Dance has very ancient origins, which date back even before the development of language. From this point of view, ballet shoes are a rather recent introduction, born above all, to allow the dancer to perform more complex and elegant positions.
These positions were codified at the time of the Sun King, a period that also matches the birth of dance as we know it today ( academic dance ). The dance shoes must be chosen based on various factors, among which we also find the technical level of the dancer.
Right here we had listed out the best ballet shoes that are given below.
Nike Ballet Shoes Buying Guide
As much as dance may seem an “ancient” art that has not evolved, dance shoes are very particular footwear, with very specific characteristics and which are always in step with the needs of modern dancers.
The field of dance, in general, can be very complex, especially if you are starting, but don’t despair! The following section will explain everything you need to know about these articles.
What Types of Ballet Shoes Are There?
When choosing dance shoes, it is necessary to know first of all that there are various types: they are based above all on the technical level of the dancer and must refer to the moment of her “growth” as such. In principle, it can be said that there are two types of ballet shoes.
- Half-Pointed Dance Shoes. The best for those who are approaching the world of dance. Generally, they are quite soft and have a flexible sole. The tapes are almost always crossed, for optimal foot support.
- Pointe Dance Shoes. They are specific to higher level dancers; since they already acquire great strength and balance, they need much stiffer shoes than the other model. They can be easily recognized thanks to the reinforcement present in the tip.
How Do You Know When To Use Ballet Shoes?
Just like any other artistic discipline, even dance is made up of various stages: if you are at the beginning, be very patient, because you will have to go a long way. Your feet still don’t have the strength to be able to stand on toes and to do other more complicated positions, but don’t worry: time, effort, and perseverance will bring results.
You will know that you are ready to abandon half-toe shoes when your feet are strong enough, and your bones have passed the “training period”. You need to practice a lot because you will have to be able to master the technique of supporting your body with only toes.
What Are the Parts of The Ballet Shoes?
To choose the perfect dance shoe, you must also know its “skeleton”, that is the parts of which it is made. This short paragraph will help you familiarize yourself with some simple concepts that will prove to be truly decisive: remember that the world of dance is vast and, if you want to become truly an expert, knowing these terms is an obligation!
- Upper and Empeigne. Based on your instep, you will have to choose one model over another. The empire is the most extreme part of the upper, and varies according to the morphology of the foot: if, for example, the toes are short, you will have to choose a shoe with a short empire.
- Punta. Refers to the base of the tip. It can be more or less wide.
- Box (or Box). Given the combination of upper and toe, it is, in fact, one of the essential parts of dance shoes. It can be U-shaped or V-shaped.
- Insole or Sole. The part of the sole visible from the outside.
“Internal soul”. The inner part of the insole.
“Central soul”. Although it is not visible, it is another very important part of the shoe which has the task of giving the foot enough stability to remain on the toes.
How Do I Clean My Ballet Shoes?
The maintenance of dance shoes depends very much on the material they are made of: some models can be safely washed in the washing machine, while others must be washed by hand.
The latter is the case of leather shoes, a material that can only be cleaned on the surface using detergent and a damp cloth. A different matter for the canvas, a material that can be washed in the washing machine: put it in a bag for underwear and avoid using a cycle with too hot water.
If it is satin shoes instead, wet them in cold water, put soap and scrub them, being very careful not to be too aggressive or twist them. You can also use homemade soap, and it will be even more delicate.
How Long Can Ballet Shoes Last?
There is no precise moment in which to replace one’s ballet shoes with a new pair: this depends exclusively on the intensity of use and the appearance of the material. When shoes are worn or broken, have lost stiffness or the sole has given way too much, it’s time to buy another pair.
On average, this type of items can have an average life of about one or two years. Still, we repeat that this depends very much on the frequency of use: for example, a professional dancer, who wears shoes almost every day, will be forced to change them after a few weeks. Indeed, some models only last the time of a show: incredible, right?
What Are Protectors for Ballet Shoes?
Protectors are one of the most important accessories for dance shoes: they are used to protect the toes and significantly reduce the damage caused by the realization of the various dance positions. They are available in various models and materials, although the silicone ones are the easiest to find.
For correct positioning, insert your fingers on the protector: in this way, they will not suffer friction and will not be subject to the pressure exerted by the shoes. There are also protectors in the shape of a gel pad or elastic fabric. In general, they are accessories to be purchased separately; they are available in silicone, sponge and gel to relieve localized lesions at a specific point.
How Do I Know if I Have Chosen the Best Ballet Shoes for Me?
To be sure that you have chosen the right model and size, you just have to try on the shoes (it is always recommended to do it with dance socks on). First of all, it is necessary to examine its length: being on a flat surface, both the heel and the big toe must touch the back and front of each shoe respectively.
Remember that your fingers must be relaxed, in a rest position: if they are forced to bend, it means that the shoe model is not a good one. Next, check the box: it should adhere perfectly to the foot, and not show deformations or folds. Sometimes, an inner insole could be the perfect solution for a liner that can’t fit properly.
Materials and Rigidity
The materials from which the dance shoes are made are strictly connected to the degree of rigidity. Various options are available on the market: as we have already said, among the most common are leather, canvas and satin.
If you are looking for a resistant model, capable of withstanding the most intense stresses, it is better to opt for a leather or leather model. Canvas shoes are more flexible and, therefore, better for those who are new to the world of dance.
These are very beautiful models to look at and with very easy maintenance to do. Finally, we have satin, which is the classic material in pointe shoes: satin models are not very rigid and become more or less flexible depending on the level of the dancer, and the force exerted.
There are two types of sole: solid and split. The first is the one that wraps the entire sole, starting from the heel up to the tip of the toes. On the contrary, the broken soul is the one that, as the name also says, is divided in half, so that it can cover the areas of the toes and heel, leaving the rest of the foot uncovered. How to know whether to choose one or the other?
The main advantage of the broken sole is that it is the most flexible model and allows the shoe to adapt much better to the ballerina’s foot. On the contrary, the solid sole is indicated especially for girls who have just started practising dance, because it allows them to work on the force applied by the foot.
Usually, the first thing you look at in a dance shoe is the design: for this reason, it is better to opt for a model that likes it, because it will feel involuntarily more comfortable.
As for the colours, however, the most frequent are white, black and pink, but this is a factor that, of course, also depends on the manufacturer. Another equally common colour is flesh pink: thanks to this tint, the dancers will be able to give the impression of dancing barefoot.
Which could be very useful for some types of shows. Also, in addition to the simpler proposals, it is possible to find others with decorative elements, such as a small ribbon or beads.
Finally, we must not forget the problem of supporting the foot: dance shoes are equipped with elastic bands or ribbons which, although they may seem purely aesthetic details, actually have a very important function. The elastic bands can have various arrangements.
One of the most common is an “X” shape, that is when they are crossed: the main advantage lies in the possibility of covering a much larger foot surface.
However, in some models, it is also possible to observe the presence of ribbons that wrap around the ankle. In this way, not only is it possible to give a much more elegant appearance, but you can balance excellent aesthetics with excellent support.