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Differences between ballerinas flats, ballerinas and Mary Janes

Diferencias entre manoletinas, bailarinas y merceditas

Manoletinas, ballet flats or Mary Janes, that is the question. Although the popular imagination believes that these are the same type of flat, elegant, closed and comfortable footwear, it should be noted that they are not the same.

These 3 very similar models of women's shoes are different, which is why many mistakenly point them out as synonyms.

In the next article we are going to see the differences between ballet flats, ballet flats and Mary Janes. And know in depth what each one of them is characterized by.

What is the origin of ballet flats?

A flat shoe, chic and made in Spain ? The ballet flat is the answer. And ballet flats have proven to be the perfect fusion between absolute comfort and elegance.

Flats are a shoe with a rounded toe, without closures and with a completely flat sole, although sometimes they can have a bit of a wedge.

Indeed, flats are characterized by being versatile footwear, perfect for all types of outfits : from more casual outfits to going to the office; going through events of any kind. Heels are not mandatory!

History of ballet flats

But where does the name “manoletina” come from? Well, we have to go back to the last century and one of the most popular figures in Spain during its first half: the bullfighter Manolete . That's where its name comes from.

Manolete used this footwear during bullfights. Later, designer Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez was inspired by the matador to create this popular women's shoe.

What is the origin of ballerinas?

As we already told you, ballet flats are essential footwear in the daily lives of many women. They are ideal for all types of outfits, both dresses and pants, and they are a must for any season of the year. And, as its name suggests, its origin dates back to classical ballet .

Ballerinas are flat, comfortable and flexible shoes.

A ballerina usually has a rounded toe, as well as an open instep without closures. However, it should be noted that there is a wide variety of ballerina models on the market . We can find them in different colors, styles and designs. For example, we find pointe ballet flats or square toe ballerinas .

History of the dancers

Although their origin dates back to the French dancer Marie Camargo in the 18th century, who decided to put aside her heels and shorten her skirt to dance on stage, it was not until the 1940s when designer Claire McCardell popularized them.

Likewise, already in the fifties, Givenchy fitted the legendary Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” with this type of footwear . The success was such that he would later also do it in other classic films such as “Roman Holiday” or “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

What is the origin of Mary Janes?

Mary Janes or Mary Janes are an open shoe, with a rounded toe, but with a closure that holds the foot. The latter can be a buckle, a button, a hook, or a Velcro; depending on the design.

This shoe is very versatile, since its style can perfectly follow fashion trends. For this reason, we can find Mary Janes with both flat soles and heels or wedges.

And, without a doubt, one of the most important designers in the history of Mary Janes for women is Manolo Blahnik , who dared to add heels to them. In this way, among the most faithful ambassadors of the Canarian shoemaker and his creation we find the actress Sarah Jessica Parker, the singer Rihanna or the model Kate Moss, among many other well-known faces.

History of the Merceditas

If the name “manoletinas” comes from the bullfighter Manolete, the “merceditas” have a real etymology. Specifically, we are referring to María de las Mercedes de Orleans, wife of King Alfonso XII, and queen consort of Spain .

She was known as Merceditas and died just 5 months after getting married at the age of 18. In her honor, they created a song that made reference to the patent leather shoes she wore on her wedding day and which inspired this model of footwear.

Next, let's look at the differences between ballet flats, ballet flats and Mary Janes.

Ballerinas or ballet flats: What are their differences?

The only difference between ballet flats and ballet flats is in their sole . While flats have a thicker sole or may even have a heel or some wedge; the ballerinas are much finer.

Manoletinas or Mary Janes: What are their differences?

And how are ballet flats and Mary Janes different? Very simple: to distinguish these two Spanish shoes, you have to look at their closure .

The Mary Janes have support on the instep, the flats have nothing; so it is easy to differentiate them at a glance.

Differences between Mary Janes and ballerinas

Again, to differentiate between Mary Janes and ballerinas you will have to look at the fastening straps . Mary Janes have, while ballet flats are a type of loose footwear. They are easy to check.

At Defloresyfloreros we have a wide collection of footwear made in Spain where, of course, we have ballet flats, ballet flats and Mary Janes for you. Visit our online store now or, if you prefer, we are on Calle Almirante, 16, in Madrid.

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