Several years ago, “ballet shoes” that were formerly known as “Isotoner Slippers” began making their appearance in dance studios. The shoes are absolutely awful. They fit poorly, are dysfunctional, pose a  hazard in the studio, and, yet, because they are a few dollars cheaper than actual “ballet shoes” (and are marketed as “ballet slippers”), parents purchase them for their children.

When I first spotted the shoes, I was curious as to what retail establishment offered this item. Of course, I soon discovered that major superstores (WalMart, Target, etc.) sell the item via the Danskin product line. The line offers cute and affordable leotards and accessories, and they also offer these HORRIBLE shoes. Danskin is known as a dance-related brand, so it seems misleading to offer a product that is so poorly designed for our youngest dancers.

The following are a few of the reasons the shoes are not viable for dancers’ use:

  • The bottom of the shoes are incredibly slippery, frequently causing dancers to fall (an in-studio hazard).
  • The shoes do not fit. They are not tailored or fitted (and are vaguely sized), and the heel constantly falls off the back of the dancer’s foot.
  • The shoes do not encourage the use or support of the arch, an important component in ballet training.

At the end of the day, a functional shoe is imperative to a dancer’s success and training. Specify the inappropriateness of this type of shoe in your dress code, and let’s (hopefully) return this “ballet shoe” back to its rightful place as a bedroom slipper.

horrible slippers

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