Forum: Ballet / Pointe - Beginners

Pointe - Beginners
Pointe shoe preferences for weak feet?
By lailaliquorice Comments: 1, member since Sun Jul 16, 2017
On Sun Jul 16, 2017 02:04 PM

I'm just about to turn 18 and at long last my teachers have declared me fit for pointe! I'm getting professionally fitted later this week but I was wondering if anyone has any tried and tested shoe preferences for weak ankles, and any brands I should be making sure to avoid? And just any advice in general?

I have very narrow flat feet with low arches and long toes. My feet are somewhere between egyptian and peasant in shape; my toes are tapered but the first two are practically the same length. I've stopped growing (confirmed by x-ray) but I'm still fairly short.

A little bit of background: my disability gives me weak bones and hypermobile joints, which in turn makes it hard for me to build up muscle tone easily. I started ballet when I was 8, as recommended by my doctor after a cycle of spraining my left ankle again and again for about 18 months. Specialist exercises researched by my teachers have slowly built up the strength in my ankle to correct my once-horrendous sickle foot. I started to attend pointe classes when I was 13 when most of my classmates were going en pointe, and even in flat shoes it's made a massive difference to my balance and ankle strength. I caught up to my classmates ability-wise a couple of years ago but we've given it a bit longer just to be sure. We're going to take it really really slow and stay on the barre for as long as it takes; I know I'll never dance professionally but I love ballet and have always aimed to one day dance en pointe.

If anyone wants to comment that I shouldn't be going en pointe, please please save it. I've been given the all clear by multiple teachers and doctors including the specialist in my disability. Even if I can't do it long term or I never move away from the barre I'm still going to try.

3 Replies to Pointe shoe preferences for weak feet?

re: Pointe shoe preferences for weak feet?
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2271, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Tue Jul 18, 2017 02:12 PM
The best shoe for ou is the one that fits and works for you. Do you have a large enough store with good fitters near you? If so, go there, preferably WITH your teacher. If they fit you in less than half an hour, trying only one or two shoes, don't buy anything and go elsewhere.

I have similar feet - low arch, straight instep, longish toes (mine are very badly tapered, tho). It took two hours to fit me. It is not the shoe but what you do in it that makes you stronger.

One suggestion, however, is to stay away from Gaynors for your first few shoes. You really need to have reasonable strength, and knowledge about how pointe works, to use them effectively.
re: Pointe shoe preferences for weak feet?
By dust2dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 4464, member since Wed Dec 07, 2005
On Wed Aug 02, 2017 09:00 PM
I second going with your teacher! But on personal experience I recommend trying out some 3/4 shanked shoes when you go for your fitting.
re: Pointe shoe preferences for weak feet?
By fairy_dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6586, member since Sun Jan 20, 2002
On Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:22 PM
My feet are pretty much the same as yours, and of the shoes I've tried, my favourites are Grishko 2007. One of the things I like most about them is that the top of the 3/4 shank coincidentally ends right where my foot bends when I point it, so I don't have to break them in as much.

My first pair was Bloch Suprima (my first fitting took about an hour or so) and though I like them, I much prefer the Grishko 2007.