LaDucas are to dancers what Louboutins are to fashionistas. You know the shoes the minute you see them, the wearer will always tell you they’re well worth the pretty penny, and knockoffs—though prevalent—feign in comparison to the design, quality, and style of the originals.
LaDucas were truly made by the dancer. Broadway performer, Phil LaDuca, grew frustrated that he wasn’t getting the performance, comfort, or—most importantly—the functionality from shoes that were needed at the professional level. thought to himself, if a dancer’s body—especially her feet—was her instrument, why wouldn’t you grace it with supportive, long-lasting, and flattering footwear? Thus, the LaDuca Shoe was created—or, rather, a signature “look” in many different styles and shades for both men and women. Today, LaDucas are the go-to shoes for the professional performer (We’re talking the likes of the FX series “Fosse/Verdon,” the Radio City Rockettes, Katy Perry’s Prism Tour, Las Vegas showgirls, the Spice Girls, the Knicks City Dancers, and Broadway shows including MOULIN ROUGE, WICKED, MEAN GIRLS, FROZEN, and more).
No matter a classic or custom LaDuca shoe (did we mention you can get shoes made especially for your wedding, prom, or other special event or performance?), you’ll always find pristine Italian leather, sturdy and stable heels, supportive straps, laces, and buckles, and the ability to achieve that perfect pointed foot (bye-bye, biscuit!). No question, LaDucas cost a bit more (upwards of $200), but you get a lot more for your money and an elegant and dependable pair of LaDucas will last you several years (saving you money in the long run) and help protect you from injuries that often stem from lesser-quality dance shoes.
If you live in the area or plan on visiting New York City or London, make sure to stop into a LaDuca store for a true Cinderella experience where a LaDuca associate will fit you in the perfect pair of shoes. Choose a stock color (black, tan, or cinnamon) and a style based on heel height, tapering of the toe and heel, and design of the arch-supporting straps. Right now, the most popular shoes are the Alexis (with a contemporary and comfortable diagonal strap) and the Annie (can-can boots named after Broadway legend, Ann Reinking). If you’re not able to attend an in-store fitting, www.laducashoes.com gives tips on how to choose the right size and style for you.
Whether you’re a competition kid, college musical theater major, dance teacher, or Broadway veteran, LaDucas are every dancer’s first choice of footwear. Don’t believe me? Here’s what the pros have to say: “I love how my LaDucas help me fly. I can take more risks than I could in any other heel,” says Caitlin Abraham (AN AMERICAN IN PARIS). “LaDucas have truly kept me in the game. They provide the utmost function, stability, comfort, and, of course, beauty!” says Sarah Grooms (13 seasons as a Radio City Rockette). “My LaDuca shoes are my everything!” says Naoyuki Hashimoto (acclaimed Japanese tap dancer).
And to address the most common question, here are 10 tips for breaking in and caring for your new pair of LaDucas (from a LaDuca associate!):
- Wear them around the house to slowly get the shoes to mold to your feet.
- Unbuckle the elastics after every use.
- Use a suede brush on the soles to keep them fresh.
- Wipe any sweat with a gentle cloth and let your shoes air dry.
- Always keep your LaDucas in a shoe bag separate from everything else in your dance bag.
- Don’t tuck the toe under the heel to break in the arch…This stretches out the elastic and leather.
- Write your name inside or on the soles so you don’t lose them.
- Don’t leave your shoes on the floor (dogs love to chew them!).
- Don’t wear socks unless you always plan to wear socks with your LaDucas (the socks will stretch out the leather).
- If you feel any rubbing or friction, slip on a Band-Aid right away to avoid blisters.
Learn more and order your first pair of LaDucas at http://www.laducashoes.com.