Ghillies, also called girls’ reel shoes, or pumps, are the soft shoe worn by the girls for the jig, the reel, and the slip jig, as well as team dances. These are the soft black leather shoes that resemble ballet slippers. Since the shoe stretches, there is no need to allow room for growth.
A guide that our parents have found helpful for fitting shows is attached HERE.
A guide for tying ghillies can be found at http://www.boydirishdance.com/InfoShoes.htm. There will also be many experienced parents around dance class to help beginners!
Boys’ reel shoes resemble jazz shoes, and have firmer soles with heels to allow the dancers to beat out the rhythm of the music with their feet.
Girls’ hard shoes, also called heavy shoes or jig shoes, are used by experienced dancers for the treble jig and hornpipe dances. These shoes have to be broken in, so it is useful to buy used shoes for your dancer’s first pair.
Practice shoes are used primarily in parades and for practice, and resemble sneakers. For parades, dancers will need black sneakers or practice shoes.
Shoes are available from various sources including:
Bailey Slipper Shop (local stores) and at: www.baileyslippershop.com
Rutherford Shoes (available at nearby competitions and at: www.rutherfordshoes.com
Vendors at feisanna (competitions) also sell shoes, along with several other online vendors.