Ready to Indulge in Balletcore? We Found the Best Ballet Flats Just for You

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Ballet flats are one of those shoe styles that are always in rotation, thanks to their timeless design and versatility that allows them to go with anything and everything, such as formal ensembles—which also include gowns—and laid-back looks. Inspired by actual ballet slippers, these flat shoes are one of those styles that everyone needs in their closet. 

From the more traditional round toe slipper styles to modern pointed sling-backs (both of which are very à la mode thanks to the "balletcore" TikTok trend), we investigated dozens of ballet slippers, carefully selecting ones that are of the highest quality, comfortability, and style to find the best ballet flats across several categories. 

Take a look at our top picks for the best ballet flats ahead, as well as fashion expertise from wardrobe stylist Samantha Brown.

Meet the Expert

Samantha Brown is a wardrobe stylist based in New York City. She has been working with clients to refine their personal styles for over a decade.

Best Overall: Rothy's The Square Wrap

rothys-the-square-wrap

Rothy's

For this category, we had a few requirements. First, the best overall ballet flats need to be stylish, of course. But, in addition to fashion, they need to be functional, with comfort being a key component to that. The Square Wrap from Rothy’s met the necessary criteria but, in addition to that, ended up as our top pick because these flats are also sustainably made from plastic water bottles and are machine washable, making them great for regular wearing (and refreshing). Even more, the ankle ties are removable, meaning these flats just got that more versatile.

Material: Knit made from plastic water bottles | Size Range: 5-13

Best Budget: Amazon Essentials Belice Ballet Flat

4.3
Amazon Essentials Belice Ballet Flat

Amazon

When researching the best budget-friendly ballet flat, it was hard to argue with the over 41,600 buyers who gave this flat 4.4 stars (in our own tests, we gave it an overall 4.3/5 rating). Available in 20 colors with rave reviews for their sizing, arch support, quality, and color options, these ballet flats are super comfortable and feature an impressive size range with vast options.

Material: Faux leather | Size Range: 5-15

Best Designer: Maison Margiela Tabi Split-Toe Leather Ballet Flats

Maison Margiela Tabi Split-Toe Leather Ballet Flats

Nordstrom

If you’re on the prowl for a high fashion ballet flat that is worth the splurge, these split-toe flats from Maison Margiela are our top recommendation. Available in black, beige, and white, the contemporary ballet flats have a split-toe design inspired by Japanese socks that is museum-worthy—no, seriously, they are on display at the MoMA!

Material: Leather | Size Range: EU 35-41

Best Heeled: Calvin Klein Anete Leather Flat

Calvin Klein Anete Leather Flat

Amazon

Ballet flats are typically just that—flat. But, there are some heeled designs, too. And our favorite is this leather flat from Calvin Klein. The polished slip-on flat is crafted from gorgeous supple leather with a slight tonal heel. We love the simplicity of these flats but, above all, they are incredibly comfy with a padded footbed.

Material: Leather | Size Range: 6-10

Best Square Toe: Mansur Gavriel Square Toe Mary Jane Flats

Mansur Gavriel Square Toe Mary Jane Flats

Bloomingdales

Ballet flats typically have a rounded toe but we love the square-toed styles because they take the ballet inspiration up a notch, resembling point shoes. These square toe flats from Mansur Gavriel come in a rich claret leather hue as well as a shimmering silver leather (we love!) with the lining, uppers, and soles made from buttery lambskin leather.

Material: Lambskin leather | Size Range: 5-11 | Heel Height: 0.4 inches

Best Vegan: Soludos Ballet Flat

Soludos Ballet Flat

Nordstrom Rack

For the best faux leather ballet flats, look no further than these flats from Soludos. Available in black, rose, wine, and tan in a soft and smooth finish, the almond-toe flats feature a 0.4-inch heel and are made from an innovative and sustainable vegan leather you can feel good about.

Material: Faux leather | Size Range: 6-10 | Heel Height: 0.4 inches

Best Classic: The Row Leather Ballet Flats

The Row Leather Ballet Flats

Nordstrom

The Elastic Ballet flats from The Row are as classic as it gets with their elastic detailing and almond-shaped silhouette that resembles traditional ballet dance shoes. The shoes are constructed with a cushioned rubber sole and ultra-soft calfskin leather giving them an overall luxe and high-quality feel.

Material: Calfskin leather | Size Range: 5-10

Best for Work: TOMS Jutti Neat Flat

TOMS Jutti Neat Flat

TOMS

When choosing flats for work, they must be comfortable enough for all-day wear, versatile enough to wear with a variety of styles, and sleek enough to be office-appropriate. These suede flats from TOMS check all of the boxes, plus they get extra points for the built-in OrthoLife Eco LT Hybrid insole, which gives them a lightweight cushion for added comfortability.

Material: Suede | Size Range: 5-12 | Heel Height: 0.5 inches

Best Slingback: ASOS DESIGN Lively Slingback Ballet Flats in Green Tweed

ASOS DESIGN Lively Slingback Ballet Flats in Green Tweed

ASOS

We love these round cap-toe slingback ballet flats for their elevated prep-style design. The textile ballet flats are designed with comfort in mind with their elastic strap and add a nice pop of color with their beautiful mint-colored fabrication, too.

