Introducing not the most practical trend, nor the newest idea in the world, but the high street has gone crazy for ballet pumps – and this time they have ribbons on – so here I am telling you about it. Anyone who, like me, attended actual ballet classes every Saturday morning for 15 years, might not find this idea all that appealing, but they do look very pretty. And the best part is, they’re cheap!

ASOS black ballet pumps 2
‘Lydia’ ballet flats, £18,

Ballet pumps in general are coming back this year, thanks to a spattering of them on the autumn/winter 2016 catwalks. Valentino in particular showed models in ballet shoes that looked very much like the real thing in fleshy pink shades as well as more practical black. The dance theme in general is big for next season – leggings were all over the place, which is great news for those dresses hanging in the back of your wardrobe with a massive slit up the side that you haven’t worn since 2003. But unlike Valentino, I wouldn’t advise pairing yours with leggings. And definitely not with a tutu.

As with most trends that are borrowed from a specific activity, the key is to team your pretty ballet shoes with clothing as far removed as possible from something you would wear to an actual ballet class. Both ASOS and Zara have got their styling spot on, I think, with these cropped frayed blue jeans (NB remember you don’t have to invest in new jeans to get this look, just get your scissors out. I am currently wearing evidence of this as I write).

Zara ballet pumps pink
Lace-up leather ballet flats, £39.99,

My other word of caution with ballet pumps is that they offer your feet little to no support (although these Zara one do look like they have a relatively substantial sole). Ballet pumps are NOT the key to finding shoes you can walk to walk in. I have a problem with one of my big toes that I am convinced dates back to the Kate Moss-led ballet pump trend of the early Noughties when I was a fashion intern and walked everywhere to save money. However, the fact that they are back on trend will be welcome relief for those of you who are sick of hearing me go on about pointy flats being the key to wearing flats to posh events but find them excruciatingly uncomfortable (I do listen to you, people!). So while I won’t be rushing out to get a pair myself due to an arthritic big toe and years of spending Saturday mornings tying up the ribbons on my pointe shoes, I know plenty of you will. I’d love to know your thoughts on ballet pumps in general – leave comments below or tweet me @EnBrogue!

Zara ballet pumps silver
Lace-up leather ballet flats, £39.99,


6 thoughts on “ Ballet pumps are back: love them or hate them? ”

  1. I still wear ballet shoes to do ballet which I do very badly with lots of other middle aged women happy in the knowledge that none of us are gig to the Royal Ballet School any time soon! Ballet pumps as a fashion item are a whole other thing, I had to wear a pair for a day shooting a commercial (as an actor – they were part of the costume) initially I was pleased not to be wearing heels by the end of the day my feet really, really ached. Felt totally justified in my expensive well made lots of support but stylish flat shoe habit!

  2. My daughter had ingrowing toenails removed – the podiatrist said they were caused by wearing ballet flats day in, day out. They were very painful before removal (terribly infected) although recovery was pretty good. Needless to say, throughout college and university, she hasn’t worn them since…

  3. I love the new trend (or rather come-back trend; they were the big thing when I was young though without the ties) of ballet flats with ties. I like the look of them, in my opinion they really flatter the foot. And I like that there now is diversity when it comes to flats; more looks to choose from when you want to “smarten up” without heels. The only thing with the ties is that there is a little more work involved when putting the shoes on. It is easier with slip-on’s. I especially loved the Etro satin ballet flats with embroideries last season. They were way out of my price-range, but I was lucky enough to get hold of a black pair in my size at a 70% discount!! Could not believe my luck. I have worn them a lot already, and LOVE them.
    As others have commented: Ballet flats are no good for walking long distances. In my opinion only trainers will do if that is the case (or trecking-boots), but when you are dressing up ballet flats are a great option, together with pointy toe flats or dressy flat sandals.
    I have the impression that flats are getting more and more common in fashion these days. Or maybe that is just because I have renounced heels and are actively looking for flats? There are certainly a lot of really nice flats for all occasions out there now, and my wish-list is growing almost by the minute;)

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