Best Ballet Flats Reviewed & Rated for Performance
Ballet flats are one of the most undeniably versatile options in shoes. They can easily be dressed down with jeans and a blouse for casual day wear or dressed up with a fancier dress option for evening events. One of the other great things about ballet flats - they are a fashionable and comfortable option for literally any occasion. They can be worn to work, on dates, to parties or even as bridal footwear for the bride who knows she wants to stay comfortable on her wedding day.
The options on our top ten list come in a number of different colors; from classics like black, white and gray to patterns like leopard print. The texture options are just as vast as the color choices, with items on our top ten list coming in suede, leather or velvet just to name a few. Between the numerous color and texture options, the flats on our top ten list will complement any outfit in virtually any woman’s closet.
In addition to being a fashionable shoe choice, ballet flats are also very comfortable as well. They feature no (or a very minuscule) heel so women who struggle with high heels are often very drawn to the flat nature of these shoes. Many of the options on our top ten list also feature lined foot beds, memory foam insoles or soft inner linings for added comfort. No more blisters!
Whether you’re looking for comfort, for fashion, for something that won’t break the bank or all of the above, the flats on the top ten list we’ve compiled are sure to suit your needs.
- Crocs Isabella Jelly II
- Crocs Kadee Leopard
- Shop Pretty Girl Chic
- Sam Edelman Felicia
- Jessica Simpson Mandalaye
- Dexflex Claire Scrunch
- Hush Puppies Chaste
- TOMS Diamond Jutti
- Cole Haan Tali Bow
- Ollio Faux Suede
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Ballet Flats
1. Crocs Isabella Jelly II
- Croslite Foam Cushioning
- Synthetic Construction
- Peep Toe Design
- Translucent TPU Upper
- Available in a Variety of Colors
- Firm upper
- Inconsistent sizing
The Crocs Isabella Jelly Flat comes in seven gorgeous colors and all boast the same dressy style: a peep toe with floral designs cut into the upper. These flats are also special because they are translucent, which gives the shoe an even fancier aura. This affordable flat can help you confidently stand out and you’ll be comfortable while it does!Read more
Croslite Foam Cushioning
Crocs’ thick patented Croslite foam cushioning offers comfort and shock absorption to maximize your comfort on any warm-weather outing. The Croslite foam makes up the footbed of this stylish shoe.
This shoe is built using synthetic materials, which means it doesn’t include animal products like leather. The synthetic upper boasts a stylish floral design to make a great first impression.
Cost and Value
This stylish Crocs ballet flat can be found in the middle-to-upper price range. Some careful shopping around should help you find this great shoe for an amazing price pretty easily.
2. Crocs Kadee Leopard
- Inconsistent sizing
Though many people won’t automatically think of the Crocs brand when they’re searching for fashionable flats, Crocs have designed the Kadee leopard print flat to wow even the most fashion-forward woman. It’s made from that which made Crocs famous - their Croslite material to ensure all-day comfort and the leopard print design is sure to dress up (or down) any outfit.Read more
The Kadee flat is made from Croslite material which is designed with a number of benefits in mind. The material is lightweight, form-fitting, ergonomic for extreme comfort, odor-resistant and anti-microbial.
The Kadee flat features circulation nubs along the footbed for added comfort, but this feature also will gift the wearer a massage with every footstep.
Cost & Value
The Crocs Kadee leopard flat is priced mid-range in comparison to others on our top ten list. The selling point is the versatility of the material and the comfort in the massage nubs.
3. Shop Pretty Girl Chic
Fabric & Synthetic
Sizing Runs Smaller
These Shop Pretty Girl brand flats practically scream ‘chic’! They come in a huge variety of color and design options and are built for durability and comfort despite their incredibly low price tag. These flats are perfect for the woman who needs to have a number of shoe options as the straps are detachable and an outfit look can be changed entirely by just removing the strap!Read more
Design Options For Every Occasion
These ballet flats come in nearly 30 different style and color options. One can choose from a single strap flat, a double strap flat or, if straps aren’t your thing, you can opt for the no strap option. If bows are up your alley, these flats have a few options that include a cute bow tie on the toe box. Color choices range from red to denim to rose or basket weave.
One of the cheaper options on our top ten list, these Shop Pretty Girl flats are perfect for the woman on a budget. With the detachable ankle straps, these shoes can become a two-in-one for one low price kind of deal!
