Comments for Ballet Pointe Shoes - Toe Tingling and Numbness

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My first pointe shoes are confusing!
by: Ashley

I am 12 years old and I am going to start pointe. I have the Bloch sonatas in a size 4, width C. When I went to get fitted, it seemed like I was between a size 3.5 and a 4. I chose a 4 because 3.5 was a little difficult to put on. I have the pillows for pointes lambs wool toe pads, which I heard get thin after a couple wears. I also tried on gel pads and didn't like the way they felt. I want to stick with the lambs wool toe pads because I think they will help to make my feet stronger. I have pretty high arches and what I would consider a pretty standard, normal looking foot. I haven't broken my shoes in, sewn the ribbons or elastic on, or taking a class in them. However, I have tried them on quite a few times at home. The two bones that stick out slightly at the two sides of my foot in the metatarsal area are being pinched and are uncomfortable. Will the toe box expand and become more flexible as I break them in? I'm confused because my toes feel fine, the two bones at the sides hurt and are being pinched, but from the middle of the foot to the back of the foot is loose. Is this just because the shoe is too long or should I try on other models and other widths? I am thinking about going one width up and wearing thicker padding. Also, is it normal for the fabric to bunch up right above the toe box in the metatarsal area? I'm having trouble determining whether I am sinking into my shoes or if that is normal.
Please help me! I'm so confused because this is my first pair of pointe shoes. Thanks!

Reply to: My first pointe shoes are confusing!
by: Odette

Hello Ashley,
Thank you for your message, it's great to hear from you. I know how exciting it must be to have your first pair of pointe shoes, but it is also quite overwhelming because it is all so new. You want everything to feel correct and it's hard to know whether what is right without having danced on pointe before.

Let me tell you first, it will take time to learn what pointe shoes suit you best or how they should feel on your feet. It took me a long while to really understand my foot shape and find a pair of pointe shoes that compliments me and feel good to dance on.

So, don't worry too much - you will learn as well!

Although pointe shoes will never feel as comfortable as slippers, they should fit as close to the shape of your foot as possible. The shoes will always break in gradually as you wear them and become softer to the shape of your foot. However, if they are the wrong width to start with then the shoe will never feel as comfortable as they should be for you.

If the shoe fits right, your bones shouldn't stick out or feel pinched so I would look again at the width and fitting of the shoe. I wouldn't say the fabric should bunch up either, but this may happen if the shoe is not the right fit.

I would take your pointe shoes into the shop you bought them and explain what you feel, as they will be able to see what's wrong and help you. You can also show your pointe shoes to your dance teacher and see what she thinks, as it's important to see how the shoe fits in person.

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

Best wishes,

Where should I put padding or tape?
by: Sara


I recently got my first pair of pointe shoes and everywhere I go people keep telling me how great they fit(the dance store, my classes etc) and I've been having a lot of fun. I've been practicing most nights to make sure my feet legs legs are kept strong and I've noticed a bit of rubbing pain on the back of my ankles. It's the shoe rubbing and I'm not sure what to put on it. Should I be using tape? At the moment I'm not using any padding or tape except for the toe pad and my feet have felt great except for my ankles. What do you recommend?

Sara - 14

Reply to: Where should I put padding or tape??
by: Odette

Hi Sara,

Thank you for getting in touch, it's great to hear from you. If the pain is at the backs of your ankles, not in the toes, firstly check you're not tying the draw-strings too tight. This will put extra pressure on your Achilles. Also make sure you're not tying the ribbons too tight. Normally, most dancers try to fix pain from your toes but if the shoe is rubbing at your ankles it may be worth checking the sizing again. I know you may feel they are the perfect fit, but if they are even just a fraction too small it will rub your feet. It's worth a check. Otherwise, you usually just put padding around your toes. Be careful it the shoe keeps rubbing because it might turn into a blister. I hope it gets better for you soon. Please keep in touch!

Best wishes,

My toes seem to really hurt NEW
by: Emily


So I just got my new pointe shoes yesterday (bloch) and when I was at the store fitting them I was really happy because they felt perfect and my toes didn't seem to hurt and they weren't curling. But when I got home I fitted them on and started practicing some excersizes my toes started to hurt more, especially my toe next to my big toe because it is longer than my big toe. And I started to feel my toes curl a bit and now they just don't feel comfortable at ALL. I don't know what happened Because they were PERFECT at the shop and now I don't know what to do. Plz help

Crushing my dreams NEW
by: Jane

Hi, I have had Ponte shoes for a little while now. I took a pointe prep class prior to getting them. One problem. I can't get over the box.
I've been to the doctor about my arch and he said it was perfectly fine. I think it might be my ankle. It's always popping.
I strech it everyday.
Please respond I need to know if my dreams are over.

my first pointe shoes NEW
by: Genivieve

I had my first pointe shoe fitting today and was wondering if it was normal for the tops of my big toes to be a bit sore?

It hurts NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello! Hope you’re well!
I just started pointe, very late actually cause I entered late, im 14 and, my pointe supports my foot very well exept my middle finger cause it is longer than the others :(. What should I do? Did I buy the wrong one? It fits great exept for that finger :( and that finger keeps squashing up.
I would love it if you could help! Thanks!
P.S. my pointe is Sansha and it was pretty expensive 😬🔫 so I cant afford another one 😬

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