Why Glue Pennies to Kids Shoes

Last Updated on May 6, 2021

There is a rather strange connection between pennies and kid’s shoes floating around the  internet. Parents are gluing pennies to the bottom of their kid’s shoes.

No, it’s not a new way to teach your kids how to save their money or to keep them from sneaking out of the house. 

It’s actually a creative way to make fun and inexpensive tap dancing shoes for your children without buying a whole new pair!

Why are parents gluing pennies to the bottom of their kid’s shoes?

Here’s the deal, parents know that tap dance shoes are expensive for a nice pair. You’ll spend at least $30 and upwards of $100 for high end tap shoes. 

What if your kid tries it once and decides they don’t like to dance?

This is why many parents have taken to gluing pennies to the bottom of their kid’s shoes.

You might be asking, “isn’t that kind of crazy?”. Maybe, but it’s actually a really smart way to create an inexpensive tap shoe that can help teach your child balance and coordination. This gives your kid a chance to try out tap before going all in on it.

A pair of tap dancing shoes isolated on white

Benefits of creating tap shoes using pennies and old shoes

There are several reasons why creating tap shoes at home is worth a few of the pennies you have laying around.

  • Save at least $30 bucks by not having to buy new shoes
  • Pennies sound similar to the metal bottoms on a regular tap shoe
  • Distract your kids with endless entertainment while you get work done around the house
  • A penny is made of copper which is lightweight and won’t weigh down the shoe
  • Pennies can be removed if your child decides they don’t want to tap dance
  • Children love the click and clack noise tap shoes make
  • Gets your children moving around dancing, walking, and jumping to make music with their feet when they’re stuck at home
  • Helps your child work on their coordination and balancing skills 
  • Your child can be tapping away in a matter of hours rather than ordering and waiting for new shoes to be delivered

How to glue pennies onto kids shoes

Simply take an old pair of your kids shoes they don’t wear often and use a couple small drops of glue to secure 6-9 pennies on the top and bottom of the shoe’s sole. Once the glue dries, your child is ready to dance! 

Those are the basic steps, but cover the detailed steps in case you want a little more guidance.

Step-by-step instructions for creating cheap tap dancing shoes using pennies and kids shoes

  1. Before you begin, you’ll need to find a few things including shoes with a mostly flat bottom, around 6-9 pennies per shoe, and super glue.
  2. Turn the first shoe over and wipe the sole clean and remove as much dirt as possible.
  3. Lay out the pennies on the sole at the toe and heel of the shoe to see how many will fit. Generally, you should have 3-5 on the top and 3-4 on the bottom, depending on the size and shape of the shoes.
  4. Put 2-3 small drops of glue on the first penny and stick it in place. Don’t cover the penny in glue since it won’t move like it needs to or put too little on so it falls off. Find the right amount that works for your particular shoe.
  5. Finish sticking the remaining pennies onto the sole of the shoe how you arranged them.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with the other shoe.
  7. Wait for the glue to completely dry and slip the shoes on your kid so they can dance!

You’ve now made perfectly good shoes for tap dance using just a few pennies.

Is shoe glue the same as super glue?

No, they are different. Shoe glue is more of a permanent hold whereas super glue is a temporary hold when it comes to shoes. Regardless of the difference, super glue will always be the go-to choice for this project.

However, you can use shoe glue if you have some from when you repaired the sole on old shoes.

Whichever you decide to use, make sure you only use a couple drops while you glue pennies to the bottom of the shoe.

Will the pennies damage my floor?

We would not recommend using this trick with a softer floor like real wood. This could possibly ruin your flooring if a penny does not stick to the shoe all the way and cuts into the floor. 

If the pennies are glued correctly, they should not cause damage to most flooring at home.

Not to mention, the shoes sound much better on hard and slick floor types like tile or concrete.

How to teach your kids to tap dance

Tap dancing is a great way to get your kids moving and even help improve their coordination. Since no two people tap dance the same way, it’s a great way to show your children that even though there is only one correct way to do something, there are many ways to express yourself. Tap dance is a great way to express yourself and bond with your children at the same time.

Thankfully, tap is a lot easier for parents to teach than you may think and you don’t need years of experience to do it. While you can dish out money for a teacher, you can also find great videos online that will teach your child the proper steps or you can go wild and make up your own fancy footwork.

Either way, your children will absolutely love the time you spend with them creating the shoes and dancing with them.

How to remove and clean glue from kids shoes

  1. Peel away the pennies from the shoe.
  2. Use your fingernail to remove as much of the glue as possible. This may require patience and can take time.
  3. It may help to use a toothbrush or a butter knife to scrape away at the glued shoe.
  4. Use soapy water to wash the bottom of the shoe with an abrasive pad.
  5. As a last resort, you can put on rubber gloves and goggles while you rub acetone on the bottom of the shoe to take off any remaining glue. You may need to let the acetone sit for 5-10 minutes to fully work.
  6. Repeat these steps until you’ve removed all the glue and your kid’s feet no longer stick to the ground.


Parenting is difficult and expensive enough. This idea for using pennies glued to cheap shoes can be a life saving for a mom or dad with kids stuck at home. 

So, why are parents gluing pennies to the bottom of their kids shoes? 

You can’t beat the price of just a few coins to provide hours of entertainment and play for your kids and their friends. This will make you one of the most fun parents on the street and may even create a trend in your neighborhood to get kids active.

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