If you’ve ever tried to find white character shoes, you know the struggle is real — we’ve searched through every dance and theater store, and we can find only three pairs that are true character shoes. (That would be #1, #2, and #3 below.) If you’re looking for something with a higher heel or a different cut, you’ll probably have to spray paint an existing pair. (A tried and true musical theatre trick, but not ideal.)
Since white dance shoes are so hard to find, we’ve done some digging to find the best options. From ballroom/Latin shoes to street shoes, we’ve found the options that most resemble traditional character shoes — and more importantly, that offer you the support, comfort, and flexibility you need when you’re onstage.
We’ve provided links to each of the character shoes; these are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through the link, we may receive a small commission to keep Theater Love running. Thanks for supporting us!
1. Our Pick for the Best White Character Shoes:Capezio 550 Junior Footlight
The Capezio 550 Junior Footlight is the best white character shoe on the market — and it’s affordable! Whether you’re just getting into musical theatre, or you simply need a pair of white character shoes for a single show, this is a fantastic option.
Capezio is one of the most well-known brands in the dance world, and for good reason; their shoes are sturdy, comfortable, and designed specifically for dance. That means that your feet will stay comfortable during long rehearsals and performances, and you’ll be able to execute all of your choreography flawlessly.
Want to learn more about the Capezio 550? Check out our full review here: 3 Affordable Character Shoes.
When it comes to white character shoes, this is one of the best options. These shoes are from Danshuz, which is one of the reasons we like them — the company has been in business for 60+ years, and they’re well-versed in making supportive, high quality shoes. This model is a fairly standard character shoe, with a low 1.5-inch heel and a pin-buckle closure.
These dance shoes are made from imitation leather, which means that they’re very affordable. (A must, since you probably don’t need white stage shoes very often!) The closure is a standard pin-buckle.
In terms of fit, we find that these shoes are pretty narrow. They also tend to run small. It’s a good idea to order a half to full size larger than your street shoe size. If you have wide feet, you might want to go up two full sizes for a comfortable fit.
Notice something familiar? These Danzcue shoes look nearly identical to the Danshuz model; in fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re actually the same shoe, just white-labeled for each brand. Our advice? See which one comes in the best price, and go with that!
These shoes are super similar to the Capezio Jr. Footlight.
They have a 1.5-inch heel and a pin-buckle clasp. The sole is a tan color, which is nice — it creates some definition between the shoe and the stage, which makes your lines look better during musical theatre choreography. These shoes are very reasonably priced (and we love that they ship with Prime), making them a great option for a backup character shoe.
These Mary Jane shoes from Olivia K aren’t made by a dance brand, but they have a profile that’s very similar to the Capezio Manhattan. The exception, of course, is the heel — the Olivia K shoe has a much narrower heel. Since they’re not a dance shoe, they also don’t offer the flex throughout the foot that a character shoe does. For those reasons, we recommend these shoes only for musical theatre or straight plays that don’t require heavy dancing.
They’re fine for basic waltzing, but we wouldn’t recommend attempting serious choreography with such a narrow heel and stiff sole. They are remarkably comfortable, however, so you should be fine during long rehearsals and performances. It’s a good idea to size up one size if you have wider feet.
If you’re doing a musical theatre production with big dance numbers, these Roymall ballroom dance shoes are a great option. They’re engineered specifically for ballroom dancers, so they flex easily when you point your toe. Inside, the suede lining feels super comfortable on your skin. These dance shoes come in a huge variety of colors, but keep in mind that the white version has a low heel. It’s ideal if you’re a less-confident dancer, or if you simply want to be more comfortable, but it might not be the right option if you like a long leg line.
We love how versatile these character shoes are — with their strappy design and low heel, these shoes have a lovely 1930s vibe that’s perfect for musicals like Anything Goes. They also have a bit of a Latin flair (with a low heel), so they might work for something like West Side Story, as well.
If you need white character shoes for a period musical — think cute lace-up boots in shows like The Mystery Of Edwin Drood — these Gogodance dance shoes are a great option. They lace up the front, which isn’t quite period, but really, who’s going to notice from the audience. Or, wear them for a 50s-era musical theatre show. We love the perforated uppers, which keep your feet cool during heavy dance sequences. Plus, they’re super affordable.
The best part? These are made by a dance brand, so they’re built for both support and flexibility. The uppers provide full foot coverage, and the wide heels make it easier to keep your balance between kicks and leaps. The uppers are made from white leather, and the soles are covered in non-slip suede for easy gliding across the stage.
There’s no doubt about it: when you need character shoes, white options are the hardest to come by. Thankfully, you’re probably more likely to need black or tan shoes (if you do, check out our favorite options for affordable character shoes). When nothing but white character shoes will do, these models are a great place to start!