Dancers experienced in their art form typically develop preferences in pointe shoes, becoming devoted to specific manufacturers and styles. These are preferences that develop over time as part of trial-and-error, comfort, function, appearance and overall fit. One day, you will have your specific preferences, too. But until then, you probably wonder who makes the best shoes for “en pointe.”
Gaynor Minden Pointe Shoes
Professional dancers like Gaynor Minden’s shoes for pointe dance because they fit comfortably and last longer than most other brands. In other words, you get more value for the money you spend on your shoes. In fact, a Gaynor Minden’s designer states that their shoes last three to six times longer than others. They also show the least amount of wear, keeping your entire ensemble looking polished.
Gaynor Minden’s also provide greater comfort than most brands. They effectively absorb impact and keep your feet feeling supported and protected, even during long days of practice. With a drawstring opening on the side instead of at the throat, you do not suffer top-of-foot irritation experienced with other shoes. For beginners, Gaynor Minden’s help maintain proper alignment and cause less discomfort.
Other Options for Your En Pointe Dance
Capezio shoes make a good choice for beginners on a budget. The pros do not tend to prefer this brand as the shoes wear out quickly. But the fit is good for emerging ballerinas.
If you want support, try Bloch shoes. Some people get a good fit from this manufacturer, whereas others complain that the fit is not right for their feet.
Freed of London is acclaimed for excellent shoe performance, particularly due to their bendable shank and cushioning. Of course, a more flexible shoe wears out faster. Because of this limited life expectancy, most dancers wearing Freed of London for pointe only use them for a performance, not practice.
Russian Rubin shoes provide both versatility and great performance. They cost more than others, but you certainly get comfort with the higher price tag. Because they do not wear out too fast, you can wear these for both practice and performance.
Next shoes provide a range of colours with beautiful styling. Their sizing is often slightly different than for other brands, so you must find your fit before making a purchase.
Important Factors in Finding Your Best Shoes for Pointe Dance
Remember that fit, comfort and function are critical when dancing en pointe. This style of dance is notoriously difficult and even damaging to your feet, so you need good shoes.
As far as sizing goes, your fit should be snug when standing. But your toes should not feel restricted. Ensure you see no bulging skin and your fingertip slips into each shoe at the toes. To prevent bunions, look for the wings of your shoes to extend up your big toe’s side. The vamp must fit properly because a long vamp can cause your foot to rise improperly. A short vamp makes your shoe feel loose.
Ensure the shank is in line with your sole during a pointe. Improper shank placement at the arch can cause twisting. A narrow box can also cause this problem.
Remember that each dancer personalizes her own pointe shoes. You will learn how to personalize your fit according to your foot size and where the shoes require custom adjustment. But early in dance, if you have uncomfortable shoes, you can feel discouraged.
Try different methods of adjusting your shoes, such as softening the box on the front. If you have wide feet, you can soften the wings, too. Softening the shank can help with flexibility and comfort, too. As you learn which shoes work best for you, you can become more successful in your pointe practices and performances.