Foot Size

fitting pointe shoes when feet are two different sizes

What if my feet are two different sizes?

Few people have two feet that are exactly the same size. Most will see some difference between the left and right foot. In street shoes, or even ballet slippers, these differences might not be apparent. In pointe shoes, on the other hand, the fitting is so snug that even small differences become more noticeable.

Usually, the feet are close enough in size that a single size in pointe shoes will accommodate both feet. Sometimes, though, a dancer will have a size difference approaching a quarter-size or more, and fitting will be more difficult.

Fit to larger foot
The first thing to remember is that you can never fit to the smaller foot, allowing the larger foot to be in a shoe that is slightly too small. Overly tight pointe shoes almost always lead to injuries such as blisters, corns, abrasions, bunions and more.

Refine the fit
Often, when the shoes are fitted to the larger foot, adjustments can be made to make sure that the smaller foot isn’t in a loose shoe. When the size difference isn’t too great, tightening the drawstring on the smaller foot might be enough to pull the shoe in more snugly. Dancers might try a very small amount of extra lamb’s wool for the smaller foot. Compressible heel pads can be very helpful.

Buy two sizes
In extreme cases, the dancer might have to buy two different sizes. Because pointe shoes are not shaped differently for left and right feet, you can mix and match two pairs so that none of the shoes are wasted.

Work with a pro
In all cases, it’s very important for dancers with noticeably different foot sizes to consult with a professional, experienced pointe shoe fitter to discuss the best solutions.