Character shoes are a staple footwear item across musical theatre, Broadway and folk classes, auditions and a range of other dance and arts genres. The best thing about character shoes is that they are versatile, very comfortable and do not distract from the dancers outfit or footwork. What’s not great about character shoes is that they are, as a general rule, made for ethnicities who can approximate a ‘beige’ skintone . Dark and medium toned dancers often do not have the luxury of strapping on character shoes that blend in seamlessly with their leg ‘line’ before they hit the stage.
There are a few companies challenging this status quo though – Bloch makes the one (synthetic) character shoe suitable for those with brown skin. Bloch’s Ladies Broadway-Lo Character Shoes (style S0379L) in cocoa have been a veritable life saver for those dancers who have contacted FleshTone.net, desperate for a character shoe that matches their fleshtone for a fast approaching recital.
It’s an ‘entry level’ character shoe with a 1.5 inch heel and reinforced shank for ankle stability. While it is a synthetic shoe, it has a fine grid leather front sole which is suitable for plenty of dance -surfaces. While it’s not the highest quality character shoe out there, it is (for the time being) the only off-the shelf character shoe for deeper fleshtones. These shoes CAN run small for many dancers, so use the sizing chart on the Bloch website before ordering.
This shoe can be quite difficult to order outside of the USA (from the Bloch site), but may be carried by Amazon, Walmart and other major retailers who sell Bloch. Additionally, your local Bloch store can generally order these in for you if you are outside of the USA.
Prices start from $43USD.