CriticalDance Forum

Adult Ballet Beginner shoe question
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Author:  joeyfarlz [ Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Adult Ballet Beginner shoe question

Hi there,

I returned to Ballet a year ago after spending almost 2 decades away from it (yet I am not 30). I did Ballet, Irish dancing, Calisthenics and line dancing all between the ages of about 5 and 12 (I did the Irish dancing at the same studio as the Ballet) and hope to return to Calisthenics or do Gymnastics to learn (or re-learn) Aerial Moves to help my dancing. Anyway, I went back a year ago. I bought some full sole leather soft ballet shoes because I read that they help with pointing your toes and recently I have started having trouble with these shoes and thought that maybe they were too big as I could feel the end of the sole constantly digging into my heels while dancing and it was causing me to be uncomfortable and sore while wearing them. So I went to my teacher about it and she suggested I go away from full sole to split sole.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I am quite good at pointing my toes so that isn't an issue but I do have wide feet.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Adult Ballet Beginner shoe question

Hello, joeyfarlz, and welcome to CriticalDance. How wonderful that you are getting back into your dancing! I was a ballet dancer, but I adore Irish dancing! Ballet is such great basic training for so many forms of dance. I would recommend leather shoes as opposed to canvas shoes. Leather supports your feet better and requires you to work your feet a bit more than canvas. A split sole is fine if it is more comfortable for you. When I was dancing, I used to place a very thin Dr. Scholl's pad that I cut to fit in my leather ballet shoes. It provided a slight cushion but didn't feel bulky. Even as a professional, I preferred leather. Enjoy your dancing!

Author:  Dean Speer [ Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adult Ballet Beginner shoe question

I had been using canvas shoes for years (both as a student and teacher) but now I find that when I take class leather is much better -- and I have split sole ballet slippers. Canvas proved to be too slippery even with PNB's made-to-order floors and only because I needed to change at the last minute and pulled out an older pair of leather slippers that were lurking in the bottom of my dance bag and they are SO much better...and have been using them ever since. I feel more secure, confident, and my feet are warmer.

[Yet even with them, I find I need to use sometimes use water to moisten the bottoms, as PNB's floors are still -- for me -- sometimes hazardous.]

BTW, for those that are wondering, I use rubber-soled shoes for teaching -- and, yes, find that some floors in some places are slippery.

Hope this helps and you continue to enjoy your return to ballet!

Author:  BethK [ Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adult Ballet Beginner shoe question

You could also try working on your shoes to soften the edge of the sole. I used to shave down the sharp edge with a razor knife or soak them in water and hammer that edge till it flattens a little. Just be careful when using the hammer that you don't break the stitching that holds the sole to the shoe.

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