It is important to be prepared for your pointe shoe fitting to allow yourself the best opportunity to have the correct pair of pointe shoes fitted to your feet. It is important to ensure you are safe and ready to be on pointe and have had the correct clearance by a dance physiotherapist if it your first time on pointe or if you are returning after an injury. This ensures your safety and lessens your risk of injury on pointe.
Whether you are a beginner or have been on pointe for some time here are 5 tips to remember prior to your pointe shoe fitting:
1.Book an Appointment:
It is important to book an appointment to ensure you get the proper amount of time for your pointe shoe fitting at the specific retailer. The retailer can also ensure they have a pointe shoe fitter in to conduct the fitting and also saves you time waiting.
It is ideal to try and visit a retailer with a variety of different brands of shoes or one that you know stocks a good range of sizes and types. If you have big feet or particularly narrow feet for example, it is a good idea to flag this on the phone with the retailer so they can ensure they have the appropriate sizes in stock.
2. Bring old shoes and accessories
If you’re already on pointe and looking for a new pair of shoes then make sure you bring your old pair to the fitting. This allows the fitter to have a reference point to ensure they are able to help solve any problems you had with the previous shoe. Also don’t forget to bring your ‘ouch pouches’ and toe spacers if you wear them because this changes the way the shoes fit. This allows you to have the best chance of getting a well fitted pointe shoe.
Probably the most important point! Make sure you communicate how the shoes feel when you try them on. The fitter can’t feel what you are feeling in the shoe and they can help to give you another pair to try if anything doesn’t feel right with the shoes. Also make sure you communicate what you want with your shoes, how your previous shoes feel and how many hours a week you plan to dance on pointe. All of these things help the fitter choose the best shoe suited to you. The more you tell them, the more they are able to help you.
4. Visit an experienced Pointe shoe fitter
Make sure you visit an experienced pointe shoe fitter who has fit lots of dancers before. The experience ensures they know when to identify problems with shoes and what shoes are better for specific types of feet.
5. Be patient
Make sure you are patient with finding the right shoe. Just because you find problems with your shoes, doesn’t mean there will always be problems. It means you probably need to try a different brand or type of shoe. There will always be a shoe out there for you, but this process can sometimes take years and years to get right. Be patient and work with your dance teacher, physio and fitter to find the right pair for your feet.
It is best to get this right in your younger pointe years while you are at your studio and are supported and have access to a variety of shoes. Once ballet dancers get into companies or journey overseas it can make it much harder to find the right shoes if you don’t already know what they are.