shoes with foamed heels,” says B-Boy Tornado.

Running shoes

B-Boy Flying Machine is a three-time Red Bull BC One India Champion. He says he prefers wearing sneakers or running shoes while breaking.
“Sneakers and running shoes have cushioned heels and provide a high degree of comfort along with great grip,” says B-Boy Flying Machine, adding that he is thinking about trying out flat-soled shoes as well.

Just socks

Cuban dancer LMENT performs in socks at Red Bull Dance Your Style in 2019
Cuban dancer LMENT performs in socks at Red Bull Dance Your Style 2019
Sri Lakshmi prefers wearing just socks for House, especially when she wants to explore fast footwork. “Socks really do wonders and I manage to perform moves I usually don’t do. So I try dancing in socks, get information on my dance, and then I try to replicate the moves while wearing shoes,” says Sri Lakshmi.
Sambo has an idea for the ideal dance shoe which probably hasn’t been made yet. “I have this idea of a shoe for dancers which is basically just socks with grips. So it would have the comfort and smoothness of socks with the grip of the under sole of a shoe. So the bottom would be textured, but you could still glide,” says Sambo.

Bare feet

B-Boy Hera is one of the first breakers in India, credited with bringing the breaking revolution to the country. He says he prefers dancing bare feet as it allows him the kind of movement that just doesn’t come naturally while wearing shoes. “Aside from barefoot, I like running sneakers as well because I love the bounce I get when dancing in them,” says B-Boy Hera.