In this world of mass production, owning a pair of hand-made pointe shoes is an absolute privilege. It is a privilege that is earned through years of diligent training.
But dancing in the wrong shoes can not only lea
Just a few decades ago, there were only a few brands of pointe shoes to choose from, but now there are dozens of brands and hundreds of models to fit just about any dancer. There are also many different accessories to help prevent injuries and discomfort (but that's for another blog).
There is SO MUCH to fitting a pointe shoe properly because every foot is unique (even your own two feet are different!). But at the most basic level, here are the 5 things to look for:
- Box shape: Shape of your toes determine the shape of the box (the part of the pointe shoes that encases the toes). There are two types of toes: tapered or non-tapered. Tapered toes have one long toe (usually the big toe or second toe) and the smaller toes taper down sharply to create a triangle like shape. These types of feet require a tapered box like a Russian Pointe Safir. Non-tapered toes have pretty even length toes. These types of feet require a square box like a Bloch European Balance.
- Crown: The crown of the shoe is the height of the box when you look at it from the profile. This is determined by the thickness of your foot. The mouth of the pointe shoe (where the drawstring is) should lie flat on the top of your foot without any space between the shoe and your foot or bulging over the drawstring.
- Length: Length of the shoes should be fitted so your toes barely touch the end of the shoe in plie without jamming at the end. Because your feet naturally shinks when you pointe your feet, there should be a just a slight pinch of fabric when you are en pointe.
- Width: The width of the pointe shoes should be measured at the metatarsal area. In plie, your toes shouldn’t be so tight that they are on top of each other, but should be snug enough so your toes cannot move too much.
- Shank Strength: Shank is the backbone of the pointe shoe that supports the bottom of your feet. The shank strength is determined by many things but one of the most common indicators is your arch. If you have a high arch, you should choose a harder shank. If you have a low arch, a softer one.
Dancing en pointe shouldn’t be an unbearable experience. If something hurts so bad you want to quit, something is not right. No fitter can promise you a completely painless experience, but we can fit you properly to help avoid unnecessary injury or pain.
The right fit will support your feet and create a beautiful line. But remember, pointe shoe fitting is often a moving target. There is a lot of frustration involved in finding your perfect fit, but don’t worry. We are here to guide you through the journey.
Au Revoir xoxo