Dance shoes can be costly, so you want to make sure they live their best life! Here are six ways you can keep your shoes in top-top shape.
1. Put your shoes on once you get to the studio and take them off before you leave. Concrete, bitumen, grass and water are not good for the soft leather of dance shoes. Never, ever, ever wear dance shoes when it’s raining!
2. Wearing socks or stockings will lengthen the life of your shoes and will prevent smelly feet!
3. Ballet shoes and jazz shoes will mould to dancers feet, so need to be fitted fairly snug (but not tight). Too tight and toes will “crunch”, making for painful feet and poor balance.
4. Tap shoes, on the other hand, are a bit firmer and can be fitted with a little growing room (not more than 1cm). A little bit of cotton wool in the toe will help keep a slightly big shoe from slipping.
5. When our ballet dancers reach level 5, they can wear canvas ballet shoes. These make for a nicer line of the foot and can be thrown into the wash to clean! Just make sure to have your machine on a cold wash setting otherwise the glue will dissolve.
6. NAME ALL YOUR SHOES! I love the name stickers from Hippo Blue (especially useful for black shoes, otherwise a sharpie is great for the inside of ballet shoes). Always name the INSIDE of your shoes – you never want to see the dancer’s name on the underside of the shoe. Adding an “L” and “R” is good for little ones too.
BONUS TIP for those in pointe shoes – air them out after pointe class to stop them going soft too quickly. Hang them over a doorknob or pop them on a flat surface to air out.
Kaitlin Hague is the Director of Bayside Dance, holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance) and a Master of Arts. She is a passionate dance educator, journalist, adjudicator and choreographer. When she’s not dancing she’s enjoying the beautiful Bayside lifestyle and spending time with her two dogs, daughter and husband.