Do Ballet Shoes Run Small?

Ballet, known for its grace and elegance, requires dancers to wear specialized shoes called ballet shoes or pointe shoes. These delicate footwear items play a crucial role in enabling dancers to perform their moves with precision and comfort. However, one common concern among many aspiring ballerinas is whether ballet shoes tend to run small. In this blog post, we will explore this topic in detail and provide you with valuable insights on finding the perfect fit for your ballet shoes.

The Importance of Proper Fit

Before delving into the question of whether ballet shoes generally run small or not, it’s essential to highlight the significance of having a proper fit when it comes to these dance shoes. Just like any other type of athletic shoe, wearing ill-fitting ballet shoes can lead to discomfort, pain, and even injuries during training or performances.

Ballet Shoe Sizing: The Truth Unveiled

Anatomy of Ballet Shoes

Ballet shoes are designed with certain characteristics that make them unique compared to regular footwear. They typically have a snug fit around the toes while offering flexibility and support for dancing movements such as pointing, flexing, jumping, and turning.

A Matter of Brand Variation

When it comes to sizing variations among different brands of ballet shoe manufacturers exist. It’s crucial to recognize that each brand may follow slightly different size charts based on their specific design philosophy and manufacturing techniques. Therefore, it’s wise not only to rely solely on general assumptions but instead consult individual size guides provided by manufacturers when purchasing new ballet shoes.

Tips for Finding the Right Fit

Measurements Are Crucial

To ensure an accurate fit when buying new ballet shoes – especially if you’re unable to try them on in person – taking precise measurements of your feet is vital. Measure both the length and width of your feet according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and use these measurements to determine the appropriate shoe size.

Consideration for Toe Room

While ballet shoes should have a snug fit, they should not crush or squeeze your toes excessively. Make sure there is enough room for your toes to lay flat inside the shoe without any discomfort. A good rule of thumb is to leave about half an inch (1-1.5 cm) at the end of the shoe when standing up.

Consulting Experts

Professional Fitting Advice

If you’re unsure about finding the right size or feel overwhelmed by conflicting information, seeking guidance from professionals can be immensely helpful. Dance supply stores often employ knowledgeable staff who are trained in fitting ballet shoes properly. They can provide personalized advice based on their expertise and experience, ensuring you find a pair that fits like a dream.

Trial and Error

In some cases, discovering which ballet shoe brand works best for you may require trying out different options through trial and error until you find one that offers optimal comfort while allowing proper movement on stage.

The Perfect Fit for Graceful Dancing

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When it comes to selecting ballet shoes, understanding that sizing might differ between brands is crucial so as not to limit yourself unnecessarily by assuming all ballet shoes run small or large universally.

Prioritize Comfort & Performance

Ultimately, achieving harmony between comfort and performance should guide your quest for finding perfectly fitting ballet shoes. Remember that each dancer’s foot shape and preferences vary; what works well for someone else may not work as effectively for you. Prioritize how comfortable the shoes feel during movements over blindly following any general sizing assumptions.

Investing in Quality

Lastly, investing in quality ballet shoes, even if they come with a higher price tag, can significantly impact your dancing experience. Well-constructed and properly fitting shoes will provide the necessary support and durability to withstand the demands of rigorous training sessions and performances.


In conclusion, while there may be some variations in sizing among different brands of ballet shoes, it is not accurate to say they all run small universally. The key lies in prioritizing proper measurements, personal comfort, and seeking professional advice when needed. Remember that finding the perfect fit for your ballet shoes is crucial to enhance both your performance capabilities and overall enjoyment of this beautiful art form. So lace up those pointe shoes confidently on your journey towards graceful dancing!