So your teacher has finally given you the OK to go on pointe! As any experienced ballet dancer will tell you, your pointe shoes can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Getting the right fit will help ensure that you’ll be able to work safely and gives you a solid foundation for your pointe technique. Seeing a professional fitter for your first pair—and coming to your appointment prepare–will set you up for success. Here at DanceWear Corner, we pride ourselves on having the knowledge and expertise needed to provide dancers with the best pointe shoe fitting experience. Each of our pointe shoe fitters has gone through training to help ensure that the dancers who come through our door will leave with the best shoes. All of our fitters are deeply knowable about all of our products.
Before The Fitting
There are a few things that a dancer needs to know and do, before coming in for a fitting. Because every pointe teacher and studio has different requirements, it is important to ask your teacher if there is anything special that your teacher wants you to have in your shoes. The slightest change in the padding of your pointe shoes will completely change the fit of the shoe. Knowing the requirements for the inside of the shoe will help your fitter get you the best shoe possible.
Some things to ask your teacher about before coming into your fitting is: What kind of material or thickness of toepads are you allowed to have? Is there any shoe brand preferences? Do they have a preference for spacers or on the ribbon and elastic? These are all things that a dancer needs to know before coming into the store for their fitting as they are questions that will come up during your fitting.
Before coming in make sure that your toenails are all nicely trimmed before arriving for your appointment and that any blisters or sore spots are bandaged up so that they do not add any extra pain or discomfort. Having long toenails in the fitting can cause some unneeded pain that might make a great fitting pointe shoe feel like the wrong one. In fact, any blisters or sore spots that are left untreated can make an otherwise great shoe feel like the wrong one.
Things To Know About The Pointe Shoe
Your fitter will educate you on what the pointe shoe is made out of and how to take care of them, but it is always a good idea to know a little bit about the anatomy of the pointe shoe before you go in. So familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the pointe shoe.
During the Fitting
While you are not required to bring anything with you to the fitting if it is your first time we recommend wearing convertible tights. Wearing convertible tights to the fittings will help the process of pointe shoe fitting go a lot faster as the tights will help keep the padding and other accessories on your foot through putting on shoes and taking them off. If you are coming in as an experienced pointe shoe dancer it can help the fitter if you bring your past pointe shoes. This way if you are trying to address a specific problem in your past shoes, the fitter can see what the shoes look like and how they fit. This will help them fix the problems that you have.
How They Feel
Your pointe shoe fitter will explain how the shoes should feel. If it is not your first fitting then you know that they do not feel like any shoe you have ever worn before. The shoes should feel tight on your feet to prevent sinking into them, but you should not feel any unnecessary pain. This is why it is so important to communicate openly with your fitter. Before you try on any shoes your fitter will first have you go up on relevé and plié to get a feel for your feet. Your fitter will also ask you a series of questions each time you try on a different pointe shoe–and trust me you will be trying on many. So having this open line of communication will allow you to get the best fit possible. Some of the questions that your fitter will ask are things like: How does the box feel on your metatarsals? Are your toes laying flat? Are your toes pushing up against the platform of the shoe? Your fitter will then have you go up on pointe were they will ask you some more questions. This process will go on for every shoe that you try until we have a pile of shoes that you like and can see yourself wearing in class. Then we will have you try them on two at a time and narrow them down from there. This processes can take time so be patient.
Family and Friends
During the fitting, every dancer wants to know if they are allowed to bring their family and friends along with them. I am here to tell you that, of course, you are able to bring your friends and family along with you! We encourage family members and friends to take pictures of the process. If your friends also decide to get a fitting we are happy to fit them in for a fitting as well. However, because we like to conduct our fittings on a one-on-one basis they might have to wait a bit until you are done. We do offer group fitting if you and a number of your friends all want to be fitted together, just make sure to call ahead so that we can make sure to have enough fitters that are able to accommodate a larger group.
Whether it is your first time getting a pointe shoe or your tenth, here at DanceWear Corner we have the experienced fitters that will help you get the perfect pair. Click here you book your own fitting or call ahead to book an appointment so that we can make sure a fitter is available for you.