Did you know that ballet was created during the Italian Renaissance?
Since then, it’s become a beloved art that’s celebrated around the world. Elegant, emotional, and sometimes heartbreakingly beautiful, there’s nothing quite like ballet.
If you or your child are looking to start taking ballet classes, you’ll need the proper equipment in order to dance your best. That, of course, starts with ballet shoes!
To help you find yours, we’ve put together a guide of everything to look for to make sure you get the best ballet shoes.
The Perfect Material for the Best Ballet Shoes
Traditionally, ballet shoes were made of quite tough leather, which wasn’t the most comfortable! Rigid and unkind to toes, they had to be worn a whole lot before they became soft enough to dance in. Now, luckily, the options available are much better.
Boys and girls ballet shoes come in three different materials; canvas, mesh, or soft leather. Mesh is the newest material and a little unconventional, but it is breathable and good for fast-growing feet. Leather is much softer now than it used to be and is the most common material, although be warned when buying yours that leather can stretch when worn, so don’t go too large or they may not fit in a weeks time!
Because leather stretches, they’re usually the best ballet shoes for wide feet. Even if they’re a little narrow when you first put them on, they should stretch overtime for the perfect fit.
Canvas is super comfortable and often cheaper than leather shoes, making them the best ballet shoes for beginners who aren’t sure if they’re in it for the long haul yet. They’re also the best ballet shoes for toddlers and little ones whose feet grow quickly. You don’t want to buy an expensive pair of shoes only to have to replace them in a couple of months.
Really, it’s all down to personal preference. If you can, try on some different materials and see which feels best on your feet.
The Sole of Your Ballet Shoes
If you’ve got a little one starting ballet, always buy them a full sole shoe. These soles provide a lot more support and resistance, helping your child strengthen the muscles in their feet. Once these have developed, they can move onto a split sole shoe, but make sure you wait until your child is ready.
Most adults and teenagers will prefer a split sole ballet shoe. These let the foot arch beautifully without any resistance, helping you dance better. Although, if you’re new to ballet and haven’t built up your foot muscles yet, you may want to start with a full sole.
The Color of Your Ballet Shoes
In ballet, your foot should blend seamlessly with the line of your leg, especially if you’re a female dancer. This means that the shoes you wear should be a natural skin color. If you wear white socks, as many male ballet dancers do, white ballet shoes will suit you, or black socks and black shoes for a masculine look.
Ballet Shoe Fastenings
Ballet shoes are traditionally fastened with one or two pieces of elastic. Usually, you sew these on yourself to make sure the shoes fit perfectly to your foot, although you can buy some with pre-sewn elastic if you’re unable to do so yourself.
They also usually have a drawstring around the opening of the shoe. Again, this lets you tighten the shoe to your foot for a perfect fit. Your shoe should fit snuggly like a sock, with no slipping or sliding.
However, you can also buy ballet shoes without drawstrings. These are usually replaced with a thin strip of elastic, again keeping the shoe tightly fitted but without the hassle of a string. Whichever you chose is all down to personal preference, but any good ballet shoe should have elastic over the shoe to make sure they fit correctly.
Which Are the Best Ballet Shoes for Flat Feet?
When it comes to the best ballet shoes for flat feet, there isn’t one answer. Usually, a shoe with a split sole and a tight fit will do just fine. The main thing with flat feet is actually to exercise them to enhance your arch.
You can do this with a theraband, doing slow releves to work your muscles. Take a look at some great exercises for flat feet here.
Which Ballet Shoes Are Best?
If you’re still wondering what are the best ballet shoes? the best thing to do is test a few out. Go in-store and try a couple of different styles on, or order a variety online and return those that don’t suit you. As long as you have the basic foundations of a good ballet shoe (the right material, a good sole, and a tight fit), it all comes down to your own personal preference.
Every ballet dancer is different, so it makes sense that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer! However, if you or your child aren’t sure about how far you’ll take ballet, stick to a cheaper shoe that’s still high-quality. You don’t need the best to dance well.
Start Your Ballet Journey
Picking out the best ballet shoes is just the start of your exciting journey into ballet! Don’t get too stressed out by the choices and what’s right and wrong, but try to enjoy the process instead. Get excited about what lays ahead and start practicing your point!
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