I tested nine products and found Theatricals’ Child Neoprene Insert Tap Shoes to be the best tap shoes for children.
Finding the right tap shoes for kids can be a real puzzle. They need to check a lot of boxes. Children’s tap shoes should be safe, easy to take on and off, fit snugly but not too tightly, and feel comfortable. Adults may endure a little pain for the gain, but children are not always thinking big picture!
In my search for the best tap shoes for children, I considered each of these factors, as well as brand quality, reputation, and price.
The winner across all categories was the Child Neoprene Insert Tap Shoes by the brand Theatricals. Theatricals is a reputable, quality company with options that won’t break the bank.
The neoprene inserts (synthetic rubber) make them extremely comfortable, and the stretchy, no-lace fit makes taking on and off so easy.
Read on to learn more about the best tap shoes in each category, and to see a buying guide to help you decide which shoes are best for your child.
Best Tap Shoes for Children – Reviews
Let’s explore more details about our best overall tap shoe for children, the best tap shoe for girls, and the best tap shoe for boys.
Again, this Theatricals shoe checks most boxes for a good child’s tap shoe. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that cushions the foot and is especially helpful for children with a high arch. The rubber also helps keep the foot in place.
The best part is that this shoe is very affordable for the quality! With a human-made leather upper, non-skid rubber patch, and molded taps, the shoe is of good quality and does fantastic tapping. It’s easy to slip on and off and fits a wide variety of foot shapes.
Note that you should buy these in a half-size or size up from your child’s shoe size.
- Good price
- Easy to slip on and off
- Good quality materials
- Neoprene insert for comfort and stability
- Fits different foot shapes
- Runs small
- Smells terrible when you first open them, but it will fade.
Capezio may be the top name in dance shoe manufacturing. They are an old company known for their excellent tap shoes and high-quality materials.
The materials are 100% synthetic with PVC or PU leather uppers in either black patent or caramel and white colors. The inside is cushioned with foam and lined with microfiber for moisture absorption. High-quality Tele Tone taps surround a non-skid rubber pad for safety.
What does all this mean? The shoes are exceptionally comfortable for dance shoes and provide a safe dancing experience for your little girl (or boy!).
They are available in narrow and wide sizes, though you may want to go up a size for wider feet.
- Historic trusted brand
- High-quality materials
- Comes in multiple colors
- Non-skid pad for safety
- Runs small, size up for wider feet
- Pricier than other brands
Joocare is another famous brand for dance shoes, and their unisex child’s lace-up tap shoes are excellent.
High-quality rubber lines the sole for good grip and balance, while a cushioned moisture-absorbing fabric lines the interior. For additional comfort, the shoes are designed with a notched collar at the back to relieve pressure on the Achilles tendon.
While this is an excellent option for little boys who might not like more feminine shoes, it’s fantastic for girls as well. The laces are a nice detail but not too difficult to tie. For the quality of materials and comfort, these are also very affordable.
The one major drawback is the heel has a bit more height than some other children’s shoes and may take some adjustment.
- Good price
- High-quality materials
- Respected brand
- Rubber soles for safety
- Runs small
- The heel is slightly higher than other children’s shoes.
When you’re in the market for children’s tap shoes, keep a few things in mind.
Comfort & Fit
I know it can be tempting to buy a few sizes up so your child can grow into their shoes. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t do this! Roomy shoes create a much higher risk for injury and make it very difficult to tap correctly. Find a size that is snug but comfortable.
Dance Shoe Sizing
If you’re not sure what the terms in the shoe sizes mean, here’s your guide:
- “Toddlers” for children under 5
- “Little Kid” for children age 5-10
- “Big Kid” for children over 10 (these are equivalent to adult sizes)
Wide vs. Narrow
Unless your child’s feet are very narrow, most dance shoes will require you to size up a half or full size. For wider feet, you should size up or look for shoes with adjustable laces or velcro.
I recommend trying before buying!
Split Sole vs. Full Sole
Generally, experts recommend full sole shoes for children and advanced tap dancers. The full sole has a better sound, is easier to tap, and provides more support for the foot.
However, several children’s tap shoes come with split soles. The split sole allows for a non-skid rubber pad between the two metal plates. It’s really up to you which you choose.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable but solid option that works for both boys and girls, I recommend the Theatricals. However, all three tap shoes on this list are excellent quality and reliable brands. You really can’t go wrong.
All of these shoes are available on Amazon within a range of colors and prices. Start shopping here.