How To Find The Perfect Ballet Shoe

How To Find The Perfect Ballet Shoe

By Alicia Holloway on 5th Apr 2023

Hi dancers, it's Alicia here - dancer, dance mum and dance teacher, here to bring you my personal and professional opinion about sourcing and buying the best ballet shoes for you.

Satin shoes are mainly used for competitions, shows, and exams, or by cute little baby ballerinas.They scream ballet so perfect for any ballet core girlies out there. They do pick up dirt fairly easily and wear through quite quickly. 

Leather full soles are perfect for everyday class as they last much longer than satin, and the full soles really work your feet hard but don't show them off the best. They are perfect for beginners and those wanting to build strength. 

Vegan split sole

Just as hard wearing as Leather so good value for money and no animals were hurt to make these so guilt free dancing. The split sole show off arches perfectly and elasticated drawstrings make these super comfy to wear. 

Canvas split sole.

The prefered choice for most dancers. Show off arches beautifully. Comfy to wear and can be easily washed to make them clean again. Canvas can also be dyed to accommodate skin tones or different colours for costumes. 

Stretch canvas split sole.

The Holy grail of ballet shoe. Split Sole and stretch material means feet are shown off to the max whilst still feeling supported. Wear through slightly quicker than normal canvas but who cares when your biscuits look this good. 

There are a couple of things to note when ballet shoe shopping. Ballet shoes are meant to be a snug fit but should still allow the toes to elongate without crunching. If shopping for children, don't be tempted to buy a size bigger so they have room to grow. They won't support your child's feet in the same way and can curl up at the front distorting lines and lead to bad habits.

Sizing in ballet shoes generally run smaller than your street shoe size. So of you wear a UK size 3, dont be alarmed of you're a size 4 for ballet flats. Different manufacturers and brands also have slightly different fittings, so a standard size in one company will not necessarily be the same size with a different company. 

It's wise to go to a shop where you can try on different shoe brands and styles to see which you prefer. If ordering online, order a few different sizes so you can find your perfect fit at home and return the surplus pairs.

Most ballet flats come with elastics to keep the shoe on the foot which are fine for class, but you may need to buy satin ribbons for exams or competitions.

Lastly, always check with your teacher or dance school before purchasing shoes to make sure you adhere to any uniform requirements in place.
You can find all the above ballet shoes and accessories plus every other dance shoe type on the website

For more advice in shoes or anything dance related, you can find my personal page on Instagram or my teaching page @barreesthetique

Happy dancing!