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ballet slippers and foot problems en>fr fr>en
By Jenerator Comments: 282, member since Fri Jun 04, 2004
On Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:28 AM

I've been doing ballet as an adult dancer now for around 3 years. In recent months, I've had problems managing to complete even the barre work because the sole of my foot aches when I'm standing in ballet slippers. (I've been told by my teacher - to my relief - that I won't ever be able to do pointe work, so I'm just talking about ballet flats here.)
I should also mention that when I wear regular closed shoes, I use an orthotic insole to help my feet stop pronating, as I also suffer from plantar fascitis (if that's how it's spelled). This foot pain feels similar, but along the whole sole of the foot, not just the balls of the feet.
I saw a podiatrist about the possibility of getting an insole for my ballet shoes, but the problem is going to be to fit one into the shoe. My dance teacher suggested if I could get shoes a size too big, I might be able to fit the insole in.
And here's the problem - the shoes I have are size 13 Sansha brand. When I first bought them, I was told that was the biggest size they came in. I went to the Energetiks store yesterday and they tried me in their size 8 which was very tight (but quite comfortable despite that) but they have to try to get in their size 9 for me to try (sometime in March, they say). The people at the dancewear store that my daughter has to buy from tell me that they only have larger sizes in black or white (ie for men) but I really want pink ballet slippers.
So... is there someplace on the net perhaps that stocks extra large sized ballet shoes that I could possibly buy from? Or does anyone else have experience of this nature that can offer suggestions?
Jen in E Bentleigh

7 Replies to ballet slippers and foot problems

re: ballet slippers and foot problems en>fr fr>en
By stagemother Comments: 173, member since Tue Jul 13, 2004
On Mon Jan 29, 2007 04:17 PM
Hi Jen.

Try Anara dance shoes in Mornington. They will have a really good look and make ballet slippers for you. At a very reasonable cost.

www.annara.com.au
re: ballet slippers and foot problems en>fr fr>en
By melik Comments: 116, member since Sun Jul 31, 2005
On Fri Feb 09, 2007 08:27 PM
Jen, I don't know if this will help and I'm in no way a foot expert but I'll tell you a little about me feet:

I used to wear an orthotic insert in my regular shoes due to fallen arches which I always thought was hereditry. My Dad probably should have been wearing an orthotic too as he also has or rather had fallen arches. When he retired and started walking around more in bare feet, his feet quickly progressed to being really pronated inwards to the point where his big toe sits sideways. He went to a podiatrist and had the orthotics made up etc. which he now wears everyday but still gets pain in his feet.

When I re-started ballet last year, I got a few cramps in my arches and within about six weeks my feet shrank!!! Well they didn't actually shrink but I went down a full size in my regular shoes due to the arch being strengthened and lifted from ballet. I no longer need the orthotic support because the muscles have been strengthened to do the job they are supposed to do.

Now, I don't want to speak badly of trained professionals like podiatrists. But, these experiences have made me wonder whether an orthotic is necessarily the best fix that they could recommend. And I also have come to believe that not all pain is bad. Muscle soreness is accepted after doing a big work out at the gym. Maybe muscle soreness in the arch is just a sign of the muscle working and being strengthened.

Maybe if you were able to work on your arch and get it to 'lift' you wouldn't actually need a bigger size??? This is only a suggestion and like I said, I'm no expert and don't know your full situation. Just thought it might be worth a try.
re: ballet slippers and foot problems en>fr fr>en
By Jenerator Comments: 282, member since Fri Jun 04, 2004
On Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:18 PM
THanks for your comments and suggestions!

You said:
"And I also have come to believe that not all pain is bad. Muscle soreness is accepted after doing a big work out at the gym. Maybe muscle soreness in the arch is just a sign of the muscle working and being strengthened."

My response: I understand about muscle soreness being a good thing, but when I'm standing at the barre, unable to stand on one or the other of my feet for the amount of aching/hurting going on, it isn't good! It's not something that I'm able to "work through" and keep going with it... I literally have to stop the exercise and if I could only remember to bring in a tennis ball (and the teacher's baby wouldn't run off with it!) I might get some relief from rolling the sole of my foot back and forth over the ball.

