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Guide to Ballet Shoes: The Most Important Tools to Improve Your Technique


Guide to Ballet Shoes: The Most Important Tools to Improve Your Technique

Are you dreaming of becoming the next prima ballerina? If your answer is yes, the type of shoes you’re wearing can help you reach your goal. These items are among the most important ballet essentials, along with dance tights, leotards and tutu skirts and should be on top of the checklist for beginner dancers or dance parents.

Look for comfortable shoe ballet brands such as Capezio, Blotch and Energetiks that will step up your style as well as your performance. These shoes are available in a variety of designs in both canvas and leather materials. If you want to pick the ideal design for you or your little ballerina, follow the tips below. Additionally, make sure to check in with your dance studio before purchasing, as different studios have different dress codes!

Are Split-Sole Ballet Shoes Better than Full-Sole?

picture of ballerina with ballet shoes
source: Gustavo Fring on Pexels

The bottom part of the ballet shoe that’s made of suede is often referred to as full sole. Full-sole ballet slippers are often necessary for children and inexperienced dancers. This is because young dancers need that tiny bit of assistance to learn how to use their feet properly. In a ballet session, the feet muscles are being worked out in a very targeted manner, so the right footwear can greatly help beginner dancers. Bloch offers excellent beginner ballet slippers.

Ballet sessions help dancers build the muscles in their feet. As a result, more experienced dancers don’t need as much support for their feet, but rather use footwear to enhance their aesthetics. The suede piece of a split-sole shoe is identical to that on a full-sole model; it’s just divided into two parts, one for the ball of the foot and one for the heel.

When it comes to the split-sole shoe ballet dancers adore this model for the beautiful line it creates on the arch of their foot. Slippers with split soles are available in leather or canvas. Go for the Hanami Canvas Split-Sole Slipper by Capezio if you’re an older, more experienced dancer in need of a split-sole shoe!

Ballet Shoe Material

Ballet slippers are available in leather and canvas materials. Both offer unique advantages, so deciding which to buy might be difficult if you don’t know what you’re searching for:

  • Leather: In comparison to their canvas counterparts, leather slippers typically last longer. Additionally, they conform to your foot more easily and give the desired shape that many ballerinas aspire to get. They come in designs with split and whole soles and either ribbons or elastics;
  • Canvas: Canvas shoes are easier to maintain than those made of leather since you can easily hand-clean them or put them in the washing machine. Although they lack the visual appeal of leather slippers, they’re easy to clean and replace once they’re damaged. They’re thinner, so they easily show the motion of your foot.

Consider your ballet studio’s flooring when deciding on the best fabric for your ballerina shoes. Canvas slippers are ideal for use on vinyl floors, as they create much less friction than leather slippers. On slick wooden surfaces, however, leather slippers offer a superior grip and slide resistance.

How to Find the Correct Size?

picture of ballerina putting on her ballet shoes
source: Javon Swaby on Pexels

Your feet should comfortably fit into your ballet slippers without them being overly restricting. They’re designed to fit like socks, so there shouldn’t be any wiggle room between your foot and slipper. A major benefit of leather slippers is that they stretch and conform to your feet as you get older. Synthetic materials won’t stretch as much, so you’ll grow them out more quickly.

To get a sense of how shoes for ballet will feel on your feet, make sure that you’re wearing tights or a try-on sock when you get them fitted. Without dance tights, they might feel uncomfortable against your feet. Try them on a couple of times and walk around the house before class.

Make sure to thoroughly review the size charts before making a purchase because different manufacturers have different size charts! The size of your sneakers might not match that of your ballet slippers.

Is the Colour Important?

Even though ballet slippers were originally made to be a pale beige colour, nowadays you will find them in various colours on the internet. They range from neutral black and white to different shades of pink and beige. Find out whether your dance studio has any colour restrictions and choose your favourite ballet slippers to go with your outfit! My favourite style is a skin-toned seamless slipper.

The Best Beginner Ballet Shoes

picture of ballerina dancing
source: Budgeron Bach on pexels

The ideal option for young ballerinas is a pair of shoes with a full sole in a skin tone, light pink, or white colour. Make sure they feature a drawstring to assist in tightening the slipper and an attached elastic across the top of the foot. I advise beginning ballerinas to get full-sole leather slippers.

Bottom Line

Every ballerina’s costume is incomplete without a pair of comfy and appealing ballet slippers. The abundance of styles, however, makes it challenging to pick the right pair. In my experience, the best ballet slippers include a leather or canvas construction, a tight fit, and flexible soles. Depending on your age and level of experience as a dancer, you can choose between full or split-sole slippers. If you’re a complete beginner, I advise you to go with a full-sole, as it offers more support.

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