At your first pointe shoe fitting you will be introduced to one of the most unique and powerful dance shoes available. Pointe shoes allow dancers to appear as if they are weightless and floating while dancing. This is only possible if you have been fit properly with the correct pointe shoes and pointe shoe accessories for your particular feet.
Toe pads are the most common of all pointe shoe accessories. They are pads that cushion the toes from the tough, compact box preventing friction that can cause blistering or bunions. They come in different styles, some thicker then others, giving dancers a choice of how much padding they prefer in their shoes.
Some are made with thin lightweight fabric covering gel sheets such as these Ouch Pouches shown below. They are designed to cover the ball of the foot, toes and bunion areas. Their sleek shape hugs the foot and keeps pads from sliding or bunching.
Another form of toe pads is Lambswool. This is a type of wool that you can pull apart and wrap around the toes to reduce the risk of chaffing. After many uses with the lambswool if will become compact and formfitting to the dancers foot. This type of wool is also great with preventing odor.
Gel toe pads are softer then most toe pads. They help to distribute toe force pressure evenly and has exceptional shock absorption. These pads are also rip and tear resistant.
When deciding between toe pads, look for the feeling of secure sensation with little movement inside the shoe. You should be able to feel the floor without sacrificing comfort and protection. A dancer should choose toe pads based on their own feet and what feels most comfortable to them while on pointe.