Whether you dance for fun or you’re serious about ballet, the right footwear can make all the difference in your pliíes and pirouettes. The best ballet slippers will hug your foot comfortably, give you lots of mobility, and be durable enough to stand up to hours of practice and performance.
Whether you’re shopping for your first pair, or want to invest in a high-quality slipper that matches your apparel and elevates your appearance, there are options to choose from in this buying guide.
We’ve compiled the best of the best, and we break down the important details you need to know about your options in this helpful guide.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Bloch Dansoft
- Premium Product: Bloch Prolite II Hybrid Split Sole Ballet Slipper
- Best Value: Theatricals Adult Leather Split Sole Ballet Shoes T2700
To learn why these are our favorites, and to find out more about other top picks, check out our detailed product reviews below. We’ll give you all the details about each of the shoes and a quick pros and cons list to help you eliminate any options that don’t have exactly what you want.
Once you review this information, you’ll know everything you need to decide which is the perfect pair for you.
Ballet Slipper Buying Tips
Unlike hard, rigid pointe shoes, soft ballet slippers allow you to hone your technique and master choreography in classes of every level. Whether you’re new to dance or are an advanced student, comfort is critical. The materials, sole, and fit play a role in ensuring you have the right pair.
To narrow down your potential options, ask the following questions, and consider these key criteria.
Do They Fit Perfectly?
Although ballet slippers often follow traditional shoe sizes, every company and manufacturer has different guidelines to ensure the perfect fit. Some might suggest you size down anywhere between one and three sizes to find a shoe that hugs your foot perfectly and allows you the range of movement needed to pointe and flex with ease.
It might be a good idea to find a style you love from a brand that offers a no-hassle return policy. You can order it in a few different sizes and then try them on to feel the difference and decide which is most comfortable.
After you slide on the ballet slipper, point your foot, rise up onto the balls of your feet, do a few plies, and see how they feel. Your toes should lay straight and not be scrunched up. You should be able to wiggle your toes and shouldn’t have any large gaps along the arch or outside of your foot before you make adjustments to the elastic.
It’s important that you don’t select shoes that are too large because they can bunch up and could cause you to trip or slip. If you choose an option made of leather, consider that they will stretch just a bit once they’re broken in. Avoid anything uncomfortable tight, but a pair that’s a bit snugger than you prefer might be perfect after a few classes.
On the other hand, canvas ballet slippers won’t stretch with use, and you should base your sizing on how they feel the first time you try them on.
Finally, check to make sure you can feel the floor through a few different steps and movements. That will make it easy to ensure proper placement with each of your steps in class or when you perform.
What Type of Material Do You Prefer?
Although ballet slippers can be made of many different types of materials, leather and canvas are the two most common and durable options. There are pros and cons to each. To decide which is right for you, begin by asking your teacher if your studio has a preference.
Some will require you to wear leather ballet slippers in class. Because the material is more substantial, it provides a bit of additional resistance that can help to strengthen and develop the muscles in your calves, ankles, and feet when you dance. For that reason, you’ll often see professional dancers wearing leather shoes in class when they’re developing their technique.
Leather is also more durable and more expensive than canvas options. If you spend several hours dancing weekly, it may be worth the investment in shoes that will last longer.
Canvas ballet slippers are another favorite because they’re lightweight, sleek, and easy to clean. You can put them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle to remove dirt whenever you need it. Although they likely won’t last as long as leather, high-quality canvas fabrics are also very durable and sometimes allow you to feel the texture of the floor better as you move.
What Type of Sole Do You Need?
The best ballet slippers come in one of two sole styles: full or split. Full soles run the entire length of the shoe and provide both support and light resistance for dancers who are building arch strength. Most commonly, children and new dancers are required to wear full-soled slippers, but some experienced dancers also have a pair that they wear to provide extra resistance during class.
Split-soled ballet slippers make it easier to point your foot and toes fully, and they conform more tightly to your arch. This can both look more flattering and also make it easy to know when you have a full extension.
Is the Shoe Opening Adjustable?
If you have wide or narrow feet or high arches, it might be difficult to find a shoe that hugs your foot perfectly. In some of the best ballet slippers, you’ll have either a drawstring or elastic that runs around the top opening where you slide it over your foot to help you adjust the fit.
If your shoes have a drawstring tie, you’ll want to pull it snug and tie it off. Then, you’ll snip the string short and tuck the ends into the top of your shoe so that you can adjust later if needed. Some dancers love the ability to secure the fit, but others find that the tucked strings can rub or irritate their toes.
