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Free shipping and returns!

Experience a new kind of luxury: try in the comfort of your home and if needed, make an easy return with a pre-paid shipping label. Axis Tango now offers free shipping both ways, giving you yet another reason to shop our collections of shoes and apparel for Argentine Tango. As always, our collections come directly from Italy and Argentina, and are carefully selected for maximum beauty, quality, and comfort. 

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Let Your Shoes Talk

Christian Louboutin once said, “A woman carries her clothes. But the shoe carries the woman." Shoes are the perfect symbol for status, style, sex appeal, power, fashion statement... A boot or a sandal, a derby or a clog, a running shoe or a high-heeled pump, a tango flat or a wedding slipper - shoes say it all. They are not just about covering our feet to protect them from the elements, they are an expression of our feelings, our energy, our place in time. Italian shoes, and now also Italian tango shoes, are universally recognized as the pinnacle of elegance, beauty, and quality. What is it that makes them the finest in the world?  

Father Knows Best

Quite simply, it is their heritage. Shoemaking in Italy is based on family know-how and carefully preserved traditions. The regions of Marche, Veneto, and Tuscany are filled with close-knit shoemaking families, with a passion for craftsmanship and love for their product, who built up the elegant and sophisticated image of Italian shoes globally.

Italian artisans have been refining their shoemaking craft for centuries. For generations, manufacturing took place in small workshops and even rooms of the shoemakers' homes. Traditional tanning processes and shoemaking techniques were family-guarded secrets passed on from fathers to sons, from grandfathers to granddaughters. Acclaimed Italian shoe designer Gianvito Rossi recalled his childhood memory of watching the artisans focused on their craftsmanship in his father’s shoe factory. Rossi said, “Unconsciously, I started to accumulate experience just by watching my father and observing the artisans as they craft the most amazing shoes. Without knowing it, I was building a historical memory.” *

 

 

Many Italian shoe artisans today, including tango shoe manufacturers working with Axis Tango, are preserving the tradition by working in the family workshops or creating newly modernized ateliers. The shoemaking craft was and continues to be transformed into an art that is protected by strict regulations to guarantee the highest quality. As the rest of the world moves towards mass production of cheaper shoes for quick consumption, Italy protects and supports its artisanal shoemaking industry. The result is that every shoe is carefully crafted and lovingly finished, making each pair exceptional and beautiful. By wearing a pair of Italian tango shoes, you are not only walking or dancing in comfort and style, you are supporting the preservation of important heritage and financing the future of the shoemaking art.

From Start to Finish

The Italian tango shoe that you adore so much did not come to be by a quick assembly but rather by a carefully followed process. Many skilled hands carefully touched it during a precise, time-consuming, and detailed practice that created a final product of quality and beauty.

The last, or the "forma" of the shoe, is a precisely calibrated 3-dimensional design that gives the shoe its shape. Made traditionally of wood and now often also of high-density plastic, it represents the anatomical shape of the foot and influences the finished product's appearance and aesthetic. The forma dictates the overall fit of the shoe, from the heel width to instep height to toe-box depth. Because of the forma's importance in the finished product, workshops keep archives of formas that are carefully curated, maintained, and guarded.

 

After the forma is chosen, a pattern is made that follows the shape of the last; next comes the cutting of the high-quality leather guided by the sizes and shapes of the patterns. Centuries of experience have honed the skills of Italian shoemakers in making and using superior leathers to produce high-quality hand-crafted shoes. They made sure that Italian leather is a thing of beauty: soft, supple and richly hued. After the leather is cut, the assembly begins that takes time, patience, skill, and devotion. The process takes many weeks to complete, nothing is hurried or left to chance, every step in the manufacturing process is taken with pride, knowledge, dedication, and love for the art that produces the finest footwear in the world. 

From the first step to the finished article, everything is done by skillful and dedicated craftsmen. The design, style, and comfort of each finished pair are successful results of a well thought-out process. The fit is thoughtfully calculated, the stitching is careful to the very last string. And indeed, Axis Tango Italian dance shoes are crafted to cushion and anchor the foot’s every move.

Dance Your Soles Off  

Italian shoes will continue to be a force in the global shoe market. With such superior products, it is no surprise that Italian-made shoes are now also the footwear of choice for tango dancers. Axis Tango started the trend by introducing Bandolera/Tangolera shoes to the American market and is continuing with the introduction of the Nada Mas and representation of Madame Pivot labels. While Italian shoe manufacturers may never be the largest producers of shoes in volume, their articles will continue to remain relevant and prestigious because they are true to their artisan heritage while trailblazing modern trends.

