The Best Ballet Shoes for Your Beginner Ballerina

The Best Ballet Shoes for Your Beginner Ballerina

You did it! You signed up your tiny dancer for her first ballet class and now you are both so excited to begin. And rightly so. Ballet is an exciting and rewarding experience for many aspiring dancers and a great opportunity for you to take lots of adorable photos and make memories that will stick with your ballerina for life.

The tutu dresses, tights, ballet a mom of a tiny dancer you can't wait to get shopping

First things first...finding your new dancer the right pair of ballet shoes is an essential first step in her dance journey.

In this blog, we'll explore the key factors to consider when choosing ballet shoes for beginner dancers and recommend some of the best options available.

Please note: Some dance schools require specific ballet shoes for their dancers. Please check with them first before making any purchases.

Canvas versus Leather

For beginner ballerinas, comfort and support are paramount. However you don't want to spend too much money on her tiny feet because they will likely outgrow her ballet shoes within a few months.

Generally you have two choices for ballet shoes - canvas or leather. 

They also make ballet shoes that combine leather and canvas which would be a third option, but for the sake of simplicity we will stick to just canvas or leather.

Leather ballet shoes provide durability and mold to the shape of your dancer's feet over time but are typically (but not always) more expensive than canvas ballet shoes. 

Canvas ballet shoes, on the other hand, are lightweight and breathable. They are easy to point through and in general are less expensive. On the down side, they often wear out faster because the material is thinner and tend to look dirtier sooner.

For a beginner ballerina, either style of ballet shoes will suffice. Again, make sure you check with your dancer's instructor before purchasing your ballet shoes to make sure they do not require leather over canvas or vice versa.

Drawstring versus No Drawstring

While ballet shoes were typically made with a drawstring to allow dancers to tighten the fit, some newer ballet shoes are being made without an external drawstring,

This gets rid of the sloppy bow that often becomes undone during class (although most instructors require their dancers to tuck in their bows). Tucking in a bow can also be over the top for the dancers who struggle with sensory issues as it can dig in or create an extra bump on the top of their foot.

Either option of ballet shoes is equally acceptable. This one is a matter of preference. In general, drawstring ballet shoes still seem to be the go-to but ballet shoes without drawstrings are quickly becoming a front runner.

Split Sole versus Full Sole

Ballet shoes come in two different soles. A split sole is a design in which the middle of the sole is missing. This allows the ballet dancer to point through her foot more easily without having to point against the middle part of the sole.

A full sole is when the sole extends throughout the entire bottom sole of the ballet shoe. This option might make it tougher to point but it provides more support and is often the less expensive option. Most beginner ballet dancers begin with a full sole.


Proper Fit

A proper fit is crucial for both comfort and performance. When trying on ballet shoes, make sure your dancer's feet fit snugly but not too tight, allowing room for her toes to move freely while still providing support.

While most parents want to get the most use out of their children's dance shoes, allowing extra room for growth is ill advised.

Your dancer's ballet shoes should conform to the shape of her feet without any gaping or bunching, and the elastic or drawstring should secure them firmly in place without digging into her skin. There should not be much room at the tip of her toes as most ballet shoes will stretch out over time.


Recommended Ballet Shoes for Beginner Ballet Students:

1. Capezio Daisy (205) Leather Ballet Shoes: A classic choice for beginners, the Capezio Daisy ballet shoe features a full leather sole for added durability and a soft, breathable cotton lining for comfort. The younger sizes come with a cute flower design on the inside. At $23, this is a great priced ballet shoe.

Capezio Daisy Leather Ballet Shoes in Ballet Pink at The Dance Shop Long Island


2. Capezio Lily (212) No Tie Leather Ballet Shoes: Another great choice for a beginner ballet dancer, the Capezio Lily is a drawstring-less ballet shoe with a full sole. It allows little dancers to focus on the movements of their performance instead of getting caught up in fixing their shoes during class. At $24, this is a reasonably priced leather ballet shoe.

Lily 212C Ballet Pink Ballet Shoes Full Sole - The Dance Shop Long Island


3. Bloch Dansoft (S0205) Leather Ballet Shoes: Designed with a pre-sewn elastic strap and a soft, supple leather upper, the Bloch Dansoft is a classic ballet shoe that provides a secure fit and superior flexibility for beginner dancers. It features a full sole.

S0205 Bloch Dansoft Full Sole Ballet Shoe in Pink at The Dance Shop Long Island


4. Capezio Hanami (2037C) Canvas Ballet Shoes: This ballet shoe is buttery soft and a great choice for a dancer who prefers canvas. It has a split sole bottom and literally molds to your dancer's feet. The Hanami ballet shoe is also offered in a variety of skin tones so it's a great option for a dance school that requires skin tone ballet shoes.

Capezio Hanami 2037W Ballet Shoes in Light Pink at The Dance Shop Long Island

This list is not all inclusive. There are many other great beginner ballet shoes out there. These are just some of our favorites at The Dance Shop Long Island.

Choosing the right pair of ballet shoes is an important decision for beginner ballerinas. By prioritizing comfort, support, and proper fit, you can find a pair of shoes that will support you through every plié, tendu, and relevé on your dance journey.

Whether you opt for leather or canvas, adjustable drawstrings or drawstring-less, the key is to find a pair of shoes that feels like an extension of her own feet, allowing your dancer to focus on the joy of dancing rather than discomfort or distraction.

If you're local, be sure to stop into The Dance Shop Long Island to try on ballet shoes to find that perfect fit.

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