Cost & Value
One of the cheapest options on our top ten list, the Shop Pretty Girl brand flats are the perfect option for those on a budget who need versatile and stylish flats.
4. Sam Edelman Felicia
- Available in wide sizes
- Padded sole
- Variety of texture options
- Won’t slip off
- Runs small
- Inconsistent sizing
These classic style ballet flats from designer Sam Edelman are as versatile as they are deliciously feminine. They can be dressed down for casual office wear or easily dressed up for fancier evening attire. The Felicia ballet flat comes in 38 different color and style options so there is sure to be one design that will match every outfit in any woman’s closet.Read more
For the indecisive woman (or the one who realizes she needs more than one pair of these), the Felicia flat comes in 38 different color options. From metallic baroque to leopard print to snakeskin to gunmetal metallic leather or sterling blue velvet, there is a texture and color option available for every outfit.
The Felicia flat is made of soft leather that molds to your foot soon after putting it on, ensuring that there’s no uncomfortably long break-in period. The material is pliable and moves with the foot for a customized feeling fit.
Cost & Value
The price point for the Felicia flat ranges depending on the color and design chosen but you can expect to pay a bit more for the high-quality one comes to expect from Sam Edelman.
5. Jessica Simpson Mandalaye
- Squared toe
- Won’t slip off
- Variety of foot widths
- Large number of designs
- Fits small
- Long break-in period
These Jessica Simpson Mandalaye flats are as close as one can get to owning an actual ballet slipper without going to the dance studio. They feature a crisscross elastic strap that goes around the ankles. They come in a variety of colors and textures like snakeskin or leopard print.Read more
These flats offer dance-inspired details like the criss-cross elastic strap and the squared toe box, making them more comfortable for women with wider feet. They come in 18 different colors and styles including leopard print, cashmere mauve, plumberry velvet and glitter.
These Mandalaye flats can attribute their high level of comfort to the cushioned and man-made footbed featured in these shoes. The sole and lining are also man-made making them extra comfortable for all day (or all night) wear!
Cost & Value
Priced a bit higher than some of the other options on our list, the Jessica Simpson Mandalaye is worth the higher price tag for women who want to have many designs to choose from in a comfortable and stylish shoe.
6. Dexflex Claire Scrunch
- Memory and Latex Foam Insole
- Stretchy Topline
- Fabric and Synthetic Construction
- Firm Toe Cap
- Fabric Lining
- Flexible Outsole
- Back may rub the Achilles tendon
- Rough fabric material
The Dexflex Comfort Claire Scrunch Flat is a stylish ballet flat that comes in a few popular colors. It’s made of stretchy and flexible materials. It boasts a firm, synthetic toe cap and it offers some protection for your vulnerable toes. This shiny synthetic toe cap is just part of the synthetic and fabric upper design of this ballet flat.Read more
Memory and Latex Foam Insole
This ballet flat’s dual layer foam insole is made of memory foam and latex foam. These lightweight materials are soft and cushiony to provide you with comfort for your feet.
The topline of this ballet flat is stretchy for a comfortable, secure fit, as well as to provide more flexibility as it bends and flexes with your foot’s natural movements.
Cost and Value
This stylish ballet flat is available in the low-to-middle price range and that’s a great deal! The Scrunch flat is designed to give you optimum comfort and a great fit.
7. Hush Puppies Chaste
- HP02Flex Footbed
- Arch-Perforated Sock Lining
- ¼ Inch Molded Rubber Outsole
- Lightweight Zero g Outsole
- Comes in Variations of Leather, Suede, and Textile Materials
- Stiff toe lining
- Leather may stretch
The stylish Hush Puppies Chaste Ballet Flat comes in leather, suede, embossed leather and suede, and textile materials. This elegant flat also comes with different patterns and color schemes, so you’re bound to find one to suit your needs and taste. This ballet flat offers maximum thin and lightweight cushioning, as well as a durable outsole that offers great traction.Read more
The HP02Flex is a cushioning technology used in this triangular-patterned footbed. The pattern allows more air circulation to keep your feet cooler and drier. It also offers flexibility and support.
Arch-Perforated Sock Lining
The sock linings in these shoes are made of suede, which is generally not a very breathable material. However, the arch section of these linings is perforated to allow airflow.
Cost and Value
The Hush Puppies Chaste Ballet Flat can be found in the low-to-high price range. If you shop around, you can get a really great deal for this amazing ballet flat!
