How to Measure for Ballet Shoe

How to Measure for Ballet Shoes

Are you know the How to Measure for Ballet Shoes. If you haven’t danced before or have never had other children in lessons, buying your child their first pair of ballet shoe strength give the impression a little daunting especially with the amount of choice there is out there.

This complete guide will help both the new and experienced dance close relative measure, fit, and buy ballet shoes for his or her toddler or kid.

To buy ballet shoes for a toddler or kid you would like to understand which material to shop for, which color you would like, the way to measure your child’s feet properly.

Whether you need a full or split sole shoe if you need a streamer, elastic, or both and how to check that they fit properly once they are on.

Related keyword: What Shoes to Wear in Snow

What is Ballet Shoes

Ballet shoes, also known as ballet slippers, are lightweight footwear designed specifically for ballet dancing. They are an essential part of a ballet dancer’s attire, providing comfort, flexibility, and support while allowing the dancer to execute intricate movements with precision. Ballet shoes come in different styles and materials to accommodate various levels of dancers and their specific needs.

Here are the main types of ballet shoes:

Canvas Ballet Shoes: These shoes have uppers made from canvas material, which is lightweight and breathable. Canvas ballet shoes are often used for beginners and intermediate dancers. They can be easily broken in and molded to the shape of the dancer’s foot over time.

Leather Ballet Shoes: Leather ballet shoes are more durable than canvas ones and are often preferred by more advanced dancers or those who require extra support. Leather shoes tend to last longer and provide better structure, but they may take longer to break in.

Split-Sole Ballet Shoes: Split-sole ballet shoes have a sole that is divided into two parts: one for the ball of the foot and one for the heel. This design enhances flexibility and allows for a greater range of movement through the arch of the foot. Split-sole shoes are favored by many professional dancers for their ability to showcase the foot’s articulation.

Full-Sole Ballet Shoes: Full-sole ballet shoes have a sole that extends from the toe to the heel. They provide more support to the arch of the foot and are often used by beginners or dancers who prefer a more structured feel.

Elastics and Ribbons: Ballet shoes typically have elastic straps that go across the top of the foot to hold the shoes in place, as well as ribbons that are tied around the ankle for additional security and aesthetics. The way the elastic and ribbons are attached can vary depending on the dancer’s preference and the style of the shoe.

Ballet shoes should fit snugly to the foot to allow for proper control and technique. They should neither be too tight nor too loose. The fit of ballet shoes is crucial, as improper sizing can lead to discomfort, blisters, and hindered movement.

How to Measure for Ballet Shoes

Measuring for ballet shoes is essential to ensure a comfortable and proper fit, which is crucial for dancers’ performance and foot health. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure for ballet shoes:

You will need:

1. A ruler or measuring tape.

2. A piece of paper.

3 . Pencil or pen.

4. Socks or tights (if the dancer will be wearing them with the ballet shoes).


Prepare the Feet:

Ensure the dancer’s feet are clean and dry. If they’ll be wearing socks or tights with the ballet shoes, have them put those on.

Place the Paper: Place the piece of paper on a flat, hard surface such as a tile floor. Make sure the paper is large enough to accommodate the length of the foot.

Position the Foot: Have the dancer stand on the paper with their weight evenly distributed between both feet. Their feet should be parallel and their heels should be touching the back edge of the paper.

Trace the Foot: Using the pencil or pen, trace an outline of the dancer’s foot. Make sure the pencil is held vertically and follows the natural shape of the foot without pressing too hard against the paper.

Measure the Foot Length: Measure the length of the traced foot from the longest point (usually the big toe) to the back of the heel. Use the ruler or measuring tape to get an accurate measurement in inches or centimeters.

Determine Shoe Size: Different ballet shoe brands might have slightly different sizing charts, so it’s important to refer to the specific brand’s size guide. Generally, ballet shoe sizes are quite similar to regular shoe sizes. Compare the measured foot length to the brand’s size chart to determine the appropriate shoe size.

Consider Width: In addition to length, consider the width of the foot. Some ballet shoes come in different width options, such as narrow, medium, and wide. If the dancer has particularly wide or narrow feet, check the brand’s width recommendations and choose accordingly.

Try Them On: Once you have the recommended size, have the dancer try on the ballet shoes. They should stand up and move around a bit to ensure a comfortable fit. There should be a snug yet not overly tight feeling. Keep in mind that ballet shoes tend to stretch slightly with use, so they should fit snugly without causing discomfort.

