Forum: Ballet / Pointe - Beginners

Page:
Page 1 of 31 2 3
Pointe - Beginners
Pointe Fittings (karma: 8)
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Wed May 13, 2009 08:37 PM
Edited by Sumayah (204191) on 2009-05-13 21:13:37 grammar! eek!
Made sticky by imadanseur (79325) on 2009-06-12 09:44:35

CONGRATULATIONS!

You just found out that your teacher approved you to go en pointe and has sent you to go buy pointe shoes! You're so excited and can barely wait to go to the store and try the first pair on, but then you begin to wonder: What do I need to wear? Do I need to bring anything? How long is it going to take? What should I expect?

Here's a little guide to help answer all those questions (and more!).

First, now that you have permission to buy shoes, you need to call you local dance store and set up an appointment.

But why can't I just show up?

Not all stores run with full staff who are all trained in pointe shoe fittings - just because they work there and can try the shoe on your foot doesn't mean they are well qualified to do so. Also, by calling ahead, not only can you schedule an appointment with a qualified pointe fitter, but it helps the company to ensure they have enough staff to cover their store with one person unavailable for the duration of the fitting.

What!! What do you mean they aren't all qualified! They in work in a dance store!!!!!

Nope. They aren't all qualified. The store I worked in had probably four employees who knew not just how a pointe shoe should fit, but why. The other 6 employees technically were trained to fit the shoes, but they lacked the in depth knowledge to give thorough and detailed information about each shoe. What that also means is that depending on shifts and scheduling, there may only be one or two people with qualified training on the floor when you arrive. Calling ahead makes sure that one of those employees is dedicated to you!

Okay, we called and I now have an appointment. I'm so excited! What next? Oh! My mom is going to want to take pictures so I should wear that super cute mini I just bought and...

Wait a second! First of all, what you wear is important, but not because you want to be fashionable. If you can, dress as though you were going to class; wear leotard and tights (convertible), with sweat pants or shorts over. If that is not possible, then wear something form fitting that you can move in - leggings, stretch jeans, capris, or shorts. Just because a shoe fits doesn't mean it's the right shoe for your body and being able to see your knees and hips and your placement helps you to get the best fit possible.

All right. It's just that my mini is so cute and...

Let me put it this way then, the person doing the fitting will be sitting down on the floor at your feet while you sit on a bench or chair. No matter how cute your undies are, the person fitting your shoes doesn't want to see them. I say this from experience. :/

Fine. I'll wear my dance clothes. You know, if I have to get dressed for class maybe we can just change the appointment to right before my class. I mean we just need to leave like ten minutes early right? Then we can go straight from the store to class!

Ten minutes will be enough time to just measure and assess your feet! Expect to spend a good solid hour at the dance store... at least. This is not a quick in and out process, getting fitted for a first pair or even trying different brands or styles takes a while.

Okay. I've got the appointment and we have minimally an hour set aside. I've got a leotard picked out and my convertible tights are nice and clean. Anything else I should know?

Eat before you go. No, I'm not kidding. Even if it's a banana or some crackers, eat something. I can't tell you how many pointe fittings I had show up just before a mealtime or during a mealtime on Saturday who couldn't concentrate long enough on their shoes because they were starving. Eat a little something to get your blood sugar up and keep you focused.

YAY! Today is the day!! I'm super excited!! What should I expect at the actual fitting?

Woot! *dances excitedly* At the fitting, the first thing the fitter will do is measure your foot. They should measure both feet in length and width.

But I know my shoe size.

True, but your feet may be different sizes or different widths. That is important information in the shoe fitting process. After they establish your size and width, they will have you stand up and the pointe fitter will look at the shape of your feet. They're looking at your toes and if they taper or if one is longer, they're looking to see if you have large spaces that might because bunion trouble, they're checking for bunions and tailors bunions, they check for instep and arch. They'll probably have you tendu in parallel and turned out and rise on demi pointe. The information they get by just examining your feet will help narrow down the choices of types and style of pointe shoes.

Wow. That took forever. When do I get to try shoes on!?

Next. After the assess your feet, the pointe fitter will bring out a goodly stack of boxes. At this point, you will be trying the shoes on without padding.

Excuse me? Come again? No padding? I'm sorry I must have misunderstood.

You heard correctly! You try the shoes without padding first because you want to get a shoe that fits your foot properly. Adding padding often changes the fit. Once you have a shoe that works, *then* you'll add the padding and adjustments will be made from there.

Ugh. Gross. Okay, no padding. Just so long as I get some later. OUCH! My toe is buckling in the shoe, should I say something?

YES!!! All five toes should lay flat in the shoe and the tip of your longest toe should just be touching the end of the box. There should be pressure on your longest toe, not pain. If your toes are buckling, it is too short. If your toes are overlapping, it is not wide enough. But if you don't say anything, the fitter has no way of seeing into your shoe to figure out if everything is okay.

