1. What shoes are needed by beginners?
For their first few classes, beginners can wear socks, ballet slippers
or gymnastics slippers. They will eventually need a pair of Irish
ghillies or light shoes. Sometimes second-hand shoes are
available for a donation to our Dancers’ Fund. New shoes are
available in a few locations in the GTA and also from vendors at
Irish dance competitions.
2. What are “hard” shoes?
Hard shoes or jig shoes are an oxford style of shoe with special built-
up tips and heels of fiberglass. They are worn to produce the percussive
rhythmic sounds that are characteristic of hornpipes and treble jigs.
3. When do dancers need “hard” shoes?
Once dancers progress through the basic steps of the light shoe dances
(reel, light jig, slip jig, single jig) they are introduced to treble jig and
hornpipe rhythms. They need hard shoes at this point.
4. Where do dancers buy Irish dance shoes?
Some dancers may be able to purchase second-hand shoes, often the
best route for beginners. They can be purchased at one or two location sin
the GTA, on-line or from the vendors at Irish dance competitions.