When it comes to choosing the right ballet shoes for you, there are number of things you need to think about. Remember that it’s important to check with the ballet school what type of ballet shoes they require – style and colour wise – and they may be able to offer some advice on what’s best for you, too.
Soft ballet shoes
Most of the time, you will need a pair of soft ballet shoes. They are the first ballet shoes you will own and will be one of the last, too!
Soft ballet shoes are worn all of the time by younger and beginner dancers in their ballet classes and worn most of the time by the older, more advanced dancers, apart from when they are doing pointe work.
Dancing Daisy has designed a range of soft ballet shoes, all perfect for both beginners and advanced dancers, with the following features:
- Designed for comfort and durability
- Leather, canvas or satin material
- Elasticated drawstring at the top of the shoe
- Pre-sewn elastic
- Thin and flexible material, including its suede sole
- Choice of colours and styles
What is the perfect fit?
Whatever type of ballet shoe you get, soft or pointe, you want the shoes to fit perfectly. If you don’t, it’s only going to make dancing uncomfortable and more difficult. Don’t be tempted to buy a size bigger for your child to ‘grow into’ because shoes which are too big or too loose could lead to injury. A proper fit will ensure confidence, comfort and good performance! Realistically, you should expect to replace your growing child’s soft ballet shoes every 6 to 12 weeks.
Like many other items of clothing, ballet shoes sizing can very much depend on the brand or manufacturer that they are from. No two brands will have the exact same fitting, so always check out any sizing information or advice given before choosing the shoes. Don’t simply buy the same size as the shoes your child wears everyday to school.
How to accurately measure your child’s feet
If you’re buying your ballet shoes online, a good tip is to look at the foot measurements listed alongside the standard UK shoe sizes. This way, you’ll get a good fit first time rather than having to exchange for a bigger or smaller size. All you have to do is measure your child’s foot.
The easiest and most accurate way to do this is to simply draw round the foot on a piece of paper then measure, in a straight line, from the tip of the longest toe to the back of the heel in centimetres.
Leather: Leather ballet shoes are popular with dance schools and teachers because they are soft and supple, yet hardwearing, and mould themselves to the foot after a few wears, providing extra comfort.
Canvas: Canvas ballet shoes have a great durability and are a great material to perfectly execute turns and spins.
Satin: Satin ballet shoes look beautiful and give the foot a truly beautiful line. However, they are best used for special occasions, like performances or auditions as they aren’t very hardwearing.
Colour: The colour of ballet shoe that you need to buy depends on your dance teacher’s preference. Normally, pink is the chosen colour for girls, and boys wear either white or black shoes.
There are two sole types for soft ballet shoes: a full sole and a split sole. A full sole is the most popular choice, worn by most beginners but also more advanced dancers. Although, a split sole may be the preference of superior ballet dancers as it allows for a better point of the toe.
Ballet shoe elastics are hugely important to the wearer as they help hold the shoe in place, preventing any disturbance or discomfort during dancing. You have a choice of buying ballet shoes that require you to sew them in, or you can opt for shoes with pre-sewn elastic – a definite favourite for a lot of parents out there!
Whilst the pre-sewn elastic option may need some adjustments to suit the wearer’s foot, it makes the job much easier.
Also, at the top of every soft ballet shoe, you should find an elasticated drawstring for added comfort for the wearer. This can be adjusted by either being pulled tighter or loosened to ensure a good fit.
Pointe shoes are specifically for advanced dancers and should only ever be worn under the supervision of a trained dance teacher.
Pointe shoes need to be fitted to your exact size otherwise you could risk permanent injury. For your shoes to be correctly fitted, you will require a pointe shoe fitting service with a specially trained advisor, so we recommend you not buying them online. It is for this reason that Dancing Daisy does not supply them.
Have a look at the beautiful selection of ballet and dance shoes that we offer at Dancing Daisy, all reliable and at affordable prices.