You asked and our pointe shoe experts answered
The following pointe shoe questions were asked on Instagram in June 2020 as part of our regular Q&A session. If you have any further questions you can follow us on Instagram here or leave a comment below and we will do our best to get back to you.
Let us help answer your pointe shoe questions
How Many Pointe Shoes Do Dancers Go Through?
There are many contributing factors that go into how long a pointe shoe lasts for each dancer. How many classes they are doing each week, how strong the shank of the shoe is, is the shoe fit correctly, is the dancer looking after the shoes correctly, is the dancer sitting in the shoes correctly.
But believe it or not professional dancers might go through a pair of pointe shoes in ONE PERFORMANCE. If you feel you or your dancer aren’t getting enough time out of your pointe shoes it’s important to chat to your fitter about adjustments or changes you can make to increase the life of your shoes.
What’s better Bloch or Energetiks Pointe Shoes?
Again it depends on the foot shape, the toe shape, the amount of hours that the dancer is doing en pointe and what they want to get out of their shoes. Both Energetiks and Bloch have wonderful pointe shoes that are perfect for a wide range of dancers and foot shapes. We do like that Energetiks has different shank strengths in their shoes (which Bloch don’t) so as you you start to do more and require a harder shoe you don’t necessarily need to change styles, you can just change the shank strength. Energetiks Emilia or Stella would have to be our top picks for Energetiks and Bloch Heritage and the new Grace shoe (although the vamp is very high) are our favourite Bloch styles.
How do you look after pointe shoes?
The biggest thing to remember is that pointe shoes don’t like water. Water, sweat, perspiration and heat will break down the pointe shoe over time. It’s most important to take your ouch pouches OUT of your shoes once you’ve finished wearing them and don’t leave your shoes stuffed at the bottom of your bag, give them some air and a chance to dry out in between classes. This will keep them not so smelly 😉 and also keep them harder for longer.
Do you have to make a fitting to get a pair of pointe shoes?
Although it’s not essential we recommend that everyone books in for their pointe shoe fitting using our online booking form (here) or calls ahead to reserve a spot. This way we can make sure that appointments don’t overlap where possible and you get the attention you need to have confidence making the right decision without being rushed. The number to call to make a pointe shoe fitting is 0755645400.
My teacher says that I can’t have thick ouch pouches or En Pointe Orthotics, my toes hurt so much. What can I do?
Firstly, if you’re in an abnormal amount of pain en pointe it’s important to find out why. By all means padding can assist in making pointe work more enjoyable and more comfortable but you need to first rule out the possibility that something else is going on.
Other reasons pointe work could be painful might be
- Because of your toe shape. Some toe shapes experience more pain than others.
- Because your shoe is too wide or too tight across the box. If the shoe is too wide you will slip further down into the shoe which means the shoe isn’t assisting you to be held up in the shoe. And if the shoe is too tight your toes alignment may be causing the issues.
- Perhaps your shoe has already broken in. If the shoe is too soft it can often cause pain if it’s no longer supporting you correctly.
There are many many different types of padding on the market and it’s important to know which padding is going to work for you. Some dancers may be fine with just a simple cotton pad or maybe some lambs wool and other dancers especially those with alignment issues or longer second toe (as an example) might need additional padding like gel spacers, gel ouch pouches or En Pointe Orthotics. Remember the padding inside your shoe doesn’t dictate who you are or how you dance. It’s important that you enjoy dancing en pointe so if that means you need additional padding you need to do what’s right for you.
Shop ouch pouches and pointe accessories here.
How do you know if you or your dancer are ready for pointe?
It’s so important that before you come to Dance Desire for your pointe shoe fitting that you first visit your Dance Physiotherapist for a Professional Pre-Pointe Assessment. (Our favourite is Sarah Kiely from The Living Well Studios)
Your Dance Physiotherapist will be able to ensure you have the strength to adequately support yourself en pointe and also determine if you body is ready for the move onto pointe shoes. If you have any hesitation if your dancer is ready then definitely a professional pre-pointe assessment is the best idea.
I have really wide feet, will you have pointe shoes for me?
We sure will! At Dance Desire have over 18 different styles of pointe shoes in store across 7 brands. And we haven’t found a foot we can’t fit…yet 🙂
Shop Pointe shoes here.
Feel free to ask us your pointe shoe questions. Get in touch with one of our team today.