Material: Textile | Size Range: 4-12

Best With Strap: Loeffler Randall Leonie Ballet Flats

Loeffler Randall Leonie Ballet Flats

Amazon

These Loeffler Randall ballet flats are our top pick for this category because they not only have a classic silhouette but also have a comfortable elastic strap across the top of the foot, which gives them a traditional ballet flat feel. The round toe, Mary Jane-inspired flat shoe is also high-quality leather with breathable cotton lining.

Material: Leather | Size Range: 5.5-10

Best Suede: J.Crew Zoe Ballet Flats in Suede

J.Crew Zoe Ballet Flats in Suede

J.Crew

For a good pair of suede ballet flats, these J.Crew Zoe Ballet Flats are our No. 1 pick. The flats come in four color options, including more neutral black and golden hickory, as well as a kelly green and bubble gum pink suede for a pop of color. In addition to their suede construction and great colors, they’re also super comfortable and go well with virtually anything.

Material: Suede | Size Range: 5-12

Most Sustainable: Allbirds Tree Breezers

Allbirds Tree Breezers

Allbirds

Sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Case in point: These ballet flats from Allbirds are the perfect ballet flat and made from eucalyptus tree fiber, making them lightweight and breathable in addition to comfortable and stylish. On top of all that, another reason to love these flats is because of all the great colors they come in, including black, navy, orange, mauve, and more.

Material: Renewable materials | Size Range: 5-11

Best Canvas: Barkal Gray Canvas

Barkal Gray Canvas

Barkal

For a ballet flat that’s best worn in warm weather, we love these canvas flats from Barkal. The ballet flats are designed with a high-quality tweed-like canvas material with a handcrafted leather sole and rubber inserts for extra comfort.

Material: Canvas | Size Range: EU 36-46

Best Washable: Vivaia Pointed-Toe V-Cut Flats

Vivaia Pointed-Toe V-Cut Flats

Amazon

If you love a knit ballet flat but are worried about them getting dirty, go for something washable like these V-Cut Flats from Vivaia. The tonal ballet flats come in a range of colors—including red, blue, and tan—and one pair is made from approximately six plastic water bottles, giving them a sustainable edge in addition to their machine-washable benefits.

Material: Knit made from plastic water bottles | Size Range: 5-10.5 

Best Dressy: Aminah Abdul Jillil Ballerina Flat Back

Aminah Abdul Jillil Ballerina Flat Back

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Ballet flats make for a great dress shoe and, if you are looking for something a little more formal, we love these flat back ballerina shoes from Aminah Abdul Jillil. The pointed ballet flat slingbacks are made from a soft suede material, has an adjustable ankle strap, and have a thick wrap tie ankle wrap, which is our favorite feature.

Material: Suede | Size Range: 6-11

Best Leather: Everlane The Italian Leather Day Glove

4.8
Everlane, The Italian Leather Day Glove

Everlane

These Leather Day Glove shoes from Everlane are our top pick for the best leather because of their gorgeous and ultra-soft Italian leather and minimalistic design. We also love these shoes because they come in so many great colors, including a wide selection of neutrals like black, white, and mocha.

Material: Leather | Size Range: 5-11

Best Lace-Up: Reformation Solange Lace Up Flat

Reformation Solange Lace Up Flat

Reformation

It wouldn’t be a ballet flat roundup without a lace-up option. These bovine leather ballet-inspired sling-back flats from Reformation feature ruched detailing on the round toe silhouette with slim ankle ties. In addition to the way they look, these are also good sustainable options, as they utilize leather sourced from the Leather Working Group and save 13 pounds of carbon dioxide, 1,345 gallons of water, and 0.7 pounds of waste.

Material: Bovine leather | Size Range: 5-11

Best Ruched: Charles & Keith Tie-Around Ruched Ballerinas

Charles & Keith Tie-Around Ruched Ballerinas

Charles & Keith

If you want a ballet flat that has subtle detailing, a ruched style is the way to go. We love these from Charles & Keith because the ruching creates stunning dimensions in the design, plus they feature additional details like an ankle wrap strap, which is a nod to the timeless ballet silhouette.

Material: Faux leather | Size Range: 5-11

Best Black: Margaux The Demi

4.8
Margaux The Demi

Amazon

For the best black ballet flat, we searched for a high-quality sole mate that has a more traditional design and the best black color. We landed on these French-inspired ballet flats from Margaux as they not only meet the criteria and have foam padding insoles for added comfort but, if black isn’t your vibe, they come in 16 color options.

Material: Italian Nappa | Size Range: 3-14

What to Look for in Ballet Flats 

Size

“Make sure the size feels comfortable and doesn’t rub anywhere or slip off the heel,” Brown says. 

Comfort

In addition to making sure your shoe fits properly (which will of course add to the comfort factor), Brown says one of the biggest issues with ballet flats is the width, as some can be more narrow. To ensure comfortability, she recommends “trying a few styles before committing.”

FAQ
  • What are ballet flats?

    Ballet flats are closed-toe flat shows “that look like ballet slippers, minus the ribbon,” Brown says. 

  • How do you style ballet flats?

    The great thing about ballet flats is that they are considered “a classic wardrobe staple,” giving them a level of versatility equivalent to a pair of white sneakers. According to Brown, they “can be worn with anything from denim to dresses.”

  • Are ballet flats good for your feet?

    While ballet flats are (surprisingly) comfortable and a great versatile shoe, they “don’t provide a ton of support,” Brown says. Because of that, Brown says they are not the best option for consistent wear.

Why Trust Byrdie

Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON Magazine to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. When researching the best ballet flats, Jessie kept comfort first, along with quality, durability, and style.

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