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How To Make Ballet Shoes Last Longer


Every parent knows the frustration that comes along with kids and growing feet. It seems like you are always buying bigger shoes to fit feet that seem to never stop growing. If you feel you are always buying new ballet shoes, follow these steps to help prolong their life. Those ballet shoes just might make it through recital this year!
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: A few minutes here and there for, hopefully, more time in the ballet shoes.

Here's How:

  1. Keep them clean.
    If the ballet shoes are canvas, throw them in the washer on gentle cycle, with a tiny bit of mild detergent, and allow them to air-dry. For leather ballet shoes, spot clean with a damp cloth. For deep-cleaning, use a dab of mild detergent, wiping clean with a soft, dry cloth.

  2. Only wear them to dance.
    Avoid wearing ballet shoes to and from the studio. Ballet shoes are not designed to be worn as street shoes. Keep them in your dance bag and throw on a pair of flip-flops.

  3. Stretch the leather.
    If the ballet shoes are made of leather, stretching them may help them to fit a little bit longer. Place a wooden spoon inside the toe of the shoe and gently stretch the leather.

  4. Loosen drawstrings.
    Loosening the drawstrings, or removing them, will allow more space for the entire foot. The extra room may buy you a couple of months.


  1. Never buy ballet shoes that are too big. It may be tempting, but ballet shoes were designed to fit snugly on the feet.
  2. Ask around for second-hand shoes, and check consignment shops. Some parents are happy to recycle outgrown shoes.

What You Need

  • Mild detergent.
  • Damp cloth.
  • Wooden spoon.
  • Extra TLC.
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