You said, "Maybe if you were able to work on your arch and get it to 'lift' you wouldn't actually need a bigger size???"

My response: I think the only reason we were looking at larger shoes was because we thought we needed them to fit the insole in properly.

Update: I bought "slimfit" orthotic insoles at the chemist, and wore them to class a couple of days later - they fitted fairly well inside the size 13 ballet shoes I have. Wonderfully, I can report that I made it through the full HOUR of barre work - my feet only started to hurt when we went to the centre.
Then I went back to the podiatrist for a follow-up appointment, where he added lambswool (I think) arches to the insoles. My feet are now fairly crowded in the shoes, and I have more difficulty "feeling the floor through my feet" which my teacher says is important, and my pointed toes have never been very well arched to start with, so this is even more of an impediment to that goal; when i wore the shoes with the lambswool arches on the insoles, I only got through about 10 minutes of class before I had to take the insoles out altogether. I'm hoping that will settle down eventually, or I may have to unstick the lambswool from teh insoles to be able to use them at all...

Jen
ballet shoes en>fr fr>en
By haymont Comments: 221, member since Sun May 27, 2001
On Mon Feb 12, 2007 04:02 AM
Hi Jen.,

just wondering what brand of ballet shoes you went with in the end? i have a young teenage student who has quite large feet and now doesn't fit into the the bloch shoes as they only make them up to an 8 apparently and she needs a 9. You said yours are a larger size and am interested in which brands make larger shoes.

thanks heaps

j.
re: ballet slippers and foot problems en>fr fr>en
By Jenerator Comments: 282, member since Fri Jun 04, 2004
On Mon Feb 12, 2007 04:44 AM
The street shoes I wear have a label in them that says USSize10. Sometimes, depending on the brand of shoe, I go up to an 11.
I'm currently wearing a Sansha ballet slipper - I gather their sizing is different from the other brands, as I'm using their size 13. I tried on some at Energetiks (which may be a local Aussie brand, try energetiks.com.au, they do have some international distributors) in size 8 which were quite snug, but they said they're going up to size 9 from March. I was also offered black or white (ie mens') ballet slippers at a couple of stores in larger sizes. I suppose you could get white larger mens ones and paint them pink?
At today's class I managed to get through the plies and the fondues at the barre before I had to take out my lambswool-added-arched-insoles and did the rest of the barrework and some centre work in shoes with no insoles. I am wondering more and more whether I should just take the lambswool out, as I did manage a whole hour at the barre in just the insoles before the podiatrist added the lambswool...
Jen in Oz
ballet shoes en>fr fr>en
By haymont Comments: 221, member since Sun May 27, 2001
On Mon Feb 12, 2007 04:09 PM
thanks for your help Jen,

I will tell her to go check out the Sansha store ASAP! Who would think a 12 yr old would have this problem? :)
Hope your foot problems improve soon....perhaps you should try another class with the lambswool and see if there's any difference and then if you did more without it take it out and tell the podiatrist it just wasn't for you? I know that my podiatrist has tried stuff for my (very stuffed up) feet and i just haven't felt like there was any hope of the insoles and stuff helping and he was happy to try a different tactic.

j.
Sore feet en>fr fr>en
By Debson Comments: 21, member since Mon May 15, 2006
On Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:15 PM
Hi I have had the same problem for many years. last year i went to a chiropractor and he started massaging the muscles and tendons and ligaments around my chin (tibia) The pain was nothing like i had had before even worse than child birth. I went about 6 times and now have only half the the pain and can now get through more than an hour of dancing/Ballet. I alsways wear my orthotics and only not wear them when i am in my dance shoes. I dance and teach around 16 hours a week and the pain is minimal and manageable.. good luck i am 35 and have put up with the pain since i went into my pointe shoes at 13 years of age.

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