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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Shoes for boys


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Dear helpful parents, I hope you can help me out with some ideas here! My 11 year old DS needed new ballet shoes. Being a young boy, it never occurred to him to tell me that his toes were curled under in his leather Bloch ballet shoes - he just figured they were supposed to be tight and they were! So I've taken him to a reputable ballet supplier, which was a hike into the next county, and of course they had no mens'/boys' shoes in stock. He had to be fitted in the pink ballet shoes, they had to call all over creation and page through catalogs to figure out which shoes even came in the color he needed (black), and the shoes needed to be ordered. They'll arrive in a week and a half/two weeks, and he'll just have to deal until then.


Now, we've found a very nice looking and comfortable black canvas, split-sole shoe that he liked. We know what size he is (but of course he'll grow). I wonder if you have any helpful tips about shoes and these young guys? My son lost his shoes (temporarily, thank goodness) the day of his Nutcracker dress rehearsal (fell in the driveway and spent the night outside, found by a sharp-sighted younger sibling and luckily not destroyed by car or weather), leaves them in cars, studios, in random plastic bags. He grows like a weed, and he's very hard on his shoes.


Do I buy shoes two pairs at a time? Can I ask the store to keep a pair or two in stock for us? How would you deal with this?

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  • Clara 76


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We go through this issue as well. Unfortunately I made the mistake of ordering several pairs of shoes in multiple sizes in advance hoping he would grow into them. Then his feet grew like mad overnight but for some reason he never said anything so he skipped over about 3 or 4 pairs of the pre-bought shoes. His feet continue to grow like crazy. He is 12 and wears a men's size 11. I have given up on ordering in advance. We have a shoe he likes and I keep an eye on the inventory on the website we order from and ask him frequently how his shoes are feeling. I have learned to order an entire size up when he says he is ready for new shoes - sometimes that is just barely big enough and I have to order bigger.


I just pray for the day his feet stop growing and give thanks daily that I don't have to buy pointe shoes.

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Just two pairs? Granted my ds is a *little* older, but he has a minimum of 3-4 pairs rotating out at any given time, not counting the one or two pair of white shoes he keeps on hand for performances. Leathers seem to last a little longer, but I think he spins better on canvas.

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My son is 16 and his feet have leveled out as far as growth. I usually keep a spare pair on hand just in case. When his feet were growing exponentially - age 11 to 14, I could never keep a spare on hand because I just never knew what size he would be in next. Shoes stretch as they sweat/wear them so its hard to say what size he would need next. He wears a size 14 in street shoes now so I have only two options for buying ballet shoes big enough for him - Fuzi and Sansha. His shoes of choice are the canvas shoes from Fuzi. He has both black and white ones. They are awesome quality, last a long time, reasonable in cost, and super fast with the shipping. I can usually get shoes in about 3-4 days on just the standard shipping. The sizing is a little odd since they use European sizing but they have a nice conversion chart that is easy to use. For example - my son's size 14 "flippers" translates to a size 46 for Fuzi or an 18 in Sansha. His feet are pretty narrow so he prefers the narrows from Fuzi. Canvas is definitely the way to go to lessen the stink factor and leather has a tendency to leave marks on marley that are difficult to remove. Before you order shoes, always measure both feet to make sure you are getting the correct size. Ballet shoes should have just a little wiggle room in them - not too tight, not too floppy. I agree with you finallykf - having had to by the first pair of pointe shoes this year (and the 2nd and 3rd ones too) for my daughter, I will take boy shoes any day! I also pray for the growth stoppage in the foot area! Keeping my fingers crossed that 14 is where he tops out at.

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I've never heard of Fuzi, Where do you get them?


We get the Sansha's Pro 1 for my 16 yr old. He has size 13 street shoe. They are affordable. One thing that helps is switching the shoes to get longer wear. Of course that doesn't help with losing them! But, Sansha's come with a net bag and that way it seems like one shoe doesn't fall out of the dance bag, etc.


I also have gotten hand me downs for my little ones that I keep in case they need a different color for a performance or lose shoes. I once had 3 shoes none of which matched each other! They like to throw them at each other!

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So what I'm hearing is that this is a common problem when they grow so fast! He doesn't really take enough ballet classes (it's only his first year and we were gauging interest) to justify multiple pairs at a time. But perhaps I'll order a second pair to rotate when it really counts - like the daily summer class and during Nutcracker season. And I'll definitely be asking about the shoe size more often!!

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Fuzi ballet slippers are very popular amongst professional male dancers! I get them straight from Fu himself, but you can order them off his website or shop in one of his 2 stores in Washington:


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Clara 76 I read somewhere that the Fuzi canvas slippers wear out fast. Has that been your experience? I would like to get some for my DS to try but I'm worried they will need to be replaced too often.

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Hmmmm..... I don't find that to be the case at all! Perhaps those who are reporting that have not been sized correctly? :shrug:

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Thanks Clara 76. It's time to get my DS a new pair of ballet shoes so I think we will try the Fuzi's :)

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Clara, since you are a shoe mistress perhaps you can tell me if something is a myth or not.....I was told by a local dance shop when trying to find larger sized shoes for my son and everyone was out of them that the shoe companies make a run and when they are out of them that is it for the season. Is that correct?


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I don't find the fuzi's wear out any faster than the the bloch pro-elastic canvas shoes the DDs wear.

My son beats the snot out of them spinning and such and they are never to the point where they are worn

through. In a pinch, I have also sewn up the holes to make them last a tad longer. I order them from

the fuzi website. He dances upwards of 20+ hours a week, sometimes more with rehearsals and such. A

pair can last him 4 months or so. He went through a pair and a half during last year's 8 week SI.

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It is true. Dance wear manufacturers plan all their year's production schedule on "Fall Orders", which have different due dates starting as early as March 15th, and usually ending by May. The Fall orders come in from all of the retail stores, and then production begins in May or June. Once the orders have been filled, that's it- until the next production season. I can't tell you how many times I have had to beg the manufacturers for a list of retailers where they shipped a shoe I might need mid-season..... it is not fun. At all.

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That is so weird! I wonder if there are other businesses like that?

I've had shoes on back order forever sometimes. Now I know why. We often end up getting another style but with big men's shoes there are so few brands it's hard.

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