Dancing is a wonderful blend of sports and art. As such, it offers a range of physical, mental and social benefits for the participants. Especially ballet which can boost confidence and promote creative expression while helping to improve your posture. To go smoothly through their dancing journey, aspiring dancers need some ballet essentials besides passion and persistence. From dance apparel such as the leotard and the signature ballet tutus to ballet shoes, everything must be chosen after careful consideration.
Choosing the right ballet shoe is important for your comfort and performance in class. You want to be able to focus on the techniques and choreography without fussing over your footwear. Plus, quality ballerina shoes will offer the necessary support to reduce the chance of falls or mistakes. With the advancements in technology, the development and creation of dance shoes have evolved too, so, today you can easily find ballet shoes that provide greater comfort, support, and durability. Depending on where you are on your dance journey, the requirements for your dance shoes will vary.
Choose Your Type
Shoes for ballet are lightweight slippers that are worn for comfort and protection of your feet. These shoes are a must-have for learning and practising techniques in class or for warming up before changing into pointe shoes. There’s a myriad of ballet shoe styles you can choose from, each serving the purpose of protection and stability. The main two types of ballet shoes are full-sole and split-sole.
With full-soles, the sole runs through the length of the foot. This type is very stable and offers excellent arch support. They are the go-to choice for young children, even though some adults also prefer full-sole shoes resistance. They are more resistant than the split-sole, therefore helping to build foot muscles. A lot of dancers love this shoes because they can also hide bad techniques such as clawed toes. These shoes are available in all sizes, to suit all ages, from toddlers to adults.
Split-soles are ballet shoes that have half a sole on the heel of the foot and half a sole on the ball of the foot. These shoes allow dancers to point their feet more easily, resulting in a more flattering look. A split sole means that a greater extension of the foot is possible and is worn by dancers who have practised pointing their toes and built up strength in their feet through ballet exercises and footwork. They usually come in bigger sizes, since they are more suitable for teens and adults who have more experience.
Another feature to distinguish ballerina shoes by is the toe opening. Drawstring ballet shoes come with an adjustable drawstring tie that allows the shoe to be tied. With these shoes you need to trim excess and tuck ends into the top of the shoe, which some people find uncomfortable.
The other type is elastic ballet shoes that feature pieces of elastic sewn onto each shoe to ensure the most secure fit. The elastic models are smooth and require no trimming. Usually, the ballet shoes come with provided elastics that are not attached, and you can sew them yourself.
Consider the Material
Canvas shoes are a very popular choice among ballet dancers. Canvas is a vegan-friendly fibre that’s all-natural, breathable and incredibly lightweight. These slippers tend to absorb moisture better and can also mould to the shape of your feet. They are also very easy to clean – you can simply toss them in the wash.
Another common material for ballet shoes is leather. Ballet shoes made from leather might be the most durable of all types. These shoes are known for their stability and provide more support to the foot. Ballet dancers who practice a lot tend to choose leather shoes since leather provides more traction. Another benefit of leather ballet shoes is that you can easily wipe them clean.
Satin ballet shoes are the most aesthetically pleasing shoes that flatter the line of the foot. However, satin is the quickest material of ballet shoes to wear out. For that reason, these shoes are best to wear for shows, competitions and exams. Their glossy appeal makes them especially loved by young children.
What Colour Ballet Shoes Should I Get?
When choosing the colour, have in mind that the foot is supposed to continue the line of the leg, especially for the female dancer. Ballet shoes come in a range of colours, but ballet experts recommend pink and skin-coloured shoes as the most appropriate choices for the girls. Black shoes are considered the best choice for boys since they might give a more masculine look. White ballet shoes are also a popular choice for male dancers. However, the colour you choose might depend on the instructor’s wishes for a classroom uniform.
Which Ballet Shoes Are Best for Beginners?
Professional ballet dancers recommend that a beginner ballet dancer should start out wearing full sole ballet shoes. Since these shoes provide more support, they can help strengthen the feet and prepare the dancer to move onto split sole in later years. For children or inexperienced dancers, these shoes are an ideal choice. They help with balance and also provide more support and cushioning to the foot. Regarding the material, leather ballet shoes might also be a good choice for beginners, because of the stability and support they offer to the foot.