What Is the Difference Between Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes?

Ballet|Ballet Shoes

Ballet is a beautiful art form that involves the use of both technical skill and grace. The dancer’s choice of footwear can be just as important as their physical training and technique when it comes to achieving the perfect performance. There are two distinct types of ballet shoes: regular ballet shoes and pointe shoes. Although both types are essential for successful performances, there are some significant differences between them.

Ballet Shoes – Regular ballet shoes, sometimes referred to as slippers, are designed to keep the foot flat. They provide support to the arch of the foot while allowing freedom of movement. Most ballet slippers are made from a combination of leather and canvas.

They usually have a split sole that provides additional flexibility and a block heel that prevents slipping on the floor.

Pointe Shoes – Pointe shoes differ from regular ballet slippers in that they elevate the dancer’s feet off the ground while still providing support. The shank or box of the shoe is stiffer than regular ballet slippers, allowing for more stability when dancing on pointe (the tips of your toes). The toe box is also harder than in regular ballet shoes, which prevents it from collapsing when en pointe. Pointe shoes also have extra padding for protection against pain.


The main difference between Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes is that Ballet Shoes provide support while keeping the foot flat whereas Pointe Shoes elevate the dancer’s feet off the ground while still providing support, with a stiffer shank or box for stability when dancing on pointe. Both types are essential for successful performances and should be chosen carefully depending on your needs.