Poppy Barley
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The Product

The Results Are In: Here’s What You Want In Perfect Rounded-Toe Ballet Flats

Aug 30, 2013

First off: a huge thanks to all of you for taking our Contemporary Ballet Flats Survey. Your opinions and feedback play a vital role in the development of new products at Poppy Barley (we want all of our made to measure shoes to be the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever walked in!). The results surrounding the design of our rounded-toe ballet flats are more than insightful—and made us realize that we were about to make the wrong decisions about a few design elements (like sole type and leather colours)!

Custom flats by Poppy Barley


Drumroll, please… here are the results:

PoppyBarley sole type survey results A Rubber/Leather Sole combo was voted the most popular option, though the Full Leather Sole was a close second. I assumed a Full Rubber Sole would be the top choice (and was designing The Contemporary Ballet flat with that in mind), and so I’m grateful we did this survey so that we could change direction.

Given the close survey results and the fact that our current collection of custom flats all have Leather/Rubber Sole combos, we’re going to launch our Contemporary Ballet flats with a Leather Sole and a Rubber Heel.

PoppyBarley-insoletype-survey-resultsOffering comfortable insoles with arch support was the overwhelming favourite. The vast majority of our previous flats purchasers (who bought The Classic Point, The Feminine Slipper and The Modern Mary-Jane) love the comfort of an arch supported insole, so your voice has definitely reinforced our decision to keep this component for our Contemporary Ballet flats.


Almost everyone had an opinion on this one. In the end, though, a heel with a small lift won out with a decent majority—which is what we had planned for in our early design specs.


This confirms what we’ve seen in our orders: black leather is the overwhelming favourite, and most of you want your custom ballet flats in neutrals (black, browns, metallics) that go with everything! It surprised me that no one voted for red leather, as we seem to get a lot of requests to bring it in (perhaps this is a request specifically for boots?). We keep looking at emerald leather, but haven’t found one we love yet (we’ve learnt from experience that bad things result–like skin-coloured leather–in trying to get a tannery to make a specific Pantone).

Given the interest in metallics and animal prints, what do you think of either one of these options for your dream ballet flats?


Next week, we’re expecting a batch of rounded-toe shoe samples with the cap toe design, a leather sole, and an arch supported insole. We’ll share some photos when they arrive (always an exciting delivery), and then we’ll be getting very close to ordering all the materials we need to launch our fourth flats style.

Stay tuned (in the meantime, see what leather colours are coming this Fall), and thank you for your feedback!


Justine Barber

Co-Founder, Poppy Barley
Justine started Poppy Barley with her sister Kendall in 2012 after a seemingly endless frustration with boot shopping. An avid runner and reader, Justine shares her life in Edmonton with her husband Connor, son Jude, and puppy Quinn.