Awesome! In this shoe, all my toes are flat and they aren't scrunched up! Now for padding!

Not yet. Soon. Next you'll be asked to put one foot up on the platform. The pointe fitter is going to see if the shank is straight up the bottom of your foot. If it is twisting off to the side, then you need a wider shoe. Once the shank checks out, then they'll check the heel. There should be some pinch room, but it shouldn't be baggy. Depending on your foot this can harder to fix than you'd think (go go disappearing heels and super flexi feet!).

Once everything checks out, you'll go to the barre and be asked to rise in parallel. The fitter will then recheck everything they just checked now that your body weight is on the shoes. They'll check the shoes for proper fit and your body's alignment. If both check out then it's time for padding.

YES!!

However, if all those things don't check out you'll continue to try on pointe shoes. Even when everything seem perfect you'll still probably try on three or four more pairs just to be sure. Once the runner-up shoes have been selected and all the contestants tried on and the winner decided, *then* comes time for padding.

Don't pre-purchase padding. The store will have samples of padding to try on, and you'll end up buying whatever works best in your shoe, not whatever is your favorite or what your best friend uses. Some people need loose lambs wool, others need wool pads, some need gel pads, others need pouches - it depends on the person and the shoe.

Once everything checks out - the shoes, padding and you have ribbons and elastic then...

Then I take them home and sew on the ribbons and take pictures!

Not yet. First you absolutely don't do anything to them until you've gotten them approved by your teacher. Just because you love them and the pointe fitter loves them on you doesn't mean your teacher will. After your teacher has put her vote of approval on the shoe can you sew them. If you've sewn them and the teacher doesn't like the fit, you won't be able to take them back. Wait to wear and sew them until your teacher approves.

Hope this helped answer some first time pointe questions and has better prepared you for your fitting! Happy Dancing!

1) Make an appointment
2) Wear clothing you can move in (i.e. dancewear)
3) Give yourself enough time (and eat a little something)

:D
Sumayah

54 Replies to Pointe Fittings

re: Pointe Fittings
By pointe92member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 807, member since Fri May 25, 2007
On Wed May 13, 2009 09:04 PM
good advice. Maybe even sticky-worthy! :)
re: Pointe Fittings
By raspberrymuffinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 294, member since Tue Dec 16, 2008
On Wed May 13, 2009 09:27 PM
^^^^I agree. That was awesome! :D
re: Pointe Fittings
By ballet_babe_sash Comments: 424, member since Fri Dec 29, 2006
On Thu May 14, 2009 02:56 AM
I agree with the above two!
That was awesome, and definetly a great help, I'm getting my first pair in the next week :)
re: Pointe Fittings
By Jayniieeemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 95, member since Tue Apr 21, 2009
On Thu May 14, 2009 06:52 PM
Defiantely great information that is well written and interesting. as a newbie who has been reading LOTS of stickies lately I defiantely think it's sticky-worthy.
re: Pointe Fittings
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Fri May 15, 2009 08:46 PM
There's already a sticky (and another sticky) in the general pointe area with lots of useful and insightful info, but I appreciate the suggestion. :D I made the thread because I sat down to respond to a thread concerning the person fitting the shoes possibly not being qualified and a few paragraphs in I realized I may as well just make a new post on the subject. Glad it is helpful! ^^
re: Pointe Fittings
By imadancer2member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2400, member since Wed Nov 30, 2005
On Fri May 15, 2009 09:19 PM
Don't forget to trim your toenails!

~Madison
re: Pointe Fittings
By ballet4life1member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 521, member since Tue May 29, 2007
On Sat May 16, 2009 01:14 AM
Awesome post! Thanks for taking the time to type all that out!
re: Pointe Fittings
By Flashnflakymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 400, member since Mon May 18, 2009
On Fri May 22, 2009 05:16 PM
Holy cow! That should DEFINITELY be a sticky! If I ever get on pointe I know I will have needed this :O))
re: Pointe Fittings
By dncrgirl825member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 241, member since Fri Jan 02, 2009
On Sun May 24, 2009 07:13 PM
That definitley needs to be a sticky. That answered every question a person could have!
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Mon Jun 15, 2009 07:21 PM
Thank you for writing this thread. I still do have one question.
"I have a very hard time finding shoes that fit me. (I have a narrow foot.) will it be the same way with pointe shoes?"
thanks kktt34
re: Pointe Fittings
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Tue Jun 16, 2009 08:26 AM
Pointe shoes come in different widths, it all depends on your foot. Capezio runs two ways, M,W,WW or AA, B, C, D, E, EE so some shoes can be found very narrow and from shoe to to shoe they can fit more narrow or wide. Grishko and Freed run X, XX, XXX, XXXX and the single X is pretty darn narrow.

