Forum: Ballet / Pointe - General

How do you prep your feet?
By DreamingOnPointe
On Wed May 13, 2015 01:03 PM

I was wondering what you do to "prepare" your feet before slipping on pointe shoes?

To be more specific: do you just use pads? Lambswool or gel? Over or in your tights? Wrap any toes, use toe spacers and so on? Or do you dare to go completely barefoot?

Would love to hear what reasons you have or benefits you see to gearing up the way you do!

I'm used to wearing convertible tights so I can slip those gel toe wrap thingies (no clue what they're called, sorry) on my little toes to take the pressure off them a little bit. Then I just use Ouch Pouches on my bare toes before pulling my tights over them, in part to secure the pads better and in part to prevent chafing of the tights.

But I've seen so many dancers use so many different techniques and I figured it would be beneficial to hear what others tend to do so I can try a few options and maybe find something helpful I hadn't considered before.

I'm looking forward to and thanking you in advance for your replies! :)

11 Replies to How do you prep your feet?

re: How do you prep your feet?
By Kittydoodles
On Wed May 13, 2015 02:23 PM
Edited by Kittydoodles (269987) on 2015-05-13 14:24:40 Add detail
I use just regular generic toe pads. Where I started pointe, we weren't allowed to have gel pads. I also don't use lambs wool. Personally, I feel that's made my feet much more tough and easy to work with. I also put the pads inside my tights to keep them from moving.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By Gracie220
On Wed May 13, 2015 04:15 PM
Hmm...depends on which pair of shoes I'm wearing. It seems like there's a different "magical" padding combination for each of my shoes - my favorite shoes so far are RP Sapfir and Grishko 2007 (narrow, pretty tapered feet). My second toes are almost as long as my big toes, so I always use a jelly tip on each of my second toes to help alleviate some of the pressure from my big toes. I also use a spacer between my big toe and second toe. Then I cover it all with a lambs wool pad (I also like the synthetic lambs wool Ashley Bouder pads at Sometimes I use a big tip on my big toes, sometimes not - depends on the length and profile of the shoe. All that loveliness goes under my tights, but I often go without tights when practicing at home.

I'm an adult returning dancer and I've found over time, as my feet have re-adjusted to the feel pointe, that I'm able to use less padding. For example, I used to need ouch pouches (plus jelly tips and big tips) on my feet - lots of gel. Now I prefer lambs wool.

But again, it all has to do with the fit of the shoe for me. I've had pairs in the past that were a little too wide or a little too square or didn't support my metatarsals properly. Adding a jelly tip to my third toes helped fill out the shoe perfectly in some cases, if I'd already sewn ribbons and elastics on and couldn't return them.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 13, 2015 10:21 PM
I use the pre sewn lambs wool pads that have a thin layer of gel at the tip. Before I dance I also use a wire cat brush (yes, a cat brush) against the grain to fluff them back up. The fuzz gets flat very quickly, but these are the best for me, so I do my best to make it work. I also wear them inside my tights because then I can get the placement juuuust right before sliding on my shoe. I find they wiggle too much if they're on the outside.

Depending on how my feet are doing I may also use KT tape or atheletic tape (depends on how it feels) to support my bad ankle and/or bad big toe. I also like a small square of moleskin for that inner big toe corner, sometimes it's tender!
re: How do you prep your feet?
By hummingbird
On Thu May 14, 2015 10:21 AM
For new shoes I always wore band aids round me big, second and little toes, if it was a pair of old faithfuls then I would wear nothing, I didn't even like tights inside my shoes :)
re: How do you prep your feet?
On Sat May 16, 2015 01:15 PM
When I wear grishko shoes, I tape my toes, using either Nexcare waterproof tape or elastikon tape. When I wear freeds, I don't wear anything in my shoes. If I have a blister, I use a second skin square and sometimes blister bandaids.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By behindbarres
On Sun May 17, 2015 07:21 PM
I tape my toes, flip my tights over them, and put my shoes on. I usually don't wear padding unless I put a little wool at the bottom of my shoe to even out the weight on my morton's toe.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By phoenix146
On Sun May 17, 2015 09:40 PM
It depends on the shoe I'm wearing, for my russians i tape my second and two little toes on each foot and use a very thin fabric pad.

I pull my tights over my pads though, i prefer rolling them up.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By Elindranythmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon May 18, 2015 01:13 PM
I wear a big toe spacer under my convertible tights, Leo's gel pads over the tights, and then a little liner over the pads cut from an old pair of footed tights. I hate having the gel touching my skin but it needs to be covered or it gets stuck going in the shoe :P
re: How do you prep your feet?
By Ristoncormember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon May 18, 2015 06:38 PM
I use Gellow toe pads, but I put the cotton side on my skin and pull my tights over the gel part. Sometimes I'll tape my fourth toes, since my fifth toes sort of go under the fourth ones and it can be a little painful.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By puppies_flyPremium member
On Wed May 20, 2015 05:53 PM
I use cloth tape on all my toes (one piece around the big toe and then one more covering the top of the other 4 toes) and I usually wear tights over my feet. Depending on the shoes either that's it or I'll put a little wool or folded paper towel inside the toe of the tights.
re: How do you prep your feet?
By vivien_o
On Thu May 21, 2015 04:23 PM
Occasionally I'll tape my toes, but usually I just use a bit of lambs wool in my shoe to help distribute the weight (2nd toe is longer). Depending on the shoe, I might take a little bit of rosin and powder my heel with it so the heel doesn't slip off.

Something that I found interesting was that Dusty Button uses the toe part from a sock (cut off), which I had never really thought of doing but sounds like a good idea.


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