As a young aspiring ballerina, I wanted nothing more than to wear pointed shoes and float around the stage. Little did I know it takes years of practice, pain, and determination before you can wear a set like that, and it only lasts one show. In the meantime, you practice in canvas, leather, and satin ballet flats, but how long do ballet shoes last?
Ballet shoes can last between one show or several months, depending on the type, material, and dancer. Professional dancers are hard on ballet shoes, and they can use a set per show. Novice ballet dancer shoes can last six months or more. Leather flats last longer than canvas and satin.
It’s hard to imagine ballerinas that move so effortlessly over a stage and through the air can be so hard on a set of ballet shoes. Luckily, the canvas and leather practice shoes will last longer for novice students and semi-professional ballet dancers. Let’s investigate factors that influence that.
How Long Do Ballet Flats Last?
You should expect your shoes to last a few weeks to two months maximum if you’re a professional dancer. Here is how long your flats will last depending on your level of commitment to ballet:
- As a professional dancer, practice and rehearsals will typically be more strenuous and demanding on the shoe; therefore, they will wear out much faster.
- As a semi-professional who does not rehearse more than twice a week, you can expect your canvas shoe to last up to three months because the rehearsals and classes are less demanding on the shoe.
- As a beginner or novice ballet dancer, you would typically practice once a week and therefore can expect your canvas shoes to last a minimum of six months.
Read more: Best Ballet Flat For Bunions
How Long Do Ballet Tights Last?
Ballet tights last about a month. If you’re a professional or a full-time ballerina, your tights will last no more than one month. You should expect your tights to last about two months if you’re a semi-professional.
If you’re a beginner or novice ballet dancer, your tights should last three to four months. How you take care of your tights will determine how long they last. Washing your tights in a lingerie bag will make it last significantly longer.
Never put them in a drier; always hang them up to dry and wash them in lukewarm water, never hot and mild detergent. Wash your tights after every class because sweat and bacteria will build up and may cause an infection and bad odor.
Here are tips on taking care of your ballet tights:
- Wear the right size tights: If you don’t wear the right size tights, you’ll overstretch and or run them and make holes.
- Hand wash the tights: Washing your tights in a washing machine will tear them if they aren’t in a lingerie bag and on a gentle cycle. Hand washing is also recommended.
- Let your tights air dry: The heat and constant spinning of the drier will thin out your tights and make them more prone to holes.
- Make sure your nails are short: If you have long nails while trying to put on your tights, there is a high chance they will rip, so make sure you keep your toe and fingernails short.
- Store them in a safe place: Keeping them in a plastic bag can keep them protected no matter where they are stored. You wouldn’t want to put them in a wooden drawer where there are splinters.
- Don’t panic when you get a run: If you have a run or two, don’t panic. Just put on your tights slower and more carefully, so you don’t make them bigger or more.
Read more: Best Ballet Tights
How Long Do Leather Ballet Slippers Last?
Depending on how you dance and what surface you dance on will determine how long your leather ballet shoes last.
A leather ballet shoe will last at least two to three months longer than canvas. Regular treatment of your leather ballet shoes is important, and airing them outside. Here are some tips o how to make your leather ballet shoes last longer:
How to clean the upper leather:
They shouldn’t be washed in the washing machine. They are leather and will be damaged instead.
- Take a damp cloth and clean it off gently if you see a few spots.
- Baby wipes can also be good to remove some of the more stubborn spots.
- Before doing this, do a spot test on a small part of the leather to ensure it doesn’t remove the color or stain the shoe.
- If they need to be cleaned more thoroughly, put a bit of laundry detergent on the spot of the shoe that needs cleaning, use a soft toothbrush or a cloth, and then clean off with a damp cloth.
How to keep their shape a look:
If you want your shoes to better mold to your foot, wear them around the house while they are damp for about half an hour.
- Make sure you wear them inside and on clean surfaces to prevent them from getting stains. It’s easier for dirt to stick on the shoe’s surface when damp.
- To restore the shine of the shoe after rubbing some Vaseline or matching shoe polish and wiping the surface of the shoe with a soft cloth.
- If you are using the matching polish, test it on a small part of the shoe to ensure the same color.
How to look after your suede sole on your shoe:
If your shoes are clean but notice your shoes feel a bit slippery, try to brush the shoe sole with a brush to make the suede rough again.
- You can use a clean shoe brush, a dish brush, or a firm toothbrush should do the job. Please make sure they are clean and oil-free.
How Long Do Ballet Pointe Shoes Last?
Ballet pointe shoes are a staple for ballet dancers, but most beginning dancers are surprised to learn how many pairs of these shoes the typical dancer goes through. If you’re a professional or advanced ballet dancer, for example, you can expect to replace them after 10 to 20 hours’ worth of use. Why so often? For one thing, these shoes are made out of natural materials, so they wear down quickly. Natural materials also don’t do well with dampness.
If you want your ballet pointe shoes to last closer to 20 hours than 10 hours, make sure you remove the toe pieces after each time you wear them. You should also let them dry out for at least 24 hours before using them again, which is why a lot of dancers own two or more pairs of these shoes and alternate the pairs. The more the shoes are exposed to dampness and moisture, the faster they’ll wear out, so keeping them as dry as possible is crucial.
When you dry your pointe shoes, put them in a mesh bag and allow them to air dry for the best results. But keep in mind that the more advanced you are at ballet, the less time you’ll be able to use them before replacing them altogether.
The Best Ballet Shoes
When dancing in ballet, you would want top-quality shoes to ensure the shoes don’t wear out easily and you don’t hurt your feet. When you have good shoes, you and your feet feel good, but you’ll be more confident with your moves.
Here are the five best ballet shoes:
- STELLE Girls Ballet Practice Shoes: The Stelle Girls Ballet Practice Shoes are lightweight and are super comfortable for dancing. They have a breathable PU upper and a leather sole. The soles are skid-resistant, waterproof, and wear-resistant.
- Color: beige, black,
- Material: PU leather
- Bloch Performa Ballet Shoes: The Boch Performa Ballet Shoe is extremely comfortable, lightweight, and has a stretch canvas split sole. The design of the toe shape is specifically for balance. It is extremely soft and fits the ballet dancer’s foot perfectly. The shoe has a shock-absorbing pad to keep the ballets foot safe and away from any harm. It has pre-sewn-in elastics and has front and back leather split sole pads.
- Color: Sand, Pink, white, and cocoa
- Material: Canvas
- Capezio Women’s Daisy Ballet Shoes: The Capezio Women’s Daisy Ballet Shoe is practical and perfect wear for dancers of any age. It is made from soft leather and has a tanned leather suede outsole for toughness, making the shoe comfortable and not pinching or squeezing your toes. They have a unique classic daisy print on the inside of the shoe.
- Color: white, black, and pink
- Material: Leather
- WENDY WU Dance Shoes: The WENDY WU Dance Shoe’s sole is made of thick German paper, which is wear-resistant and flexible. They are available for both adults and kids. They offer enough support for professional dancers and beginner dancers.
- Color: Black, red, and pink
- Material: Satin
- Nexete Professional Vanassa Ballet Pointe Shoes: The Nexete Professional Vanassa Ballet Pointe Shoes have a strong elastic shank that prevents dancers from slipping. These shoes are great for toe pads and for people who have square toes. They are very comfortable because they have a wide-strength box and upper satin.
- Color: Black, red, and pink
- Material: satin
All ballet shoes, including pointe shoes, will last according to how they are used. Remember to replace them as soon as wear and tear are noticed and when it interferes with your dancing.