The winter has not yet descended on us here in Canada. It’s still quite balmy, but also rainy. I got my braided Pons Quintana ballet flats all soaked the other night:( I’m not sure they will be the same now. The leather stiffened. I’m waiting for them to dry completely to assess the damage.
Speaking of ballet flats, I’m kind of obsessed with them lately. They are both comfortable and stylish, casual and feminine. Perfect for work and school, but they can also be dressy for the evening. I see so many of them anytime I’m in downtown Toronto (which is very often).
So I started to think about what a a pair of perfect ballet flats would look like for me. What is it that I look for the most in this type of shoe?
I combed through all my favorite Spanish shoe brands that make ballet flats (most of them do) and here is what I came up with:
Lolita ballet flats by Magrit.
This luxury ballerina by Magrit has a “glove” fit. And that is without the scrunch elastics! The fresh grass-like green is beautiful. It has a small 1 cm heel. The leather is combination of two types of snake print. ( I assume it’s not snake skin!)
Verdict: well-made and gorgeous, but I don’t like the scaliness.
Macarena flats by Magrit.
Peep-toe braided leather ballerina in gold and coral. A small heel of 1 cm. Pointy toe.
Vedict: beautiful craftsmanship, but too glam for every day.
Vita ballet flats by Magrit.
Black suede ballerinas with gold crackle effect detail in the front and back. Slightly scalloped sides. A 1.5 cm heel. Pointy toes.
Verdict: super elegant shoes with a very interesting texture. I’m not a fan of scalloped sides in flat or close to flat shoes, though. They are already low on the foot. The heel is great. Really nice height. A bit too elegant for everyday.
All ballerinas are available through Magrit‘s online shop.
Pons Quintana suede ballet flat in turquoise.
Love the color! The rhinestone and gold metal detailing looks great against it. This ballerina is slightly elasticized on the sides for a better fit. Rubber sole with little bumps for better traction.
Verdict: lovely, would buy this ballerina in a heart beat, if my size was available. (it is not). However, the turquoise color might not work with everything. Also, I’m not sure I like the shoes to be completely flat. On the other hand, the rubber sole with the little bumps might make up for it.
Pons Quintana braided ballet flat in blue, ochre, and fuchsia.
This is the one that I currently own (and the one that got soaked in the rain).
Verdict: an eye-catching, light-weight and comfortable flat, with a hint of a heel. Combines with most things.
Some sizes of both ballerinas are still available in the summer outlet section of the Pons Quintana online shop.
Capote ballet flat by Defloresyfloreros.
Defloresyfloreros is a Madrid-based firm that specializes in making ballet flats in all possible colors and textures.
In fuchsia and rich yellow satin, this ballerina is named after the bull-fighter’s cape. The embroidery in the back also imitates the cape. The logo is embroidered in beige on the side of the right foot. A cord bow in front. Leather sole.
Verdict: love them to pieces. Would totally buy them, just because of the color and the material. It reminds me of the satin and silk slippers that courtly ladies and gentlemen wore in the old countries. I would have to be in a special mood to wear them, though.
Recreo ballet flat by Defloresyfloreros.
School-inspired plaid ballerina with a pompom. Rubber sole. Less than 1 cm heel.
Verdict: super cute and fun and would go with almost anything. Not for the rainy weather (as if any of them are).
Limonero suede ballet flats by Defloresyfloreros.
The color of Andalusian-grown lemon, this ballerina has a blue deep blue leather sole and ribbed trimming. The logo in azure blue is embroidered on the right foot. Less than 1 cm heel.
Verdict: an (almost eatable) piece of shoe art. Probably best on tanned legs.
Dulzura by Defloresyfloreros.
A leather ballerina in nude with a black-lace toe cap and a fine string bow.
Verdict: the combination of black lace and flesh tone is gorgeous. Elegant, but not too fancy. Has a bit of a heel, too. Scrumptious!
All ballerinas available to buy through the Defloresyfloreros online shop.
Pura López studded bow ballet flat in black and ruby.
It’s very rare to see a Pura López ballerina, since this brand is all about heels, heels, heels. The higher, the better. However, this glossy leather shoe might be categorized as a slip-on. It has a 2.2 cm heel (1 inch), a metal heel panel (for sturdiness?), a flat studded bow and a blunt toe.
Verdict: really seductive. I love varnished leather. I also like the blunt toe. The bow is not your run-of-the mill bow either and I appreciate that it’s flat. Would love to own these, even if they are a bit formal. Unfortunately, my size is out.
This ballerina/slip-on is on sale at a really good price at Amazon’s My Habit.
This brand has staked its bets on ballerina flats and it has payed off. Pretty Ballerinas are on their way to becoming a household name around the world. This model is really fun, with polka dots and bow detailing. No heel, as it should be in a proper ballerina flat. Varnished leather.
This flat features a black and white geometrical woven design in varnished leather, with fine bow detailing. Signature rounded toe.
Verdict: unique and a total delight. Pretty Ballerinas are pricy, but models like this one make up for it. Currently available at YOOX.COM for an amazing price for a lucky size 6. Click on the shoes to see more.
This ballerina is very posh, in quilted blue velvet, with a varnished leather toe and fine bow detailing.