Remember that finding the right ballet shoe fit might involve some trial and error, especially when considering individual foot shapes and preferences. If possible, it’s a good idea to try on shoes in person or purchase from a store with a flexible return policy in case adjustments are needed.

What Are All of the Parts of Ballet Shoes?

To make sure you be familiar with what I’m talking about as we delve into the way to fit and measure a child or toddler for a ballet shoe it’s important to know some of the terminology and names for the different parts of the shoe. Here may be a list of what all of them mean:

Drawstring: This comes out of a little hole at the highest of the throat of the ballet shoe and helps to tighten ballet shoes on the foot.

Binding: Where the drawstring goes through round the throat of the shoe.

Sole: The underneath of the shoe is usually made from thin leather such as suede. When you are just starting out, dancers will generally wear a full sole for support and resistance.

But as your child advances, they’re going to be fine to wear a tear sole.

Throat or Opening

This is the part where you insert your foot; it is the opening to the shoe.

Insole: This is the material used for the instep of the shoe.

Pleats: These are the folds of the leather under the toes of the ballet shoe.

Arch Panel: The panel of leather or canvas that covers the arch between the ball and heel in split sole shoes.

Sides and Top: Simply the edges and top of the ballet shoe.

Quarters: If you spit a shoe into four parts straight down the middle and across, the back two parts are your quarters.

Elastics: 14-15mm wide elastics in the same color as a dancer’s tights or skin tone are a simple and easy way of ensuring ballet shoes stay on when dancing.

Some dancers like having two elastics that crisscross or simply one that’s securely sewn into all sides of the shoe above the instep to stay the shoe on when dancing.

They are attached to the shoe between the crisscross elastics or in the same place as the single elastic. You can wear ribbons with elastics or without. The ribbons are then wrapped around the ankle and tied to stay the shoe in situ.

7 Things to Think About Before Purchasing Ballet Shoes for a Toddler or Kid

The following are some reminders and extra information to help you get the right fit and pair of ballet shoes for your child.


There are many various brands of ballet shoes out there for you to take on and buy and every manufacturer has its own special design, cut, and fit. Some make wider shoes, others make thinner.

Some make shoes that come in for example size 1A, 1B, and 1C with the letter on behalf of different widths. If buying online research the brand and reviews to find out information about the fit of their shoe and if it will be suitable for the foot shape of your child.


Regrettably, as we mentioned in FIT, every brand of ballet shoe will fit slightly differently and this will also affect the size of the shoe you get. For example, your child might be a size 5 in one brand but a size 6 in another.

This is why you should go to a dancewear store and ask more questions there. Your child can try on different brands of shoes until you find the right fit.

Also, note that some stores only stock certain brands as they need affiliations with them or are a flagship store for a brand, so don’t feel bad about not buying anything in the first store you go to.

Another resource is going to be your dance teacher as they’re going to have a few years of experience appropriate themselves also as their students for shoes.

Shoe Type

Will you opt to shop for a full one and only or split one and only shoes for your child? Or will you look into a brand such as MDM that provides a supportive inner sole for the shoe?

As I said I have been to two different schools with differing views over the matter and I am not sure that the fact that my daughter when four wore canvas split sole ballet shoes affected her dancing development in any way, but it’d for a few.


Generally, you’ll be buying ballet cherry shoes for women, although some schools prefer they wear white. For boys, you will be buying either black or white ballet shoes.


So will it be canvas, leather, or satin? For a young dancer, the important choice is between the canvas and leather and what you’ll have enough money or what your school prefers. So think about those factors before making your purchase.

Elastics and Ribbons

Many ballet shoes come with stretchy already attached. Some go together with just one side sewn in so you’ll sew the opposite side counting on the highest arch of your child’s foot.

If you actually don’t want to possess to try to do any sewing then your choice could come right down to the very fact that one pair has the elastics pre-sewn, whereas another doesn’t.

You will get to however purchase and stitch on the streamer separately.


How much will a pair of ballet shoes cost you? Luckily ballet shoes tend to be the smallest amount expensive when it involves dancing shoes generally. Jazz and tap shoes can cost a touch bit more.

But you need to keep in mind, that the cheaper the ballet shoes are, the less quality you will receive in return. Poorly made shoes will find you off-putting your child and worse may disintegrate. The shoes got to support your child not distract them during class.

Overall though you’ll be watching anything between $15-$40 for a pair of ballet shoes taking into consideration all the factors discussed here.

