How to Know if Ballet Shoes Fit a Child: 4 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Skip the more labor intensive ballet shoes with ribbons.

After months of cajoling, whining and flat out begging, you're finally enrolling your child in her first ballet class. Upon entering the shoe store, you quickly realize that shopping for ballet shoes is a completely different experience that you're ill-equipped to handle. Your inclination to save money, a condition otherwise known to your kids as terminal cheapness, has prompted you to purchase ballet shoes a few sizes too large, which is a huge mistake. Before plunking down money for ballet shoes, it's important to learn that in this world, proper fit is everything.


  1. 1
    Choose the best type of fabric for your budget. Ballet shoes are available in canvas, satin and leather. Your little ballerina will probably gravitate towards satin because it's shiny and pretty. However, for the sake of durability, choose either canvas or leather. Canvas isn't quite as sturdy as leather, but it's more budget friendly.
  2. 2
    Slip a pair of ballet shoes on your child's feet toes first and then the heel. Secure the elastic fasteners and ask your child to stand with her feet flat on the ground. The shoes should fit snugly, almost like a sock, but pay attention that the toes don't curl. If your child's toes curl, the shoes are too snug and you should go up another size.
  3. 3
    Ask your child to walk around. A proper fitting ballet shoe will provide a small amount of give, but won't leave large gaps between the heel and back of the shoe. Also, check the elastic's fit to ensure it's not too loose or cutting off the circulation to your child's legs.
  4. 4
    Encourage your child to walk around in her ballet shoes a few hours a day over the next two or three days. As your child walks, the ballet shoes begin conforming to her feet, giving you a better idea about the fit. If your child's toes curl, the shoes aren't fitting snug or they're just uncomfortable. Don't hesitate to head back to the shoe store and continue the search.


  • Ask your child's ballet instructor for help. These professionals have dealt with the trials and tribulations of ballet shoes their entire lives. Bring the shoes to your child's next class and ask the instructor to check them out and give you an OK on the fit.

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