I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (2024)

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I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (1)

From Mango to Maison Margiela, these are the ballet pumps to wear all summer.

By Daisy Murray

Ballet was not my dance discipline of choice growing up (I'm more of a commercial dance girl, thanks for asking), but as all fashion-lovers know, having no idea about a sport does not preclude you from loving, and owning, all of its associated gear.

Be it riding jackets, football shirts or tennis skirts, street style's adoption of sportswear (cycling glasses, bowling bag handbags, cowboy boots... I could go on) has always been a 'thing' – and ballet shoes are an enduring example. First embraced in the 'Indie Sleaze' era circa 2007, when the late Amy Winehouse wore hers battered with polo shirts and puffball skirts, ballet flats have been a key trending shoe for a a good couple of years now.

Since Miu Miu's ballet pumps, first seen on the SS22 runway, sparked a thousand copycats, the humble ballerina has been reinvented in countless guides: this season, mesh ballet flats, studded iterations and sweet Mary Janes are all on the menu.

Cementing the shoe's longevity in the fashion world, Gucci's Cruise 2025 collection featured countless pairs as models weaved their way around a verdant installation at London’s Tate Modern earlier this year. Styles varied from classical gathered-at-the-toe satin finishes— complete with horse-bit detailing — to red leather multi-strap variations. There were also particularly great rounded-toe styles that featured ribbon ties around the ankle.

I prefer the look of a real ballet shoe's silhouette, so last summer I bought from real dance brands like Bloch and the Paris Opera for my initial investments. As winter came about and a solid sole was useful, Arket, Wolf & Gypsy Vintage and Jeffrey Campbell all came through with excellent offerings. I've been pairing mine with vintage cottons in the sunshine, and a pair of Wales Bonner tracksuit bottoms or vintage Levi's in the chillier evenings, even making them work appropriate with an A-line midi skirt and denim shirt.

Whether you like your foot covered or are up for some toe cleavage, want to try some mesh or embrace colour (a pop of red, perhaps?) these are the best ballet flats to invest in right now.


I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (3)

I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (4)

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While you might think metallic shoes should be reserved for the festive season, try pairing silver, gold and bronze with white cotton in summer. Size up in these Mango ballet flats and add a pair of red socks with your usual denim and shirt combination and watch the compliments roll in.

Maison Margiela

I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (5)

Margiela's Tabis are something of a fashion girl staple at the moment, whether in loafer, Mary Jane or boot form. Don't be left behind: these split-toe ballet flats are your shortcut to a sartorial statement.

Marks and Spencer

I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (6)

A reliable classic that comes with endless versatility? Of course it's good old M&S.

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Manu Atelier launched ballet flats just a few months ago and their suede and leather versions do not disappoint. They're cut higher on the vamp for a cute Parisian feel, and fasten with slender double ankle ties.

These Arket ballet flats come in a slew of colours (I have them in gold), but if you're nervous of the trend, try them in a classic black, ensuring you can take them from desk to dinner with ease.

Dear Frances' mesh flats have something of a cult status on the fashion week front row, and I've seen many a pair in the ELLE UK office. Worn best with oversized suiting and a killer red manicure, the simple design is one to bookmark.

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Sandy Liang

I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (10)

New York-based brand Sandy Liang is a key player in fashion's cute revolution, and with these ballet flats you can see why. This new-season style comes in siren-red satin with double buckles for an off-kilter twist. Pair them as the designer would: with a school-girl sock.

These COS ballerinas are some of the hardest working flats out there due to their versatile shape and colour. Trrust me: you can truly wear these with anything and anywhere.

Mansur Gavriel

I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (12)

I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (13)

Mansur Gavriel's Dream style, crafted from Italian lambskin leather, comes in a whole spectrum of dreamy colours and is begging to become your summer shoe of choice.

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Reformation has a few really solid ballet flat styles, but these Mariella ones feel particularly fresh in their sugared-almond shade of pink.

Go to the brand that started it all – and in the print of the moment no less – with Miu Miu's leopard-print flats.


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I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (17)

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Prove you're on pointe (sorry) with Mango's square-toe ballet flats that come complete with a chunky buckled strap.

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I'm A Ballet Flat Fanatic And These Are The Best Around Right Now (2024)


Are ballet flats in style in 2024? ›

Ballet flats have never gone dormant, but their resurgence on the Spring 2024 runways has awarded flat lovers with multiple styles and silhouettes for summer, a far more comfortable (and risk-averse) option to heels, and has cemented them as one of 2024's biggest shoe trends.

