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Buying your first pair of ballet flats? Here are the questions we get asked the most.


What are ballet flats made of?

Some are made from leather, some from canvas, and some from stretch canvas. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, they’re just different. Your dance school may have a preference for one type over the other, but after that, it’s really just down to personal choice.

Can’t my child just wear jiffies or something like that?

No, not safely. Ballet flats have soles that are designed to provide just the right amount of grip and yet still allow some ability to slide. Jiffies and shoes like that are extremely slippery and quite dangerous in a ballet lesson.

Do I really need to have a fitting? Can’t I just buy the same size as my child’s new school shoes?

We will ask about your child’s shoe size when you come into the store for a fitting, but dance shoes (all dance shoes, not just ballet flats) are fitted differently to school shoes. While we understand that for very young dancers, a little bit of room to grow is important, we do not allow the same amount of room for growth as you would for, say, school shoes. Too much growing room leaves ‘folds’ at the toes that can easily cause your little dancer to trip.

Is there a left and a right?

No. There is no left or right in ballet flats, so you can actually wear them on either foot, and swapping them over doesn’t matter too much. If you consistently wear them on the same foot all the time, however, they may start to take to the shape of that foot.

Full sole or split sole?

Ballet flats usually have a sole made from suede. Some ballet flats have a full sole (one solid piece that goes from ball of the foot to the heel), and some have a split sole (with one piece under the ball of the foot and a separate piece under the heel). Some people say that a full sole ballet flat makes a young dancer’s foot work a little harder, and will therefore help develop the intrinsic muscles of the feet a little more, but whether you go for full or split sole really comes down to personal preference. Your child’s teacher might have a preference for one kind over the other, so best to check that before you come in for your first pair.

What about elastic?

All our ballet flats come with pre-sewn elastic.

Some schools also like ribbons on ballet flats. Ribbons are sold separately, so be sure to ask for them if you need them. We can show you where they need to be sewn onto the shoes, or if you’re short on time or patience, we can sew them for you. Ask about our sewing service when you buy your shoes from us.

Do I need to make a booking for a fitting for ballet flats?

No. You’re welcome to come in for your ballet flats any time. If you need a new pair for something specific, though (e.g. a concert or exam), please allow plenty of time in case we need to order a pair in for you.

Do you only sell ballet shoes? What about other types of dance?

We sell ballet shoes (flats, demi-pointe and pointe shoes) as well as character shoes, jazz shoes and tap shoes. We stock: Grishko MDM Energetiks Capezio PW Slicks We’re looking forward to meeting you in store!

Penny & the team from AKA Dancewear.


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