Where can I buy flamenco shoes?


People ask me this question all the time.  Luckily, these days it is much easier to find flamenco shoes in the U.S. than it was even 5 years ago.  Although I have not tried all of the brands that are out there, I know of several options that seem to suit every level of dancer from the professional to the beginner at a wide range of price points.  If you haven’t checked recently, the currency conversion of the dollar to euro is terrible. Know that if you buy flamenco shoes from Spain they will be pricey.

Since I am in California, my knowledge of where to buy is based on that fact, if you know of any other places than what I list please feel free to share that information here.  Yes, we can buy anything with a credit card and a click. This blog is meant to point out places in the U.S. where one can physically try on the shoes that they are going to purchase.

My first pair of flamenco shoes were made for my feet by a shoemaker named Gonzalo Duran and even though he has passed his family still operates the small family business Duran’s Shoes out of East Los Angeles.  Make an appointment, have your feet measured for a perfect fit, choose the color of suede or leather and have your shoes in usually less than 2 weeks all for under $100.

One can go through the exact same process at some shoemakers in Spain but you will have to wait usually longer than a month for the shoes at almost triple the price.  If you are a complete diehard flamenco dedicated to practicing, taking classes AND have the cash I say DO IT.  Well made flamenco shoes from Spain will last for many years, are light weight and usually have incredible sound.  You can buy them already made from a few different places like Menkes in NYC. Call and ask if they have your size, the store gets regular shipments from Spain and the shop manager is extremely helpful.  She will even email you pictures of the styles/colors she has available in your size.  Visit www.flamencoshoes.com for Gallardo, Gladis and Coral, the owner is also very helpful and is located on Catalina Island, CA.  Madrid based Senovilla Shoes are completely hand made with rosewood heels and are now available for sale at Trilogy Guitars in Marina Del Rey, CA.  Call and make an appointment.  These shoes are top of the line…be prepared for the, ehem, investment.   Also, check out a very informative blog by Edie about the process of making these shoes.

Dance shoe and aparell company Sansha now makes flamenco shoes for men and women in suede and leather that are sold at selected dance shops around the U.S.  I was very curious about these shoes particularly because they seemed to be affordable (under $50 U.S) and looked “real”.  What I mean is that they have a wide, rounded toe box and a shorter, thick, sturdy heel and did not look like a character shoe.  I bought and tested a pair of the Sevilla style in size 10 for my 7.5-8 size and they were above my expectations.  They had a decent sound, were comfortable, light weight, with nails and a strong heel, perfect for a student.

Three flamenco shoes
From top to bottom: Senovilla (pro), Sansha (student), Menkes ("elite")

If these options are still not within your budget I suggest purchasing character shoes or tap shoes (without taps) with a rounded toe and low, sturdy heels.  Unlike a real flamenco shoe, they will not have a clear, crisp sound but they are good for class and home practice.

Menkes Flamenco Shoes
These are a well made, well worn pair of Menkes shoes that have taken a lot of abuse!
Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Where can I buy flamenco shoes?

  1. Thanks so much for this information! I have just started taking lessons and have been researching the subject of affordable and well-made flamenco shoes. It sounds like the Sansha ones may be what I’m looking for. I have slightly wider feet. Do you know if this brand run narrower or comparable to most flamenco shoes? Thank you!

    1. Great question! I have slightly wider feet as well and have found many flamenco shoes take a long time to “break in”, especially the Coral brand. The Sansha pair are actually great for slightly wider feet, I had no problem with the fit from the moment I put them on. Also, the Sevilla suede style is a bit more flexible than the leather version.

    1. Hola Marianna,
      My opinion is the Sansha is pretty great value for a beginner or for someone with sensitive feet. They are not on the same level of material quality (ie buttery leather, fine suede) as Senovilla but they do the job especially if you compare the price (Sansha, under $50). Many of my students have been fine with the Sansha, I can hear their footwork clearly and most people don’t complain about the shoe. But BEWARE of the Sansha sizing!! It’s the most wacky sizing ever, I wear 7.5 yet the size 10 fit me. Hope this helps!

  2. I would love to know if anyone makes a non-leather flamenco shoe for women. I have been searching for weeks and so far, no luck. I can’t be the only one that needs them. If you have any leads at all, I would truly appreciate the info. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jeni- Actually the Sansha shoe, Sevilla model is not leather or suede but a man-made material that looks like suede. Also, if you are in Los Angeles, the family run company Duran Shoes makes shoes to order-check with them.

  3. Hi Arleen,
    Thanks for the info! One can easily get lost in the world of flamenco shoes… especially when it comes to sizing. I would love to know what size you wear in the Menkes brand. Do they sell true sizes or do I have to do a conversion like the Sansha brand?
    Thanks!

    1. This is a very good question regarding Menkes sizing. My size is 7.5 U.S. and I fit well into a Menkes size 38 in length. However, the width is a problem for me as my foot is a little wide and I find many standard Menkes shoes to be slightly narrow for my personal comfort. Also the standard heel height is 2.5- a bit high for my liking, I prefer lower heels. Now in 2015 almost any flamenco shoe can be customized but right now we are talking about shoes straight from the source- their standard shoe without customization. The quality of Menkes flamenco shoes are fantastic. I hope this helps!

  4. Hi Arleen,
    First of all, thanks for all the great info! Question about heel style…
    What is your opinion or recommendation when buying flamenco shoes and picking the heel for your shoe at an intermediate level? Are there styles to stay away from, etc…?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Veronica, thank you, that is a very good question. There are a few things to consider for heel height at an intermediate and advanced level. Low heel heights like the cuban and low heels in general (approx. 4.5cm) are the best for me. Because as you do more advanced footwork and practice you want to be able to do fast taconeo, stop on a dime, and practice for hours. Also consider something that nobody EVER talks about (my next blog) – wear and tear on the body. High(er) heels lead to shortened calves, ball of foot and toe strain, back strain and spasms. I have some beautiful shoes that have higher heels but only wear them if I’m doing light group work or folk dances (Sevillanas). On the other hand I have met dancers that swear by their high flamenco shoes- that’s what they need for speed. Overall, you should feel comfortable for as long as possible in your shoes. I hope this has helped.

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s