Both jazz shoes and dance shoes are very diverse styles of dance shoes even though they serve a different purpose. Jazz shoes are primarily designed for jazz dancing although they are suitable for many other styles such as rock and roll, modern, and more. Dance shoes are also very flexible but designed to provide more support to the foot. It is also used in many styles but is especially popular in breakdancing, hip-hop, and street dancing.
The most noticeable difference between a jazz shoe and a dance shoe is the look of the upper. The upper part of a jazz shoe is usually made of very supple leather very similar to the type used to make soft ballet shoes. This allows the shoe to fit almost like a second skin allowing great freedom of movement for the foot. Dance sneakers feature a stiffer upper and have a trainer-like look that makes them especially popular for urban and street dancing.
The sole of the jazz shoe has many differences but also shares some similarities with the sole of the dance sneaker. Most jazz shoes are available with either a full sole or a separate sole, while dance sneakers always have a separate sole. This is in order to provide more freedom of movement to the foot while still providing adequate support. Dance sneakers often have soft points on the soles to make it easier to rotate, or slits in the heel to make it easier for the dancer to lift their partner. On the other hand, the sole of both types of dance shoes provides shock absorption and is non-marking.
A wide range of jazz shoes and dance sneakers are available in the market from several major dance brands such as Kippzio, Bloch and Dance Gear. Some of the most popular jazz shoes include different types of leather split soles, and some of the most popular sports dance shoes include the Capezio Web Dansneaker and the Bloch Boost Dansneaker.