What to Expect in a Pointe Shoe Fitting

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Hi Dancers! Today I’m going to be talking about what to expect when you get a professional pointe shoe fitting and some ways to prepare for your fitting. I recently did a video about this topic for our DDS YouTube channel, so check that out as well.

I always recommend going in to a store and getting a professional fitting because you don’t want to guess when you are ordering pointe shoes. They need to fit exactly right and most brands come in a variety of styles, lengths, widths, vamp lengths, and shank strengths. Taking the time to go to a fitter is always worth it! Even if you’ve been wearing the same shoes for a while, feet change over time and you get stronger as a dancer. That can influence what you’re looking for in a shoe.

Here are a few preparation tips:

  1. Make sure you’re on the same page as your teacher. You always want your teacher’s sign off for you to start pointe. He or she knows when you are strong enough.
  2. Write down any suggestions your teacher may have as far as brands and styles. Many teachers only want their dancers in certain types of shoes.
  3. Have an idea of what kind of padding (if any) you’d like to wear in your shoes. Does your teacher recommend anything? Some dancers can get whatever kind of padding they want. Other studios are stricter about what can be worn in shoes.
  4. Come in to your fitting a little warmed up. Do a few plié/relevés or some work with your resistance band so that you aren’t coming in totally cold.
What-to-Expect-in-a-Pointe-Shoe-Fitting

Your shoes should fit quite snug. When you stand in second position and grand plié (that is when your feet are at the widest and most spread out) your toes shouldn’t be crunched or overlapping. If they are, the shoes are too short or too narrow. When you are en relevé in first position, you should be nicely centered over the platform, neither pulled back, nor popping over the vamp. When you are en relevé in parallel, the shanks shouldn’t be twisting or pulling.

Be communicative with your fitter. Sometimes a shoe may look perfect from the outside, but if you’re feeling concentrated pain in a certain area, that’s not good. Be prepared to have your fitting last up to an hour, especially if it is your first pair. As a fitter, I like to make sure that the dancer has the ultimate fit and sometimes that means trying on a lot of different shoes.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Happy dancing!

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