Ballet Pointe Shoes Hurt

by mara
(NJ)

Ballet Pointe Shoes Hurt






I just started pointe dance last year and it really hurt my toes! We started in January and practiced for 15 minutes each class until June for recital! I feel i did not get enough training and it frustrates me! I try my best but if you have any advice I would be so grateful!

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Ballet Pointe Shoes Hurt

Reply by Odette

ballet pre-pointe
Remember, just like I did before I went en pointe, ballet students MUST take responsibility for their own strengthening prior to beginning pointe work.
Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.
Don't leave it to your teacher!
You can watch this pre-pointe video
yourself here
(just wait for the page to load up then the video is on the top right of the page).



Dear Mara,

Often ballet pointe shoes can feel more painful then they need to be. Firstly, it can depend on your strength. If you build up enough strength in your feet and ankles, then it will give you more stability on pointe and you won't feel so much pain. In the video above, Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.

It is super you are trying your best, this is the attitude that is needed to progress in ballet! I understand your toes hurt, mine did too! I gradually learnt how to



manage my shoes and my padding so it wasn't so painful for my toes.

I advise you to experiment with different padding in your shoes to protect your toes. Try animal wool or gel toe pads and also tape any painful points with plasters.

But you can't always rely on padding to take away the pain. Always think about lifting up and out of your shoes. You have to use all your leg muscles to go onto pointe, so make sure you work very physically whilst thinking about engaging all the right muscles.

If you feel like you are not getting enough training in your ballet pointe shoes then I advise you to have a chat with your ballet teacher. It is great to have an honest relationship with your teacher, as they are the people who develop your progress and guide you through the stages. I always respected my teachers yet saw them as 'friends' as they were able to help me.

So have a chat with your teacher and keep her in touch with how you feel. Trust me, your teacher will feel pleased that you are taking the initiative to be responsible for your own progress in your ballet classes.

Keep in touch and let me know how you get on!

Best Wishes,

Odette

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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Ballet Pointe Shoes- My feet hurt!

by Genevieve
(Queens, NY)

Ballet Pointe Shoes- My feet hurt!

I have just started pointe, and I have only been using them for about 2 days now so i am trying to break them in. While I am at the barre, my feet don't really hurt, its just the pressure from the box, which I assume is normal for now, but when I take my pointe shoes off the bottom of my foot has a slight pain running through it. Is that normal, or am I doing something wrong?

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Reply by Odette
To:-
Ballet Pointe Shoes- My feet hurt

Hello Genevieve,
Thank you for your message it is great to hear from you. It is always a very new feeling when you start pointe for the first time and I can remember my very first pointe class. My Bloch pointe shoes felt very hard in the box too, so this is normal because it takes a few classes for them to soften slightly to your shape foot.

I never experienced any pain at the bottom of my foot, does it hurt it every time you take your shoes off?

It is hard to say if you are doing something wrong, but I would say if the pain persists then ask your ballet teacher to help you. She may be able to see if the pointe shoe is too small or too tight, which is giving too much pressure to your feet.

Keep in touch.

Best wishes,
Odette

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Ballet Pointe Shoes - Painful!

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Painful!

Hi Guys!

Whoever Invented Pointe Shoes loved to Hurt People! I was 11 when I got my first Pointe shoes. At first I was so exited but then I started practicing on them and boy do they kill!

My NO.1 tip is to soak your feet in Metho after use and then hang Pointe shoes on the cloths line in the sun!

Also, when I first got my Pointe shoes it took ages for them to break so my teacher had to break them for me! Is that OK?

Kind Regards, Natasha

Age 12


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Reply by Odette

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Painful!

Hello Natasha ,

Thank you for contacting me, it is pleasure to hear from you.

Yes, pointe shoes can be painful at times especially if your feet aren't used to wearing them so it's a new and perhaps discomforting feeling. However the more you train, you will build up strength so that it begins to feel more comfortable... trust me - it will get better!

What sort of padding do you wear? As this can often make a difference to protect your toes and give you that extra bit of comfort.

Brand new pointe shoes are naturally very hard and so they do take time to break in. It is ok for your teacher to help you, however it is best for you try learn to break them yourself. You want the shoe to mold to the shape of your foot, so you are the best person to break the shoes in.

The best way to begin, is to put them on without any socks or tights - just your bare feet. Get a thick pair of woolly socks or slippers and put them over the pointe shoes. Keep them on for a few hours and in the meantime your feet will begin to perspire which will gradually mold the shoe into the shape of your foot.

Make sure you also break in the demi-pointe so the backs of the shoes aren't so stiff. Also, you can bend them slightly in your hands to make them more flexible. After doing this, the shoes should feel more comfortable for your first class. They will gradually become more comfy the more you wear them.

It's always beneficial to ask your teacher about any problems or pain you're having. I hope your shoes begin too feel less painful!

Thank you for you ballet pointe shoe tips as well! I am not familiar with Metho, so please tell me more! Where did you get this technique from? Does it soothe your feet?

