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It’s tricky to be sure you’ve found correctly fitting soft Irish dancing pumps…we’re here to help!

In a perfect world, we would recommend you visit us in stores and have your shoes fitted by our specialists. We understand that that is not always possible. Here are a few pointers to help you buy correctly fitting Irish dancing pomps.

We sell several styles of Irish dancing pumps in Dance World. Full-soled options are perfect for beginners and some more advanced, split-soled shoes like Aoife pumps by Inishfree for experienced dancers. We know our stuff when it comes to fitting. We want to help you feel confident and comfortable in your shoes.

Advanced Irish dancing pumps are tricky to buy new as each brand will fit a little differently and they will stretch out so much. It’s tricky to be sure you’ve found a correctly fitting shoe that’ll give you the aesthetic you’re looking for as the way the shoe looks and feels in the shop is not how it’s going to look and feel in a few weeks with wear.

Beginner Irish Dancing pumps – How should they feel?

Beginner Irish dancing pumps, you want the foot to be completely inside the shoe and the toes flat on the ground but touching the top of the shoe. These soft shoes will not stretch massively, but the leather will soften. If you intend to buy Irish dancing pumps with growing room we suggest you find the size pump that fits correctly and purchase no more than 1 half size larger.

Advanced Irish Dancing pumps – How should they feel?

A split-soled shoe like Inishfree Aoife and Hulachan pumps are worn extremely tight because they will stretch. Advanced, professional and open dancers prefer split-soled shoes. If you are changing from a full-sole pump please be advised that the split-sole shoe will feel different. Advanced pumps need to be bought smaller than your street shoe size. (All sizes listed on our website are UK sizes). The pump should have absolutely no room at the toe when pointed and your heel should be fully inside the heel of the shoe. You want your foot to look slim, pointed and incredibly neat.

Aoife Irish dancing pump – the most popular shoe!

Our best-selling shoe is the Aoife Irish dancing pump by Inishfree. With its padded insole, flattering vamp and side profile and supple stretchy leather, the Aoife is hard to beat. We advise buying the Aoife two sizes smaller than your street shoe size and stretching them to the perfect fit.

FAQ about Irish dancing pumps.

Do Irish Dancing pumps stretch?

Advanced Irish dancing pumps are bought too tight because they will STRETCH. Dancers buy these shoes up to two sizes too small because they stretch the pump to fit the size and contours of their feet. With regular wear, soft shoes can stretch up to two full sizes. So make sure to wear your new pumps when practising and in class.

Can I get Irish dancing pumps bigger if I want growing space?

Irish dancing pumps need to fit like a glove or a sock. This means skin-tight with no extra room or dead space inside. Shoes that are too big can be difficult to dance in and even dangerous. Try not to give in to the temptation to get a shoe with growing room. These shoes WILL stretch and this will become your growing room. As I said before, these pomps can stretch up to two full sizes.

Should I ask my teacher for help with fitting pumps?

Yes! Irish dancing teachers know a lot about shoes and they know about your feet too. You should always ask your teacher if they have any preferences or advice on what brand to buy. You can also ask them to double-check the size of the soft shoes you have bought. Your teacher will always want you to have a correctly fitting shoe for your safety and to make sure your shoes show off your feet in competitions. We suggest you show every pair of soft pumps to your teacher before you wear them. Many teachers favourite shoe is the Aoife pump from Inishfree.

Perfectly fitted Irish dancing pumps are different for everyone

Remember that everybody wears their shoes differently and fitting is hugely personal. Some people want a little more space than others. Considering how our feet are all different in terms of width, length, toes, and arch type; you can imagine how tricky it is to fit pumps by guessing. This is why we cannot guarantee a perfect fit without a fitting.

My teacher says my soft Irish dancing pumps are the wrong size, what can I do?

Don’t panic! If you have just purchased a new pair of pumps and your teacher is not happy with the fit you can bring them back for an exchange. Make sure you keep all packaging and your receipt and keep the shoes in perfect condition until your teacher checks them. Remember, only pumps in perfect condition will be accepted for exchange or refund.


Remember: This guide is a guide ONLY and unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the size of your Irish dancing pumps will be 100% accurate if purchased online or over the phone without fitting. Pop into either of our Dublin stores and our expert staff will be delighted to help you find the perfect soft Irish dancing pumps.


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