Looking after your tap shoes, when to buy new shoes, how to attach taps
Care of Tap Shoes:
1. Keep the material clean. Washing the surface to remove any dirt or debris with a damp cloth and drying it will prevent foreign materials from damaging the shoe. You can also use wash shoe polish/ leather cleaners to clean your shoes.
2. Don’t wear them outside and make sure that the shoes remain dry. This is important, especially if your tap shoes are made of leather, because when the leather is damp, it will stretch. If the leather stretches, then the shoes will not fit correctly.
3. Wear socks when dancing to inhibit bacterial growth
4. Dry shoes out after use
5. Insert a wooden shoetree when not dancing to help the shoe keep its shape and to absorb moisture.
6. Examine the shoes on a regular basis to determine if repairs are needed. For example, if you begin to notice that the soles are thinning out, you will need to take them for repair before holes develop and you have to buy new shoes altogether.
7. Use protective insoles or baking soda sprinkled in the shoes to remove foot odours. Sprinkle baking soda in the shoes and let them sit overnight. Shake out the excess baking soda and wipe the shoes out with a cloth before you wear them.
8. Check the screws on the taps to ensure that they are not coming loose. Loose screws can cause taps to come off, create floor damage and can cause physical injury if part of the tap comes off during a dance. Tighten the screws with a screwdriver as needed.
9. Check the nails on the exterior and interior of the shoe. If they break or come loose, have them replaced immediately.
10. If the taps on your shoes are glued on, consistently check to make sure that they are secure and re-glue as needed.
Signs it’s time for new shoes:
1. Tearing of the leather where it is attached to the sole.
2. Leather of the foot housing has become extremely soft.
3. Increased sole bend.
4. Sole and/or heel separation from the shoe.
5. Diminished sound quality.
6. Insole lining (cushion) has become very compressed.
7. Eating away of inside materials due to bacteria (yuk)
How do I attach taps to my shoes?
We recommend that you take your tap shoes and teletones to a professional cobbler but always ask if they have fitted them before. If this is not possible you can fit them yourself.
There are 3 types of taps. Teletone, Duotone and Supertone. Always fit the taps with screws not nails (these should be supplied with your NEW Teletones along with a sound plate). The taps should be secured firmly so that the screw heads are flush with the tap so they will not damage the dance floor.
1. Take your tap shoe and turn it over so the soles of the shoes are facing upwards.
2. Put the toe tap in place and follow the contour of the tap shoe and align the tap around the edge of the shoe toe or heel. Make a small mark where the screws will be placed.
3. Once you have marked where the screws will need to go, take the tap and sound plate and position the tap where the screws are to go.
4. Now screw in the 3 screws making sure the outside of the tap follows the contour of the shoes heel or toe. some teletones will not perfectly follow the contour of the tap shoes which in this case a cobbler will grind the tap overhang for a flush finish.
5. You can now try out your teletone tap for sound. tighten and loosen the taps to get the preferred sound you want.