Fitting Right: A Quick Pointe Shoes Size Guide And Chart

Considering a few fitting points will help a dancer find the best pair of pointe shoes for her feet and prevent future injuries.

It's important to be careful when buying pointe shoes because an improper fit can not only be uncomfortable but dangerous for the young dancer's feet.Every brand of shoes is unique, and in fact, since the shoes are made by hand, every pair is unique, so taking the time to try on numerous shoes is the best way to go about finding a new pair.Dancers should also consult with their teachers to find out if they have a preferred style of shoe.Considering the following areas will help the pointe shoe buying experience go more smoothly and get you on your toes in no time.

Pointe shoes should fit snugly.While you should strive for a perfect fit, it is better for them to be a little tight than to be loose since it is dangerous for the foot to move around inside the shoe while dancing.If dancers plan to use a particular type of toe padding, they should use it while trying on shoes to ensure the most accurate fit.Standing in the shoes with feet flat, first check to make sure there is no gapping at the side, which is a sign that the shoes are too wide.If the shoe is too narrow, then there may be a crease in the box.The dancer's toes should lay flat within the shoe with no scrunching or overlap.

Dancers should go through a few other moves to test their potential shoes.When going into demi plie, the toes should continue to fit snugly within the shoe and just touch the inside of the box.Using a store wall or another person for support, the dancer should also try out the shoes in releve.Dancers should check the shank (sole) of the shoe to see if it is right for the strength of their arch.If the foot barely bends, they will need a softer shank.If their foot bends too much and too easily, it is possible that the shank will break with little use, and they will need a harder shank.Finally, dancers should check the vamp, the portion of the shoe over the toes.The best vamp length will depend on the length of a dancer's toes.A vamp that is too long will keep the dancer from going into full releve, while a vamp that is too short will make the foot bulge over the top of the shoe unattractively.


Point Shoe Size Equivalents

Gaynor Minden - .5-1 size larger than street shoes

Gamba - 2.5 sizes smaller than street shoes

Capezio 103-191 - 3-3.5 sizes smaller than street shoes

Capezio 192-199 - same size as street shoes

Bloch - 3-3.5 sizes smaller than street shoes

Grishko - 2.5-3 sizes smaller than street shoes

Prima Soft - 2.5-3 sizes smaller than street shoes

Sansha - 1-1.5 sizes larger than street shoes

While each shoe has its own width classification system, a dancer will usually need the equivalent length from that scale as in street shoes.So a shoe with widths A, B, C, and D will correspond to Narrow, Medium, Wide and Extra-Wide.

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