It’s so important to have a dance shoe that is the perfect fit. The perfect fit means a comfortable shoe that disappears from your mind when you are dancing. Getting the right size is essential as it affects the performance, appearance and the durability of the shoe. So here are the studio Emporium tips to help you get the best fit possible:
Ballet Shoes fit differently from other shoes – they are designed so that the toes come to the front of the shoe, so that the footwork can be easily seen. So, even in a pair of ballet shoes that are too large, th
e toes will still come to the front of the shoe. In contrast to outdoor shoes, growth room can be seen mostly at the back of the shoe. To check the fit of your ballet shoes:
- Always try your ballet shoes on a clean surface so that if they don’t fit correctly they can be returned.
- Check that you are wearing ballet socks or stockings as these are different from street or outdoor apparel.
- Look at the ballet shoe when the ballerina is standing with both feet on the floor. None of the toes should be crunched, or pressing tightly at the end of the shoes – if they are, then the shoes is too small. Equally, there shouldn’t be too much room beyond the toes. If the leather at the top of the shoe can be folded over the shoe is too big.
Look at the growth room at the back of the shoe by pointing the foot to the side – a perfect fit will allow about a finger’s width (or a pinch) at the back. Any more room than this ‘pinch’ and the shoe will slip during class making it a possible trip hazard and hard for the teacher to accurately see footwork.
TOO BIG – excess of leather around the ballet slipper
TOO SMALL – crunched toes
JUST RIGHT – smooth toes with no excess of leather at the tip of the shoe and a pinch or finger’s width of growth room at the back.
Ballet Slippers – which size to order
**Please note that our ballet shoe sizing IS NOT THE SAME as regular shoe sizing.
For accurate sizing please measure your ballerina’s foot as instructed below and enter the size in the box above in millimetres.
- Please measure from the very back of the heel to tip of the longest (not necessarily the big) toe.
- This is best done while standing on a tape or ruler with your heel against a wall or door. Be sure to align the zero point of your tape correctly.
- Please measure both feet and use the larger of the 2 measurements (however, if there is a large difference between the feet some averaging may be required).
- Please measure later in the day as foot size tends to increase throughout the day.
- Please measure to the nearest millimetre and do not round your measurement – measure carefully using the exact technique described – a few mm may make a difference!
Some size selection tips:
- Choose a shoe BIGGER than the foot measure by the following recommendations:
- For children’s sizes, we generally find that a shoe 9-14mm longer than the foot measurement gives a lovely fit
- For our adult sizes or dancers with more experience, we find they generally choose shoes which are a more snug and precise fit generally 4-9mm longer than the foot measurement