8. TOMS Diamond Jutti
- Cotton Twill Antimicrobial Sock Liner
- Rubber Outsole
- Pointed Toe
- Leather, Chambray, or Suede Upper
- Comes in Many Stylish Colors
- Small toebox
- May need to be broken in
The TOMS Diamond Jutti Pointed Toe Flat is a stylish ballet flat with a pointed toe. While the toe box is a little slimmer, it’s still an amazing shoe. It offers traction and support while giving you flair. It comes in suede, leather, and chambray. Each offers a different texture and look. It also comes in a range of colors.Read more
Cotton Twill Antimicrobial Sock Liner
Stinky shoes don’t have to be a fact of life. This flat sports an antimicrobial sock liner which kills fungi, which cause odors, before they can attach to your shoes.
Traction is so important. These ballet flats have a rubber outsole designed to help you keep your footing so you don’t slip and fall, which could lead to serious injuries.
Cost and Value
You can find the Diamond Jutti Pointed Toe flat in the middle-to-upper price range. It’s quite a stylish shoe from a big name brand with many different colors and textures.
9. Cole Haan Tali Bow
- Grand.os Cushioning Technology
- Lightweight PU Midsole
- Padded Leather Sock Liner
- Elasticized Opening
- Flat Bow Accent
- Rounded Toe
- 100% Burmese Calf Leather
- Poor arch support
- Sizing runs small
Cole Haan’s Tali Bow Ballet Flat is a trendy, lightweight ballet flat that offers more cushioning, flexibility, and comfort than many ballet flats. It sports a rounded toe, so your toes have more room to spread out naturally. The elasticized opening improves the flexibility and fit of this stylish ballet flat. The flat bow accent gives it a little flair.Read more
Grand.os Cushioning Technology
The Grand.os Cushioning Technology used in these flats is a footbed and outsole which mold to your foot to provide ample cushioning. This also makes the shoe more flexible.
Lightweight PU Midsole
This elegant ballet flat has a polyurethane midsole to provide cushioning and support for your feet. It’s also lightweight, so it won’t detract from these shoes’ lightweight ballet flat feel.
Cost and Value
These flats are available in the middle-to-high price range. It also has one of the highest price points on this list, but it offers more cushioning than most ballet flats.
10. Ollio Faux Suede
- Round Toe
- Synthetic Construction
- Elastic Topline
- Comes in 7 Gorgeous Colors
- Thin sole
- Poor support
Ollio Shoes’ Faux Suede Comfort Ballet Flat comes in seven stunning colors to make anyone’s day a little brighter. This ballet flat, however, comes with other great perks, such as an elastic topline to help give you a secure fit and more flexibility in your step. Its faux suede upper looks and feels nice. It also sports a rounded toe.Read more
This entire ballet flat is made from synthetic, man-made materials. Thus, it is perfect for any vegan looking for ballet flats not made with animal products. They’re really stylish, too!
The rounded toe on these ballet flats gives your forefoot and toes more space to move and breathe. That adds to your overall comfort and prevents some serious medical problems.
Cost and Value
The Ollio Shoes Faux Suede Comfort Ballet Flat is reasonably priced and can be found in the low price range. It’s a great deal for a stylish, vegan-friendly ballet flat.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
No one wants stinky shoes. So, you have two options: grab any old shoe and hope they don’t get stinky and then waste your time trying to clean and deodorize them or you can buy a ballet flat that comes with odor preventing technologies built in.
Breathable materials in ballet flats are a little harder to find, as they are dress shoes, not athletic shoes, and are not designed to maximize breathability. However, some materials found in ballet flat uppers are more breathable and can help keep your feet cool. Cool feet don’t sweat as much and breathable materials let air slip through your shoes to dry your feet, cooling them down even more. With less stinky sweat filling up your ballet flats, the fewer odors that will develop and cling to your shoes.
Antibacterial & Antimicrobial Properties
Instead of sacrificing durability and support for more breathable, flimsier materials, some ballet flat manufacturers opt to incorporate antibacterial and antimicrobial properties into their flats. Bacteria and fungi are what cause stinky shoe odors and shoes with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties naturally combat odors on their own.
Sometimes a shoe gets utterly ruined when it’s gotten wet. A little water usually won’t hurt any shoe, but some shoes are more vulnerable than others. This is generally due to the materials used in the design of the upper of the shoe. Shoe designers bear this in mind when designing and constructing a shoe. If they don’t use a naturally waterproofed material in the shoe, some manufacturers will waterproof the shoe. This isn’t a big deal if you’re not going hiking in the woods across a river- and let’s be real, you’re probably not doing that in your ballet flats- but if you live in a floodplain, a waterproof shoe would be best.
