Forum: Ballet / Pointe - Beginners

Pointe - Beginners
adult first time en Pointe
By Jenerator Comments: 287, member since Fri Jun 04, 2004
On Tue May 17, 2016 04:52 AM

Hi. I'm 51 and have been taking ballet for about 10 years. I've been told that i can try going en pointe (have been checked out and okayed by a dance physio). On holiday in New York so went to Grishko on teacher's suggestion. They didn't have a shoe that fit me and suggested Sansha, who also couldnt help. Anyone have any other suggestions? I dont expect to ever get off the barre because I'm not a particularly STRONG dancer but I would like to at least try!

6 Replies to adult first time en Pointe

re: adult first time en Pointe
By Alassin_Sanemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 266, member since Tue Dec 28, 2010
On Tue May 17, 2016 07:04 AM
Could you give any further details about why their shoes didn't fit you? It might be helpful for anyone reading this thread to give you advice.

For example, were they too long / short? Too narrow / wide? Anything else that the fitter(s) said to you about it?

I'm just thinking a few extra details might help some more experienced members make some tailored suggestions for you.
re: adult first time en Pointe
By hummingbird Comments: 10410, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Tue May 17, 2016 10:24 AM
^ Definitely, give us a few details and we'll try and help out as best we can.
re: adult first time en Pointe
By Jenerator Comments: 287, member since Fri Jun 04, 2004
On Tue May 17, 2016 12:33 PM
Edited by Jenerator (95606) on 2016-05-17 12:37:47 Additional info added
Thank you for responding. Australian street shoe sizes aren't the same as American ones, so I'm not sure what size my feet are locally (at home I usually wear size 11 shoes, sometimes a 10). I have some boots that are labelled 43 though, so I assume thats European sizing.

I think they were concerned about both the length and the width. At Grishko they tried me in an 8 xxxxx (5x) i think. Not sure what size they tried on me at Sansha, but they did ask if I minded what colour and offered me some black ones to try on, which makes me think they may have been mens' shoes. My toes weren't crunching up in any of them, but the shoes were pressing on the sides of my little toes.
Hope this helps you to help me!
re: adult first time en Pointe
By Gracie220 Comments: 51, member since Tue Feb 24, 2015
On Tue May 17, 2016 03:34 PM
I'm 31 and do ballet recreationally. For comparison, I wear 7.5X in Grishko 2007 or 42 in Russian Pointe, US street 9.5, so my feet are on the larger side of the pointe shoe world. They're also very narrow, which has its own set of problems, but it doesn't sound like you have that issue.

My first piece of advice is to find a fitter at a store that carries a wide variety of pointe shoe styles and brands. Unfortunately, most stores near where I live generally carry 5-10 standard kinds, and most don't work for my weird feet. lol

You might try browsing websites for different pointe shoe makers and read some reviews, though keep in mind some reviews are very inaccurate. I definitely don't recommend actually ordering anything online unless you've first been fitted - and depending on the brand (i.e. Freed classics), that's possibly still not a good idea. You can't be completely sure that a shoe will fit, just based on the description and pictures online - I've learned this the hard way. 2007s are my old faithful, though, so I'm pretty confident when ordering. ;) That being said, sometimes looking around online can give you a better idea of what's out there. I'm not sure what kind of toe configuration you have (mine are a a cross between Roman and Egyptian), but you should be able to find a shoe that fits without having to special-order. I know Sansha has a wide range of sizes - Sansha and Freed both have mens' sizes, but I think you have to special-order them from Freed. But you might also want to take a look at somewhere like or . I know both of those brands offer larger sizes in some of the shoes. I know there are others out there, too.

The options on pointe shoes available can be overwhelming, and it can be really helpful to know which ones might work and which ones you probably shouldn't even bother looking at (I have come to terms with the fact that Bloch Balance Europeans will never be my shoe, nor will any square or high-profile shoe). ;) Lots of trial and error...

Any fitter I've ever been to has said they can order different sizes, etc, in a shoe if they don't have it in stock. One fitter carried Grishko 2007s in my size, but ordered Grishko Miracle (not stocked in the store) for me because I wanted to try them. If you do find something online that you think might work, find a fitter that sells that brand and ask if they can order them for you. That way, you can still be fitted and try them on before you buy them.

I know there are actual fitters on here, so they might have better advice. That's just my input. Good luck with your search! Pointe can be challenging, but can also be a lot of fun.
re: adult first time en Pointe (karma: 1)
By Gracie220 Comments: 51, member since Tue Feb 24, 2015
On Tue May 17, 2016 03:41 PM
After that long-winded response, ;) I have one more thing to add: . . . is another great website you might want to visit. It's both interesting and informative, with lots of descriptions about different foot types, as well as her trial-and-error Pointe Shoe Saga.
re: adult first time en Pointe
By taxi4ballet Comments: 137, member since Fri Sep 07, 2012
On Wed May 18, 2016 04:24 AM
Perhaps you could try and find a retailer which stocks several different makes and styles rather than just their own brand, and ring them in advance to make an appointment for a fitting. Let them know roughly your shoe size and width so they can have a look at what they have in stock before you go, and maybe save you a wasted journey. Other well-known makes to look out for would include Bloch, Capezio, Gaynor Minden, Russian Pointe and Freed. If the shop carries several brands, then you might have more luck.