Are The Ganni Ballerinas Worth The Hype (& $545)?

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The Ganni ballerina flats are perhaps the most trendy shoes of 2024, so far. A continuation of the ballet flat trend that saw red, mesh and studded iterations flood our For You feeds for much of the past year, the Ganni ballerinas are an enduring style that's quickly cemented its place as a staple shoe in many fashion lovers' wardrobes — mine included.
Though they were first released in 2021, the ballerinas shot to the top of my wishlist last year, when visiting the newly-opened Ganni store in the Galeries in Sydney. Sitting atop two brightly-coloured plinths, the studded ballerina flats immediately struck me as unique, blending two classic silhouettes (pointed-toe slingbacks and ballet flats) with a striking patent outer and bold, buckled straps.
I immediately knew they'd slot into my wardrobe, thanks to being simple enough for everyday wear but still edgy enough to add interest to any outfit. "The Buckle Ballerina draws its inspiration from the intersection of classic sophistication and a more contemporary everyday look," Ditte Reffstrup, Ganni's creative director, tells Refinery29 Australia. "We wanted to create a shoe that captures the essence of the modern woman, someone who appreciates comfort without sacrificing style. It's a nod to traditional ballerina flats, but with a fresh twist to make it uniquely Ganni."
The range has since expanded to include eight colourways, and spin-off styles like slingback pumps and an ankle-strap version. In my view, the black and red flats remain the most iconic, so I was thrilled when the brand agreed to send me a pair of the patent black ballerinas to review.
Straight out of the box, the shoes feel sturdy enough for me to hope they'll last years in my wardrobe, particularly with the rubber soles, which have a slight heel and extend beyond the pointed-toe fabric, hopefully offering some protection from scuffing. My first impression is that they will take the place of sandals in my autumn wardrobe, thanks to the low profile and slingback strap.
@refinery29au We wore the #ganni buckle ballerina flats for a week to find out if they’re worth the money. #WearTest #R29AU #R29WearTest #balletflats #gannishoes #gannibuckleflats ♬ original sound - Refinery29 Australia
To fully acquaint myself with the shoes, I wore them almost every day for a week, which is an ambitious undertaking for new shoes. On the first day, I wore them with socks to add some extra cushioning and put bandaids on my heels to prevent any rubbing or blisters from developing. And I was glad I did, as the slingback strap was quite rigid for the first few wears, though it did loosen up within a week — and after wearing them consistently for a month, I'm pleased to report that there is no rubbing at all.
The shoes themselves are extremely comfortable. I've worn them on hot and cold days, plus days when I've trekked through the airport and commuted to and from the train station — basically, I've been putting them through their paces. I do have a few scuffs at the toe of the shoes, on both the sole and the patent fabric itself, though looking at every shoe in my wardrobe suggests that I need to work on lifting my feet when walking, so I suppose this is to be expected for me (though it is something to keep in mind).
I've mostly worn the ballerinas with socks or all shapes and lengths because I love the look, and I've been pleasantly surprised by just how many of my outfits they work with. Mini skirts and jeans are instantly elevated. I even wore them to an event with a pair of E Nolan resort trousers that might otherwise look like pyjamas, but garnered many compliments from other fashion editors.
The Ganni buckle ballerinas retail for $545, so they are a premium shoe and not a purchase many of us would make lightly. But since starting to wear them, I've felt like my outfits look more intentional than they do with my more plain shoes, and add a certain amount of personality to otherwise neutral outfits. I joked to my colleagues that they've become a pretty crucial part of my personality, and while that might be hyperbolic, they've certainly increased the enjoyment I get out of putting outfits together.
Deciding whether a pair of shoes is worth the $545 investment is a personal choice, particularly when it's such a statement shoe. But I can confirm that they'll be getting a lot of mileage in my wardrobe.
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