All the best,

Odette

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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Ballet Pointe Shoes Problems


(California, USA)

Ballet Pointe Shoes Problems

Hello Odette,

I got my first pair of pointe shoes a couple months ago. =) I have Gaynor Mindens! I absolutely love my pointe shoes, but I think they might be slightly small...even when i bought them (except I didn't realize it until I got home) because my toe slightly curls up, but its hard to tell. I think I may need to need a new pair...its not painful to my legs or feet though...

Another problem is that about a month after beginning on pointe shoes, my pinky toe turned purple! My teacher didn't really care though...it turned out that my toe was bruised, there was dry blood.

Now my pinky toe is healed. But now, half of my big toe on bruised, and a small, small part of my other big toe is bruised with a little white cloud under both. My teacher told me I needed to by those individual toe pads (a separate toe pad gel for the big toe) and so I did. I haven't really danced on pointe since though.

My question is...why did that happen? Is it a bad thing? Am I not dancing correctly on pointe? :(

Thank you so much for you help!




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Reply by Odette

To: - Ballet Pointe Shoes Problems

Hello,

Thank you for your queries, I'm always happy to help.

Congratulations on getting your first pair of pointe shoes, this is a very exciting stage for every young dancer!

I feel an immediate doubt with the fitting of your shoes. I can see the problem with your bruised toes will be from the fitting of your shoes as oppose to your dancing on pointe.

Do not worry, finding ballet pointe shoes that fit correctly can take time. Pointe shoes should feel snug but a lot of dancers make the mistake of wearing shoes that are too small.

You say you think your shoes might be too small, in which case, your toes would slightly curl or scrunch up. When you go onto pointe there should be a pinch of fabric at the heel so that but there is enough space for you to lay all your toes flat when you are standing.

You have to be extra careful and responsible that the shoes fit correctly, as it will ruin your toes if you wear incorrect fitted pointe shoes. You can also make sure your toes are well protected with plasters and toe pads.

I would suggest you being open to trying different brands of pointe shoes, as every brand fits the foot a little differently. I would recommend brands such as Bloch, or Freed, which are good for training dancers.

Finding pointe shoes is a lengthy process, it takes a bit of ongoing tweaking to find the right fit, but it is essential you find a pair that fits correctly.

Definitely get your shoes re-fitted. Take your current pointe shoes to the place where you buy your shoes and explain your problems. Take careful time when you next get fitted and check to make sure the shoe is not too short or wide.

Good luck and keep in touch!

All the best

Odette

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Ballet Pointe Shoes - Too Soft and Too Small

by Larisa

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Too Soft and Too Small

Dear Odette,
I had my first pas de deux class yesterday!! Thank you so much for your advice! It was really fun!

But, of course, I have yet ANOTHER problem. My ballet teacher insists I wear Russian Pointe Shoes, but I got my latest pair (Bravas) three weeks ago and they're already dead and a little small! Is it possible that my feet have "grown into another shoe", so to speak? I hope I'm not bothering you! Thank you so much for your advice!
Larisa

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Ballet Pointe Shoes - Too Soft and Too Small

Reply by Odette

Hello Larisa,

Thank you for contacting me. Of course you are not bothering me, it is a always a pleasure to hear from you.

I am so glad you enjoyed your first pas de deux class. I would love to hear more. Was it like what you thought? Which was your favourite exercises?

What a pain that your ballet pointe shoes are causing a problem. It is odd that they are soft and a little small after just three weeks, have you worn Bravas before? If they have always been fine on your feet in the past, then perhaps this was just an odd pair.

It could also be a result of your feet growing. Your feet are constantly changing and developing, so don't be discouraged if you keep changing your opinion on your shoes, but be persistent. It can take a while until you find your "perfect pair", but it is valuable to keep searching until you find pointe shoes that complement your feet.

Unless your ballet teacher won't let you try other brands, it is worth experimenting with various styles of pointe shoes. Familiar brands are Bloch Pointe Shoes, Freed, Capezio and Grishko.

Don't feel as if you have to stick with one brand. For example, as a student, I wore Bloch pointe shoes for all my pointe work classes as they were strong and supportive. Then I swapped to Freed for performances as they were lighter and softer for the stage.

Naturally, some dancers seem to break in their shoes much quicker than others depending on the strength and shape of foot. My pointe shoes broke in very quickly, so here are some tips to make your pointe shoes last longer -

Let your shoes dry out after each time you use them. Letting them air will give them opportunity to harden again.

Shellac can harden your shoes. It's available in most dance shops and you can buy it online. All you do is apply the shellac to where ever the shoe needs hardening, leave it to dry over night and voila!

Be smart with your shoes and wear the pointe shoes appropriate to the class.

For example, if you are doing intense pointe work with lots of continuous releves, then you will need stronger shoes for the support. Alternatively, if you are doing learning a dance on pointe with lots of moving around, then you can wear softer shoes because you won't need as much support.

