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split sole shoes


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My son recently started classes here in Italy and with all the changes, we are noticing things we normally did not pay attention to. For one, the shoes. He was the only boy in his last school in the States. Is the only boy in one of his current schools and shares class with one boy in the other. As you can see, having a boy has its own share of problems...mainly comparison.


Back to shoes. We noticed all the girls in his schools wear split sole shoes....mainly canvas. They are really working on my son's arches and with the shoe observation, I was wondering if a split sole shoe is better for a dancer and if so, is it acceptable for a boy to wear them? Is it considered girly? He is not so concerned about the canvas thing. Prefers leather. Thanks in advance.

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:dry: Hello Gremlin - how old is your son? My DS used full sole black leather shoes until he was about 11/12 and then changed to split sole canvas by Sancha which he still uses. He likes the feel of the floor in the canvas split sole and they are washable! And, they are not considered girly - most boys at his school wear them.


Not sure if full-sole is better for a developing foot in a young dancer? You will get a better answer from one of the moderators/teachers I'm sure.

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My son started wearing split soles at about age 8. Once he tried them, he never looked back. He wears either black or white canvas Sanshas. Most adult male dancers that I have seen wear split soles as well. :D

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Younger kids really should wear full soled shoes because they offer more support and resistence to help make the feet strong. Once the kid reaches about 13 they could change to split soles.

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Totally agree with LMCtech about younger fellows training in full soles but to answer Gremlin's other concern...


I was wondering if a split sole shoe is better for a dancer and if so, is it acceptable for a boy to wear them?  Is it considered girly?

I just asked a corp member of American Ballet Theatre if most of the men in the company wore split soled shoes and he replied, "Oh yes! Definitely!" :D
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Full soled ballet slippers have stronger, more resistant leather on most of the bottom of the shoe. This forces the dancer to work harder to point the foot, resulting in a stronger arch.


Split soled slippers have the same stronger leather on the bottoms, but only comvering the ball of the foot and the heel. This allows the shoe to bend at the arch more easily, hopefully making the dancer's foot look more pointed.


Full soled shoes should be used by beginning dancers to encourage them to work harder, but at more advanced levels, and in performance, split sholed shoes may be more flattering!


Most male professional dancers wear split soled shoes, for the above reasons.

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Thank you for the replies. This is his 5th year of ballet and since he just turned 13, I think he would be ok for split soles. They are really concentrating on his legs and arch for an upcoming audition with a very well known school with extremely tough competition, so I thought it would be important to place him in a shoe that shows off the arch a bit better.

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While we are the subject of shoes, my sons wear the canvas Sasha split-soles and like them but I wondered what other brand of split-sole shoes have other young men had luck with? My older son in particular has a narrow heel and sporadically looks for a shoe with a more flattering fit.

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Blochs are the other popular men's shoe. Some dancers like them better because there isn't a big bump of fabric at the bottom.

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My ds tried many of the different split sole shoes and kept coming back to the Sashas split sole. There are a couple different kinds of Sashas in black and white for men you might want to get the Pro and a Prince and see which one he likes better. Major Mel has written a lot about the color of shoes on the men's section for auditions and classes. The white shoes really do show off the feet and arches where the black ones just blend into their tights. It might help you to look at that topic.


The very best part of the canvas shoes is that you can throw them in the washing machine. That 13 - 19 age group gets pretty funky and washing the shoes helps the dance bag fumigation!

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They may shrink a little but then they stretch back out. I wash mine as well with no problems.

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