Ballet flats will all look similar, but there is some variety in their shape and styles. Mainly these differences come in the toe box area and the upper design. A toe box that is too small will squish your feet and could cause serious medical conditions, including chronic back pain, so be sure to pick out a pair of flats with ample room for your toes to fit comfortably. Everyone’s feet will be different and some people will be fine with a narrow toe box. Others must have a wider toe box in their shoes. There are three toe box shapes which are commonly found in ballet flats.
A squared toe box offers the most room for your toes to spread out, but some people find this style dull and boring. If you have wide feet, though, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider investing in a pair of ballet flats with a squared toe.
A rounded toe box is a happy medium. It’s generally not too wide nor too narrow. For people who have average or somewhat narrow or somewhat wide feet, rounded toe boxes would be best. If it’s too tight, don’t wear it.
A pointed toe box is the narrowest and even some people with narrow feet may find this style too tight on their toes. It’s possible to find some that are wider, but this style makes it harder to find a comfortable forefoot fit for people who have wide feet. It’s a popular style, however, and worth looking into if you really like pointed shoes.
Support and stability are even more important in ballet flats than in some other shoes, because they are smaller and thinner. Ballet flats sometimes have a ribbon or strap to wrap around your ankles and offer support, but many modern ballet flats do not. The ribbons and straps serve more to keep the shoe on your foot than they are to support your ankles.
Some ballet flats have thicker insoles that offer both support and cushioning, but many don’t. It’s important that you try these shoes on or check the reviews to confirm the amount of support offered by these shoes. Similarly, the outsoles on classic ballet flats are designed to be flexible and almost nonexistent. Some modern ballet flats come with better outsoles, but many of them will not offer much by means of support.
Two areas to spend extra time investigating are the insole and outsole. Here is how they are relevant to finding a stable, supportive ballet flat.
The insole is of paramount importance when you are selecting a ballet flat. You must consider how much cushioning and support you need and which styles of ballet flat offer what you need. Classic ballet flats generally lack cushioning in their insoles or offer very little. More modern styled ballet flats have better insole cushioning than others. Some even have sport memory foam and latex foam insoles!
The purpose of cushioning, aside from feeling nice when you put your foot on it, is to absorb the shock generated from walking, running and dancing.
Depending on how fast you are moving, how much you weigh, and the style of shoes you are wearing, that impact can be so intense that it leads to injury. The purpose of the outsole is to absorb as much of that shock as possible. As with the insole, classic ballet flats have thin, sometimes ineffective outsoles, but more modern versions have better outsoles. Generally, outsoles in ballet flats are made of leather, synthetic materials, or rubber.
For safety purposes, you need your shoes to have good traction. Slips and falls aren’t kind to our fragile human bodies and the older you are, the more likely you are to suffer a grievous injury. The outsole of some ballet shoes are so slick that they would be a safety hazard in some environments, but others come with enough traction built in that you could walk down an icy sidewalk with little difficulty in them.
Flexibility is also one area that ballet flats seem to really thrive in. Ballet flats were designed to be flexible to allow the dancer to stretch and move their foot freely in proper ballet technique. However, some modern ballet flats have opted more for stability than flexibility, which is good for some people, but some flexibility is still needed. Some ballet flats come with elastic bands or elastic top-lines to increase the flexibility of the shoe and to help it fit more comfortably.
By ensuring your ballet flats are both flexible and equipped with a solid grip and traction, you can be assured to perform at your best while not risking bodily injury.
A variety of materials can be found in the upper construction of ballet flats these days. The most common are leather, suede, and cotton, but these are just a few of the materials used in the upper design of today’s ballet flats. Some of these materials are less comfortable because they are more rigid. More flexible materials can be hot and hold on to odors. It’s up to you to decide which material will work best for you.
Leather is the firmest material used in most ballet flats. It can be unforgiving and abrasive if the shoe doesn’t fit properly. It also doesn’t flex as well as other materials.
Suede is actually a type of leather. It’s not as firm as standard run-of-the-mill leather, but it’s also pretty unforgiving.
This material is more flexible, but it’s also warmer and has poor temperature management properties. Ballet flats with cotton uppers, however, can also be quite stylish.
Synthetic uppers are entirely man-made and include no animal products whatsoever. Depending on the materials used and the design of the upper, synthetic uppers can be the most flexible.