If your shoes have an elastic opening, you won’t have to worry about finding a comfortable spot for the strings. Elastic is sewn in the top of the shoe and covered by either leather or canvas, which makes them fit comfortably. The only drawback is that it’s not adjustable, so if it doesn’t lay flat or tight enough when you first try them on, you won’t be able to fix the issue.
What’s the Ankle Elastic Situation?
Some ballet slippers come with the ankle elastics already positioned and sewn in. Other models come with the elastics, and it’s up to you to determine the perfect placement and sew them yourself. Finally, there are some manufacturers who don’t include ankle elastic with the ballet slippers when you buy them. Make sure you research to find out which version you’re buying.
If the elastics are pre-sewn, check to make sure that they fall in a comfortable location and are tight enough to keep the shoe in place when you move your foot. If it feels too snug or the placement isn’t right, you can always remove it and re-sew it in a better position.
Ballet slippers that come with an elastic that you can position and attach yourself are sometimes better when it comes to getting a perfect fit. You’ll want to position them based on the arch in your foot and can choose whether to use one strap or a criss-cross design. You can also adjust the tightness so that you have a snug fit that doesn’t cut off circulation.
What Color Do I Need?
Many studios require that ballet dancers wear traditional pink slippers. However, these aren’t your only options. Companies commonly make styles in nude, black, and white, and you can also find a variety of vibrant colors to match costumes or your personality.
If you’re allowed to branch outside of baby pink, consider if you want to take that route before you start narrowing down your options.
Read Also: Best High Heels to Dance In
Best Ballet Slippers for Adults
Now that you know the right questions to ask when you shop, we’re going to narrow down the list to highlight the X best ballet slippers for adults. Many of these options also come in children’s sizes and styles that work for boys and men. However, in this article, we’re focusing on high-quality, durable shoes that provide comfort and support for adult female ballet dancers.
We’ll give you a summary of the features of the shoe, and the important pros and cons to help you determine if it’s right for your needs.
Bloch is a well-known brand name by both amateur and professional dancers alike. Founded back in the 1930s around the time of the great depression, the creator set out to make the most comfortable dance shoe in the world. Many believe that he succeeded.
Today, the brand has an extensive line of dance shoes for a variety of disciplines, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap, as well as apparel and accessories.
The Dansoft is one of their most popular and highly-rated products and wins our best overall award for ballet slippers for several good reasons. The leather shoe features a cotton lining, which makes it breathable and flexible without sacrificing the beautiful look of the traditional slipper.
It has a full suede sole, which can help to build arch strength while also providing support for dancers of various ages and abilities. It comes with a single elastic strap already attached and includes an adjustable drawstring tie so that you can cinch the fit to your foot.
The tricky thing about Bloch ballet slippers is getting your sizing perfect. The brand recommends you size three sizes down, but experienced users say that anywhere from 1.5 sizes for 3.5 sizes down could be necessary for the perfect fit. Pay close attention to their size chart and measure your foot before you order to have the best chance of getting it right.
This Bloch option is also lightweight for a leather shoe with a full sole. Weighing in at a mere two ounces, these will allow you to spin and glide without weighing you down.
- Full leather upper with cotton lining for breathability
- Can be difficult to find the correct size
There’s a story of how Jacob Bloch became the founder of his company that gives you an idea of how passionate they are about the quality of their products. It’s said that he immigrated from Australia in the 1930s and followed his passion for dance and music to the local ballet schools in the states.
At a rehearsal, he noticed a young ballerina who wasn’t able to stay en pointe because her shoes didn’t fit her properly. Jacob decided that helping dancers was his calling and promised to make her a better pair of dance shoes. He did, and the legacy of Bloch’s quality was born.
Our pick for the best premium product, the Bloch Prolite II Hybrid Split Sole Ballet Slippers, has everything you would expect from a high-end dance shoe. It features a supple leather upper and a luxurious suede sock lining and makes them feel like a soft hug around your foot. The lining is also breathable to give you ventilation and keep your feet and toes cool when you dance.
The split-sole highlights your arch and also features a flexible canvas insert that runs along the inside of the shoe to provide extra stability.
The double elastic straps come pre-sewn in a crisscross design for extra security, and there’s an adjustable tie to ensure a foot-hugging fit.
Like other ballet slippers from Bloch, it’s important you study the size chart to match what you need o the Prolite II Hybrid. Most dancers need to size down up to three sizes to find a comfortable fit.
