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Ballet Dance Shoes

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An Introduction to Ballet Dance

Many traditional ballerinas have more than one pair of dance shoes. These include dance slippers and pionte shoes which are manufactured with a special toe box to accomodate the often difficult pointe work that dancers have to do. The usual colors are pink, and less common are white or black.

The distinguishing features of pointe shoes are the shank and the sole. The shank is a particular type of insole which can be made from either leather, burlap, plastic or cardstock and can be of varying length and thickness. Some dancers wear more than one kind for different peformance styles. The sole which is often a single piece of leather, is sewn into the material of the shoe and is well hidden. This sole is designed to accent the dancers foot. Silk ribbons, a drawstring tie or an elastic band secures the shoes over the top of the ankle. Some ballet dance shoes don't come with the ribbons or elastic bands, these are purchased separately and sewn on. Some ballet shoes have a split in their soles giving greater flexibility.

Ballet shoes have different sizes compared to ordinary everyday shoes. Manufacturers may also have subtle differences in their sizes. These shoes are designed to be a snug fit without rubbing the foot or restricting the circulation.