If you are new to the ballet scene you may have noticed an array of options in the shoe department, not only different brands but different shoes too. Here are the shoe basics to help you get your little dancer on the studio floor and dancing as soon as possible.
When to choose a full sole leather ballet shoe?
As the name suggests a full sole leather ballet shoe, just like these, has a suede sole which runs from heel to toe.
The suede sole provides just enough resistance along the underside of your ballerina’s foot. So when they are practicing pointing their toes this resistance helps strengthen their little foot muscles.
A full sole leather ballet shoe is perfect for ballet newbies, especially between the ages of 3 and 7, and to continue strengthening the foot.
When to choose a split sole leather ballet shoe?
As your little ballerina progresses the muscles in their feet will strengthen and they will learn to manipulate the entire length of their foot. This may be when they can start to transfer over to a split sole ballet shoe.
Split Sole Ballet Shoes, like these, have two separate pieces of suede for the sole leaving the arch of the foot with only the leather of the shoe upper. The gap in the outsole allows dancers to point their foot more easily and hugs the arch of the foot making the arch of your foot look more exaggerated.
Split sole ballet shoes are recommended for more advanced dancers, and are great for performances as they help ballerinas feet look more arched (something all ballet dancers strive for!).
If you are unsure about transitioning check in with your ballet teacher, they are a wealth of information!
Canvas Ballet Shoe versus Leather Ballet Shoe
Yet another option when ballet shoe shopping is the Canvas Ballet Shoe.
A Canvas Ballet Shoe requires less time to break-in than a Leather Ballet Shoe. They can be machine washed and are generally less expensive initially. They do get dirtier more easily! If your little dancer has a wider foot a Canvas Ballet Shoe may be more suitable as they have a more generous gather. When purchasing a Canvas Ballet Shoe ensure they are comfortable from the get go.
Whilst Leather ballet shoes require a little longer to break-in they have a sturdiness and stretch that Canvas Ballet Shoes lack. Leather ballet shoes are generally better for dancing on wood floors as they tend to last longer. A quick wipe with a soft, damp cloth will remove most dirt from your Leather ballet shoes.
Most ballet schools will have a preference of shoe types usually leather is the preference so make sure you check before making any purchases. FLO Dancewear's Ballet Shoes are approved by dance schools and are a great choice for your budding ballerina.