Verdict: a bit too posh for me, but someone could really clean up in these! Currently available at YOOX.COM (click on the image to be redirected to the product site).
With its elasticized gores, this black suede ballet flat looks like an actual ballet slipper. Like Pretty Ballerinas and Pons Quintana, Virreina is from Menorca, where they have a long-standing tradition of manufacturing ballet shoes. It definitely shows!
Verdict: elegant and flirty. The best thing about it is the softness. A bit pricy, but Menorcan quality usually is. Currently available through YOOX.COM, click on the image for more details.
This dark blue ballet flat is made from laminated leather with rhinestone detailing all over. Even though it has no heel, it looks a bit raised in the back. Rounded toe.
Verdict: love the rhinestone detailing – designers at Lola Cruz always keep it real. It’s great to look at and it can be worn during the day, as well as in the evening.
I like the shape too. The toe is rounded, but not too rounded, like some of the Pretty Ballerinas. So far, I’ve tried on one pair of Lola Cruz shoes and they turned out to be too narrow for me, so not sure I would go for it. On the other hand, the prices are a lot better than Pretty Ballerinas. Available at YOOX.COM, also in other colors, to see more click on the picture.
Leather ballerinas with flower-pattern perforations and an elastic collar sewn on the inner rim for a better fit. No heel.
Verdict: really like the metallic color, the lightness and the simplicity. The perforations are always good. They add to the design and let in more air for the feet. However, I’m not a fan of sewn on collars. Just don’t like seeing the zig-zag stitching.
Available through the Hispanitas online shop.
These are called ballet flats and they are made of leather, but they look more like gym shoes. This is Camper, the best known internationally of all Spanish shoe brands. I used to be in love with Camper, before I discovered all other Spanish shoe brands and realized that there was much more where Camper came from. Some time ago I owned a pair of bungee beach sandals by Camper, which I’d bought at Zappos.com (well, a friend bought for me, since they do not deliver to Canada). They looked great and I got a lot of compliments. Women would stop me on the street and ask where I bought them.
Verdict: love the bungee part, looks great on any foot. The red color is gorgeous. The anatomical shape of the toe is a good thing, too. Makes them comfortable without being ugly. The elasticized back – ditto. The have the air of kids’ shoes, though. You have to be really, really young to pull these off successfully. Available at YOOX.COM, click the picture for more details.
Sueded ballet flats with big-sized rhinestone and studs detailing. Worn leather effect. No heel.
Verdict: I absolutely adore these and would buy them in a second, if my size was available. I don’t know whether it’s the studs, the rhinestones or the slightly elongated toe box, but RAS has done it again. Available at YOOX.COM, at a really good price. To buy them click on the picture.
This black velvet ballerina has beaded detailing, ribbed trimming and a fine string bow. Rubber sole.
Verdict: really attractive contrasty bead pattern. RAS is amazing at embellishments. Their embellished shoes always have a grown-up edge to them, an interesting twist that prevents them from being “cutesy”. A great option for working girls.
As the name suggests, this brand from Elda specializes in ballet flats. I especially like its raffia collection. I love when they make shoes from natural plant materials. Raffia looks like lace, but it’s also resilient. And super-friendly ecologically!
Verdict: have had my eye on these for a long time. They are currently on sale through the company’s website. These ballerinas look amazing and they come in many more colors and color combinations. They are really low-cut, but that’s the look.
Maians Celestina and Remedios
I own sneakers by this brand and love them. That’s why I’m itching to try their ballet flats. The Celestina model is made from soft textured leather. It is quite high on the sides, providing good coverage. Remedios is made from their signature cotton mesh, which is so airy in the summer. Both models come in four different colors.
Verdict: very down to earth, with that freedom loving seaport flair that comes naturally for this Barcelona-based brand. Textures make for a very tactile, “I wanna touch it” kind of look. I find them really cool and well worth the money. Available from the company’s online shop.
And last, but not least:
This ballerina is made by a young Madrid-based company, which also designs very original accessories. Round toe line, no heel. Leather/rubber sole.
Verdict: I’m totally in love with these shoes. It must be beautiful reddish-brown Cordovan-type leather that looks like it’s been polished by time. They are very shapely and also enticing in profile: not too low, not too high, just enough coverage. They are flat-flat, that’s true, and I would have preferred a bit of an elevation, but all in all, these shoes have captured my heart. These flats are available through YOOX.COM (click on the picture for more details), but my size isn’t there. I even wrote to the company, to no avail. So envious of people who have bought or will buy these.
Legendary Russian ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya as Kitri in Don Quixote.
So, which ballerina is better? Well, there are a lot of great ones, but I do have my favorites. Overall, I seem to like my ballerinas slightly elongated in the front, not totally round, but also not pointy. I love colors, good leather, airiness and originality in texture and design. I don’t like it when they are too low on the sides. I also don’t like when they are too flashy, even though I do like rhinestone and other detailing. It depends on how its’ done. I prefer a little elevation, but will go for a totally flat one too. If I had all the ballerinas that I like, I would be a happy woman!
How did you like my ballet flat line-up? What do you like most about ballerina shoes?