Where to buy tango shoes in New York City
Capezio at 51st street
There are several Capezio locations in New York City which you can find from the website link below. However, there is only one Capezio store with the best shoe selection for tango dancers and that is the store at 51st street. It can be easy to overlook these sturdy shoes in favor of the flashier tango stillettos but it is worthwhile to check these out. In terms of durability, these shoes can't be beat. I have a pair of Capezio character shoes that started with a woman who was in the original Chorus Line, then they were given to a choreographer I worked with who danced in them for many years, then they ended up with me even more years later and now are covered in red paint and glitter and I use them in the Tin Man Tango choreography! In between they were dyed and painted many different colors and were used to dance on everything from Broadway stages to slippery restaurant counters to pavement to South Street Seaport. They are not only sturdy but they also have many sexy styles. Get a pair of these in basic black with a lower heel and use them in your classes. You can also buy those marvelous dance sneakers here, the ones that have a split sole so you can point your pretty feet if you feel like it.
Location: 1650 Broadway at 51st St, 2nd Fl.
Custom Made Dance Shoes by Yaisuri
This is a company run by a woman named Yaisuri Salamanca for CUSTOM MADE dance shoes! That's right, I wrote "custom made" - pretty cool, huh? On top of that, they are made especially for tango dancers (professionals and social dancers) in South America by expert shoemakers who are also tango dancers. You let them know all the specifications such as length and width of your feet, colors, materials, heel height and style, single/double cushion, etc. Not only that, they are also reasonably priced, from $100-$185. Sounds like tango heaven to me! Their showroom is available by appointment only: 357 W 36th Street, Suite 501, between 8th and 9th avenues
You can also find Yaisuri at many milongas in NYC.
Felina Shoes is a company run by a lovely NYC tanguera named Chino Hara. She goes to Buenos Aires frequently for shoes as well as ordering them. She and her husband Jorge Torres (of Forever Tango and Tango House) are located in the Financial District. Call or email Chino and make an appointment to visit their apartment and see the shoes. She has a wide selection of mostly Comme Il Faut and Neotango tango shoes. In addition, you can also go onto the websites of those tango shoe companies, find the shoes that you want and have them delivered in the next round of ordering that she does.
Francesca Tango Boutique
This is a company run by another lovely NYC tanguera (who is originally from Italy and lives a large part of each year in Buenos Aires!) named Francesca Bertelli. She carries unusual and often new brands straight from Buenos Aires. Currently she offers Victorio Calzados, Taconeando and Raquel shoes.
Here is the site for the Boutique, however it really only has links to the shoe companies: http://www.tangotuscany.com/main/Francesca_Tango_shoe_boutique.html
Of course, it's useful to see the shoes, but in order to buy them you will either have to contact Francesca on facebook or find her in one of the New York milongas. She often sells the shoes in the big milongas such as the All Night Milonga.
The infamous Comme Il Faut tango shoes can be found in New York City through a wonderful tanguera (performer and teacher) named Ciko. She distributes them for a company called Julia Bella (www.julia-bella.com). You can make an appointment in NY by calling Ciko, or you can e-mail Julia Bella at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know your shoe size if you are not in the area and would like them to e-mail you photos of the current selection in your size and to order your favorite style(s) by mail.
Phone (Ciko): 646-346-0449
La Mina Tango Boutique
This is NYC's very first tango boutique where you can find lots of wonderful tango shoes and clothes in an actual store! They carry three unusual and beautiful brands of tango shoes to the New York City area that no one else carries: Turquoise (from Turkey), Greta Flora (from Buenos Aires) and Bandolera (from Italy). La Mina Tango Boutique is located at 1133 Broadway, Suite 1203 (between 25 and 26 street) and are open 12pm to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday. If you want to go at another time, you can make an appointment 5 days a week!
Rosso Latino Shoes
You know what they say, the Italians are the best shoemakers in the world! So go straight to the source and buy some gorgeous Italian made tango shoes. You are in luck because Nuria Martinez sells and distributes them right here in New York City. You can have them custom made too, pick every detail yourself! They have shoes for both men and women.
Website: tangoatiempo.com and rossolatino.it
World Tone Shoes
This is a good place to get shoes if you need a pair right away, or if you are just starting and you want to get a pair that is not very expensive. It's also a good place to find some shoes that other people don't have, even when you've been dancing for a while. They have a fairly large sale section where you can get started in tango without breaking the bank. Also for the ladies, when you first begin tango you will likely start with a heel that is shorter than what you might eventually end up with. They carry many beautiful and some unusual brands of tango shoes including: Arika Nerguiz (Uruguay), Comme il Faut (Argentina), Turquoise (Turkey), Nueva Epoca (Italy), Rummos (Portugal) and Natural Spin (Canada). It is definitely worth checking out World Tone and going back to visit them frequently. Another great thing is that it's close to the Tango Boutique store!
Location: 580 8th Ave, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018 (between 38th & 39th St.)
Hours: Mon-Wed. 11am-7pm, Thurs-Sat. 11am-8pm, Sunday 12-6pm
Phone (toll free): 1-866-WT-DANCE (866-983-2623)
Phone (local): 1-212-691-1934
NOTE: To find New York City milongas, go to www.newyorktango.com, the absolute go-to site by a NY tanguero named Richard Lipkin for finding NYC milongas and practicas as well as many useful links to teachers and services.