Dancers need their feet to be healthy and pain-free; therefore, the footwear they use is of great importance. Footwear has the potential to enhance or restrict movement and impact the dancer's body in various ways. To evaluate the effects of footwear on dancers, in particular the effects on foot motion and injury during dance movements, we undertook a systematic review of the literature. The major databases were searched for articles on theatrical dance styles and dance footwear. Sixteen articles were selected for inclusion in this study, ten on ballet and the remainder covering a variety of other genres. The contribution of dance shoes to the quality of dance movement is a relatively unexplored subject; little experimental research has been done. Prospective scientific evidence is needed to support or disprove traditional beliefs regarding the effects of footwear on dance performance and dancers' health.