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Ballet shoe sizing


thewinelake
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My DDs have tried buying shoes (just plain ones) online with very little success. It seems that every brand has a different idea of what sizes are... The most recent purchase from Dance Direct was was size 5.5 (on the basis that they normally come up about a size too big) and they sent size 9! Unsurprisingly they were WAY too big (although probably somewhat small for anyone who really did have size 9 feet).

 

I'm going to ban the use of mail order for this in the future, particularly as returning things is time-consuming and expensive.

 

Do others have better luck?

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Don't forget that a lot of the big brands are not British and so the size on the shoe may bear no resemblance to the UK shoe size. My daughter is a 2.5 uk street shoe, or occasionally a 3 depending on the brand but her pointe shoes are a US size 6, her tap shoes US 5.5 and her soft ballet shoes are european 36. We had one brand in the past (I think it might have been Sansha) that seemed to have their own sizes that were different again. So the shop may not have sent you the "wrong" size as such - they may have sent you the equivalent of a 5.5 UK street shoe in whatever that particular brands sizing is, but it sounds like both you and they may have allowed for the fact that ballet shoes often come up small, leading to you getting something too big.

It is quite true that there is more to it than just the right shoe size though. Until you know what brand and style suits your daughter's feet it is probably best to get them fitted. We don't have any decent dancewear shops where we live, and whilst I dont mind travelling to buy pointe shoes, I draw the line at travelling for hours every time DD needs a new pair of soft shoes, so we do buy mail order and have had mixed results too. DD has very tapered toes, and some brands leave her with an unsightly flappy bit of shoe on her outer toes. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out what shoes suited her best, but fortunately now her feet have stopped growing I know what to buy and am fairly confident about ordering on line. I can thoroughly recommend Just Ballet - and not just because Sheila is a member on here - the service is really excellent and you will get very knowledgeable advice. Porselli is my second favourite on line store, as they also

deliver quickly and carry a good range of stock.

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Well I have spent a small fortune buying soft ballet shoes on-line. We do not have a ballet shop anywhere near us. Nightmare. We have to wait until we go to the big city or buy on-line. I do try to order the same brand that fits in a bigger size, but sometimes when DD is grows, she doesn't fit so well in that brand and we have to change brands again. Doesn't help when they have slim arched feet, not many brands fit. I think I should set up a business - custom ballet flats.

 

Not to mention the amount of times they send you the wrong thing, wrong size, wrong width, wrong brand, or just don't bother to send you anything at all ;-(  I know they are not all that bad ( some are fab) but it is frustrating.

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It's very hard buying shoes online and since we began trading I've realised it's just as hard sizing stock in the shop! We have brands that size in their own system, using letters rather than numbers.

 

Another leading brand has the US size on PU tap shoes with a conversion to UK of going down 2 sizes - then same brand, leather tap shoe in same style is 3 sizes down from US size....

 

If someone needs to buy online due to lack of local availability, I suggest measuring both the foot and existing shoe too to toe, and width, then phone the shop and ask them to find best size to fit.

 

We are currently working on a more efficient way to display sizes on our own site and a measuring tool to enable people to check sizes at home - watch this space!!

 

...don't even get me started on leotard sizes ;)

Sx

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Hi Snape,

 

I sympathise - dc also has very slim feet with high arch. I have found 2 styles that fit well:

 

Bloch prolite full sole satin ballet in the narrow 'A' fitting. Sheila at Just Ballet has these and supplied quickly. A classic style.

 

Sansha (style 4 tutu) full sole ballet shoe in satin or canvas. Medium fit. They also do split sole I think. I got these from Planet Dance (they are slow at getting stock in). This style fits further onto/up the foot than the Bloch. I think this shows off the high arch best -It's my favourite at the moment- also pretty cheap at under £7.

 

I get both in same size as normal shoe.

 

Hope may be of use to you.

Edited by sarahw
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Hi Sahraw,

 

Thanks for that,

 

We use the bloch prolite at the moment. We have never tried Sansha, we will look out for those, sounds interesting. Must be the only brand we've haven't tried. Capezio narrow used to fit, but when she is in-between sizes they seem to drown her feet. :)

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Yes, the in between sizes is a nightmare. Dc is about to grow out of the sansha and it doesn't come in half sizes as such..... another strange sizing system. I think the canvas look bigger than the satin so may alternate in that way. ...

 

I have become so obsessed with getting the right fit.... looks great when you get it but bloomin hard to get there!!

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Can I ask people what their [or their child`s ] preferences are in the flat ballet shoes? I have never worn split soles; don`t think they existed back in my day [old fart ! ]. Do their children who wear them find the split soles more comfortable?

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DD loves split soles, they do look a lot better; but she is not allowed to wear them for class or exams, only for a show. She is only young (10) and needs to  keep strengthening her feet ready for pointe. I think mainly older children wear them, children already on pointe or those that are not going to go en pointe. 

I don't think they are suitable for young DD or DS but that is just my opinion. (and her teachers!)

They do look fab though all the children love them. 

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Split soles all the way ! :) DS has some by Grishko or SoDança (can't remember now) that also have an elasticated type fabric under the arch so it really hugs the foot and is very flattering. In a rush to go out now, but will post a link later if poss. x

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They do look comfy. Are split soles more flexible/bendy ?

I've had many brands and styles but always end up going back to bloch pro elastic or bloch synchrony myself! they are both split sole and very flexible and in canvas. I much prefer canvas.

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Or,to add, the ADULTS who are taking ballet classes ..What preference do people have? Thanks.

 

A bit late voting, but I also prefer split sole.

 

When I just went back to ballet I needed every confident boosters available - my feet aren't really classical dancers' feet - and it worked! 

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The shoes with the elastic strip in the arch sound like the Grishko model 6 shoe - very popular with us and as far as we've found, the only shoes available as a special order as vegan shoes!

 

I wear So Danca canvas split soles and when we have to fit satin shoes in the shop, find the prolite the most flattering fit.

 

I'm also on the look out for stretch satin shoes as I think they would be more flattering than woven fabric. We've just got the new stretch canvas So Danca shoes in and they're lovely - though not on the site yet!

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Split soles all the way for us.  Even have split sole Tap shoes which are much more flexible.  I wouldn't recommend split soles for dancers who have not got strong feet though as full soles make the foot work harder.  Also many dance teachers hate split soles for that reason and won't allow students to wear them. 

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Fully agree, Huddsballetmum - split soles are much easier to wear and make so-so arches and insteps look much better and in an ideal world dancers with feet which aren't so strong wouldn't wear them and would choose full soles instead to work their feet. Unfortunately I think it is impossible for the vast majority of non-vocational teachers to enforce that thinking and understandably the attitude of many students is that X is allowed to wear split soles and it makes her feet look much better so why shouldn't they do the same? There is also the fact that at auditions or performances or exams, everyone wants to maximize their 'point' and split soles make this so much easier.

 

There has been a previous thread on the RAD now allowing split soles in exams - but the RAD still insists on soft pointe shoes rather than flats (which make the dancer work much harder) from the Intermediate exam upwards - even though these, along with pointe shoes, can now be split sole.

 

For the majority of dance students, who have no plans to make a career out of ballet, I fully understand why everyone wants to wear split soles! ;-)

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