The 10 Best Ballet Shoes to Buy in 2021

Other, ReviewsBy Team Sports Glory

Much like how you need a soccer ball to play soccer, you can’t practice ballet without ballet shoes or slippers. With all of the intricate footwork that ballet dancers need to do, ballet shoes are definitely one of the most important pieces in their wardrobe. They allow dancers to glide their feet across the floor with ease and provide the support needed to strengthen each foot’s dexterity.

How to Choose the Best Ballet Shoes

From a quick glance, all ballet shoes look almost identical. You might not be able to tell a difference at all; however, depending on the type of materials that they’re made of or the type of supporting structures that they have, they may be capable of very different things and may be more suitable for certain types of dancers.

Let’s take a look at the three most important factors to consider when choosing the best ballet shoes for you.

Material

The most common materials that ballet shoes are made from include leather, canvas and satin. Each material has its own unique advantages and drawbacks.

Leather is sturdier and more rigid, so it provides extra support and can help strengthen the muscles of young or inexperienced dancers. This material is also easy to clean and can stretch with your foot, so it’s a great choice for growing dancers. Leather ballet shoes, however, tend to be more pricey and may take some time to break in.

Canvas, on the other hand, hugs the foot beautifully to further accentuate the curves and motion. They’re a more popular choice for competitions, recitals and exams, as they highlight perfect form. They provide less support and are less durable than leather, but are also more affordable in comparison and easy to break in.

Satin is really aesthetically pleasing, as it will flatter the shape of the feet. They’re more stylish, but do not offer much support and tend to wear out quickly. It is, however, an ideal choice for performances.

Sole and Supporting Features

Full soles have one piece that extends from the heel to the toes. These offer additional support for growing feet and can help increase dexterity, balance and strength. These shoes are ideal for beginners who are learning how to point their feet, as the muscles in their feet won’t be strong enough to support their entire weight to prevent plantar fasciitis. Full soles can also hide bad techniques, like clawed toes, which is why they’re a great choice for beginners during performances.

Split soles, on the other hand, have two soles: one on the heel and the other on the toes. There’s a space under the arch. These soles are great for showing off the shape of the feet and allowing them to fully articulate during more complicated dance routines and performances. They flatter the line of the foot.

Design

Last but not least, think about the type of design that is present. These features can affect not only the aesthetics of the shoe, but also its practicality.

For example, consider whether the top opening is drawstring or elastic. Drawstring ties need to be properly tucked in or else they can pull all the way out of the casing. The advantage of this is that they allow for adjustability. Elastic openings are smooth and comfortable, but not adjustable.

The type of elastics that are at the opening also influences the amount of support that you get. Crisscross elastics prevent the foot from sliding in the shoe and will stop the heel of the shoe from slipping off. With that said, more experienced dangers may not appreciate the crisscross pattern as it can be more time consuming to properly fit the shoes on.

For performances, many dancers also prefer ballet shoes that have ribbons on them for added visual appeal. The color of the shoes may also be important for some dancers, especially if they’re performing with other people and need to find shoes that are uniform in both style and color.

Now that you know what to look for, we’re going to take you through the best ballet shoes for 2021.

Top 10 Best Ballet Shoes to Buy 2021

1. Best Overall Ballet Shoes: Stelle Canvas Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: These shoes come in all sizes, are made of canvas and have an extra elastic at the opening for aesthetics and support.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Young kids to adults

Overview

The Stelle Canvas Ballet Shoes are great for beginners and more seasoned dancers. They come in all sizes, so they’re a great option for young kids and adults.

Material

These ballet shoes are made from breathable and washable canvas. It’s super form-fitting and will mold to the shape of your foot. This makes it easy for you to get a better visual of your posture and whether any improvements are needed. The canvas also allows dancers to have a better “feel” of the floor.

Sole and Supporting Features

The Stelle Canvas Ballet Shoes are very comfortable, but they offer minimal support as they are split sole shoes. These shoes do give you a chance to better articulate your feet; however, it won’t help you with balance or stability. If you’re a beginner and need more support, go with a full sole shoe like the Capezio Daisy 205 Ballet Shoes for Kids.

These shoes also have anti-skid leather soles for added support. The extra cushion will support the heels and the balls of the feet.

Design

These shoes have cross instep elastics that offer added support to the front of the feet and prevent them from slipping out of the shoe. There’s also a drawstring, so you can adjust the fit. It also comes in three different colors: pink, white and black.

