What harp shoes should I buy?

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    Catherine Boyle on #196793

    Hi! I am in need of new harp shoes. I’ve had mine for a couple of years, and they’ve worn out badly. What brand is good for playing in? My old ones are from Payless, and I got them from a thrift store.

    My harp teacher requires the shoes to have a 2″ (aprox) heel, round toe, closed back and front, and black. The toughest part about finding the right pair is that the sole needs to be thin enough for my foot to be able to feel the pedal beneath it adequately. I’ve been searching for leather soled shoes, but the search is difficult.

    These are a lot of requirements for a shoe, so I would appreciate any feedback.


    Shannon B.

    catherine-rogers on #196794

    There are lots of shoes out there that meet your requirements; main concerns are if you wear a rare size or have a strict budget. I don’t like to spend too much on shoes but sometimes you have to bite the bullet to get what you need. Payless used to have the perfect shoe but you can’t get the same thing every year from them, unfortunately. You don’t need an extremely thin or leather sole to feel the pedals; most composition soles will do fine. For example, check out the “Easy Street Fabulous Pump” from Old Pueblo Traders online. Has all the attributes you listed and is $49.99. If you find a shoe you really like, consider buying more than one pair to put in the closet for future use (after you’re sure you like them).

    Biagio on #196795

    This question came up a while ago and the consensus among five of us was (roll of drums) ballroom  dance shoes.  Cuban style have two inch heels – one for example is marketed by Capezio.  Those sell for between $60 and $100 depending on the outlet.  You can probably find less expensive ones but be careful about the sole and instep – leather for the one and reinforced for the second.  Check the forums for the full thread.


    Sylvia on #196796

    If I had a harp teacher who required me to wear high heels to play, I would certainly get a different teacher.  Thank goodness my teacher had better sense than that.  I think we   should wear whatever we are most comfortable playing in.  We decide that for ourselves.

    czenzilee on #196983


    I don’t post on here often but I have a friend who owns a specialty shoe store, and I used to work there too. Well-known brands that make several styles of closed-in, rounder-toe, low-heel dress shoes with leather (or otherwise thin) soles are Ros Hommerson, VanEli, Trotters and maybe Mark Lemp. These makers tend toward conservative styles and use leather. They also still make slim and narrow widths. So the prices may be higher than what you’d find at Payless.

    The idea above of trying to find a dancing shoe is also a good one. I don’t know the name of the company, but there is a maker of shoes specifically for pipe organists. I suspect they’d be perfect for your needs. Finally, you might also ask a drama teacher or civic theater member in your area because these are almost exactly the shoe specifications for many people doing musical theater.

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