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Pointe Shoes: Tips and advice

Energetiks Writer Katerina shares some helpful tips when it comes to trying on pointe shoes! :) POINTE SHOE TIPS

When I first began dancing, my dream was to be en pointe like all the older girls at my dance school and the ballerinas I saw in magazines. They were such beautiful ballerinas and I couldn’t wait to be just like them. When the time came to buy my first pair of pointe shoes, I was so nervous and excited – it was finally happening!

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Having an experienced shoe fitter is always important (especially for your first pair) but it’s important for us as dancers to know what a good fitting shoe feels like as we make the final decision when picking a shoe. Here are a few tips to use when going for a pointe shoe fitting:

  1. Slide your foot into the shoe. When trying on the pointe shoe make sure you try them with any accessories you use such as lamb’s wool, toe pouches or toe separators so you can get the best fit.
  2. Once your shoe is on, stand-up to check if your toes touch the end. Try to wiggle your toes around. The shoe should fit nice and snug so as to prevent blistering. Another good way to check the length is to do a plie. Your toes should just touch the end of the shoe but should not be scrunched.
  3. Check the narrowness of the shoe by making sure no toes are overlapping. Pointe shoes come in different widths like they come in different sizes so there will be a pair to fit you perfectly.
  4. Place one foot en pointe. The fabric should gather at the back of your heel so that you can pinch the fabric. Although it must not be too saggy.
  5. Point and flex your feet to make sure the heel is not too tight or alternatively to make sure your foot isn’t slipping out of the shoe.
  6. Make sure you feel supported in your shoes. Your foot should sit comfortably and securely in position and should not be sliding down into the shoe.

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Make sure you try on lots of different shoes so that you find the pair that suits you. There are so many different brands, styles, sizes, widths and strengths that are available. Give yourself the knowledge of different shoes and lots of options so that you can find a great shoe that will support you as your learn and help you perform at your best.

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Always follow the instructions of the professionals around you. The assistant in a dance shoe store will be trained to give you advice and match you with your perfect shoe. It is also important to get the opinion of your ballet teacher. Your first pair of pointe shoes is an exciting time for any dancer and you will experience the thrill of improving each day with practice in your beautiful shoes!

Happy Dancing!

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