Pros
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes
  • Has cross instep elastics for added support
  • Has anti-skid leather soles
  • Comes in three different colors
  • Washable and lightweight
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer too much support

2. Best Budget Ballet Shoes: Stelle Ballet Practice Shoes

Why we like it: They’re super affordable, comfortable and come in many different styles and designs.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Kids up to 10 years old

Overview

The Stelle Ballet Practice Shoes are some of the most affordable ballet shoes out there for kids, so if your child is just learning ballet, these are the perfect choice. Most people find that these shoes run a bit small, so order a size up! Unfortunately, these shoes are only available in sizes for children. Adults looking for a similar style should check out the Stelle Canvas Ballet Shoes.

Material

Made from polyurethane (PU) leather, the Stelle Ballet Practice Shoes are quite rigid and sturdy where it matters. They’re waterproof and can last for a long time. The leather is easy to clean. All you need to do is to wipe it with a damp cloth. Although it’s made from leather, it’s still incredibly lightweight.

Sole and Supporting Features

These shoes are split sole shoes, so they’re great at accentuating the arches of your feet. The soles are made from anti-skid leather, so you’ll have a great grip on the floor when doing turns and twirls.

Design

When it comes to design, these Stelle Ballet Practice Shoes are just as stylish as many competing brands. They come in six different styles and designs. The black shoes are highly recommended for boys. Some of these shoes have 3D embroidery on them of lace and flowers, which can really add a personal touch.

The shoes have elastic openings and crisscross elastic bands. The elastic straps are known to snap off rather easily after some use. To prevent this from happening, add several more stitches to the connecting points.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Comes in 6 different colors and styles
  • Has anti-skid leather soles
  • Waterproof and durable
  • Lightweight and flexible
Cons
  • Not for adults
  • Straps break off easily

3. Best Premium Ballet Shoes: Capezio Daisy 205 Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: These shoes are made from 100% real leather that will conform to the shape of your feet while providing it with much needed support.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Kids up 13 years of age

Overview

Capezio Daisy 205 Ballet Shoes are some of the best premium shoes out there because of the quality of their material and design. These shoes are built to last, and you’ll notice that the leather is super comfortable and durable.

Material

These ballet shoes are made from soft leather and have a suede leather outsole for added durability, so they’re a great choice for those who are committed to ballet. Even the bottom sole is made from leather for added support. The pleats are hammered down for smooth contact on the floor. There’s a cotton lining inside for added comfort. The leather is incredibly soft, so it offers a lot of flexibility.

Sole and Supporting Features

These full suede sole shoes give amazing support and are generously cut to give little feet the opportunity to grow. Although the leather is really soft, if your child is learning moves like the grande jeté, you’ll want to consider going with a split sole option, like the ones offered by Ruqiji Kid’s Canvas Ballet Shoes for added flexibility.

Design

These shoes come in four different colors, and have drawstrings and criss-cross elastics that give added support and adjustability. These shoes can literally grow with little feet. Tighten the drawstrings to get a tighter fit. The crisscross elastic prevents the shoes from slipping.

Pros
  • Made from high quality leather
  • Has hammered pleats for smooth floor contact
  • Has drawstring and criss-cross elastics for added support
  • Fits true to size
  • Comes in four different colors
Cons
  • Not great for learning complicated moves like a grande jeté

4. Best Customizable Ballet Shoes: Ruqiji Leather Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: Drawstrings, no drawstrings, peachy pink or beige — no matter what you’re looking for, Ruqiji has them!

Editor’s Rating:

For: Kids and adults

Overview

Many people find these shoes to offer a very comfortable fit. These ballet shoes basically fit like a glove! What’s best about these shoes is probably their customizability. Whether you want additional support, full soles or strip soles, you’ll find what you’re looking for. These shoes are available in all sizes for both kids and adults.

Best of all, these shoes come with a money back guarantee.

Material

These shoes are made from high quality leather that lasts! The tops are leather, and so are the soles. The leather soles are incredibly skidproof. The inner lining is made from a soft cotton that will help cushion the feet.

The leather material may not be as ideal for adults, as the leather may be a bit rigid. Those who want more flexibility should check out the Danzcue Adult Split Sole Canvas Ballet Slippers.

Sole and Supporting Features

Choose between full sole and strip sole shoes. The full sole is great for those who are still practicing some basic techniques and trying to strengthen their muscles while the strip soles offer a lot more flexibility. Both soles have equally thick skidproof soles that will give you a good grip of the floor.

Design

What we love about Ruqiji is probably their customizability. On top of being able to choose between full sole and strip sole shoes, you can also choose different colors and elastic support. The criss-cross elastic band prevents feet from slipping. Some shoes have drawstrings for added customizability while others don’t.

