Canvas ballet shoes come in a couple of different models. We’ve already touched on the differences between canvas ballet shoes and leather ballet shoes, and now it’s time to talk about the differences between full solve and split sole ballet shoes.

Let’s start with the simple part.

What’s the difference between full sole and split sole ballet shoes?

With a full sole canvas shoe, the suede bottom covers the entire sole of the foot. Whereas, a split sole breaks the sole into two parts, the heel and the ball of the foot. Check out the images below for reference.

Split Sole Ballet Shoe

split sole canvas ballet shoe

Full Sole Ballet Technique Shoe

full sole canvas ballet shoes

Is a full sole or split sole ballet shoe better for beginners?

Many teachers recommend dancers start with a full sole shoe. This is primarily for students between the ages of 4 and 7. This is recommended because they offer more traction all around, and offer more resistance. The resistance helps early dancers build strength, and the added traction is great when dancers may be at the age where they’re a tad more uncoordinated.

A split sole canvas shoe is great when dancers become more advanced and confident in their skills. The split sole offers more mobility and is more flattering to the line of the foot. It also reinforces better dance habits as the suede/leather areas of the sole are only on the parts of the foot that a dancer should be focusing their weight.


Fun Fact: Before split sole shoes were invented, professional dancers would fold or crease their shoes in half to create a more enhanced arch in the technique shoe.

Full Sole vs Split Sole Ballet Shoes: The Answer

Whether you’re using leather or canvas, the right technique slipper will depend on your age and skills.

Parents of younger dancers (ages 4-7) should provide them with full sole technique slippers. These will help them learn and build the strength they need for more advanced ballet.

So, are split sole ballet shoes better?

For more advanced dancers yes. You’ll find they emphasize the lines of your feet better and they provide you with increased mobility.

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