Taps are often confusing to the new dancer. Let's see if I can help make it easier. There are a few different options for the clogger but I think we can simplify this confusing world of clogging taps for everyone.
Your first step is to check with your clogging instructor. Often times, your clogging instructor or director has a preference on the tap their dancers wear. Different taps produce slightly different sounds. If your group wants to sound alike, wearing the same style of tap is important.
Clogging Taps are designed to produce our unique sound for clogging. They are not the same as tap shoes. (HOWEVER: In our youth program, we have our Tiny Tot dancers wear a white tap shoe we order from the same manufacturer as our favorite split sole. We do this for cost reasons (around $20 compared to full price of a youth clogging shoe) as our littlest dancers are focusing more on rhythm and music skills and less on clogging steps. As these little ones transition to our clogging beginner skills, we get them into clogging shoes.)
CLOGGING TAP OPTIONS: Buck taps, Regular taps, Bell Taps, Liberty Bell Taps
We are a proud dealer for Stevens Clogging Supply and Bell Tap Manufacturing.
Stevens Clogging Supply manufactures the Stevens Stompers® clogging tap which come in 2 basic styles: Buck Taps and Regular Taps. Stevens Stompers® is a registered trademark of Stevens Clogging Supplies, Inc. Their taps are stamped, assembled and packaged in the US.
Bell Tap Manufacturing makes the Bell Tap. Also manufactured here in the U.S., these taps are designed for sound. The strength and durability of this tap has proven itself over the many years of pounding on dance floors - - all the while sounding great.
NOTE: The Liberty Bell is one more option for cloggers. This tap is manufactured and sold by Carl's Clogging Supply. We did not have a large enough customer base for this tap brand/style and therefore no longer have it as an option for install.
Stevens Stompers® Clogging Taps
Buck Taps® have a flange around the front of the toe which provides tap sound and helps protect the tip of the shoe from wear. This is -- by far -- the most popular and the tap we install daily.
Regular, or non-Buck Taps, do not have a flange. They fit entirely under the shoe and work well for shoes with a more rounded toe style.
We have found some confusion exists when cloggers/clogging instructors advise new dancers to purchase shoes with clogging taps -- sometimes even using the term 'regular clogging taps'. The Buck Tap is by far the most popular tap we install and many cloggers will refer to this as 'the regular clogging tap' -- meaning, not a bell style tap, but the most common Buck style clogging tap. If you are advised to purchase a regular tap, ask for clarification. Make certain your instructor does not want the toe flange. We have very, very few customers order the regular style tap.
This tap comes at a higher price point than the stomper taps, however, it has proven the investment pays off. This tap will last years and years!* You will love the consistent sound quality and durability of this tap.
*It is very important to wear this tap on smooth surfaces only. This is not a sidewalk or parade route shoe.
One Last Note about Clogging Taps...
We feel your pain! Having to order a set of taps is expensive because of shipping costs. We get several requests each week for "taps only" orders as clogging customers seek for the best price. Unfortunately, we do not manufacture taps and therefore have to purchase and pay for shipping on these also. The time involved in processing a tap only order simply does not cover our time and costs. For this reason, we must limit our sales of taps to shoe installations only. (NOTE: If we are installing taps on your new shoes and you want to add an extra set of taps to your order, we can do that.) Taps cans be ordered direct from the manufacturers. I have included links to their website information in the descriptions above.
Hope this helps answer your clogging tap questions.