So Danca's "Ghillie" modern shoe features a split suede sole and a leather upper. The reinforced lacing system provides superb fit and complete freedom of movement. Authentic construction wraps this shoe around the foot for a perfect fit.
I'm not exactly certain how they made the shoe look like it does in the photo. When I tried it on, it was such a large loose bag of leather that there was no way of closing the shoe unless I folded one side over the other and wrapped my foot like a leather burrito.
I don't even have particularly narrow feet.
I perform on an aerial net and these shoes are perfect for that. Aerial nets can become horribly tangled on bare feet. You can wear socks but this is prettier. These shoes are in no way meant for walking around in as they are not very durable. Nice clean dry mats or dance floors are where they should be worn. Super soft.
I also wear them for belly dance when I don't want to have bare feet.
I'm buying my second pair as my daughter stole my first pair to use at circus camp.
As an Irish dancer and now Irish dance instructor, I have become a pretty good critic of Irish materials. Unfortunately, these shoes do not fit the standard. They do not bare a resemblance to a proper ghillie; they do not look traditional or show quality craftsmanship. These shoes have an extra long toe, extra tall leather sides, loose, thin leather that fits poorly around the toes, giving a sloppy, flipper foot look while dancing and pointing, etc. These look like a jazz shoe with the tongue cut out and the lacing figure-eighted, but they do not look like a ghillie I would be happy to see my students in.
If they were a generic knock-off brand ghillie, I could accept these better for schools that do not have Irish roots and are looking for something that is less financially demanding than the traditional Irish shoe market, but when you consider that genuine ghillies actually cost less, fit better, last longer, and look much better, I don't see the point of these.
For those looking for Irish ghillies, I would recommend them looking over Irish brands as well such as Rutherfords, Antonio Pacelli, Corr's, among others before committing to these shoes.
These may be more appropriate for Highland dance, but they are not a good fit for Irish. Check with your teacher before ordering these!
I have gotten two other pairs of this type of shoes in the past. This one so far the best! The first pair was not a split sole and they were just not comfortable when I am pointing plus they didn't last at all. The other time the shoes came out too big. This pair so far the most comfortable ones, true to the size and the sole is actually black. I think black sole is better for black shoes like this so while pointing or audience might see the sole but it shows the extension of my feet, not distracting patches of other color. So far love this! Because of my past experiences, I was skeptical about purchasing this pair, but I'm glad I did get them.