The importance of having the right shoes for ballet cannot be overemphasized. A huge part of becoming a ballet is the ability to be flexible and graceful on the dance floor and the right shoes play a major role in facilitating this. In addition, ballet shoes should also provide high levels of comfort, protect the dancer’s feet and ankles and enhance the dancer’s technique. Admittedly, finding the perfect pair of slippers is not a straight forward exercise. However, by considering these five pointers you’ll be able to get the most out of your purchase.
- Consider the material photo from pexels
Ballet shoes are popularly made from soft leather or canvas. While the choice of material is a matter of preference, of the two, many people prefer canvas slippers because they fit flexibly to different foot shapes and easily accommodate wider feet. They are also touted as being more “comfortable” and flexible because the material is thinner – a trait that also makes them very easy to clean. However, this trait also makes them wear out very quickly. Leather, on the other hand, is more durable and is believed to accentuate pointed feet. It is also more expensive.
When making your decision consider your physique and preferences as well as the type of surface you’ll be performing on. The leather is most suitable for wooden floors and canvas best complements vinyl flooring. A hybrid shoe composed of leather on the toes and heels and canvas on the arch provides the best of both worlds.
- The Nature of The Sole
The soles of ballet slippers are twofold – full sole or split sole. The choice depends on the type of the ballet dance to be performed. Full soled slippers are preferred for dancers who spend long hours on their toes. This sole has an extra protective cushioning layer, usually leather, to protect the dancer against the risk of Plantar Fasciitis i.e. inflammation of tissue at the base of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes.
Of the two, split soled shoes are the most popular. Without an extra cushioning they facilitate more flexible movements making it easier for point dancing. A full sole is the preferable choice for most beginners and the split sole a preference for superior ballet dancers.
Elastics in ballet shoes refer to the material that ensures the shoe remains firmly attached to the foot. In this regard, there are two types of shoes: those with a single elastic strap and those with a double one. Double elastic straps have a slight edge over single straps because of the extra reinforcement they provide. They secure the entire foot and makes sure the shoe conforms to the shape of the foot as you move.
Single elastic shoes only secure the arch of the foot and thus create a gap at the middle of the foot with subsequent dance movements.
On this issue, it’s all a matter of preference. Most beginners, however, will benefit from double elastics as it holds the shoe firmly in place making the execution of steps much easier.
- Know your foot size
Knowing your foot size has never been more important than in ballet. As mentioned, your shoes will determine the level of gracefulness and agility you’ll achieve on the dance floor. As a rule, a ballet’s shoes should always fit like a glove. Achieving this may at times require professional fitting at a dance store to get the perfect pair. The shoes should be snug but not too tight.
Before making a purchase briefly walk around in them. Just as important, remember some brand sizes differ to others. A size 8 Capezio may be different to a size 8 Bloch. Keep this in mind should you decided to make a purchase online the next time around.
- Price and quality
It goes without saying – price will always be a factor in every financial decision and that includes ballet slippers. It’s important to note that price is not always an indicator of value. Spending hefty amounts on footwear doesn’t always mean you’re getting top quality. At the same time, spending less often means you’re getting low quality which won’t last. To be safe, restrict your transactions mainly to the established shoe brands in the market especially if you’re just entering the ballet world. Most of these brands are fairly priced and have a proven track record of delivering quality shoe products.
written by: prolificwriter75