“If you are a parent with an aspiring dancer, nothing is more exciting for both of you than getting all the necessary apparel, including a first or new pair of ballet shoes.

However, for little feet, it is very important to get the right shoes at the right price.

Below are 5 things to consider before you buy ballet slippers:

1) Fit

For ballet slippers, the single most important factor is a snug fit. Snug means the shoe fits like a sock – not too snug as to curl the toes inside the shoe, and not too loose where you can pinch extra material at the tip of the shoe and the leather puckers.

For children, the feet are still developing and growing. It is important to have a snug-fitting shoe to help support a ballet dancers’s stance, allow the teacher to catch and correct problems like pronation, and prevent injury later in life. A snug fit will also allow your child to “feel” the floor with her feet when learning technique. The earlier the dancer learns proper positions, the less injury he or she will sustain to the knees and ankles down the road.

2) Size

Ballet slippers tend to run a few sizes below street size. You might hear that you should buy a ballet slipper a half size larger that he or she will grow into. This is understandable as a child’s feet grow fast, and you’ll want to save some money in the future. However, if the shoes are too big, the child will struggle through ballet class with “floppy” shoes instead of learning how to move correctly. This could set him or her back in advancing to the next level, so be careful when buying a slightly larger size – no more than ½ a size, and be sure the fit is closer to being snug than loose.

3) Type of shoe

While this might seem obvious, there are a variety of ballet slippers to choose from with anything from a single-sole leather ballet shoe to a split-sole canvas shoe.  The typical “first” ballet shoe for little girls and boys is a leather shoe with a single leather sole. This is best to help support the foot early on. As your little dancer progresses, split-sole shoes might be better to help point through the shoe better. Nothing is more inspiring than a beautifully pointed foot, but it takes some training to get there.

4) Color

Pink for girls and black for boys, of course!  But, ballet shoes come in a range of colors. Be sure to follow the instructor’s wishes for classroom uniform, if he or she has a preference.  In some ballet schools, a uniform look helps the instructor to scan the room more easily to ensure students are performing and learning dance moves correctly.

5) Price

In general, ballet slippers are among the least expensive dance shoes. For children, a good, reasonably-priced ballet slipper will run anywhere from $10-$20.  As a little dancer’s feet grow, new shoes will be needed to maintain the proper support. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest shoes possible, but keep in mind that these could be poorly constructed and hamper your child’s learning. They will be more worried about their shoes in class than paying attention to the dance teacher’s instruction.” Click here to read more