Pointe Shoes - A guide to fitting pointe shoes

Getting the correct fit for your pointe shoes is highly important. It will help you avoid injury and give your best possible performance. When fitting pointe shoes for the first time, it’s very important you get the correct fit. We therefore recommend getting your pointe shoes professionally fitted by an individual qualified to do so.

There are many different methods used to fit pointe shoes but here are three basics to think about whilst getting them fitted.

How to choose the correct size

Your pointe shoe will usually be slightly larger than your regular street shoe. This is to allow room for toe protection which as a general rule takes up an extra half a size. For toe protection, we recommend Bunheads Ouch Pouches.

Check the length of your pointe shoe

Put on your toe protection and place the pointe shoe on your foot. A well fitted shoe will have a nice snug fit with your toes flat but just about touching the end. If your toes are pushed up then you must choose a larger size because this means the pointe shoes are too small. If your pointe shoes fit correctly, they will be snug but may allow you to slightly wriggle your toes inside the shoe.

Check the width of your pointe shoe

A good way to check whether you have the correct width fitting is to check the alignment of the shoe on your foot when on pointe. To do this, stand with one foot flat on the floor and one foot in full pointe. Place a little pressure on the foot on pointe and look at the back of the shoe. If the shoe leans to one side then you need to try a different width fitting. A well fitted pointe shoe will always remain in perfect alignment with the back of your foot.

The diagram on the left below demonstrates how a well fitted pointe shoe will remain aligned with the foot. The diagram on the right however shows how the wrong size will lean slightly to one side. This is particularly visible when comparing the back of each shoe behind the heel.

General Guidance

Dance Gear Direct regularly sells pointe shoes to experienced dancers who are replacing an existing pair. However, if you are in any doubt, we recommend getting your pointe shoes professionally fitted by an individual qualified to do so.

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