How can vamp elastic help dancers on pointe?
Vamp elastic can provide added support and length to the vamp, to help cover and support the metatarsal area and instep. For many dancers, vamp elastic can make all the difference!
Who should use
Using vamp elastic is a matter of personal preference and knowledge of your needs. Dancers who have gotten to know their feet and shoes can try this method for customizing the length and functionality of the vamp.
Many dancers who choose vamp elastic have very mobile feet, high arches, long toes or arches that “break” high up the foot. These dancers might experience their metatarsal joints popping out of the vamp on pointe, or their feet rolling over too far, even in a shoe with a long/high vamp. Vamp elastic provides support with less restriction so that a dancer can move smoothly through demi-pointe but feel extra support on pointe.
Vamp elastic can also provide a happy medium between two vamp lengths. For example, if a dancer thinks she “might” want to move from a Vamp 2 to a special-order Vamp 3, sometimes a strip of vamp elastic can do the trick.
How to sew
You can sew vamp elastic in one of two ways. The most common is to use a single strip of elastic across the throat of the shoe – the opening above the vamp – to raise the functional vamp length.
After you decide how far up your foot you will need support, cut a length of elastic that will go across your foot from one side of the shoe to the other, with enough length left over to tuck into the shoe. Place the elastic into the vamp and across the throat. Sew along the shoe’s binding, making sure not to sew into the drawstring if you use one. You may choose to trim excess width of the elastic inside the shoe, but be careful not to trim too close to where you have sewn, to avoid fraying. When you are finished, you should see the elastic going across your foot above the vamp.
The second, less common, method is to sew two separate pieces from the sides of the shoe, angled toward the vamp. This creates a V shape that adds extra side (“wing”) support as well as raising the vamp length. You will need to experiment to find the best placement for the elastic strips; dancers often start sewing near the spot where they sew their ribbons.
Find your fit first
Like anything you add to your shoe, vamp elastic is not a substitute for finding your best possible fit in pointe shoes. But vamp elastic can help you refine the functionality of your shoes after you have found your perfect fit.
RP Vamp Elastic
Especially if you wear Russian Pointe pointe shoes, RP Vamp Elastic is the perfect choice! This finely woven elastic is soft, resilient and a generous four inches wide to give you the greatest range of options for how much coverage you want to achieve. And, of course, the delicate RP Pink shade will perfectly match your shoes, tights, and ribbons.