Hi Dancers! Today I’m going to be talking about different pointe shoes for certain foot shapes. I recently did a video about this topic that is on our Discount Dance Supply YouTube page, so check that out too.
These are not hard and fast rules! These are general guidelines that can help point (pun intended!) you in the direction of the correct shoe. I always recommend being fit by a professional, but these tips can help narrow down the kind of shoe you may want to try.
The first thing I look at when I’m fitting a dancer is the shape of the foot. Most people fall in to one of three basic foot shapes: Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. There are variations on these and some dancers are in between two shapes, but typically you can place a dancer in one of these three categories. Generally speaking, you want a shoe shape that is similar to the foot shape. Meaning if you have narrow feet with tapered toes, you want a narrow and tapered box. If you have wide and square feet, you want a wide and square shoe. That provides the support necessary to effectively dance en pointe.
Egyptian feet tend to be narrow with the first toe being the longest and the other four tapering down like stair steps. Therefore, you want to look for a tapered box. Something like a Grishko 2007, Bloch Heritage, or Gaynor Minden #3 box is a good starting place.
Greek shaped feet have a second toe that is longest and the three little toes taper down from there. This creates in inverted V-shape, or diamond shape. With this foot, you want a box with some taper to reduce pressure on that long second toe, but also something wide enough to accommodate the other toes without squeezing them together. Freed Studio, Grishko Maya, Russian Pointe Rubin or Entrada are some common shoes that I use for this foot shape.
Roman feet are squarer in shape and the first three toes are similar in length. They tend to be wider feet, but that isn’t always the case. This foot benefits from a broad and square box to distribute the weight evenly among the toes. I suggest trying a Bloch Balance European, Grishko Elite, Russian Pointe Muse, or Mirella Whisper.
You’ll notice that there are several shoes that work for various foot shapes. For example, the Russian Pointe Rubin fits a wide variety of feet, as does the Grishko 2007. Don’t be afraid to try lots of different shoes and experiment until you find your perfect fit.
I hope these tips have been helpful. Happy dancing!