Pros
  • High quality, durable leather
  • High customizability
  • Has soft, cotton lining
  • Great fit
  • Comes with a money back guarantee
Cons
  • Not as flexible as canvas

5. Best Leather Ballet Slippers: Stelle Premium Authentic Leather Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: They come in different shades of pink and are really comfortable and durable.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Kids up to 14 years old

Overview

If your child’s ballet class has very strict dance codes, especially when it comes to the color of their ballet shoes, you’ll be happy to choose from the different shades offered by Stelle Premium Authentic Leather Ballet Shoes. These shoes run true to size.

Material

Made from leather, these shoes are extremely high quality and very lightweight. The leather will last for a long time, so you won’t have to worry about needing to replace these shoes any time soon. The leather adds resistance to the feet to help strengthen the muscles.

When you hold these shoes, you can tell that the leather is really good quality because of how thick and rigid it is. However, you’ll notice that the inside of the shoes is just lined with a thin layer of cotton, and isn’t lined with any soft material, like the Bloch Kid’s Bunnyhop Ballet Shoes, which may make them less comfortable.

Sole and Supporting Features

These are full sole shoes, which offer additional support. The soles are made from anti-slip leather, which makes it easy to twirl. The thick soles offer additional grip and cushioning, which makes them a great choice for beginners who may not have trained their muscles just yet.

Design

These shoes come with an optional drawstring and a bar-tacked elastic band that prevent slipping. One of the main benefits of these shoes is that they come in different shades of pink.

Pros
  • Made from durable, sturdy, high quality leather
  • Comes with optional drawstring and an elastic band
  • Comes in different shades of pink
  • Has thick soles
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • No lining inside

6. Best Canvas Ballet Shoes: Ruqiji Kid’s Canvas Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: You’ll find everything that you need in canvas ballet shoes with Ruqiji Kid’s Canvas Ballet Shoes.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Kids up to 14 years old

Overview

The shoe size that’ll best suit your child will depend on their feet type. While these shoes are true to size, those with wider, longer feet should go one size up. On the other hand, those with narrow feet should go one size down.

These shoes are suitable not only for ballet dance, but also jazz, gymnastics, yoga, ballroom dancing, dance training and more. Best of all, these shoes come with a money back guarantee.

Material

One of the main reasons why people love canvas shoes is because they’re so easy to clean, and these Ruqiji Kid’s Canvas Ballet Shoes are no exception. Simply toss them in the wash and let the washing machine do its job. These are some of the best canvas shoes because the canvas is incredibly soft and flexible. They will easily mold to the shape of one’s feet.

Although canvas is a great option, it’s not as sturdy and durable as leather options like the Stelle Premium Authentic Leather Ballet Shoes.

Sole and Supporting Features

You don’t have to choose between full soles or strip soles, as these shoes come in both full sole and strip sole options. Those who need added support should go with full soles while those who need more flexibility will appreciate the strip soles.

Design

It’s easy to adjust the fit of these ballet shoes to your feet, as they come with adjustable drawstrings and crisscross elastic bands. These features prevent the shoes from slipping.

These shoes come in an assortment of colors. Best of all, they come in different shades of pink, so you can easily find a pink that matches the same pink that matches everyone else in the class.

Pros
  • Comes in both full sole and strip sole styles
  • Soft, flexible canvas in different colors
  • Comes in an assortment of colors
  • Further adjustability with drawstrings and crisscross elastic band
  • Comes with a money back guarantee
Cons
  • Not as sturdy and durable as leather

7. Best Split Sole Ballet Shoes: Danzcue Adult Split Sole Canvas Ballet Slipper

Why we like it: The split sole is super durable and has strong, supportive innersoles that offer comparable support to full sole shoes.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Adults size 3.5 to 11

Overview

Most adults will usually go with split sole shoes that give them more control over the way that they articulate their feet and arches. Danzcue Adult Split Sole Canvas Ballet Slippers mold to the shape of your feet for a comfortable fit. Consider ordering 1/2 a size to one size up for a more comfortable fit.

Material

These shoes have a suede sole and a canvas upper. The lining is made from cotton for added breathability. The canvas is less rigid than leather and will mold to your feet to really highlight your form. The lining absorbs sweat and still offers strong permeability.

Sole and Supporting Features

The Danzcue Adult Split Sole Canvas Ballet Slipper are some of the best ballet shoes for those looking for split soles. While most people typically choose full soled shoes to get more support and to help with strengthening the muscles of their feet, these split sole shoes have really strong, supportive innersoles that offer the same resistance and support.

