Ballet Slippers: A Buying Guide

Ballet Slippers: A Buying Guide

Thinking of buying a first or new pair of ballet shoes for little feet or even for yourself as an adult ballet beginner and considering which type of ballet slippers would be the right ones? No worries, our guide will help you to find the great fitting shoe for your child of for yourself!

Thinking of buying a first or new pair of ballet shoes for little feet or even for yourself as an adult ballet beginner and considering which type of ballet slippers would be the right ones? No worries, our guide will help you to find the great fitting shoe for your child of for yourself!

What are ballet slippers?

Ballet slippers are basic leightweight ballet shoes made from canvas, leather, or satin. They can have flexible, thin full or split soles and are offered in different colors such as white, pink, black or skin color. In a typical ballet class, male dancers wear ballet slippers throughout the class, though female dancers wear ballet slippers at the beginning and then may change into pointe shoes.

Choosing the material

To find the best material for you, it is helpful to get an idea about the material features. Leather provides better grip on wood floors and tends to be sturdier, though it is a sensitive material that can easily be damaged without proper care and if it is broken or has holes, it can not be repaired. Canvas glides better, but gets worn out faster than leather. However, a repairment of canvas ballet slippers is possible by darning or patching with fabric. Satin is usually used for examinations or performance. It may not be as sturdy as the other materials but its delicate outer fabric makes it a beautiful shoe. Actually no material is better or worse than the other. The perfect material is the one that meets the dancer’s needs the most. Considering this fact it’s up to the dancer or the parent to choose.

Choosing the color

Ballet shoes come in a range of colors. It is better to follow the teacher’s wishes for classroom uniform, if he or she has a preference.  A uniform look is helpful for the teacher to scan the room more easily to check if the students are performing and learning dance moves correctly. However, if you haven’t been told about any color preference for ballet shoes, it is good to keep in mind that pink soft ballet slippers are usually recommended for girls for use in regular class and either black or white color is recommended for boys/men regardless of level. Skin colored slippers which are unobtrusive and thus give the appearance of dancing barefoot are usually worn in professional ballet schools, in modern dance classes or by professional dancers.

Full Sole or Split Sole?

The soles can be full sole or split sole. Full soles are more resistant than a split soles, thus train the feet to work harder and helps to build stronger foot muscles. But split soles showcase the line of the foot beautifully, enables greater flexibility and more efficient work on technique while full soles can hide bad technique. However besides that, split soles have less arch support. Some schools require full sole ballet shoes particularly for examinations but allow split soles for class. So it is again better to ask for recommendations from your ballet teacher if you are uncertain about the shoe type. The teacher might want to better see what’s going on with the toes inside the shoe, therefore prefer a certain type of shoe. Ribbons are optional since some models do already have pre attached elastics. Elastics can be attached across the shoe or in a crisscross in front of the shoe. If you need to learn how to sew elastics on ballet shoes, you can check our blog article on this topic.

Fit of the Shoe

Fit is an important factor for ballet shoes. The shoe needs to be fitted like a sock or glove without puckers, extra material to pinch at the tip of the shoe or room to grow. Because if it is so loose, the teacher will not be able to see if the student is doing the footwork correctly and the student can be hindered to develop proper technique. But at the same time the shoe should not be too snug or binding so that the toes don’t curl inside the shoe and the ball or widest part of the foot don’t get squeezed. If this happens, the student may feel uncomfortable while balancing because he/she is probably not feeling secure on his/her feet.

Picta offers a wide range of ballet shoes in various materials, models, and colors to suit your needs. Just take a look at our ‘‘Footwear’’ category in our online store to find your perfect shoe!

2 Comments to “ Ballet Slippers: A Buying Guide

  1. I love how you said that the best material for ballet slippers is the one that is right for the dancer. My younger sister is in a ballet class and she needs to purchase new shoes. I will help her find a store that sells quality ballet slippers that she can choose from to find the best ones for her needs.

    1. tuncay says :Reply

      Every dancer is different, so there is no one right material or model. How lucky your younger sister is that she has such a caring sister:)

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