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What is a Shank

ballroom, latin, dance, shoe, shank,

A shank is a flat metal bar that extends from the heel toward the ball of the foot. All women's shoes have a shank to support the foot on the high heel. Some women's Latin shoes have a super flexible shank, which allows for easier pointing of the foot, but also causes the structure of the shoe to wear out faster, and lack support for the arch of the foot.

Men's shoes, Ballroom and Latin, can be found with or without a shank. The shank will help support the arch and preserve the structure of the shoe, while unshanked shoes will facilitate a greater pointing of the foot. When there is no shank, the suede on the bottom of the shoe is often split into two pieces - one on the heel, and the other on the ball/toe area. Deciding how you want your shoe to be shanked is not too important for beginning dancers, but at a higher level or if you have foot problems, you may want to look more closely at your options and decide what is more comfortable.

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