Thursday, 13 March 2008

Tara Tango Shoes 2

Well, it seems Tara Tango Shoes have not, after all, gone out of business, and my order via Diva Boutique arrived today.

I absolutely love the way they look. I love the suede texture, the shape, the rhinestone buckle, and the platform, and I adore the little black frills. The heels are fully covered with the black suede, which is beautiful stuff. They came with a rather nice pale green satin shoe bag.

It seems that US sizing is very narrow. They say on the Tara website (which doesn't answer its email - Diva does) that Tara shoes are wider than usual, and when I gave the measurements of my feet and some of my shoes, Katherine at Diva Boutique advised me, correctly I think, to order a 7½ because it was the same length as the 7 but wider. Trying them on, I think they'll be OK with Party Feet, and the heel pads and heel grips from the same range as well, but I won't really know until I dance in them. The sideways fit is good and comfortable. I probably would have tried a 6½ first if I hadn't had advice, and those would certainly have pinched. Ask before you order. It's probably better for my feet to wear a little too big rather than too small, as long as they don't rub, and I think I may be able to prevent that.

They're not quite as well held on as I prefer for dancing, but that's probably just a consequence of ankle straps instead of a t-bar together with being a little bit too long. The ankle straps feel strange - I haven't tried them before. I think the answer to that is probably to do it up tight, get used to the strap around the joint, and let it stretch a little. There's also the option of removing the strap and using a ribbon, but I don't really want to do that yet.

The soles are extremely slippery - I can do ochos on carpet, and if I'm not very careful when I extend my leg I could easily go flying - but the heel tips are ordinary plastic, and catch. I think I should test these in a class before wearing them anywhere with a slippery floor, like the Welsh Centre for instance. Whether I'm actually going to do that is another matter.

The sole does not feel flexible and does not come with me as I point or flex my foot. However, the platform part does bend if I stand on tiptoe. Maybe they will flex more with wear. I can easily slip a finger between my arch and the arch of the shoe, but I think they are just about in contact when standing.

Fifteen minutes doing forward-side-back-side round a chair in different directions (something I ought to do more often - it's remarkable how badly I start and how quickly it gets better) suggests to me that they're probably better for dancing than they are for walking around, but I should be really careful about heeling myself because the platform means the heels are longer than I think they are. And I heel myself all the time anyway, and constantly have bruises on my instep.

The total cost including shipping amounted to £113.89, which is £20-£40 more than I would normally have spent on a dancing shoe. However, they have features I particularly like, such as the design and the platform, and I can see there's a tradeoff between the platform and flexibility. If I'd been over in the States and tried these on, I might or might not actually have bought them at the price, since the sizing doesn't suit me particularly well. However, I've got them now, I love the way they look, I don't think they're the wrong size, and they're definitely not going back. I'll see how they go.

13 comments:

Johanna said...

Ms. H - do have a little patience with them. They are VERY well made, and will mold to your foot.

Personally, I can't dance with platforms, but I have a pair of her other shoes, and they're my ol' standbys.

Johanna said...

PS - make sure to "scruff up" the soles before you try a dance floor. My favorite method is to do the Twist on rough concrete. It doesn't destroy the soles, but takes away that lethal slickness.

La Tanguerita said...

Unfortunately the links above don't work for me...

msHedgehog said...

Which links don't work - and what does it say when you try?

I tried the shoes out this evening and they performed very well. I wore them with glittery opaque tights to protect my feet from any little digs or rubbing from the looseness, and I moistened the soles slightly with a wet paper towel to start me off safely. Now I think the wooden floor has abraded them just enough so that they're practically perfect. The platform gives a little bit once you warm up, and I found them very comfortable. I'll probably continue wearing them with some kind of hosiery for a while.

La Tanguerita said...

e-mailed you:-)

msHedgehog said...

A little experiment shows that the Tara site at least, and maybe Diva Boutique too, is broken if your browser language is German. Try switching temporarily to English, it will probably work.

La Tanguerita said...

Thank you, it worked fine the way you suggested, so now I can see them and they look lovely.
Love the frills!

tango lover said...

I also want to buy those same lovely Volante tango shoes, but can I ask your advice about size, as you seem to have similar size feet to me. I usually take a UK 5( Eur 38)but Diva just asked the length of sole of a comfortable shoe (which is 25cm) and whether I had a wide foot (no I don't think so ) and advised I order size 7, this sounds small to me as I have some dancesport shoe made in Brazil and they are size 8W.Could you tell me what UK size you take and if you have wide feet. I will be so disappointed if I order 7 and they are too small,so looking forward to your help! !

msHedgehog said...

A 7 could well be right. Mine are 24.5cm long, internal measurement of the sole, with my tape measure. They are actually 7½ but that's because my feet are somewhat wide and apparently the lengths of the Tara half-sizes are exactly the same as the sizes below. I normally wear UK 4-4½ or EUR 37, but am using insoles at the heel and the toe, and heel grips too. The width is comfortable and the length is a little long - it would be too long without the ankle strap and the heel grips. If your size 5 shoes fit tightly for length, the 7 would probably be fine. Or you could go for an 8 and do the same as me, but the lady there has experience.

Elizabeth said...

My most beloved shoe ever is the Volante, and I may have to order a new pair to replace them. The frills are scraggly, and I will find a new frill to put on. They become flexible with a little wear, so be patient. I had a shoe man put suede on them, but next time I will just scratch them up. I love, love, these shoes, and the heel height is perfect. I hope you end up loving them as much as I do. I wish there were more styles of Tara though.

msHedgehog said...

So far, I've worn them twice and I'm delighted with them. I think the cork platform gives me an extra hour of comfortable dancing. But the beautiful suede is so delicate I'm trying to be careful where and how often I wear them.

tango lover said...

Thanks for the advice re Tara shoe sizes.I will call Diva again and chat about my foot size,and then take their advice,it seems to have worked for you.I was at the Otres Aires concert in Clapham yesterday, thought you might be there and looked out for you......would have recognised you by the shoes.The music was great but the dance floor at the Grand was awful to dance on.

msHedgehog said...

I received the following from Diva Boutique:

... I'm glad to hear that they are working pretty well for you. The cork, as one of your posters described, does become more flexible with wear.

Since one of your posters mentioned that they would prefer more styles, I thought I'd give you a heads-up on our upcoming plans.

We're putting together a PDF catalog for spring/summer '08 that will have some wonderful new designs, including a new-style platform in a sandal that is super soft and comfy. There will be summer stripes, colorful polka dots, floral prints. We will also bring out two new closed-toe platform shoes, as well as an artsy t-strap in a gorgeous blue suede. The La Luna will come out in all red suede and beige suede/white polka dots. There will also be a newer version of the very popular Novia shoe. Also more choices in tan leather. These should should be ready for shipping end of May/June.

...


They should turn up here, or, failing that, here.