How to Buy Ballet Shoes?

Buying ballet shoes can be a fun and exciting process. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced dancer, finding the right ballet shoes is essential for comfort and performance. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you buy ballet shoes:

Know Your Type: Ballet shoes come in two main types: ballet slippers and pointe shoes. Make sure you know which type you need before you start shopping.

Determine Your Size: Ballet shoes typically run smaller than regular street shoes, so you’ll likely need a size or two larger than your normal shoe size. It’s best to measure your feet and consult the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer or retailer. Remember that different brands might have slightly different sizing, so it’s a good idea to try them on or check for reviews on sizing accuracy.

Choose the Right Material: Each material has its own feel and advantages. Leather tends to mold to the foot over time, canvas is lightweight and breathable, and satin offers a more traditional and elegant look. Choose the material that best suits your preferences and needs.

Consider the Closure: Ballet slippers typically have either elastic or ribbon ties. Some shoes come with pre-sewn elastics or ribbons, while others require you to sew them on yourself.

Try Them On: If possible, try the ballet shoes on before purchasing. Pay attention to how they feel on your feet, whether they’re snug but not too tight, and how they hug your arch. Make sure there’s enough room for your toes to move and your heels to sit comfortably.

Consult Professionals: If you’re a beginner or uncertain about your choices, it’s a good idea to visit a dancewear store or a specialized ballet shop. The staff can help you find the right fit and style based on your experience level and needs.

Consider Your Dancing Style: Different styles of ballet (classical, contemporary, etc.) might have varying preferences for shoe styles. Consider your dancing style and any recommendations from your dance instructor when choosing the right ballet shoes.

Budget: Ballet shoes come in a range of prices. While it’s important to stay within your budget, remember that investing in a quality pair of ballet shoes can greatly enhance your dancing experience and prevent discomfort.

Buying Ballet Shoes from a Dancewear Store

The first step in buying from a dancewear store is finding one. You might search online, ask at your school or look during a dance magazine for stores.

A good fitting will include the salesperson measuring your child’s feet both for length and distance across and selecting sorts of shoes that supported this.

Make sure you allow them to know of any requirements from your studio like color or sole type or your first choice for the fabric. Make sure you know their return policy in case you need to return or exchange the shoes for any reason.

Which Brand Of Ballet Shoes Is Best To Buy?

At the top of the day, how to measure for ballet shoes, the simplest brand of ballet shoes is going to be those that best set of clothes for your child. But that isn’t very helpful to you, is it?

There are many brands of shoes out there that you simply can purchase then choosing can get quite confusing, especially if you begin looking online.

Some top brands found in most dance stores are:

Capezio, Bloch, Grishko, Freed of London, Sansha, Wear Moi, and MDM.

All of those companies are around for a short time and pride oneself in their product.


Q. How do you know what size ballet shoes to get?

A. Figure out your shoe size in ballet slippers. Ballet slippers tend to run to some extent smaller than regular shoe sizes. Your size for a ballet slipper could also be one to 2 sizes smaller than your regular shoe size.

For example, if you’re normally a size 6, your ballet size could also be size 3 1/2 to 4.

Q. How do feet fit into ballet shoes?

A. It contributes to the shoe’s overall supportiveness by holding the foot against the trunk. The toe box tightly encases the toes, in order that the performer stands on an oval-shaped platform at the tip. Most Pointe shoes will fit either foot; there’s usually no left or right. But Pointe shoes alone are not enough.

Q. How do I know my Pointe shoe size?

A. To know your size put a sheet of paper on the ground, place your foot thereon during a strictly perpendicular way leaning yourself steadily on both feet, and mark the foot outline with a pencil. Take a ruler and measure the space between the primary protruding point of the heel which of the primary or second toe.

Final Words

Measuring for ballet shoes is a fundamental step in ensuring a dancer’s comfort, performance, and overall well-being. The process involves accurately measuring the length and width of both feet while considering factors like growth, brand variations, and personal preferences. By following a few essential guidelines, dancers can find the perfect fit that allows for proper arch support, flexibility, and minimal risk of discomfort or injury.

Adequate toe room, snug yet not constricting fit, and attention to width are vital aspects that contribute to the comfort and functionality of ballet shoes. Moreover, seeking professional advice and trying on shoes before purchasing can enhance the likelihood of selecting the right size. Regularly reevaluating the fit of ballet shoes is essential, especially for growing individuals, as feet can change over time.

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *