Ballet Shoes: Canvas Or Leather?
Ballet shoes are an important purchase for the beginning ballet student and many elements will affect your purchase decision. To make the correct choice, you will need to listen carefully to your instructor and follow their advice about which shoes to buy. If you are not taking ballet lessons, and cannot seek advice from an instructor or a more advanced ballet dancer, then you will benefit from reading up on the types of ballet shoes available and appropriate for a beginning ballet dancer.
Your ballet class instructor may have requested you purchase a certain type of ballet shoe. Many instructors will provide very clear instructions on which shoe to buy – including the brand, color, and style. Fortunately, instructors will often also advise where the best locations are for finding and purchasing your ballet shoes. If your instructor makes specific requests about the type of ballet shoes they prefer you buy, then, by all means, follow their directions.
Your choices of ballet shoes are virtually unlimited if your instructor has made no particular requests, and you will need to take your status as a beginning ballet dancer into consideration. This means you should only consider purchasing basic ballet shoes, not pointe shoes. Your instructor will advise students when they can advance to pointe ballet shoes.
You need to be mindful of two things as you make your ballet shoe choice: the shoe’s sole and how the shoe is held on the foot.
Genuine leather soles are preferable for ballet shoes. Imitation leather will not hold up well to dancing and will cause you to need replacement shoes sooner. One thing to be aware of with leather soles is that they can stick to the floor, especially when used by heavier dancers. Sticking to the floor means your shoes can wear out more quickly and can mean the chance for injury. If you encounter this problem, consider purchasing canvas shoes, which do not stick to the floor.
Ballet shoes are kept on the foot either by an elastic strap sewn to the top opposite sides of the shoe or by ribbons wound around the ankle and lower leg and tied in place. Check with your instructor to see if they have a preference for elastic straps or ribbons. Normally, practice shoes, and shoes for children, have elastic straps. Shoes with ribbons are usually reserved for recitals.
Finally, when you have chosen your ballet shoes — try them on! They should be comfortable to walk in, of course, but to be certain they are best for you and dancing, try several ballet steps in them as well. If you feel any discomfort at all, try another pair of shoes in a different size or brand. Ballet shoes are essentially slippers, they should be completely comfortable when you are walking or dancing. The idea of ‘breaking in’ does not apply with ballet shoes, so do not purchase shoes thinking this will happen. You need ballet shoes that fit correctly without abrading your feet anywhere.
Ballet Shoes – Tips For A Proper Fit
Ballet dancers best friend are her ballet shoes. The wrong shoes can result in disaster. Ballet shoes that are not well fitted can cause a dancer to improperly execute ballet techniques. Injury and improper balance can also occur when ballet shoes are not properly fitted. Any ballet dancer with a little experience knows that properly fitted ballet shoes are critical to good performance.
Ballet shoes have five components: The binding, quarters, drawstrings, side seams, and pleats. Each of these parts must be adjusted to fit the dancer’s foot exactly. Properly fitted ballet shoes will ensure the dancer can feel the floor beneath them. In other words, ballet shoes should fit like a glove.
Grace, poise, and technique is the essence of ballet. To accomplish this a ballet dancer must have excellent fitting ballet shoes. For the best fitting ballet shoes, there are necessary steps that must be taken. Here are four tips to help a ballet dancer achieve this.
Number One – Realize your feet can be different sizes, meaning your ballet shoes may not be exactly the same. It is sometimes necessary for ballet dancers to have two different sized ballet shoes. Try on various ballet shoes to see what fits best.
Number Two – Make sure to wear tights when fitting your ballet shoes, just as you would when wearing your ballet shoes to dance. This will ensure a better fit. Never try on ballet shoes without wearing tights.
Number Three – When you first put on your ballet shoes, pay close attention to your toes. Stand flat on the floor. If your toes curl, you need to change your size, as your ballet shoes are not fitting correctly. If your toes curl you cannot achieve proper technique while dancing and you will have a poor performance. Injury may also occur if you cannot perform the proper dance techniques because of your toes curling. If your ballet shoes are too large you will curl your toes in an effort to keep the ballet shoes on. This can also result in poor performance, bad technique, and possible injury.
Number Four – The last step is to criss-cross your drawstrings, then “pointe” your foot. There should be no gap in the width of your ballet shoes. Simply put, this means there should be no extra space at any part of your ballet shoes. There should also be absolutely no toe room. If there is toe room you will not be able to properly “pointe” your foot. You will also not be able to feel the floor beneath you. Hence you cannot perform any dance techniques properly.
Properly fitted ballet shoes are crucial for a ballet dancer. With these tips in mind, you will be able to properly fit your ballet shoes, and be on your way to a beautiful dance performance.