Are ballet flats still in style? ›

It's the latest shoe trend to come for our feeds; after high-end brands like Khaite, Alaïa, and The Row showed the breezy ballet flats a few seasons ago, A-listers, including Jennifer Lawrence and Dakota Johnson, jumped on board.

When were ballet flats trendy? ›

Although the ballet flat was undoubtedly wildly popular in the 2000s, the simple shoe's place in fashion of course dates back much further than this to the 1950s, which is when the pump first took on a new life away from dance.

Are ballet pumps back in fashion? ›

Last year, we welcomed back a long-lost member of the footwear family: the ballet pump. While chunky trainers, lug-sole boots and leather loafers dominated throughout 2022 and 2023, last season we saw the demure and dainty ballet flat hit the market in a plethora of hues.

Are Tory Burch flats still in style in 2024? ›

They are like a pair of Jack Rogers. They are preppy and timeless, which means year after year, they're still in style.

Are Tory Burch ballet flats still in style? ›

For the last couple of seasons, ballet flats have become a dominant staple in our comfort-first wardrobes. But out of all of the options to shop, there's one specific blast from the past that's poised to reign supreme throughout 2023. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to properly reintroduce you to the Tory Burch flat.

Does Gen Z wear ballet flats? ›

You may think this style has been and gone but Gen Z have transformed the aesthetic of ballet flats, transforming them from dated to dreamy.

Why do podiatrists hate ballet flats? ›

They traditionally don't offer any arch support,” explains podiatrist Saylee Tulpule. “This lack of support can lead to common foot issues such as plantar fasciitis” — inflammation of the lower foot and heel tissue — “and can aggravate flat feet or joints in the midfoot,” she tells Yahoo Life.

What pants look best with ballet flats? ›

For an on-trend look, you can't go wrong with flats. Whether you have mules, ballet flats or summery sandals, pairing your flats with skinny jeans is a fail-safe way to feel put together.

Are ballerina flats feminine? ›

Ballet flats are timeless and feminine shoes that are perfect for adding a retro touch to your looks.

Why do people wear ballet flats? ›

Ballet flats are especially popular for women and girls of all ages, being worn as a fashion trend and as a more comfortable alternative to high heels with everything from casual wear to formal wear and everything in between from jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses and leggings.

Who made ballet flats popular? ›

The ballet shoe was later popularized in 1947 when Rose Repetto, the mother of famed dancer Roland Petit, made changes to her son's ballet shoes in order to make them more comfortable. These modified shoes allowed dancers a wider range of movement and enhanced comfort.

Are ballet flats back in style in 2024? ›

In 2024 it turns out this hasn't changed, but the surprising ways you can style ballet flats is in the spotlight and puts a fresh spin on this classic.

Can you still wear ballet flats? ›

From its origins in the world of ballet to its current status as a beloved fashion staple, the ballet flat's understated elegance and versatility set it apart as a shoe style that will stand the test of time. Its simple yet refined and feminine design makes it perfect for reinvention.

Why are ballet flats coming back? ›

Everyday Elegance: Why Ballet Flats Are Making a Strong Comeback. Ballet flats are making a comeback simply because they're timeless and versatile. They add a touch of elegance to every outfit and they tend to be more comfortable than heels. Ballet flats also appeal to every style and generation.

Are white heels in style in 2024? ›

Elevate your style in 2024 with the perfect heel color: classic black, vibrant white, chic beige, bold red, shiny silver, or playful pink for every occasion.

Are espadrille wedges in style in 2024? ›

Whether you choose a classic jute-wrapped wedge or a modern platform design, these shoes are sure to elevate your summer wardrobe to new heights. In conclusion, the espadrille wedges are undeniably the "it" shoes of the summer 2024 season.

What is the color trend for summer 2024 Vogue? ›

Cherry red

Fashion's obsession with bright red has been impossible to ignore in recent seasons, seen on the runway but also the red carpet. This season, the Spring/Summer 2024 color trends brought a noticeable shift towards deeper and more opulent versions of the shade.

Are clear heels in style in 2024? ›

In fashion, trends come and go, but some manage to hold their ground and become timeless classics. Clear heels are one such trend that has slowly but steadily gained popularity over the years. As we enter 2024, these transparent shoes seem poised to dominate fashion.

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