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All Pointe Shoes are not Created Equal: Important Tips to Help you Find the Right Pointe Shoe
There are many important points to consider when purchasing your Pointe Shoes. It is essential to find the right shoe that provides the proper fit, support, and comfort.
Dancing On Pointe
Pointe shoes do not come with the elastic and ribbons sewn on. In most cases, these items are sold separately. Before applying the elastic and ribbons, let your teacher check the fit of the shoe. Once the ribbons and elastic is sewn on, pointe shoes cannot be returned.
Structure Makes a Difference
The box can be either wide or tapered. A tapered box is narrower toward the tip of the shoe and gets wider as it approaches the drawstring. Shoes with a tapered box are good for dancers whose toes decrease in length from the big toe to the pinky toe. Shoes with a wider box are great for dancers whose toes are all close to the same length.
Vamps can either be “V” shaped or “U” shaped. “V” shaped vamps are usually longer, which gives the foot a little extra support.
The shank is the part of the shoe that must be “broken in.” The shank provides arch support in the shoe. Shanks come in different strengths: hard, medium, and soft. Most beginner pointe dancers should get medium or hard shanks to build strength in their arches.
Find the Perfect Fit
Pointe shoes must have an exact fit on the foot, almost like a sock. In order to get the correct fit, consider the following tips:
About the Author: Alexandra Barbier has worked at Pampo’s Dance & Swim for three years and has served as a Pampo’s manager for two years. An experienced dancer for 15 years, she has spent the majority of her dance training was with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre where she studied ballet and pointe and performed as a company member in their production of The Nutcracker. She also performed in two musicals with the Baton Rouge Little Theatre, danced with Of Moving Colors modern dance company, and was a member of her high school dance team. Alexandra currently attends LSU where she is majoring in apparel design and hopes to become a costume designer.