Ballet is an amazing activity for young boys and girls, it teaches them discipline, hard work, grace and poise. But, before they head off for their first lesson, they’ll need a brand new pair of ballet slippers. But, what considerations need to be made before buying ballet slippers? And what are the best ballet shoes for toddlers?
In this review we’ll be looking at the do’s and don’ts of buying ballet shoes online; looking at the fit, the style and the brand. All to help you find the perfect pair for your little dancer!
ballet slipper styles
There is an ever-growing range of styles available for adult ballet slippers, and this is filtering down to the ballet shoes for kids. This can make it impossible for a parent who knows very little about the benefits of each, to make a decision.
Here we’ll go through some of the basic differences.
Canvas Vs. Leather
Canvas ballet slippers are popular because they’re extremely comfortable; they’re more flexible than leather, which means they can be really great for children with wide feet.
The lightweight material moulds to the foot, however after a little strain the canvas material, it does wear. Leather tends to be a more durable material for ballet slippers, especially in children who are running around perhaps more than adults.
Full-sole Vs. Split-Sole
Split-soled ballet shoes are very common in adult ballet dancers as it exaggerates the point and increases flexibility. However, for children who have not yet strengthened the muscles needed to work-through the foot, it is recommended to buy full-soled ballet shoes.
Full-soles add stability and create more resistance, which in turn builds the muscles required. Saying that, I have often seen young children wearing split-sole ballet slippers to classes, without complaint.
For a more in-depth look at the pro’s and con’s of each style, check here .
How Should Ballet Shoes Fit?
This is probably the most important consideration when considering the best ballet shoes for toddlers (or any age for that matter) because a bad fit, can lead to injury. Ballet slippers should fit like a sock without extra material sagging at the edge or toe.
Whilst being snug, the child’s toes should not be curling and there should be no pinching at all. Any pinching at this stage will just be exaggerated over time.
You can usually tell how snug they are by looking and feeling, but also talk to your child and ask them to point, walk and jump.
Remember to try the ballet slippers on with a pair of ballet tights underneath.
What Size Ballet Shoes Should I Buy for my Child?
When buying ballet shoes for children it can be tempting to buy a few sizes larger to avoid having to replace them when they grow. But as we’ve said, it’s important they fit correctly.
Different brands will have different requirements when ordering online, we’ll be explaining the recommended sizing to order with each ballet shoe that we discuss.
When ordering online, there is a general rule
For kids under 5 = ‘Toddler’
Between ages 5 – 10 = “Little kid”
For kids aged over 10 = “Big kid” this is the same sizing as women’s sizing
Best Split-sole Ballet Shoes for Toddlers
DiPug Canvas Ballet Shoe
These canvas ballet slippers are affordable and excellent quality, perfect for little ballet dancers. They’re available in Black, Pink (Ballet and Pale), White and Tan. The canvas material has an outer layer, which resists moisture for durability.
These ballet slippers have a toe shape designed to help them balance and come with cross-cross elastics as well as a drawstring ensuring a perfect fit. Be sure to use the in-depth measuring chart and choose the size based on the measurements you take of your child.
Age: Size 2 (toddler) – 6 (big kid)
Stelle Canvas Ballet Slipper
Stelle is a well renowned brand making ballet gear for all ages, for over 20 years, they’ll be featuring a lot in our review. They’re made from lightweight canvas material, which is breathable, and they have leather/ suede sole.
The shoes are great quality in the way that they’re made, making them durable and they’re available in Pink, Black, White and Tan.
These are great ballet slippers for boys and girls with two criss-cross straps and a drawstring, for excellent fit.
Age: Size 5 (toddler) – 9 (big kid)
Stelle Leather Ballet shoes
These split-sole ballet slippers from Stelle are made using a breathable PU upper and a leather sole. The material means they can be easily wiped down and the leather sole is wear resistant and waterproof.
