Ready to go en pointe? Buying your first pair of ballet pointe shoes can be very exciting, but you must make sure that the shoes are fitted correctly. The best advice is to go to a professional shop, where the staff are trained to fit pointe shoes properly and these tips are guidelines only:
Pointe shoes should have a snug fit, to enable the dancer to point the toes and to give the correct support.
The shoe must not be too tight. Ballet dancers will feel uncomfortable when the shoes are first fitted, but if they are too tight the dancer will end up in severe pain, and cause long-term damage to the feet.
Wear dance tights when being fitted for pointe shoes.
Do not buy shoes that are too big. The heel of the shoe should not come away from the dancer's heel. Any ballet shoes that are too big for a dancer will affect her balance and support.
Check that the width is correct. A common mistake is to buy a smaller size to get a better fit, but good pointe shoe suppliers should offer different widths.
Some dancers prefer particular brands of pointe shoes, so try on a few different pairs to get the best type for your feet.
Illustrated Guide to the Official Ballet Syllabus (Royal Academy of Dancing)
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