What’s the Difference Between Jazz Shoes and Ballet Shoes?

Ballet|Ballet Shoes

Jazz shoes and ballet shoes are two of the most popular types of dance footwear. Both styles of shoe have been designed to provide the dancer with the necessary support and flexibility required to perform different styles of dance. However, there are some key differences between jazz shoes and ballet shoes that should be taken into consideration when deciding which type of shoe is right for you.


The design of jazz shoes differs from ballet shoes in a few key ways. Jazz shoes typically have a split sole, which allows for greater flexibility when performing jazz steps.

Ballet shoes have a full sole, giving them more stability and protection from the hardwood floors commonly used in studios. In addition, jazz shoes often feature additional cushioning or arch support for comfort and shock absorption, whereas ballet shoes are designed with minimal cushioning for maximum control.


Jazz shoes are typically made from leather or canvas materials, while ballet slippers are usually made from satin or another soft fabric material. Leather is more durable than canvas and can hold up better to frequent use. However, canvas is often less expensive than leather and can be easier to break in than leather.


Jazz shoes usually feature laces or elastic closures that provide a snug fit and allow the dancer to customize their fit as needed. Ballet slippers typically have no closure system at all; instead, they rely on the strength of the fabric material to conform to the foot for a secure fit.


Overall, jazz shoes and ballet slippers offer different advantages depending on what type of dancing you’re doing. Knowing what styles and materials work best for you will help you make an informed decision about which type of shoe will work best for your needs.