Aris Allen Men's 1932 Black Captoe Swing Dance Shoes
- Handmade Swing Era dress shoes in the style of men's captoes from the 1932 Chicago Mail Order Catalog. And when we say "handmade" we mean it. Every one of these has been individually cut and assembled by hand. These have prioritized comfort over looks - do not buy these for photo shoots - the pliable leather on these is better suited for dance shoes than dress shoes!
- These are made specifically for dancing on dance floors - DO NOT wear them outside.
- Features the Aris Allen Raw Sole: a flexible leather sole and heel made especially to provide you with the action you want on the dance floor. Ask any dance instructor: the “fastness” of the sole forces you to “find your center” immediately.
- This is a slightly roomy style. See sizing recommendations below.
- Heel height is approximately 1.1".
- Item #: 475-BK
These are great dance shoes because of the slideable hard leather sole and heel, and the comfort you need in a shoe that's going to be on the hardwood all night.
(Our returns show we are right about 90% of the time)
These are running a little smaller than true-to-size. So start with your men's dress shoe size - the size you measure on the Brannock Device (the metal thing at the shoe store) - and go up a half size. Unless you are just a little smaller than the size you usually wear - then stay at that size. Call us if you need help figuring out your size.
Test dancers with narrow feet had to put thin inserts in them to get a good fit. If you are in between sizes the smaller of the two might be best for you.
Stick with your usual size if it's sometimes a little too long. If you are in between two sizes then go up a half size. Add a thin insert if it's the perfect length but a bit too roomy.
These are roomy but are not made for wide feet. For instance; our 9.5 EEE test dancer could wear a size 10 but prefers our wide captoe instead.
About “Blucher” construction:
This captoe is made in the Blucher style, meaning that unlike most dress shoes they are constructed to open and close across the foot with laces (rather than being stitched down at the base of the laces) to allow you to adjust the fit to your liking. This means they easily fit a variety of widths, from slightly narrow to average to slightly wide.
ABOUT THE ARIS ALLEN RAW SOLE:
- The Aris Allen Raw Sole is made from flexible hard leather that gets a little “faster” over time by repeatedly absorbing the natural humidity in the air (especially at a dance) and drying. The bottom of the sole and heel is made from sanded hard leather and performs a lot like Chrome Leather (suede) which allows you to spin and slide, and still control the floor. If you find the sole has picked up dirt from the floor and is slowing down, just shuffle your feet on the sidewalk once or twice to refresh it.
- The raw leather surface is designed for the intermediate / advanced dancer - but they're also great as a second pair for beginners... the “fastness” of the sole forces you to “find your center” immediately.
- This style was created to give you a shoe that is similar to what was being worn when swing dancing was invented. If you want to look authentic on the dance floor you need to be wearing the same thing that dancers were wearing in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THESE SHOES:
They are absolutely 100% handmade. The cutting of the leather is done by hand - not stamped out, the glue is put on with a brush, not a machine, and the sewing, while done with a sewing machine, is done one at a time. You can even see the occasional pencil mark! This means that the shoe on your foot is the product of a craftsman who sees the shoe from start to finish. This also explains why you will find the occasional imperfection. They are made one at a time.