Design

It has pre-sewn cross-elastic straps for further support and an elastic drawstring for further adjustability. They comes in three different colors: pink, black and white. These colors may not be enough options for some. Those looking for more styles should take a look at the Ruqiji Leather Ballet Shoes.

Pros
  • Strong, supportive innersole
  • Added support and adjustability with pre-sewn elastic straps and drawstrings
  • Sweat-absorbent
  • Leather cushioning
  • Breathable and easy to clean
Cons
  • Doesn’t come in many styles and colors

8. Best Ballet Shoes for Adults: Capezio Adult Daisy Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: They’re super sturdy and made 100% from leather.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

These shoes are designed for those with wider feet, so if you’ve been having difficulties finding shoes that fit your wider feet, look no further!

Material

These ballet shoes are made from 100% leather, which is quite sturdy and durable. Although leather ballet shoes tend to last for a long time, they aren’t as flexible as canvas ballet shoes.

The issue with leather shoes is that they do take some time to stretch and conform to the shape of your feet. If you’re looking for something that is stretchy and a bit more comfortable, you’ll be better off with a canvas shoe, like Danzcue Adult Split Sole Canvas Ballet Slippers.

Sole and Supporting Features

This is a full sole ballet shoe that’s highly recommended for beginner dancers. The rigidity of the sole helps beginners build muscle strength and overall dexterity to eventually master difficult moves like a pirouette. The pleats are hammered down for extra support as well.

Design

There’s a drawstring for extra hold, and a bar-tacked elastic strip that will prevent the shoe from slipping off your feet when practicing. These shoes don’t come in a lot of colors. There’s pink for women, black for men and white for neutral occasions. If the pink doesn’t match what your dance troop is wearing, take a look at Ruqiji Leather Ballet Shoes, as they offer more color options.

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable leather
  • Great for beginners
  • Extra support
  • Great for those who feet run wide
Cons
  • Doesn’t come in a lot of colors

9. Best Lightweight Ballet Shoes: DIPUG Ballet Shoes for Kids

Why we like it: These shoes are very lightweight and flexible, so they’re perfect for children who are just starting lessons.

Editor’s Rating:

For: Kids up to 14 years old

Overview

These ballet shoes are ideal for those learning more complicated ballet techniques and moves. They can be used for ballet learning or performance and are incredibly easy to wash. They do run a bit small, so you should expect to order a size or two up.

Material

DIPUG Ballet Shoes for Kids is made from breathable canvas. It’s super easy to clean. All you have to do is toss it in the wash. The inside of the shoes are lined with cotton, which not only absorbs sweat, but also offers extra cushioning. The soles are made from anti-slip leather for more support on the dancefloor.

The canvas is ultra-soft and very comfortable to wear, and these shoes are some of the lightest and most flexible ones on the market.

Sole and Supporting Features

These split sole shoes ensure that beginners have as much flexibility as needed to learn complex twirls and spins. The soles are made from thick leather, which provides support that’s comparable to full sole ballet shoes.

Design

The DIPUG Ballet Shoes for Kids have criss-cross elastic bands that prevent feet from slipping. These shoes don’t have drawstrings for adjustability, like the Stelle Canvas Ballet Shoes, which can be problematic for growing feet.

These shoes come in four different colors: pink, beige, white and black, which is pretty standard.

Pros
  • Breathable, easy-to-wash canvas
  • Lined with cotton, which absorbs sweat
  • Extra support with thick, anti-slip leather soles
  • Super lightweight
Cons
  • Not a lot of adjustability

10. Best Introductory Ballet Shoes: Bloch Kid’s Bunnyhop Ballet Shoes

Why we like it: While most ballet shoes focus on functionality over style, these ballet shoes incorporate both. This makes the shoes safe and inviting for beginners.

Editor’s Rating:

Kids up to 12 years old

Overview

Children who are just getting started on their journey to ballet mastery will love the Bloch Kid’s Bunnyhop Ballet Shoes. They’re made from leather for durability and have a cute bunny design inside.

Best of all, these shoes are very affordable, and since they are made from leather, you can expect these shoes to last for quite some time! The only thing that you need to worry about is your child growing out of these shoes!

Material

These shoes are made from 100% leather. The sole is leather, as well as the outsole and insole. This is perfect for beginners as it adds resistance that helps strengthen muscles of the feet. The inside lining is made from soft swan down for optimal comfort.

Sole and Supporting Features

Most beginners will often want to choose ballet shoes with full soles for added support. These soles are made from thick leather to support the entire length of the feet, which is important when practicing the basics.

