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If you are a beginner, any regular "flexi sole" shoe will do. This sole is made of a thick layer of leather of about 1/8 in. thick. This shoe will be firm and supportive at first but as it breaks in it will soften up allowing you to go "ON Point" (on your toes) Do not bother buying a "rigid sole" which has either a non-flexible sole or a metal shank inside that will prevent the sole from ever loosening up. (you can not Point in these) The evolution of Irish dancing has surpassed the usefulness of this old-fashioned shoe. If you already go on Point or are learning to, there are ultra-flexible Black suede soles available that make the shoe soft as a sock. These are good for those who can hold themselves up but are not good for beginners. And best of all, it is easy to break them in.

Stitched or Glued?

Formerly, we said that stitched-on soles were the best. However, the newer bonding(glueing)methods used by manufacturers prove just as sturdy as stitching.

There are pros and cons to both stitched soles and glued soles. A stitched sole usually wears out quicker than a glued one. Even though stitched soles look thicker. This is because stitched soles are really only as thick as the leather between the floor and the stitching. Once you wear the leather down to the stitching the sole comes loose.

Glued soles have the benefit of being thinner and more flexible and they give you the entire thikness of the sole before needing to be replaced.

If by chance a glued sole comes unglued it is easy to re-glue. Loose stitched soles must be replaced entirely.

The down-side to glued soles is that they may wear out just as quickly as stitched soles because they are often made from suede or soft leather.

When it comes to soles neither glued nor stitched is better than the other. So, forget about the bonding method. Consider your needs first. Do you need the support of a thick sole or the flexibility of a thin sole?

Sizing Shoes
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