Ballet flats. Flats. Ballerinas. Ballet street shoes. These are some of the terms for our favourite flat shoes.
What makes some ballet flats even more special? The ones made by pointe shoe manufacturers!
Ballet Beautiful recently came out with street ballet shoes with the same pretty ribbons, only they are tied from the back and don’t criss-cross. The ribbons, by the way, are removable. These handcrafted street shoes from Italy are based on the very pair that Audrey Hepburn wore and come in satin (crimson and pale pink) and leather (black and pink) for US$280. The world is your stage, so go out and dance!
The more ‘affordable’ ballet flats (i.e. when on sale) feature a cushion for the heel, though these are easily flattened after a full day of wearing them. They come in a beautiful pink box with a black and white photo of a ballerina en pointe inside and the shoes also come with a mesh bag, which I’ve used for my own Bloch ballet slippers. I don’t like how these shoes seem to make an audible crunching noise when I walk on concrete pavements. Perhaps it has to do with the plastic heels?
Bloch also jumped in on the foldable shoes bandwagon with their new Amelia / Riva Amelia foldable ballet flats (split soles). These retail for £95, just slightly cheaper than the ‘regular’ ballet flats for around £112 (in Canada, Bloch street flats retail for C$130 or around C$65 on sale).
I assume that since it is an Australian company, the shoes are made in Australia.
My first pair of pointes were from Freed but my heels kept popping off the shoes since the pair I had bought had a very low heel. Freed carries fashion shoes (ballet flats) and even wedding shoes for young girls and adult women. They are made in England and prices range from £ 50.95-61.15 and up.
Let us just agree that France will always win when it comes to fashion. Repetto has an unending line of ballet flats (flatest pairs are called Cendrillon – Cinderella), wedding shoes, wedges, Mary Janes, trainers, Oxfords, T-straps, etc. For children and adults, male and female. Speaking of the ballet flats, the softest ever leather ballet flats are the Nappa calfskin. Amazingly soft. Unfortunately, they do cost a pretty penny at 275€. Other Cendrillon’s range from 190€ to 210€. All shoes are made in France.
Pointe Shoes in the City – Merlet (Pointe Shoemaker for Paris Opera)
I’d always wanted a pair of the Chloe pointe flats but obviously they are far expensive for me to ever own a pair.
Then, by chance, after my visit to the Palais Garnier, I found my dream store inside: La Galerie de L’Opera de Paris! The store is completely ballerina-inspired. You can find anything from souvenirs for little girls to street shoes to clothing for gentlemen and ladies. Did I mention the street shoes they carry (photo below)?
May I introduce you to pointes in the city, the more ‘affordable’ pair of pointe street shoes. It does not feature criss-cross elastics but I’m sure you can easily change that.
Most importantly, these are made by the shoemaker for the etoile danseuses of Paris Opera! The shoes are handmade in Limoges, France. Inside the shoebox is a summary of the shoe brand:
‘Established in the 18th Century, the Ballet de l’Opera national de Paris is the oldest ballet academy in the world. …
The … master shoemaker Mariet (Merlet online) – official licensee of Opera national de Paris operates behind the scenes. Working closely with ballet dancers, this craftsman continues to improve the comfort, lightness and elegance of dance shoes made for the Opera’s prima ballerinas, and from now, your shoes for everyday wear.’
These are very comfortable save for the square toes, which are as hard as real pointe shoes. Thankfully I have ouch pouches which solve the problem. Half sizes are available although my size was sold out in satin so I went for a half size up. The only problem with that was with the top of the shoe pressing on the metatarsals (I think that’s the correct term) whenever I walk (without being unbearably painful). But I had to have this…
Prices for the different pointe street shoes vary. Some of the shoes from the collection are available online:
- Pradi: satin (black, powder, chestnut) – 119€* (mine cost 120€), suede chamois – 149€, powder with diamantes – 150€
- Prisca (leather with elastics): white, coral, powder, beige – 150€
- Persil (with ribbons): black satin – 119€, black leather – 179€, coral leather – 189€, platinum leather – 179€, bronze leather – 189€?
In hindsight, maybe I should have tried black to match more clothes? What do you think?
Anyone know of other ballet brands that have come out with street shoes?