Design

Bloch Kid’s Bunnyhop Ballet Shoes have all of the basics when it comes to design needs. They have a drawstring, so you can adjust the size of the opening. There’s also an elastic over the instep that prevents feet from slipping.

The only issue with these shoes is that they only come in pink. If you’re looking for more color options, take a look at Stelle Premium Authentic Leather Ballet Shoes.

Pros
  • Extremely affordable and lasts a long time
  • Has cute bunny designs to make ballet fun
  • Soft, swan down lining for comfort
  • Elastic and drawstring for adjustability
Cons
  • Only comes in pink

A Complete Guide to Buying Ballet Shoes

ballerinas lined up

With the right ballet shoes, you’ll master the pirouette, assemblé and the grande jeté with ease. The type of ballet shoes that you get should reflect your mastery and your needs. For example, if you need more support, go with a pair of full sole shoes, but if you need more flexibility at the arches, go with shoes that have a split sole.

Other Factors to Consider

If you’re stuck between choosing two very similar ballet shoes and you’re not sure which way to go, you need to take another step back and look at some more features and factors.

Fit and Size

Another important factor is the fit. The shoes should fit like a sock without any pinching at all. They should also not be too snug. The type of fit will determine whether the dancer can “feel” the floor, which is important when mastering ballet techniques.

The size also influences the fit. Look for shoes that are properly sized. Don’t be tempted to buy shoes that are a bit larger, as they will prevent you from getting a good grip and feel of the floor. Confirm the sizing of the shoes with the manufacturer’s size guide. Ballet shoe sizes don’t always follow street shoe sizes.

How to Figure Out the Right Size

If you’re buying ballet shoes online, you don’t have the luxury of trying on different pairs of ballet shoes to get a good idea of the fit and size. A lot of people will accidentally curl their toes when measuring their feet, which gives them inaccurate measurements. To make sure that you get a good fit, the following methods:

  • The tracing method: Put your foot (or your child’s foot) on a piece of paper that’s on a stable surface and trace! You can then easily measure the outline. When tracing your feet, you’re bending down and your feet are on a flat surface, so you’re less likely to curl your feet.
  • The footprint method: This is a particularly fun method if you’re trying to find the right fit and size for your kids. Paint the sole of your child’s feet in washable, non-toxic paint and let them walk along a piece of paper that you’ve rolled out. You can then measure the outline. One of the benefits of this method is that you can then verify the measurements by measuring a different footprint.

Take these measurements and match them up with the manufacturer’s sizing guide. You can even consider ordering the next size or half size up if you’re purchasing shoes for kids. If you’re purchasing shoes for adults, you’ll want a pair that fits like a glove.

Overall Construction Quality

Take a look at the seams and the overall construction of the ballet shoes. Make sure that none of the seams are falling out and that none of the material may be creasing excessively.

Brand

Some brands, like Stelle, have a longstanding reputation in the ballet industry. If you buy a pair of these shoes, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands and that you’re getting a quality product. Don’t forget to check out the reviews of each brand to see what other dancers think about them!

How Do You Know Whether Your Ballet Shoes Fit Properly?

If you’ve never worn ballet shoes before, you might not be sure whether the shoes are a good fit or not. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself or your child:

  • Are your feet flat on the ground or do the toes scrunch up at the front? Ballet shoes that fit perfectly won’t put any pressure on the toes at all.
  • Do the shoes feel too tight across the width of your feet? Are the toes squished together? If you can fit a finger between the shoe and the sides of your feet too easily, the shoe is too wide.
  • Is there too much of a space between the back seam and the heels? This means that the ballet shoes are too large and that you need a smaller size.

The right adult ballet shoes should fit like a glove. When it comes to ballet shoes for children, you can choose something that’s slightly oversized to accommodate growing feet.

Do Boys and Girls Need Different Ballet Shoes?

Boys and girls can buy the same ballet shoes for the same brand. The only difference is that most ballet schools have a dress code, and boys are expected to wear black shoes rather than pink ones, which are usually worn by girls. If you’re just practicing, it really doesn’t matter what color shoes you wear.

Master Ballet Techniques With the Perfect Ballet Shoes

The right pair of ballet shoes will support your endeavors and push your ballet performance to new heights. Many dancers will move on from one shoe to another depending on their needs. Some will also practice in a different pair of shoes than the ones that they perform in. For example, some dancers will practice in canvas shoes for their form-hugging abilities, but will practice in satin shoes due to their visual appeal.

To narrow down your choices and find the perfect pair of shoes, you really need to think about your needs and your expertise. The ballet shoes that we’ve outlined above all have their unique advantages and disadvantages that make them a better fit for different scenarios.

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