As dance shoes go, one potential drawback of this model to consider is the weight. Combined, they total around five ounces, which is on the heavy side for a ballet slipper. Largely due to the luxury materials and high-end construction, the weight shouldn’t make a difference for most people but is something to consider before you purchase.
- Extremely comfortable, plush lining
- Double pre-sewn criss-cross elastics
- High-end materials
- The highest price point of shoes on our list
- Heavier than other shoes
Swan makes a variety of affordable ballet slippers for both children and adults, and dancers appreciate the specific and detailed sizing instructions that make it possible to order the perfect size.
This model, the Pro, features a high-count canvas upper crafted from durable, breathable cotton that’s easy to clean and maintain. The split-sole is crafted from suede, which provides great grip and traction while also giving you the flexibility to perform turns and spins without sticking to the flooring.
This shoe has added thickness along the forefoot to provide cushioning and give the shoe a longer lifespan. Also, thanks to the more robust construction, you could also wear these for jazz or ballroom style dance classes.
The Swan Pro comes with two crossed pre-sewn elastic straps positioned for an ideal fit. There’s also a drawstring adjustment around the foot to help you secure it tightly.
When it comes to fit, this shoe is different from many other ballet slippers in that the manufacturer recommends you order one size up to get the perfect fit. Their size chart includes precise measurements in centimeters, and they offer options for narrow and wide feet, as well as high arches.
Thanks to the lightweight fabric construction, even with the double elastics, this pair only weighs 3.2 ounces.
- Breathable cotton canvas construction
- Reinforced split sole
- Variety of size options including wide, narrow, and high-arch
- Extra forefoot padding can make it difficult to feel the floor
The Adult Split Sole Canvas slipper from Danzcue is another popular option among dancers. It comes in three colors: black, white, and pink, to give you options to match your style or costume for performances.
The upper is made from high-quality canvas, and the split-sole features durable suede for support. The inside of the shoe is lined with breathable cotton, and they are machine washable, which makes it easy to remove dirt or sweat.
This Danzcue shoe comes with pre-sewn crisscrossed straps and has the added benefit of an adjustable elastic cord that runs around the opening of the shoe. Unlike a traditional drawstring, the elastic allows you to get a very secure fit that will stretch and bend with your foot as you move, and many dancers find this option most comfortable.
Another benefit of this shoe is the manufacturer satisfaction guarantee. They offer free exchanges for up to 30-days after your purchase, which means you can give them a test run in a class to make sure you’re fully satisfied with the fit before you commit.
As with other dance slippers, be sure to follow the size chart from the manufacturer. They caution that these are supposed to be snug and can likely order true to your street shoe size. However, some people prefer to order between a half and full size up for comfort.
- Three color options
- Moisture-wicking fabric construction
- Elastic drawstring for a custom fit
- 30-day free exchanges
- Canvas material has no stretch
- No options for narrow or wide feet
Bloch ballet slippers aren’t only made of leather, and the Performa Stretch Canvas Split Sole model was a very close contender for our pick for best overall. The Dansoft won out based on the slightly superior durability of the leather upper over the canvas in this shoe. Both are extremely high-quality options, and this slipper is a winner if you prefer canvas.
It’s crafted from durable cotton, and it comes in three different shades of pink to more accurately match the skin tone of a variety of dancers. They also have a white option.
The split-sole is crafted from suede leather and includes extra shock absorption in the heel that provides superior cushioning for dancers who need it during leaps and jumps. The front pads are slightly larger than what you’ll find on most split-sole shoes, which increases their durability and helps them to last longer.
The Performa comes with two elastics that are already sewn into the shoe in a crossed pattern, making them ready to dance.
Like other Bloch options, you’ll want to pay close attention to the size chart. While they recommend sizing down three sizes in their leather shoes, for this stretch canvas option, the manufacturer advises you choose a shoe that’s two sizes smaller than what you wear on the street. They have three different widths from which you can choose, which is beneficial if you have narrow or wide feet.
The toe box of this shoe is also wider than many other ballet slippers, which give your toes room to spread and grip the floor during your movements.
- Multiple pink shades to match skin tone
- Wider toe box
- Multiple width options
- Can be difficult to find the proper size
- Some dancers don’t like the thicker heel pad
Another split-sole canvas option, BiBOSS ballet slippers, comes in black and nude and is an excellent choice if you want an affordable fabric shoe for dance classes.
They’re made from moisture-wicking fabric that’s both absorbent and breathable and will keep your feet cool and dry during your entire class or performance. Combined with the durable leather split-sole, you will have excellent slip resistance and light shock absorption as you glide across the studio in these slippers.
