Ballet is a great exercise for anyone at any age — not just for little girls and swan-like professionals. It can help improve your overall strength, maintain a proper posture, boost flexibility, balance, and cardio endurance while moving to melodious tunes music. So, if you’re just starting out with this exciting hobby, to make the most out of your experience, you should be equipped with the right apparel and footwear.
Finding the right model of ballerina flat shoes is your first step to learning and mastering this art. Choosing the right soft ballet shoe is essential for your comfort and concentration in class. You should be able to focus on perfecting your technique and choreography without fussing over footwear. And considering the fact that there is a myriad of types of ballerina flat shoes, keep in mind the following factors when choosing a pair that best suits your needs.
Leather or canvas? Typically required by teachers for children but also proudly worn by adults, leather ballerina shoes provide resistance to strengthen the foot, ankle, and calf muscles. Although they are a bit more expensive than canvas, leather ballerina flat shoes are more durable. Teenagers and older students usually opt for canvas because it’s sleeker, more flexible and far less likely to bunch up when you point your foot. But although they may be easier to clean, canvas shoes wear out faster if you are a serious ballet dancer who practices several times per week. Some professional dancers wear leather shoes during class for conditioning and canvas for performance.
Ballet shoes are designed to enhance your technique and protect your feet and ankles. And although many people say that the ballet shoe should fit the foot “like a glove”, be careful not to buy them too small. There should be enough room in the shoe for moving the toes. Well-fit ballet shoes hug your feet comfortably and keep your toes straight, not bent. They aren’t supposed to be tight or too large with room to grow. Leather shoes stretch as you use them but they shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight when new. Canvas shoes don’t stretch much with use. Good fit is imperative not just for your comfort but also for the proper technique. You want to be able to point, extend, and flex your foot easily. Plus, you should avoid any gaping or excess bulkiness in your ballerinas so that you can feel the floor better.
Full or split? The sole of ballet shoes is very important since it provides a protective layer of cushioning which helps to reduce the risk of plantar fasciitis. The most popular option is split-sole because it allows you to better move your feet. This type makes it easier to arch your foot and point your toes. Children almost always wear full-sole ballerina flat shoes because it helps them maintain their balance and stability.
When buying ballet shoes, keep in mind that some shoes don’t have any elastics. Elastics are placed on ballet shoes to secure them to the feet so that you perform better and easier. Sometimes, the elastics may be purposely left off the shoe so that you can sew them on in the exact spot you want them to, depending on the location of the arch of your foot. Sewing them is not hard, but most people, especially parents of young dancers, prefer to buy them pre-sewn. If you find a pair of ballet shoes that have pre-sewn elastics and fit your foot just right, consider yourself very lucky to avoid threading a needle.
Different models of ballerina flat shoes are sized differently than regular street shoes, and manufacturers usually note the difference in size. Read the manufacturers’ suggestions but don’t forget to also read other buyers’ feedback on sizing so that you can easier decide which size to order. The same shoe can be true to size for some yet too small or too large for others.
As for the preferred hue of ballerina shoes, traditional pink is the go-to color of many girls. However, many male and female dancers prefer wearing ballerina flat shoes that are black, white, or nude.
Once you choose a pair, you have to dance in them to see whether they are the right choice for you. You should be able to comfortably rise to the balls of your feet and point your toes without any excessive pinching. The shoe should definitely fit right and not come off your foot. Keep in mind that you may find the perfect pair on your first try but sometimes it might take some trial and error. Wear your shoes only in the classroom to keep them in optimal condition for as long as possible. Wearing them outdoors or in other parts of the house may damage them. Be good to your ballet shoes and they will give you the much-needed comfort and stable foundation you need when dancing.