Best Wishes,

Odette

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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My Point Shoes are Really Painful.

by Shiyun
(Singapore)

My Point Shoes are Really Painful:- I just got a new pair of pointe shoes. It's my first pair. It's really painful. :(

Shiyun

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Reply by Odette

to My Point Shoes are Really Painful

Dear Shiyun,

How exciting that you've got your first ever pair of pointe shoes! I understand that it may be painful for you because your feet aren't used to wearing pointe shoes so it's a new and perhaps discomforting feeling. However the more you train, you will build up strength so that it begins to feel more comfortable.

You may have read these comments elsewhere, but I should stress them again:-

    Remember, just like I did before I went en pointe, ballet students MUST take responsibility for their own strengthening prior to beginning pointe work.

    Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.

    Don't leave it to your teacher!

    You can watch this pre-pointe video yourself here (just wait for the page to load up then the video is on the top right of the page).


In dancing, sometimes it's good to work through the pain but you have to remember to be sensible and safe. If the pain you are feeling is very bad, it could be because the shoes don't fit your foot correctly or perhaps you aren't wearing the right padding. Also, if you begin pointe when you are too young it can cause damage to your feet.

It's always beneficial to ask your teacher about any problems or pain you're having. I hope your shoes begin too feel less painful!

Odette




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Ballet Pointe Shoes - Pointe Shoes and Dodgy Toes

by Kristina Schmidt
(Essex, UK)

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Pointe Shoes and Dodgy Toes

Hi,

I am looking for advice with regards to my feet and pointe shoes.

I have been dancing since age 2 and now I am 30. I have bunions and bent big toes on both feet and as much as I try to use my pointe shoes with no padding it kills me even using tape on the blister points and the bunion busters, but i feel that as my toes in bent I am not putting the weight on the correct parts of the foot.

I would love to be able to do the pointe without padding and was wondering if there was any suggestions. I use the Grishko 2007 shoe which i absolutely love and have considered having some custom made specifally for me (would this be a good idea).

Thanks in advance.

Kristina

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Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - Pointe Shoes and Dodgy Toes

Hello Kristina,

Thank you for your query, it is great to hear from you.

As you explain, it is somewhat unavoidable that in time pointe work will cause painful and often damaged feet. I would firstly suggest to 'pamper' your feet and really look after them. Also, make sure you are getting enough rest out of your pointe shoes.

I would always suggest using padding to protect the toes. There are many different types of padding you could try such as ouch pouches, animal wool, plasters and tape. Padding is an essential need, I find it can prevent the pain so don't feel as if you shouldn't wear any.

On a technical pointe of view, make sure you always keep lifted up and out of your shoes to take the pressure off your feet. Think about using your whole leg muscles to get you onto pointe, as oppose to just your foot. Try doing some metatarsal exercises to strengthen your toes.

It sounds a good idea to have pointe shoes specifically made for you. This will ensure they fit exactly to your foot shape and therefore could prevent pain or problems with your feet. To have a shoe ideally fitted will greatly benefit your pointe work.

I hope this advice is useful to you, I am always happy to help.

All the best,

Odette

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Ballet Pointe Shoes - Blisters

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Blisters

Hello, my name is Gabby. I just started pointe about a month ago, but I keep getting bad blisters on my pinkey toes...is there anything I can do besides putting bandaid's or duck taping them? They arn't working.
Thanks again,
Gabby

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Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - Blisters

Hi Gabby,
Thanks for your message on ballet pointe shoes. Firstly, make sure you are letting the blisters heal so that the skin on your little toes recover and not vulnerable to easily blister again. I know this may be hard if you are doing pointe regularly, but often it does more harm than good to dance on blisters toes.

Otherwise, I would definitely recommend protecting them with tape or plasters which I see you are already doing. If this isn't working, then I know you can get specialised blister plasters from a pharmacy shop to give your toes extra padding or help recovering.

If you keep getting blisters in the same recurring place, then I think you should check the fitting of your pointe shoes just in case. I say this, because I remember getting a few blisters back when I was a young training dancer and I think it could be due to the fact my shoes were not fitted perfectly.

I wear the ideal fitted pointe shoes now and I haven't had blisters for a long time. It makes a different when the pointe shoes are fitted right, so just check the width and length of your pointe shoes.

Best wishes,
Odette

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Ballet Pointe Shoes - Toe Tingling and Numbness

by Erica
(Tinton Falls, NJ)

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Toe Tingling and Numbness

Hi Odette!

I have Grishkos 2007 pointe shoes and when I have them on for a while, the ball of my foot begins to get numb! And my teacher told me my feet were cold when I took my shoes off. I honestly don't know if I should switch brands or go for a wider box. My foot is pretty narrow, but I do have a double X in pointe shoes!

THANK YOU SO MUCH(:

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Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - Toe Tingling and Numbness

Hello Erica,
Thanks for your message. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, but I definitely think you should check the fitting in your pointe shoes. How do they feel when you have them on? Do your feet feel squashed in the shoe? The main thing I think of when the feet are cold and numb, is that the shoes are too small. You could always try a different brand, but it is the fitting which is most crucial.
Also, just look your padding again. When I wore the gel ouch pouches, sometimes my toes felt numb when I took the shoe off. This didn't prevent me dancing on pointe, but I just knew that was the reason my toes felt numb.
Best wishes,
Odette

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