Manufacturers like crocs also create their own materials that they use in the uppers of their shoes. Depending on the material and the company, these materials can increase the flexibility and comfort of the shoes. However, some manufacturers prefer stability over flexibility.
Some ballet flats also have padding included in the sides of their uppers, which adds another layer of comfort and protection to your vulnerable feet. Sometimes it’s padded leather, other times its lightweight foam and other materials. As mentioned earlier, leather is the least flexible.
Other Factors to Consider
Every woman needs an arsenal of ballet flats at her disposal. With a properly fitting shoe that’s as fashionable as it is comfortable, women can know that any of these shoes can take you from work to the boardroom to a wedding and back. Whether you’re looking for a loud print to jazz up your outfit, a quiet subdued color to complement your work wear, a soft velvety shoe that’ll keep you comfortable all day or an embellished design to stand out in a crowd, the flats on this top ten list are sure to suit all of your needs.
Our one last piece of advice is to delve deep into the criteria we used to rank each of the top choices on our list. You may just find that some criteria apply more to you than others. Feel free to drop the ones that don't matter to focus on the ones that do; that way, you can get an even better match between your needs and preferences and our top styles.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on your work environment. I wouldn’t recommend them for any career or occupation that requires hard hats or electrical safety equipment, but you could wear them to an office job or a career as a teacher or government official.
This is a resounding no. Ballet flats were originally designed for dancing and even more, modern versions of the ballet flat would not offer enough protection, cushioning, and support in an athletic competition or game.
Some of them are. It depends on the manufacturer. Always check with the manufacturer to confirm their sustainability plans and environmental impact.`
Some ballet flats are made entirely out of man-made, or synthetic, materials. You’ll have to check the product description and the manufacturer information to confirm, but a few shoe companies specialize in synthetic materials only, like Crocs.
Just about anything, as long as it matches the color scheme of the flats. They probably wouldn’t go well with Bermuda or khaki shorts, but dress pants, nice blue jeans, a dress, or a skirt would do just fine.
It depends on the color scheme in the ballet flats in question. If it has any sort of pattern and isn’t a single color, you should wear no-show socks. The material used in the no-show socks doesn’t really matter; you can choose based on what kind of socks make you the most comfortable. If the ballet flats are a single color, then you can wear any other style of sock with them, as long as they are the same color or they are colors that go together without clashing.
If you’re asking because your ballet flats are too narrow or otherwise too small for your feet, then I would recommend you purchase a new pair. There is some potential for stretching, but it would not be enough to increase a half or full size. Too tight shoes lead to toe deformities and medical conditions and it’s just not worth it.
They can be bad for your feet, but not all ballet flats are the same. As discussed earlier in this article, many ballet flats lack support and cushioning features, because they are naturally thinner and smaller than most shoes. Ballet flats are just like that. However, many technological advances in recent years have made ballet flats safer and healthier for your feet to wear. Look for a comfortable fit with enough cushioning and support to meet your needs. Most injuries and health problems that come up due to ballet flats occur because they are too tight in the toe box or otherwise don’t fit properly.
They should fit comfortably, being neither too tight nor too loose. Your toes should be able to spread out comfortably and the shoe should not slip off your heel in the back. Any flat that squishes or squeezes any part of your feet is too small and should not be worn.
First of all, confirm that your shoes fit properly. Loose fitting shoes slide and rub your feet, which can lead to blisters. Break your shoes in before you wear them outside and if any area of your foot feels like it’s getting rubbed or otherwise becomes sore, wear a band-aid on the area that is tender when you wear the shoes later.
It would be a good idea to invest in no-show socks that grip your feet, which provides an extra layer of protection between your feet and the flats. However, consider the moisture-wicking ability of the socks, as well. Cotton socks absorb more moisture and keep your feet warmer. Wet feet blister more easily than dry feet.
Add a protective rubber outsole to the forefoot area of your flats. You can find these protective rubber soles online or in shoe stores.
However, the best thing you can do to protect the lifespan of your ballet flats is to only wear them in environments that are appropriate for them. For example, don’t go hiking in your ballet flats, which is dangerous, as well. Wearing them dancing, to the office, or on a walk around the city is fine, but bear in mind that leather shoes can be ruined if they are drenched. Wear leather or suede ballet flats in dry weather or when it’s lightly raining to protect them from damage. Don’t wear your ballet flats to play sports, either, because it can damage your flats and your feet and ankles.