You have got to love your feet because they support your weight. If you have recently signed up for ballet dance classes, it is imperative to buy the right pair of ballet shoes. The last thing you want after a productive dance lesson is to have blisters and cracks on your heels and toes. If you feel overwhelmed by the choices out there, read on to find the perfect footwear as you traipse across the dance floor. (Image Credit: David Hofmann/Unsplash)
Assess Your Needs
If you are a beginner who is still learning about grand jetes and pirouettes, then you will just need a basic pair of ballet shoes with a simple strap. Since ballet involves different foot motions, you need to have reliable ankle-support shoes in training. This is true with other sports like weightlifting because good balance is often a result of ankle support. It will help you avoid any missteps and protect you against the common injuries associated with ballets. Ballet slippers are the best for beginners. When you move to a more advanced level, then you can opt for soft blocks, which are the compulsory footwear for your exams.
For the more advance dancers, you will definitely need soft pointe shoes and demi-pointes in your ballet shoe arsenal. If you are in doubt, consult your dance teacher about what shoe is the best for your needs and skill level.
Pick Your Material
Ballet shoes come in three kinds of fabric: leather, canvas, and satin. All of them have distinct pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them below:
Pros: Leather is very breathable and easy to clean. As a result, it allows air to circulate to dry off your sweat. No stinky feet here! Leather is also very sturdy, so your ballet shoes won’t break right away. More importantly, this is an excellent pick for young and greenhorn dancers. It helps develop their foot strength.
Cons: It is the most expensive material out there. If you are not committed to ballet, and you don’t see yourself dancing for long, it is best to pick a cheaper alternative.
Pros: Canvas is an easy material to clean because you can wash it off. You can even dump it in the washing machine, and it will be okay. It is a comfortable material that will keep your feet well-protected. It doesn’t have a break-in period like leather. Most of all, it is very affordable and great for daily practices.
Cons: The caveat of the canvas is that it is not as durable as leather. It can also get easily stained.
Pros: Satin is the most lux and visually appealing material. With its shiny finish, it will sparkle when light hits it during your ballet performances. It is highly attractive, especially when it is paired with long satin ribbons. It is the most flattering for the foot line, making it the right choice for shows and exams.
Cons: It is the most delicate fabric, and it tends to wear out quickly.
Choose a Colour
Typically, ballet footwear comes in neutral colours like black, nude, and white. Sometimes, they also come in vibrant shades like red and pink. It is a matter of preference. Some ballet students prefer having multiple colours in their wardrobe so they can mix and match with their leotards. If you can only afford one, the most durable colour is black because it will not show stains easily.
Select the Sole
There are two types of soles: split and full. Split soles flatter the foot line and offer a lot of flexibility. It looks great during a performance because it is aesthetically pleasing. However, there is less arch support. On the flip side, a full sole is more resistant, so it builds more foot muscle. It is a great option to have for practising your daily routines. It can actually help hide your bad technique like clawed toes. A full sole is a great beginner, practice shoe.
Focus on Fit
If you are ordering basic ballet footwear online, it is best to order one size bigger. You need the space to flex your foot when you dance. Fit is critical because you won’t have the right support if you get the wrong size. What’s worse is you can get injured with an ill-fitting pair. It is important to note that all pointe shoes MUST be measured by a professional.
To make sure that your time on the dance floor is wonderful, you have to pick the right pair of shoes. Consider your ballet footwear as an extension of your body. If you get the wrong one, you will not enjoy your dance class, and you will end up suffering. To be able to execute that perfect ballet form, invest in good quality shoes. Keep your feet happy with the right fit!