While original versions of the style featured heels, contemporary ballet flat silhouettes evolved from the 1700s through the 1950s. Since the dance shoe’s foray into the public sphere in the late 16th century, non-heeled designs became the go-to look in the 1830s following the creation of pointe technique. Ballet flats found their way into mainstream fashion when American designer Claire McCardell commissioned Capezio to design a range of flats for her 1941 collection. In the 1950s, celebrities like Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy popularized the flat look, which has become a fixture in women’s everyday footwear collections. Today, black ballet flats continue to radiate timeless elegance. We’ve sorted through the endless options online and rounded up the best black flats you can buy.
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1. Sam Edelman Felicia Classic Ballet Flat
Crafted from 100% leather, these ballet flats feature a bow and charm detail on the rounded toe.
Pros: They include cushioned insoles and are designed to have minimal break-in time. The shoes come in narrow and wide width sizes, too.
Cons: These flats tend to run small, so you might need to buy a half-size up.
2. Naturalizer Flexy Ballet Flat
These leather flats feature a non-slip outer sole for stability and slightly elevated 0.75-inch heel.
Pros: Padding at the back of the heel helps prevent blisters. These also feature the brand’s comfort technology and are available in wide or narrow width sizes.
Cons: They tend to run on the larger side, so you might want to go a half-size down.
3. Amazon Essentials Ballet Flat
In a pointed toe silhouette, these are made with faux leather from the inside out.
Pros: A padded, memory foam insole and heel pillow offer a cushioned feel all around. They are lightweight, durable and flexible for optimal comfort.
Cons: The flats run wide.