The heel is almost an inch so it looks like an ordinary shoe, but because the shock-absorbing sole is 1/4", combined your heel is only a half inch off the ground - which really helps your stability.
The shoe laces are not ornamental. They actually cinch up the fit to keep your toe from hitting the front of the toebox when you dance.
ABOUT SUEDE SOLES:
We've found - by trying these on countless dancers - that these fit a half to a full size small.
So if you fit in between two sizes; say 6-6.5 it's possible you'll fit a 7 - but if you're a solid, say 6.5, you may fit a 7.5.
Because they have shoelaces across the ball of the foot, tying them to fit perfectly keeps your heel nice and snug in the back and keeps your toes from touching the end.