How to break in pointe shoes....and strengthen your feet!

Posted by Sheila Beelam on

We have had lots of young dancers in for pointe shoes this week, so we thought we would share some information on strengthening your feet.

Our new Assistant Manger in the Southend store is due to start with us in July, and although she is a trained ballet dancer, last week she attended a pointe shoe fitting course, to get up to date with all aspects of pointe shoe fitting.

Part of a fitter's duty of care is to ensure you are safe to be on pointe. Normally your dance teacher will tell you when you are ready for pointe and this may be after a long period of foot strengthening. 

This short video shows an effective way of strengthening the intrinsic muscles in your feet - no special equipment needed! 

When we fit you for pointe shoes, the first thing we do is look at your bare feet. You may have never looked as closely at your feet as we do! Have you got long toes, short toes, gaps in between your toes, low arches, high arches, compressible feet....the list goes on and they all affect which shoe will be suitable for you!

If you have gaps in between your big toe and second toe, you may like to try this exercise to strengthen the Abductor Hallucis! If you need a stretch band - you'll find them in our Exercise section from just £3.99.

Sometimes when you first go on to pointe you will find it hard to find a good position of balance. The most common problem we see is the ankles wanting to go out to the side, so we prompt our dancers to think of getting their big toes in contact with the floor. In order to ensure you have sufficient strength in your ankles to maintain a strong vertical position on pointe, try these exercises with your stretch band:

And don't forget you can also download our foot strengthening guide HERE.

Once you are strong enough and have been fitted with your perfect shoe - what then?

Lisa Howell, is an Australian dance physiotherapist and has many useful videos on YouTube. Here is a short video showing how to break in your shiny new shoes without breaking them! 

If you have any questions about pointe shoe fitting, or strengthening techniques - just ask! Don't forget you can now book your pointe shoe fittings online, from our Home Page.

Just Ballet team x

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