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Pointe Shoe Size Chart
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How to Choose Your First Ballet Slippers

guide to pointe shoes

For first-time ballet dancers, choosing a ballet slipper for class can be overwhelming. These are the essentials that you need to know about ballet shoes. A dancer’s foot is curved and emphasized by its greatest tool: the shoe. For first-time dancers, it is a difficult task, and slightly overwhelming, when one walks into the dance supply store, to find the perfect shoe with the perfect fit.

Often, first-time buyers of flat ballet shoes – primarily used in beginner ballerina, practice situations or for male dancers – buy their shoes far too big! There should not be more than a half inch gap from your toes – sans big toe – to the tip of the curvature of the shoe. Although the string lining the top of the shoe is adjustable, leaving the leather or fabric of the pinched at some areas is not a desirable fit.

Parents of young dancers think economically and who can blame them? Wouldn’t it be better to purchase a shoe which their child can use for more than just a year? Kids grow like “weeds” – so they say – and it is a good thought to purchase a shoe size up to create long-time usage out of the shoe investment itself. But in retrospect, ballet flats aren’t very expensive. On most dance supply stores, children’s leather ballet flats run from $9.90 to $13.95, depending on desired style. Often, the ballet instructor will insist on a certain style or even brand and style for your child. But for the most part, parents are on their own!

A high recommendation for children or adults who are beginning their ballet training is a full leather suede sole, leather ballet slipper. Capezio has a great first ballet shoe, the “Daisy”, available both for children and adults. When you have a full leather suede sole forces the foot to work the pointe far more than what is referred to as a “split sole” (where there is a suede pad on the ball of the foot and on the heel to create the minimum, but necessary, friction). Working through the foot to create a perfect pointe beyond the full suede sole builds muscle and control so that when you eventually switch to a split-sole shoe, the pointe has been built up and creates an elongated and beautifully curved foot.

When ready to move forward with classical ballet training, this opportunity will open doors to the option of split-sole shoes. Another great aspect to split-sole ballet slippers is the fact that the lack of a full sole will let the leather or the canvas fabric of a split sole shoe to embody your foot beyond the capabilities of a full-sole shoe. Split sole shoes are also popular amongst male dancers, just as Sansha’s Original Canvas Ballet Slipper is available in both white and black for the discretion of male dancers. The split-sole ballet slipper is the step (no pun intended) between the beginner’s ballet shoe and the ultimate end goal of the pointe shoe.

First pointe shoes are a special thing. Fitting for a pointe shoe is almost a scientific reading of your foot itself. The shank of the pointe shoes is basically all the materials that make up the sole of the foot, and it is the most important thing in a pointe shoe. Remember all that training your foot did when it was in a full-sole ballet slipper? The density of the shank of a pointe shoe is determined by how strong your foot’s pointe is. When going to a dance supply store and asking to be fitted for your first pair of pointe shoes, the shoe fitter can help you determine the strength of your shank, the width of your foot, and many other attributes of your foot that will help you determine the right pointe shoe for you! For first-timers, a good and economical first pointe shoe is Bloch’s Serenade Pointe Shoe.

Taking time and care in choosing the basic and essential tool to a ballet dancer is an important step in learning dance. Dance is advocated to instill knowledge and discipline, which is not totally limited to dance class at all. Ask your teacher what they recommend and take an afternoon to the dance supply store to try on a variety of styles, brands and materials for your first ballet slipper!

US
Street
Shoe
Bloch
Sonata
Serenade
Suprima
Signature
Bloch
Synergy
Aspiration
Capezio
Pavlowa
Nicolini
Contempora
Aerial
Infinita
Capezio
Odette
Capezio
Plie I
Plie II
Tendu I
Tendu II
Chacott
Coppelia II
Chacott
Veronese
Freed
3 *** 1 *** *** *** *** *** ***
3 1/2 *** 1 1/2 *** 4 *** 30 *** ***
4 1 2 1 4 1/2 4 31 21 1 1/2
4 1/2 1 1/2 2 1/2 1 1/2 5 4 1/2 32 21 1/2 2
5 2 3 2 5 1/2 5 33 22 2 1/2
5 1/2 2 1/2 3 1/2 2 1/2 6 5 1/2 34 22 1/2 3
6 3 4 3 6 1/2 6 35 23 3 1/2
6 1/2 3 1/2 4 1/2 3 1/2 7 6 1/2 36 23 1/2 4
7 4 5 4 7 1/2 7 37 24 4 1/2
7 1/2 4 1/2 5 1/2 4 1/2 8 7 1/2 38 24 1/2 5
8 5 6 5 8 1/2 8 39 25 5 1/2
8 1/2 5 1/2 6 1/2 5 1/2 9 8 1/2 40 25 1/2 6
9 6 7 6 9 1/2 9 41 *** 6 1/2
9 1/2 6 1/2 7 1/2 6 1/2 10 9 1/2 *** *** 7
10 7 8 7 *** 10 *** *** 7 1/2
10 1/2 7 1/2 8 1/2 7 1/2 *** *** *** *** 8
11 8 9 8 *** *** *** *** ***


US
Street
Shoe
Fuzi Gamba Grishko Repetto
204/207
Repetto
205
Sansha Russian
Pointe
3 *** 1 *** *** *** 3 31
3 1/2 *** 1 1/2 1 *** *** 4 31 1/2
4 *** 2 1-1 1/2 13 13 5 32
4 1/2 31-31 1/2 2 1/2 1 1/2-2 15 14 6 33
5 32-32 1/2 3 2 15 14 6 34
5 1/2 33-33 1/2 3 1/2 2 1/2 15 14 6 34 1/2
6 34-34 1/2 4 3 16 15 7 35
6 1/2 35-35 1/2 4 1/2 3 1/2 17 16 7 36
7 36-36 1/2 5 4 18 17 8 37
7 1/2 37-38 5 1/2 4 1/2 19 20 9 37 1/2
8 38 6 5 20 19 10 38
8 1/2 38 1/2 6 1/2 5 1/2 21 20 10 39
9 39 7 6 22 21 11 40
9 1/2 39 1/2 7 1/2 6 1/2 23 22 11 41
10 *** 8 7 24 23 12 ***
10 1/2 *** *** 7 1/2 25 24 12 ***
11 *** *** *** 26 25-26 *** ***


Widths

US
Street
Shoe
Capezio Bloch Chacott
Veronese
Freed Fuzi Grishko Sansha Russian
Pointe
Narrow A-B *** C M A X N W1
Medium C-D B D X B XX M W2
Wide E C E XX C XXX W W3
Extra Wide EE D *** XXX *** XXXX *** W4

All sizes are approximations
 



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