They’re available in the standard ballet colours; Black, Nude and Pink. They have criss-cross elastic and rather than a drawstring bow, they have a full elastic rim. This is beneficial for some children who have a tendency to undo the tie and potentially risk injury
Age: Size 5 (toddler) – 3 (big kid)
Capezio Love Ballet Slippers
These split-sole ballet slippers have a leather upper and suede sole. Capezio are another popular choice for dancewear, they manufacture great quality shoes that look amazing.
The benefit of this particular pair is that they grow with the child and give a really mature, professional look. The middle section is made from a mesh ‘growth’ packet, which is elastic.
The lining of these ballet slippers is really pretty with hearts, flowers and butterflies.
Age: Size 8 (toddler) – 13 (little kid)
Best Full-sole Ballet Shoes for Toddlers
Stelle Premium Leather
First up on our list of full-sole ballet shoes is this leather pair from Stelle. Along with the other Stelle slippers in this review, the quality and manufacturing is great. They have an authentic leather upper, which is lightweight, soft and comfortable, with a leather sole.
The price is a little higher than other shoes in our review, but you’re paying for the quality and durability. They have a singular elastic strap and elasticated drawstring. These are also available in Pink, Black and Nude.
Age: Size 5 (toddler) – 3 (big kid)
Capezio Daisy 205
We love this full-sole pair of leather ballet slippers from Capezio. Thye’re made from 100% leather and a full, high quality leather sole. They’re made with a single elastic band and a drawstring for extra hold. They also have a beautiful daisy lining which makes them extra special for your child.
Another benefit of these shoes is that along with standard sizing they’re also available in wide and narrow, ensuring they fit all different foot shapes.
Age: Size 7.5 (toddler) – 9 (little kid)
Bloch Bunnyhop Ballet Shoe
These Bunnyhop, full-sole ballet slippers come very well recommended and are extremely affordable. Bloch is another well-known and respected dance wear brand, which can be trusted.
They’re made with a leather upper and synthetic sole, unfortunately they’re only available in Pink. The best thing about these shoes is the extensive sizing, going from X-narrow to X-Wide.
Age: Size 5 (X-Narrow toddler) – 13.5 (Wide little kid)
Ruqiji Canvas Full-sole ballet slippers
This pair of ballet slippers is the only pair in our review, which is made from canvas and has a full sole, as this isn’t a common combination. Saying that, these are still an affordable, well-made pair of ballet shoes.
They’ve got a skid proof sole, criss-cross elastic top as well as an elasticated drawstring. The canvas material is good quality, which makes the ballet slippers comfortable for children.
This particular pair is also available in a number of unique styles and materials, including a satin pink pair and one with a little bow sewn onto the front.
Age: Size 5 (toddler) – 4.5 (big kid)
FAQ’s: What Color Ballet Shoes Should I get?
There are a number of ‘typical’ colors for ballet shoes, these are: Ballet Pink, Black and Tan/ Nude, White.
Typically boys/ men would wear white or black.
Girls/ Women usually wear pink or tan.
However, it is normally best to speak with the dance teacher before making a purchase, some classes can be strict on uniform (not usually with toddlers – but best to check).
FAQ’s: Do Ballet Shoes Have a Left and Right?
If there is no L or R stated on the shoes, this is because there is no left or right specifically. The shoes will then mould to your child’s feet as they wear them. For this reason, it’s a good idea to mark the insoles L and R, so that the moulded shoes are not worn wrong and therefore uncomfortable.
FAQ’s: How Long Should Ballet Shoes Last?
Depending on the material and brand, as well as how the shoes are treated, this will vary. As standard, a pair of shoes should last around 6 months if they are treated well and the children are attending a couple of classes each week.
When travelling with your child’s ballet gear, try to keep the shoes in their own separate dance bag, this will stop the transfer of colors or dirt from other items of clothing, getting onto the shoes.
If your child is heading off to their first lesson, here’s a great video on YouTube to show your kids before they head out to their first ballet class.
Thank you for reading our guide and review on the best ballet shoes for toddlers, hopefully you have learnt some valuable information about fitting, size and style. We listed some of the most popular brands of ballet slippers for little boys and girls, as well as some more affordable options so there should be something for everyone.
If you have any questions or additions, please leave us a comment below.