Tap shoes are a staple in any tap dancer’s wardrobe. They provide the percussion that is so essential to this style of dance, but it can be hard to find just the right pair for you.
The most important aspect of finding your perfect shoe is finding one with grips on them! There are many different ways you can attach these grips, and we will explore 5 different methods here.
How to Attach Grips to Tap Shoes?
Grips need to be attached before you dance in them, as they will wear out quickly if used without the adhesive. But this is a good thing! You can practice and perform for longer with your tap shoes that last much longer than those who don’t use grips.
Here are some methods of attaching shoe grips:
Using fabric glue:
This is the most common method of adhering grips to tap shoes. It’s simple, quick, and inexpensive. You will need fabric glue that dries transparent (most do) or white; some prefer one over the other but it doesn’t really matter unless you want your grip color showing through your shoe- in which case get something more transparent, but it is still possible to see the grip through white fabric glue.
To attach grips using this method, simply put a drop of adhesive on each side of your tap shoe (the part that rests against the floor when you are dancing), then place one end of the grip at an angle and press down firmly for about 30 seconds.
Once the glue has dried, you can dance normally – but be careful not to step on anything that might pull the tap shoe off of the floor! This method is good for about one or two uses.
Using double-sided tape:
This is another very common way to attach grips to your shoes. It’s easy and quick, just like the fabric glue method, but it is more permanent and uses tape rather than adhesive. This means you cannot reuse your grips unless you buy new tape!
But if this isn’t an issue for your tap dance needs then double-sided tape may be best for you.
To attach grips using this method, simply lay down strips of tape on the sole of each shoe, in between your toes. Make sure you use enough tape to cover all parts of the tap shoe!
The grips should stick well when pressed down – but be careful not to tear them or get anything stuck underneath. This method is good for about one or two uses too, depending on how much you dance and if you notice the grip peeling up.
Using hot glue:
If there’s anything hotter than tap shoes, it has to be this method of attaching grips! This is another very common way to attach grips but unlike fabric glue and double-sided tape, it can only be used once. You will need a standard hot glue gun and grips of course.
You can get tap shoes with grips included, or you can buy them separately and attach the ones that come with your new tap shoes to an old pair if you wish!
To attach grips using this method, simply put a small drop of glue on each side of the sole where the grip will go (the part that rests against the floor when you are dancing) and press down firmly.
Hold for about 30 seconds until it has cooled, then your tap shoes should be ready to wear! This method is good for one use only.
Using spray adhesive:
This is another common way of attaching grips to tap shoes – but this time using an aerosol can of adhesive. This method works well if you need to attach grips to a small area of your tap shoes – let’s say the side or heel- but does not work so well for larger areas like the front sole where most people prefer their grip.
You can use this method in addition to another one mentioned here (like fabric glue) and it can be reused a couple of times if done properly.
To attach grips using this method, simply spray the adhesive lightly on either side of your tap shoes and press down for about 30 seconds so it sticks to the shoe well. Be careful not to overdo it as you don’t want too much glue seeping through onto your floor or other things.
This method is good for about one or two uses, depending on how much you dance and if the grip starts to peel off.
Sewing them on by hand or machine:
Some dancers like to sew their grips by hand or machine. This is an option if you need your tap shoes done in a hurry and don’t want glue taking too long to dry, but it can be time-consuming for larger areas of the shoe (like the front sole). It’s better than nothing though!
To attach grips using this method, simply take pieces of thread and knot them tightly around the grip you want to sew on. Then sew through each knot until it is secure – be careful not to rip the fabric with your needle!
This method is good for one or two uses depending on how much you dance and if your tap shoes start coming loose at all.