When Were the First Ballet Shoes Invented?

Ballet|Ballet Shoes

When Were the First Ballet Shoes Invented?

Ballet is one of the most popular and graceful forms of dance, and in order to execute the moves properly, it’s essential that dancers have the right kind of shoes. But when were the first ballet shoes invented?

The earliest known evidence of ballet shoes dates back to 15th and 16th century Renaissance Italy. At this time, they were known as ‘charnières’, meaning ‘hinges’, because they featured a leather sole with a leather strap across the top.

These were designed to provide extra support for the dancer’s feet, which was very important for executing complicated moves.

The next iteration of ballet shoes came in 17th century France. Here, court dancers began wearing specially-designed slippers made from silk and satin.

These slippers had a flat sole and were decorated with ribbons or embroidery.

In 1820, the first pointe shoe was created by French dancer Marie Taglioni. This shoe had an extremely stiff sole made from paper or cardboard, which allowed dancers to stand on their toes for extended periods of time without their feet giving way. This invention revolutionized ballet and allowed for more complex choreography.

Since then, modern pointe shoes have come a long way in terms of design and technology. Today’s pointe shoes feature a variety of materials such as canvas, leather, synthetic fabrics, rubber soles and even carbon fiber shanks that provide extra support for the foot.


It is clear that ballet shoes have evolved significantly over time.

The first ballet shoes were invented in 15th century Italy but they weren’t until 1820 when Marie Taglioni invented her revolutionary pointe shoe that dance could really take flight. Today’s modern pointe shoes are light years ahead in terms of comfort and technology; providing dancers with all the support they need to execute complex routines with ease.