But first, to a review of the Marianne shoe, pictured below. It’s a while since I’ve made a foray into tango shoes for salsa purposes, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d also been a bit slack on my usual meticulous research, and didn’t realise until I’d paid for them that they had leather soles. Oops.
My dance teacher is always saying that it’s useful to have a pair of leather soles on the go for trickier floors like bars and clubs. My main concern was that I’d bought these shoes for ‘best’ – like the Daniela above, they have a soft suede outer which is unlikely to withstand grime and beer puddles. But I might be skating like Bambi on ice on a decent ballroom floor! I was half considering sending them back, but when they arrived and I tried them on, OH MY GOODNESS. They are the comfiest shoes in the WORLD.
Long story short (ish), I have worn these shoes for about 15 hours this week. I wore them on an average bar dancefloor, and in a pretty immaculate ballroom. I wore them to teach. I wore them round the house. I’m pretty sure I would have worn them to bed if I was only a *mite* crazier. The slip factor is minimal, once they have been scuffed up a little. And even better, unlike suede soles, you don’t have to spend all that time breaking them in – I literally put them on and forgot about them. The suede outer seems to be holding up well, no scuffs or smudges at yet. I suppose if I was really sensible I could treat them with something. You may also be able to tell from the picture at the top that they have a ton of padding, not just at the ball of the foot but also along the sole, to an extent I haven’t seen before in dance shoes. These shoes are just the BEST – I’m actually thinking of buying some to wear instead of street shoes, for weddings and the like. There was only one downside: no shoe bag. But luckily, I have a lovely Mambo Delight one which will do the trick!
So the resounding conclusion here is, yes! Yes to leather soles. Yes to Volver. And yes to happy feet this summer.
Update on Volver purchasing: the leather soles are great – Volver don’t offer a suede option. I now have the Marianne in 70mm and 90mm, and the Soribel in 70mm (oops, hehe). I would say that the 90mm are not for the faint of heart, or the weak of calves! They are pretty high, and make me feel like a baby gazelle (which is sometimes a good thing?!). It’s also worth noting that if you order suede uppers and they are slightly tight when they arrive, don’t worry too much – the suede does give a little over time. In fact, I usually take a size 40 but I order a 39 in Volver, because the suede does stretch.