I put on my first pair of ballet slippers before the age of three. When asked to write an essay for a college application about my three most prized possessions, I included a description of an old pair of tap shoes that I wore for the Dance Educators of America National Competition (we took home first place). My old-school white oxford jazz shoes — more scuffs than shoe, after more than a decade of slides and pirouettes — took me a little longer to replace than most of my leather shoes when I decided to make my closet cruelty-free.
Vegan alternatives for dance footwear aren’t as plentiful as I would like them to be, but I’m happy to report that there are now some good options available for those of us who know firsthand that dancing feet are happy feet.
Here are my favorites, for dancers of all ages:
Ballet: Cynthia King Vegan Ballet Slippers cynthiakingdance.com
Pointe: Grishko custom-made grishko.com
Jazz: Capezio DanSneakers capezio.com
*Tap Shoes: Capezio will make vegan tap shoes upon special order. capezio.com