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Instep Dance Magazine Articles

Reprints of monthly column as first appearing in Instep Dance Magazine (no longer in print).

July 2001

Western Dance Boots

By Rick Allen, DC

"Better health leads to better dancing."

I'm back from Colorado Springs, where I had a quick stop at the US Olympic Training Center and experienced a phenomenal 5-day chiropractic training. I am again burning the late night hours knocking out articles and reports. I'm already applying the skills I learned and the tools I purchased to better serve and help my patients! Like I said last month, I'll give you the details in a future article.

Picture of Evening Star boots

I am sure glad I could call on Michelle Uttke's practical knowledge of western dance boots for this article. She is well versed in both ballroom and Western dance; whereas, I have only dabbled a bit in Western dancing.

The most popular brand of Western dance boot is Evenin' Star Pro Dance Boots. They are "The only boots designed and built by dancers for dancers!" I located a lot of information about these boots on the web sites listed below. They were priced at $149 to $189 for women's boots and $159 to $179 for men's boots. I'm sure there are other web sites that sell boots. Personally, though, I prefer buying shoes and boots at a local store where I can be sure of the fit and service. I have listed below several stores in the greater Portland area that carry Western apparel in addition to several of the dance shoes stores in the Portland and Seattle areas.

Seven Keys to a Good Western Dance Boot

There are seven factors that I consider keys to a good Western dance boot:

  1. Upper portion of boot - Soft genuine garment leather uppers.

  2. Outsoles - Non-marring split leather outsoles.

  3. Shank - Boots are offered in two styles to suit individual needs: steel shank for support and no shank for flexibility. This is a personal preference.

  4. Insole - The insole must be supportive, yet have enough cushion to be comfortable. Evenin' Star Pro Dance Boots "feature Twin Sole Engineering (TSE) comfort system features a double layered cushion insole that is built in. The Poron urethane cushion pillows the feet while protecting not only your feet but joints too against the constant pounding they receive by extended on-your-feet activity. The Cambrelle covered insole helps to keep the feet cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It breathes to let air in and moisture out. The entire insole dries quickly resisting foot odor and mildew. Cambrelle linings are found only in the finest footwear and is known for long lasting durability."

  5. Counter - As with any shoe or boot, the counter should be solid and built straight on the heel.

  6. Heel - The heel is hollow to reduce weight. Both men's and women's heels are typically 11/2 ".

  7. Fit - The counter should be snug, the longitudinal and metatarsal arches should feel supportive, and there should be room for toe movement. The boot may be snug at first. Ask your salesperson how much the boots will stretch.

Internet References:

Boots illustration

Northwest Dance Shoe Stores:

Carrie B's Dance Shop - 4846 NE 102nd in Portland, Oregon, 503-254-1164

The Glass Slipper - 503-282-0069 at 3106 NE Broadway in Portland, Oregon

The Emerald City Dance Boutique - 253-946-4080 or 1-888-446-4080 in Federal Way, south of Seattle, Washington

Portland, OR Area Western Apparel Stores:

Sidesaddle Tack Shop - 10414 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97220, (503) 256-1964

V Bar B Western Store - 17500 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Oak Grove, OR 97267, (503) 654-0467

Culpepper & Co - 1108 NW Frontage Rd, Troutdale, OR 97060, (503) 669-8609

Oregon Leather Co - 110 NW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97209, (503) 228-4105

Portland Outdoor Store - 304 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, (503) 222-1051

American Boot Co - 3079 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005, (503) 626-7419

Special Thanks:

Special thanks again to Michelle Uttke, Owner and instructor at Fancy Feet Grand Ballroom, located on the third floor of the Oregon City Elks Lodge, phone 503-722-9922, for her help with this article.

Next article: We'll return to a topic that I covered in September through November 1998: orthotic foot supports. I have some new information on this topic specifically for dancers. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding dance shoes that I could incorporate into the upcoming articles, please e-mail or call me.

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