They come with a pre-sewn, crossed elastic that’s positioned somewhat high on your foot. Dancers with high arches typically like this placement, but some users feel like their foot is less secure and prefer them farther back. If you love this shoe, you can always remove and reposition the elastics for the perfect fit for your unique foot shape.
The BiBOSS slippers are one of the few options on this list that also feature an elastic drawstring in the shoe. This allows you to pull the slipper tight for a snug fit, but also have lots of movement thanks to the stretch in the material.
One of the best things about this product is that the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days of your purchase if you’re unhappy for any reason. Their customer service team responds to requests within 12 hours and is known for offering options and quick solutions if you have an issue with the product.
This guarantee is particularly attractive if you have hard-to-fit feet or are concerned about sizing. You can purchase this product with confidence, knowing that you can always return if it’s not the right choice for you.
- Money-back guarantee
- Elastic drawstring
- Affordable price point
- Elastic positioning might not work for every dancer
This split-sole leather shoe is an excellent choice for ballet dancers from beginners to advanced. The durable leather upper is lined with both cotton and a suede sock to make it exceptionally comfortable while also providing breathability and a secure fit.
The split sole, like the other slippers in this review, is made of high-quality suede that’s perfect for dancing on a variety of surfaces from the studio to the stage.
It comes with a pre-attached single elastic band that falls across the arch of your foot. This Theatricals shoe also has an elastic drawstring that helps the snug leather conform perfectly to your foot to enhance your pointe.
This model only comes in one color and standard width, which means it might not be the best choice if you have a wide or narrow foot. The manufacturer recommends you order 2.5 sizes down from your street shoes for the best fit.
- An elastic drawstring allows for a precise fit
- Cotton and suede lining provide added comfort
- The only color available is ballet pink
- Only one width option
L-Run is a company that makes a variety of wellness products, and their founders believe that health and fitness is key to a happy life. Their ballet dance shoes reflect that same fun energy and vibe, and they offer the widest spectrum of colors of the options we’ve reviewed in this article.
You can purchase these canvas split-sole shoes in traditional pink or black, but might also consider one of the eight different colors that include red, green, and hot pink to stand out in class.
The durable canvas upper is washable, and the split-sole is made from high-quality leather that stands up to normal wear and tear. The design is extremely breathable, and also includes a single elastic strap and elastic drawstrings to help you get an optimal fit.
These come with an absorbent lining that helps absorb sweat and is very porous to keep your feet cool and dry during long rehearsals.
These shoes also come in an impressive seven different widths ranging from extra-extra narrow to extra-extra wide, making them an excellent choice for many different feet sizes and shapes. Their size chart roughly follows traditional US street shoe sizing but includes helpful dimensions that you can measure to ensure an accurate fit.
Dancers who have purchased this shoe report needing to order as many as two sizes up to find a pair that fit them correctly.
- Eight different colors
- Seven different width options
- Elastic drawstring for a snug fit
- Can be difficult to determine sizing – may run very small
Capezio has a long-standing legacy of being the go-to brand for dancers and entertainers. The company was founded in 1887 and has followed ballerinas and Broadway stars both in-studio and on stage ever since.
One of the many reasons why Capezio shoes are so well-liked is because the company continually gathers feedback from dancers to improve their products. It was founded on this concept.
Italian shoemaker Salvatore Capezio opened his shop when he was only 17 in New York on Broadway and 39th street. This prime location was kitty-corner to the Metropolitan Opera House and quickly became a go-to for dancers who needed specialized footwear to excel in their craft.
During those discussions, Capezio was able to learn what they needed and develop high-quality shoes that continued to transform over time. They were one of the first brands to introduce the split-sole, to add a stretch insert to pointe shoes, and to create hybrid models like dance and tap sneakers.
The brand has a deep commitment to helping its customers expand their creativity and reach new heights in their performances, while also maintaining their reputation for distinct and dependable products.
Capezio’s Daisy ballet shoe is one of their most popular leather styles. It has a butter-soft leather upper and a treated, tanned suede sole for maximum durability. It can resist moisture, which extends the life of this shoe.
The distinctive feature of the Daisy is the whimsical print on the moisture-absorbent sock lining. It features a pink and yellow daisy pattern making these easy to spot when you’re getting ready to start lessons. It comes in pink, black, and white, and you have the option to have a plain sock lining in the black model.
