Ballet Shoes for beginners & experts

Children who study ballet are constantly in need of shoes.  They grow out of them of course, but if they are serious students they can wear out a pair of shoes each week.

This website is dedicated to helping you find good sources of affordable ballet shoes in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Ballet as a performance art began at the French 17th Century court of King Louis XIV. In those days the dancers were the aristocrats themselves and both men and women wore high heels when dancing.

Today’s ballet shoes seem quite simple, but the technology and materials have developed enormously, even from a few decades ago.

Ballet shoes, also known as ballet slippers, are usually have uppers made from leather, canvas, or satin. Good ballet shoes also have ribbons and elastics to allow for secure fastening of the shoes and foot comfort.

Ballet shoes can either be bought ready-made or customized according to your own choices. Customization or personalization options usually exist as to choosing the color of the ballet shoes.

It may sound easy to go and buy a pair of ballet shoes, but there is really quite a number of things to think about when you make your selection.

If you are taking ballet classes, your teacher might ask you to purchase a specific type of ballet shoe, and possibly even a specific brand and color. If your instructors have requested that you purchase a specific type of ballet shoe, then you should do as they ask and that will simplify your task.

If your dance teacher has not specified a certain type of ballet shoe, then your choices are unlimited. In that case there are certain things you need to know about the suitability of different types of shoe.

If you are a beginner, you need basic ballet shoes, soft ones with unblocked toes.  The latter are known as pointe shoes and are only for dancers who have reached a certain level of strength and proficiency. Pointe shoes are for more advanced students – not beginners.

You should select ballet shoes that have real leather soles. If you are light, leather will work well for you; however, if you are heavier, you may want to consider canvas ballet shoes.

Before making a final selection, put the shoes on in the shopand try a few basic ballet steps to see how the shoes feel. Ballet shoes are not for walking, but need to be comfortable to rise on toes, point toes and slide. If the shoes are uncomfortable when you do ballet steps, try a different brand or size. Ballet dance shoes use a different sizing system from ordinary shoes, and each manufacturer may have their own system for size runs.

Find out if your ballet instructor prefers an elastic band or ribbons to fasten the ballet shoes. These will probably not come already attached to the shoes and you will need to sew them on yourself.  To find the right place to put the ribbons or elastic, fold the heel off the shoe over the inside towards the toes.  The crease on each side is the anchor point for the fastenings.

If your dance teacher has told you that you can start to learn the difficult pointe work, congratulations! Now you can buy a beautiful pair of new, shiny, pink satin pointe shoes. A good ballet store will have an area of floor for trying out ballet pointe shoes, with a ballet barre to use for support. You need to take your time when fitting ballet pointe shoes, so make sure you don’t have to rush off somewhere else until you are sure you have found the right pair.

There are some brands that are famous for making good ballet shoes of different types, materials, and designs. Two of the best known are Bloch and Capezio.

Ballet shoes are obviously of great interest to young girls but it should be remembered that boys can participate with ballet too. The same principles apply to boys’ ballet shoes, except that the issue of pointe work is not involved.  However boys need particularly secure footwear as they often have to perform heavy lifts, high jumps and feats of balance.

The right shoes are an essential part of each ballet dancer’s equipment.  Badly fitting or unsuitable shoes lead to injury and prevent the dancer from attaining the best results.  it is worth spending the money for quality shoes.

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