To keep your little dancer looking on pointe and dancing with their best foot forward, there are a few little maintenance things you can do to get the most out of their pair of leather ballet shoes.
During ballet class, practise and recitals it is easy for ballet shoes to get dirty. Here are a few tips to try when your leather ballet shoes get scuffed, marked or just a little bit grubby.
Where to wear your ballet shoes
Now, while it can be super exciting getting a new pair of ballet shoes, it is important to remember that they are made to dance!
Our leather ballet shoes are designed to help your little dancer move their best on a dance floor. Playing on grass, running on concrete, jumping on trampolines or any other activities that excitable little ones get up to can damage the soft leather of a pair of ballet shoes. It's best to keep your ballet shoes just for dancing fun!
How to clean the leather upper
As our shoes are leather they should not be cleaned in the washing machine. Often, just a spot clean will do—if you notice a couple of spots on their ballet shoes dampen a soft cloth with water and dab or rub the spot gently to remove it.
Baby wipes can also be good to gently rub off any stubborn scuff marks—before using baby wipes we recommend doing a spot test on a small patch of the leather to make sure it doesn’t remove the colour or stain.
If they need a more thorough clean rub a small drop of regular laundry detergent over the surface of the shoe—using a soft cloth or toothbrush, then wipe with a damp cloth.
If a spot clean isn’t enough, you can hand wash them with mild detergent. Mix the detergent in a cup/bowl with warm water and use a sponge or soft cloth to wash the surface of the shoe, so not soak the show in water. Try not to do this too often as it can damage the leather.
How to maintain their look and shape
If you want your little dancers shoes to have a greater mould to their foot, a quick tip is to try on the shoes while they’re damp and wear them around the house for about half an hour. Make sure they try them on inside, on a clean surface, as it can be easier for dirt to stick to the surface when the leather is damp.
If after cleaning the shoes you can restore a bit of their shine by adding a dab of Vaseline or a matching shoe polish and buffing with a soft cloth. If you are using shoe polish do a test patch on the underside of the shoes to check the colour is correct. You can find leather shoe polish at any shoe repair shop, supermarkets and most department stores.
Looking after the suede sole on your shoes
If they’re clean but you think that the sole of their ballet shoes are feeling a bit slippery try brushing the suede sole with a brush before use to roughen up the suede again. A clean shoe brush, a firm toothbrush or a dish brush will all work as long as they are clean and free of oil.
If you notice them slipping a little on the floor during or just before class use a little water to dampen the suede sole, this will also add more grip.
How to store your leather ballet shoes
All parents want to make sure their little dancer is able to wear their shoes for as long as they can, so it is important to take care of their leather ballet shoes by making sure they’re stored properly.
It's good for your shoes to store them in a proper bag to and from class so they don’t get damaged. Our Quilted Duffle Ballet Bag is a great option for storing your shoes.
With quilted ballet pink satin, a pocket and dancer print your little dancer is sure to love it. It is also the perfect size to hold all the ballet class accessories that your little dancer needs.
If you want an extra layer of protection you can pop the shoes into a small shoe bag or wash bag to keep inside their bag for class.