How should pointe shoes fit?

Pointe shoes must fit snugly. Loose shoes greatly decrease a dancer’s control of movement and increase her chances of injury. So, it is impossible to buy pointe shoes “to grow into.” This snugness may feel surprising at first, but your daughter’s fitter will ask many questions to determine whether the shoes are too tight or just snug in an unfamiliar way. They should never be tight enough to cause pain. Signs of overly tight shoes include pinching of the little toes, toes not lying flat, squeezing or creasing of the sole of the foot, blisters at the heel, and a feeling that the big toe is jammed or stubbed.

pointe shoe fit

In a properly fitting shoe, the toe box sits smoothly against the toes. All five toes lie flat against the insole, and the big toe reaches the end of the box comfortably when the dancer does a plié. The heel is snug when the dancer stands on flat; on pointe, there is a little “pinch” in the heel fabric.

On pointe, the dancer’s weight is evenly distributed on her toes, she is balanced on the center of the platform, and the feet do not sink into the box. The foot follows the line of the leg all the way to the toes, with no noticeable angle at the metatarsal area or ankle. The entire body is held in correct alignment, so that an imaginary vertical line could be drawn from the head to the toes.

Read more about finding a perfect fit in pointe shoes.

One thought on “How should pointe shoes fit?”

  1. My daughter will be getting her first pair of pointe shoes soon. We want to ensure that we choose a shoe that fits her foot properly to avoid any injury. I hadn’t thought about how the big toe should reach the end of the box when doing a plié, but we will be sure to check this at my daughter’s fitting. Thanks for sharing!

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