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  • Ally Gavigan:
  • 26 October 2013

Ghillies, soft shoes and pumps?!?

Different names for the same thing in Irish dance

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The different names for things in Irish dancing can be a little confusing for beginners so we thought we would give you a head start and create a simple guide for you.

Hopefully other members will add to us and share their knowledge!


Jig Shoes (the shoes with the tips and heels) AKA

Hard Shoes


Riverdance Shoes

Irish Tap Shoes



Irish dancing pumps (the ones with the criss cross laces) AKA

Soft Shoes



Light shoes


Reel Shoes

What other things in irish dance have the same name?

Join the conversation and lets demystify Irish dance for newcomers!


29 November 2013

Have to say read first line and laughed... just reminising... we had the exact problem in the early days... thought they were 3 different things.

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'Excellent service...we changed the shoes 3 times but nothing was a problem for the staff who sent the last pair by special delivery as we had a competition the next day.'

Ian - UK
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