It never hurts to mention that you have a very narrow foot and your general shoe size when making the fitting so that the store can check it's stock and make sure it has enough variety of shoes for you to try.
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Tue Jun 30, 2009 06:54 PM
Sumayah wrote:

Pointe shoes come in different widths, it all depends on your foot. Capezio runs two ways, M,W,WW or AA, B, C, D, E, EE so some shoes can be found very narrow and from shoe to to shoe they can fit more narrow or wide. Grishko and Freed run X, XX, XXX, XXXX and the single X is pretty darn narrow.

It never hurts to mention that you have a very narrow foot and your general shoe size when making the fitting so that the store can check it's stock and make sure it has enough variety of shoes for you to try.


Thanks :) , I am also missing the group fitting. (All the girls going on pointe go at a certian time so the teacher will be there.) I talked to the teacher and she said almost exacatly what you did in the main post! I also have to get only bloch pointe shoes (the other ones the teacher says are to soft) will this be a problem for my narrow foot...
Thanks so much
kktt34
re: Pointe Fittings
By gohillarygo Comments: 24, member since Sun May 03, 2009
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:51 AM
Awesome post! I'm getting my first pair this summer and appreciate any advice. After you've got a pair on and they ask you to rise do they want you in demi-pointe or full pointe?
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:33 PM
gohillarygo wrote:

Awesome post! I'm getting my first pair this summer and appreciate any advice. After you've got a pair on and they ask you to rise do they want you in demi-pointe or full pointe?

you're going to step onto full pointe (so it dosen't start to break in the shoes).
kktt34
re: Pointe Fittings
By ballerinababyyxo Comments: 72, member since Sun Jun 28, 2009
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 05:38 PM
wow!!!!! that's amazing advice and i'm totally going to use it when i go en pointe in a few months :)
re: Pointe Fittings
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 05:48 PM
gohillarygo wrote:

Awesome post! I'm getting my first pair this summer and appreciate any advice. After you've got a pair on and they ask you to rise do they want you in demi-pointe or full pointe?
kktt34 wrote:
you're going to step onto full pointe (so it dosen't start to break in the shoes).
kktt34


That is correct. Unlike in class where you would roll (or spring) up en pointe, at the fitting they will have you place the platform of one box on the floor and then you'll step up onto box on the other foot. Sometimes you may be asked to rise up as the shoe might not be sitting correctly and having you roll up helps to see where the shank is situated.

The store I worked for did not carry Bloch pointe shoes so I don't have any good sizing advice, however it seems like the B width in Bloch's is the narrow. Hope that helps! :D
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 06:12 PM
:( too bad I hope i will find a pair that fits. Luckliy I am the oldest one going on pointe so no one will be looking for my shoe size in the group fitting. Thanks for all your help.
Can I help you with your thred and answer Q'uestions (You can pm me with your answer)
kktt34
re: Pointe Fittings
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 06:26 PM
Anyone can answer, I just like checking back on it from time tot time. ;) If you've something to add, please do, that's the point of a forum!
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Wed Jul 01, 2009 06:58 PM
I found a video that Shows how a shoe should fit.
www.youtube.com . . .
kktt34
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Wed Jul 08, 2009 09:06 AM
I got my 1st pair of pointes... And they fit almost perfectly 1st pair too!!! I was so shocked because i have a very narrow hard to fit foot! I got bloch serenades...
Thanks
kktt34
re: Pointe Fittings
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Wed Jul 08, 2009 06:26 PM
Woot! Grats! New pointe shoes always look so pretty! :D
re: Pointe Fittings
By twinkletoes1309 Comments: 26, member since Fri Aug 14, 2009
On Wed Aug 19, 2009 07:19 AM
you are a LIFESAVER.
thank you so much.
i dont know what i would have done without you!!
re: Pointe Fittings
By twinkletoes1309 Comments: 26, member since Fri Aug 14, 2009
On Sun Aug 30, 2009 08:14 AM
well this was very helpful!
im going to get my first pointe shoes today.
im a bit nervous, but a whole lot excited!
the whole "pointe" concept is new to me. but i've wanted to go on pointe since i was little. about 4. i saw the nutcracker in detroit around christmas. i was enchanted. not only did i start ballet the following year-i also started collecting nutcrackers.
now i have around 20. lol.
re: Pointe Fittings
By kktt34 Comments: 413, member since Tue Mar 10, 2009
On Tue Sep 08, 2009 04:10 PM
^congrats on your shoes
I collect nutcrakers too!!!
My faveroite one is made by old world christmas and has ballet slippers. :)
kktt34
Page:
Page 1 of 31 2 3

ReplySendWatch