“Why don’t you (almost) not make heeled dance shoes that are closed in the front?”
Most of the time it's beginners who ask me this question.
And that's normal: when you're starting out, you often dance with guides who are beginners themselves. And small accidents are common: ouch, he stepped on my foot again!
Note that as soon as the dancer buys suitable shoes, the sole of which is very thin, he very quickly begins to feel that he is stepping on something... and he lightens his forefoot, which makes the incident without consequence. And it also happens with good dancers, believe me, whether it's the "fault" of the leader... or the dancer/follower!
In reality, having your feet stepped on is not very dangerous, except possibly for nail polish...
What is, on the other hand, much more so, is for example when we dancers brush our right foot slightly above the left foot that the heel of our right shoe hits the thumb of the left foot (and uh. .. tear off part of the nail sometimes, but I will spare you the details at the risk of getting lost, dear readers...).
That, okay, it's super painful. The "fault" can as easily lie with the dancer (or lead dancer), who did not make the dancer (or follower dancer) feel the movement early enough, as with the dancer/follower, who could have had a moment of inattention. At the slightest fraction of a second late, if the right foot does not have time to rise sufficiently before moving backwards, it could be an accident. The good news is that the better you dance, the less this happens. And that in any case, we recover from it, the body having formidable repair faculties.
This type of accident also happens much more frequently with shoes whose heels are more vertical, in other words heels which do not "fit" enough under the foot. These are very fashionable "urban" heels in recent years, but they are not suitable for tango practice.
So it's true, you can get hurt while dancing.
But which sport is completely safe? Pilates would tell me my Pilates teacher :) And again, I who always want to show him how much good will I put into it, sometimes I try too hard :D
But I don't tell him, eh!
Okay, but that doesn't explain why the vast majority of dancers wear open-front shoes!
The answer is simple and will jump out at you (toes?) on the first try:
These shoes provide a huge advantage. As the toes are no longer constrained, they can spread apart and thus allow better anchoring to the ground. And that’s exactly what we’re looking for! The feeling is immediate, the balance is clearly improved.
And your thumb will thank you for being able to stay in its axis (which is not the case when the shoe is closed, even less so if it is pointed - beware of inflammation of the joint in these cases!!) .
(Note that I'm talking about heels here of course not flats.)
Finally, here too the dancers can draw hasty conclusions! Many will hesitate to invite a dancer who wears closed-toe shoes and whom they have not yet seen dance, thinking that she is a beginner. Sometimes wrongly...