What Are the Shoes Ballet Dancers Wear?

Ballet|Ballet Shoes

The shoes worn by ballet dancers are a very important piece of their costume, as they are what allows the dancer to move with grace, power and flexibility. Ballet dancers will usually wear specific types of shoes depending on the type of dance they are doing.

Most commonly, ballet dancers will wear either a soft ballet slipper or a hard pointe shoe. Both of these styles have their own unique features that allow the dancer to perform their craft in the best way possible.

Soft Ballet Slippers

Soft ballet slippers are typically made from a lightweight canvas material with a thin leather sole. These shoes have no heel support, allowing the dancer to move quickly and easily without any additional weight on their feet.

The flexible sole allows for greater freedom of movement, allowing for more complex choreography and movements than would be possible in other types of shoes. Soft ballet slippers usually come in different colors and sizes for both men and women.

Hard Pointe Shoes

Hard pointe shoes are designed specifically for the demanding nature of certain types of ballet dancing. These shoes have a much stiffer sole that is reinforced with cardboard or leather along with a box-shaped toe that is meant to provide stability and support during performance. The stiff sole also helps to keep the dancer’s foot from slipping out of position when performing jumps and other movements that require more power and control than what is possible with soft ballet slippers.


Ballet dancers have two primary types of footwear: soft ballet slippers and hard pointe shoes. Soft ballet slippers provide flexibility and freedom while hard pointe shoes provide stability and support for more powerful movements. Both types of footwear help allow the dancer to perform their art form in the best way possible.