It comes with dual pre-attached crossed elastics and a bar-tacked elastic drawstring that stays in place once you position it. This shoe comes in standard, narrow, and wide widths, and Capezio recommends you order your normal shoe size in this model.
- Well-known brand name
- Three different width options
- Can order street shoe size
- Treated suede outsole
- Some users don’t like the feminine print on the inner liner
Another affordable split-sole canvas ballet slipper, this option from TXJ comes in three shades, including light pink, a darker pink, and black. The durable canvas upper is lined with cotton to support your feet and toes while also keeping them dry during class.
The non-slip leather sole supports not only ballet movements, but can also be worn in jazz, modern, contemporary, or folk classes.
It comes with pre-sewn crisscrossed elastic bands but does not have a drawstring. If you’re concerned about having a snug fit all the way around your foot, you may not be able to achieve that in this shoe as it does not offer that feature.
The manufacturer recommends you order this shoe in your street size, and most dancers agree that they run relatively true to size.
It’s worth noting that this shoe has a ribbon that runs over the stitching across the bottom that’s slightly raised. Some users reported that it felt a bit bulky, particularly if they have lower arches and could feel it while standing on flat feet.
- Three color options
- Street shoe based sizing
- Shoe seam might be uncomfortable
- No drawstring to cinch shoe fit
If you love the idea of a snug fit but don’t like adjusting drawstrings to get it just right, this unique option from Bloch might be perfect for you.
Featuring durable, high-quality canvas on the supper and a supple suede split sole, the Women’s Pro Elastic has one feature that makes it stand out from the other shoes in this review. Rather than using a drawstring to secure the shoe to your foot, it uses a flexible elastic that runs around the entire rim of the shoe.
When you slide the slipper on your foot, the elastic stretches, and then it settles perfectly in place without any need for additional adjustments.
The Women’s Pro Elastic also has a canvas insert that sits right at the arch of your foot to give you additional balance and support anytime you do a relevé. There’s also a strategically placed outsole pad that supports your toes as well as a reinforced toe box that will help you to get strong enough to go en pointe or dance for long periods without discomfort.
They come with a dual strap pre-sewn, and you can choose from pink, flesh, or black colors. This model is also available in six different widths, but like other Bloch ballet shoes, it’s critical to consult the size chart to find your correct fit. You may need to size down between two and three sizes.
- The elastic band runs around the shoe opening for a most secure fit
- Canvas arch insert for added support
- Reinforced toe box provides stability
- Can be difficult to determine the correct size
The final shoe on our list of best ballet slippers, this is another split-sole canvas option from Wear Moi Vesta. This model features a handmade canvas upper that has more stretch than most other canvas ballet shoes. This is beneficial if you’re concerned about fit as this model will have more give than the other options on this list.
The suede split-sole is machine-stitched using a flat stitch technique that prevents the canvas from bulging or bunching as you move and dance.
It comes with pre-sewn dual elastics but does not have a drawstring. You can order these in light or dark pink, and their sizing follows the European shoe size chart.
- Flat stitches remove bulkiness
- Stretchy canvas upper
- No drawstring
- One of the more expensive options
Find the Right Ballet Slippers for You
Whether you’re just beginning your ballet journey or have been dancing for years, wearing the right ballet slippers will help you be your best. Each of the options featured in this guide might be right for you, but often, the choice comes down to the requirements at your studio and personal preference.
If you want an excellent overall dance shoe, the Bloch Dansoft is a great choice. Its high-quality construction ensures that you have all of the important features to get the right fit and performance you expect from a leading brand.
Dancers who are willing to invest a bit more should look at a premium product like the Bloch Prolite II Hybrid Split Sole Ballet Slipper that offers everything you expect in a shoe, plus several luxury features that make it supremely comfortable. If you’re someone who spends long hours in the studio, you know that it’s worth it to splurge on shoes that make you feel like you’re dancing on a cloud.
The good news is, you don’t need to pay top dollar to get a great overall shoe. If you’re searching for an option that will hold up to your performance needs, check out our best value, pick the Theatricals Adult Leather Split Sole Ballet Shoes T2700.
No matter which option you’re leaning towards, make sure you consider all of the important criteria before you shop. The fit, material, sole style, pre-sewn elastics, drawstring, and color of the shoe will all determine how happy you are with your purchase.
It’s also worth researching the return or exchange policy for the product before you purchase as ballet slippers are one of the more difficult shoes to fit. If you can, find a manufacturer who offers you exchange options or a money-back guarantee that will help you feel confident in your purchase.