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A question about soft shoes.


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I am starting ballet for the first time tmorrow. At the ripe age of 22!

I have bought leather shoes with a single elastic strap and full sole... but I wonder if those with a split sole would be better?? - and if I should have them exchanged before class tomorrow?

Also, are canvas shoes better than leather?

Edited by BalletAt22
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Full soles and leather are favored (I THINK) because they work the feet a bit more than canvas. The only downside to leather is that it can be sticky in humid conditions, but that's mainly an issue for turns, which you won't likely do much at first.


I wear leather slippers at barre and then sometimes switch to canvas for center.


Bottom line: the ones you have are fine, though you might decide you want canvas and/or split soles later.

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Good luck on starting your classes! The other posts are right that the full sole will help you work your feet better, but as an adult, split sole vs full sole is usually just personal preference- unless your teacher asks for something specific. I think you'll do fine in full soles. I prefered split soles, because my pre-ballet dance training was a dance team where we just wore lyrical sandals (just a thong over the front of the foot), and the split sole felt more like that and I was able to turn better.


Canvas/leather is also a personal preference. I much preferred the feel of canvas, and the ease of throwing them into the washing machine! (I'm not sure if you can do that with leather or not...) I took classes with kids, and it was pretty evenly split between canvas and leather there.


Last- you say you have a single elastic strap- that's pretty common on ballet shoes. Another option is to sew two elastic straps in a criss cross pattern. I felt that kept my shoes on tighter, and prefered that arrangement (oddly enough, when I got my pointe shoes, I favored a single elastic on them...)

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Thanks for helping! I ended up going up ½ a size in the shoe, but keeping them leather and full-soled.

Ballet class was awesome. Sweet, helpful and smiley teacher who even said me and my friend have good turnout.

(eventho we were standing in a beginners 1st position...i.e sides of feet making a broad V...not a straight line)

We did Porte de bras, pliés, glissades, tendus and even some kicks. And a lot of strecthing!! It was so fun! :wink:

Edited by BalletAt22
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It sounds like you had a great time - that's terrific! :devil:


As for shoes, I've only worn canvas split sole shoes. I'm curious about leather and may try a pair of them sometime, but for now these work for me just fine.

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Glad to read you had a great first class, BalletAt22, and welcome to the tribe!


I think we all worry a lot about shoes and clothing and so on at the beginning, until we realize such things are the least of our problems. In time you'll probably use different shoes under different circumstances, especially if you don't dance in the same studio every time. Floors range from fast to slow depending on how much "stiction" there is. A canvas shoe on hardwood can be a little fast, and leather on a vinyl floor can be downright sticky in hot, humid weather, but 90% of the time there isn't that much difference. I think you should just dance, and gradually settle on brands and models which fit you best and feel right.

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Congratulations on your first class!


even said me and my friend have good turnout.

(eventho we were standing in a beginners 1st position...i.e sides of feet making a broad V...not a straight line)


Don't worry about your feet making a straight line. It's completely possible to have "good" turnout while your feet are still in a V. Especially if the turnout is coming from the right place, and not just being forced at your feet. (I have terrible turnout, but if I wrench my knees and ankles I can make my feet into a straight line- but that would be a HORRIBLE thing to do, and not make my turnout any better.)

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