Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them when being fitted for Pointe Shoes. It is not reccomended to buy pointe shoes online, unless you have been dancing on pointe for a while and know exactly what make and style and EXACTLY what size you need.
Some dance store associates tend to fit the shoes way too loosely. Tell them your teacher insists on a snug fit.They need to fit snugly so that the foot does not slide around while dancing. If you give it some thought, this is very logical. The shoes should fit like a glove and never leave room for growth. Trying to learn proper technique on pointe with shoes that are too large introduces many difficulties. In addition to causing blistering, it forces you into bad habits as you try to compensate for your foot sliding around within the pointe shoe. Such habits, once formed are difficult to correct. When you are pointe shoe shopping, be prepared to try on perhaps 30 pairs of shoes, yet still walk out without buying if you are not completely satisified with the way that they fit. Do NOT succumb to seller pressure. T he shoe should be snug but not painfully tight. Your toes should be able to lay straight inside the box of the shoe and NOT be jammed into the end. Be sure that your toes are not overlapping.
In addition to being a snug fit, make sure the pointe shoes feel relatively good in the store. If you find pointe shoes that feel terrific and have a snug fit in relevé first, BUY THEM INSTANTLY!!! DO NOT purchase pointe shoes if they DO NOT feel good in the store. The shoes will not magically be pain free at the studio if they felt terrible in the store.
DO NOT sew on elastics and/or ribbons until your teacher has checked the shoes in person for proper fit. Many sales associates have never worn pointe shoes and can not relate to their feel. They may have to be returned.
In preparing to go for your Pointe shoe fitting make sure you have plenty of time and are not in a rush. Wear tights and be sure to cut your toe nails, but make sure that they are not too short.
The following is a portion from Freed of London’s website:
With both shoes on, stand with your weight on both feet and knees bent. In this position, your feet will be at their widest. Your shoes should feel snug but not pinch. You should also feel the block ‘cupping’ your toes. In addition, you should feel the little toe joint, the big toe joint and the center of the heel on the floor in this position.
Next, place one foot on Pointe without transferring body weight. If the outer sole of the shoe remains flat against the pad of your heel, your shoe is the right width for you. If your sole twists away from your foot, the shoe is too narrow. At this time, you should also check that the block completely covers the toe joints.
To check the length of the shoe, go on Pointe on both feet and transfer your body-weight onto your toes. If the outer sole of the shoe extends beyond the pad of your heel, the shoe is too long.
It is a good idea to learn at this time the parts of a Pointe Shoe so you can describe to the seller what part of the shoe is bothering you.
Going on Pointe is a wonderful time in your dancelife. Enjoy every minute of being able to do such an amazing form of dance!