Do I need an appointment for a Pointe Shoe fitting?
Appointments are suggested to ensure enough time is scheduled for your fitting. However, we usually have a professionally trained pointe shoe fitter on hand to conduct the fitting, just give us a quick call to be sure. We do ask that you please arrive at least 30 minutes before closing to ensure enough time for a proper fitting, especially if it is your first fitting. Fitting times will vary in length but expect to spend at least 30 minutes to ensure you find the right pair of pointe shoes.
What is the right age to begin pointe work?
Most dancers do not start pointe work until the age of 10 - 12, but your teacher/ studio director will always be the best source to determine if a dancer is ready for pointe work. It is important that dancers develop the necessary strength to support themselves in the pointe shoe. Dancers must have the technical ability to maintain proper alignment while working in pointe shoes. Attempting pointe work without proper strength and technique, or before bones have fully formed can lead to many serious injuries. Demi Pointe Shoes are a great tool for young dancers to develop the necessary muscles to progress onto pointe.
Can I buy my pointe shoes with room to grow?
It is very dangerous for dancers to wear pointe shoes that are too big or have room for growth. For pointe shoes to work properly, they must be fitted to the dancer's foot to support the foot properly. Any extra space allows the dancer's foot to shift and move inside the shoes. This movement can cause many injuries such as blisters, calluses, strained tendons and ligaments, and even broken bones.
How do I break in my new pointe shoes?
The best way to break in your pointe shoes is by wearing them. You want your pointe shoes to break in to the exact shape of your foot, and not where it was bent with hands. Bending the shoe in the wrong spot will damage the shoe and not allow it to work properly. You can also use a small amount of water or rubbing alcohol to help break in the box. Talk with your teacher for other tips for breaking in new shoes.
Is there a left or right foot?
There is no labeled left or right foot for new pointe shoes. Similar to soft ballet shoes, pointe shoes will gradually mold and shape to your feet, creating a left and right foot. It is important to label your shoes once worn to keep them on the correct foot.
How can I make my pointe shoes last longer?
To get the most life out of a pair of pointe shoes it is very important to make to leave them somewhere they can dry thoroughly after each wear. Never place a “just worn” pointe shoe in any type of bag (mesh or not), and never leave any padding inside the shoe. This keeps the moisture in the shoes and allows the natural materials to break down faster. It is also a good idea to have two pairs of pointe shoes to alternate between to increase their longevity. This will guarantee that your shoes have dried completely.
What should my new pointe shoes feel like?
Pointe shoes should feel snug and fitted all around your foot. You should feel you toes touching the edge of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle your toes inside the box. Standing in second position and in demi-plie the big toe should feel all the way to the end, and not bent or curled in anyway. Pointe shoes will not feel roomy and comfortable like street shoes.
How do I protect my feet in my pointe shoes?
Having the proper padding and protection is very important when wearing your pointe shoes. Ideally you want to have as minimal padding as you are comfortable with. Too much padding fills up the box and does not allow you to feel the floor properly in your shoes. There are many different types of toe and pad pointe shoe accessories to help alleviate pressure and sensitive areas. Toe pads come in thin fabric covered gels, silicone, foam, and lamb's wool. We recommend dancers use the fabric covered pointe pads (such as ouch pouch). There are a number of accessories to help with sensitive areas. We suggest you bring your shoes to the store and talk with one our fitters to find the best solution for your feet.