So, the next time you slip on that elegant Italian pump on the way to work or a hand-made Italian tango shoe at a milonga or tango class, remember it is the work of skilled craftsmen that brought the unequaled comfort to your walk and dance. From their hands to your feet, with tradition, passion, and love. Enjoy!

 

 

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* Footwear News; "Why Family Dynasties Still Rule Italy's Shoe Industry" by Alessandra Ilari, 8/25/2015

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Dancing as a form of exercise works every muscle group in the body and gives a good aerobic workout without the need for fancy equipment or weights. But that is only one positive of dance. The secret about dancing is that it is the most social type of exercise available!

Why, we hear you ask. Well, let’s compare dancing with other types of exercise. At a gym you exercise on your own machine, while listening to your own music or watching a screen. Only you hear your music, and the screen isn’t designed to be discussed. You may be able to chat about your progress with other users, but the focus is on your individual exercise experience. Dancing, on the other hand, is designed to be a shared experience. The dance class all listens to the same music, which gives a topic for conversation  -‘I love this song!’ ‘What IS this song?’ and so on. A chat about the music stops you focussing totally on the moves and helps you to move to the music in an intuitive manner. You are now dancing rather than just stepping through moves! Because you dance very closely together you become very sensitive to your partner and can pick up if he or she is tired or a bit down. You probably have never experienced that at the gym! 

Swimming seems, at first, like a shared type of exercise, everyone wearing a swimsuit (which makes most people a bit self conscious) and moving in the water without colliding. But it is only social if you go with a friend. On your own you swim up and down, avoiding people. Dancing is a partner activity, you need two of you to do it, so it is impossible to ignore people!, or better yet, be ignored yourself!

You dance with a partner, so you could be sharing each dance with a different person. You are very close to your partner which means that you end up knowing each other very well. When you muck up a move, as we all do when learning something, you muck it up together! Often everyone in a class will learn a new step together so there is plenty of support if it is a bit difficult; it’s not unusual to have a class in giggles when learning something new. Dancers will help each other. Partners laugh about their mistakes and cheer at the successes. Why would you want to run or row on a machine - listening to your music and ignoring everyone - when you could be sharing a great experience with a group of people who will laugh and celebrate with you!

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Axis Tango - Blog by Axis Tango - 1y ago

Does tango dancing terrify you?

Whether you’re naturally shy about getting on the dance floor or love to do your moves in public, there’s something about the word “tango” that sends shivers down the spine. The word conjures images of beautiful couples with incredible physiques doing complicated steps with a precision that looks, well . . . terrifying! Intimidating is a better word -- the feeling that your efforts will never make the grade. If you’d like to calm your fears a bit and open yourself up to learning this beautiful and enchanting dance, it’s all about partnering, practice, and enjoying the benefits!

One thing that might make you feel shy about learning this dance is that it takes two to tango. No worries! If you’re considering tango lessons, find a studio that includes “partnering” in their lesson package. This means that you’ll be partnered with a stranger -- and who better to feel foolish with? The two of you can “lean” on each other for encouragement, honest feedback, and possibly even some planned extra practice or a meet-up at a dance club when the lesson is over. In addition, many teachers encourage frequent partner switching during their lessons, so no partner is necessary for you to plunge head first into this intoxicating dance!

If finding a partner is not an issue, you may want to enroll in a class together, but you can also start to learn how to dance through videos online or for purchase. The single major problem with relying on a video to teach you however, is watching it. As with all things, if you feel shy or intimidated by the tango, a lot of “stuff” will suddenly become much more important than learning about it; you’ll have to find a way to make yourselves “take the first step,” (pun intended). So be honest with yourselves about your own habits, and if you know that clicking the “start” arrow of a video just isn’t going to happen, then opt for the more personal approach of a class or dance club where you and your partner can see the tango in action. And really, what could be more fun than watching people dance the beautiful tango as a way to encourage you to take your first steps? There’s certainly no obligation to join in, and watching others just might be enough inspiration for you to return the next week for another go or sign up for a class near you!

With partnering and practice no longer such intimidating factors, here are three of the amazing benefits of dancing the tango that should dissolve away any remaining fears you might have about this dance form.

  1. Improved and new relationships. The very fact that the tango requires partnering means that you have to open yourself up to being encouraging, honest, and reliable with another person in order to really learn the tango -- and what a great way to form a supportive relationship with someone!
  2. Increased physical fitness. The physical benefits of the tango include cardio health and stronger, more defined muscle groups in your body. Also better coordination and balance!
  3. Increased confidence and self-esteem. Finally, you’ll become more confident as you see yourself learning the tango. The dance form is precise and almost magical, and to master even the most basic steps will be a wonderful affirmation of your open mind and abilities!

So go ahead, conquer your inhibitions and dance your fears away. You'll be glad you did!

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