Ballet Shoe Guide
As the innovation leader in ballet shoes for nearly a century, BLOCH understands the importance of a high-quality, durable and beautifully-crafted ballet shoe. This is why we still make all our pointe shoes by hand, and we continue the tradition of listening to dancers, understanding what they want and what they need.
Whether you are just getting started in the process of choosing your first ballet shoe or searching for your next performance pair, the BLOCH Ballet Shoe Guide is packed with information to assist you in your search.
From the types of ballet shoes we offer to choosing the right size for you, our buying guide to ballet shoes is the perfect resource to help you make the best choice of style.
Types of ballet shoes
There is a diverse collection of ballet shoe styles in the dance world. All styles are specifically designed to meet a range of needs, material preferences, skill levels and foot sizes of different dancers. Ballet shoes are offered in either full sole or split sole options.
Full sole ballet shoes
Full sole ballet shoes have a continuous sole on the underside of the shoe. The sole typically is leather, canvas or suede. Choosing a full sole ballet shoe style will allow the dancer to build strength and muscle, as the full sole is very structured.
A full sole ballet shoe offers more resistance beneath the arch of the foot. If you are a beginner in ballet or looking for a ballet shoe that is sturdy, the full sole style is a favorable choice.
Split sole ballet shoes
While a full sole shoe has a continuous sole, a split shoe ballet shoe has a split sole under the ball and heel of the foot (the outer sole is not continuous). These are known as sole pads. The absence of padding underneath the arch of the foot makes the shoe more flexible and can emphasize a dancer’s arch, point and line of the foot.
The flexibility of a split sole ballet shoe is seen as an advantage because it allows the dancer to execute correct foot technique and form more easily. However, split sole shoes do offer less structure beneath the foot, which is why this type of ballet shoe is better for well-trained or advanced dancers.
Pointe shoes, often considered a type of ballet shoe, are worn by highly trained, experienced dancers when performing pointe work. These shoes are very different from flexible ballet shoes as the box and the shank at the shoe allow dancers to go en pointe. Please visit the BLOCH Pointe Shoe Guide for more information on pointe shoes and choosing the right one for you.
How to choose ballet shoes
Whether you’re choosing your first or twentieth pair of ballet shoes, there are important considerations to make when determining which sole, style, color and material will make the perfect pair for you.
Bloch offers a variety of ballet shoe options with many styles available in different tones to ensure that each dancer finds their perfect shoe.
We recommend consulting your dance teacher regarding which ballet shoe is best for you or your child. They can offer insight into the material and sole that is best suited for their dance level, as well various color preferences.
Buying ballet shoes for the beginner
If you are purchasing children’s ballet shoes or beginner ballet shoes, a full sole shoe with a durable material is a great place to start. For example, full sole ballet shoes in leather will provide a beginner with a solid foundation for improving foot strength. Once the dancer can safely execute proper form and technique, a dance teacher may recommend a more flexible split sole ballet shoe. The Children’s Dansoft Leather Ballet shoes are an introductory full sole design, perfect for young girls and boys beginning their dance journey. The Ladies Dansoft Leather Ballet Shoes are also ideal for new dancers.
What size ballet shoes do I need?
Like all dance shoes, ballet shoes must fit accurately to serve the dancer properly. Ballet shoes should feel snug on the foot without compromising comfort.
Below is advice and frequently asked questions on choosing the right ballet shoe size.
Buying ballet shoe sizing
If the ballet shoe is hurting the side of your feet, that is a good indicator that the shoe is too narrow. If toes are bending, curling or overlapping when a ballet shoe is worn, that indicates the dancer needs to try a bigger size. If there is extra material in the shoe, especially near the toes, then the shoes may be too large.
The elastic strap or straps on a ballet shoe should hold the shoe onto your foot securely. It should not dig into the top of the foot or ankle uncomfortably, impact the foot’s circulation or prevent you from pointing and flexing.
When choosing a pair of BLOCH ballet shoes, we strongly recommend visiting a local retailer with knowledge of BLOCH ballet shoes. If that’s not possible, please refer to the fit advice on the product pages for each shoe.
Are ballet shoes true to size?
The size ballet shoe you will need varies greatly from brand, style, material and more. In addition, foot shape, width and length of toes can change how a ballet shoe fits each individual.
While it’s always best to be properly fitted by a professional, you can find more information on sizing and conversion charts on our BLOCH US size guide.
How to buy ballet shoes
Now that you understand the different types of ballet shoes and which style is best for you, it’s time to make a purchase!
To find the perfect pair of ballet shoes that will stand the test of time, we recommend researching different dance shoe brands and the materials these brands use. Also, ensure you purchase from a highly regarded, industry-leading ballet shoe company.
For example, BLOCH ballet shoes can be found on the feet of professionals across the globe. BLOCH provides superior materials and craftsmanship in dance shoes—perfect for beginners, students, teachers and professionals.
BLOCH ballet shoes promise high performance, the perfect leg line and exceptional comfort for beginners to professionals. From simple ballet slippers to stunning tonal designs, our ballet shoes offer the ultimate in style and functionality.
We have a wide selection of dance and ballet shoes for men, women and children in a variety of materials and colors. Filter by your skill level, or simply browse all BLOCH ballet shoes to find the perfect pair today.