Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Elasticheart

Newbie first pointe shoe fitting help/recommendations

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

Please can I draw on your knowledge and experience.

DD is to have first fitting for pointe shoes and I am totally ignorant as to how this works and where it is best to go in and around Glasgow.

Are some places better than others and how do I know?

Thanks in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Elasticheart and welcome to the forum.   In terms of general advice on pointe shoe fitting, if you use the forum’s search function (top right) and search for “Pointe Shoe Fitting” you should see a list of all threads on the subject:

 

https://www.balletcoforum.com/search/?q=Pointe shoe fitting&updated_after=any&sortby=relevancy&search_and_or=and

 

Hopefully someone will know about fittings in Glasgow. ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply. ☺️

I have read through some posts but feel like it's written in a different language, does every parent feel like this at the beginning?

Feel rather lost 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not in Glasgow sorry, but I can high,y recommend the Dance Shop Edinburgh - the fitters are so knowledgeable and care about finding the perfect shoe!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also recommend The Dance Shop in Edinburgh. Worth the extra miles. Very experienced fitters with professional dance training and a good selection of shoes. Buying pointe shoes is an ever evolving process. Feet change dramatically over the years of training and manufacturers are always producing new and higher profile shoes. Let the professionals do all the hard work for you at this stage.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, 

59 minutes ago, ArucariaBallerina said:

It's not in Glasgow sorry, but I can high,y recommend the Dance Shop Edinburgh - the fitters are so knowledgeable and care about finding the perfect shoe!

and 

46 minutes ago, valentina said:

I would also recommend The Dance Shop in Edinburgh. Worth the extra miles. Very experienced fitters with professional dance training and a good selection of shoes. Buying pointe shoes is an ever evolving process. Feet change dramatically over the years of training and manufacturers are always producing new and higher profile shoes. Let the professionals do all the hard work for you at this stage.

I will try phoning Edinburgh tomorrow.

Much appreciated ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Elasticheart said:

Thank you for your reply. ☺️

I have read through some posts but feel like it's written in a different language, does every parent feel like this at the beginning?

Feel rather lost 😕

 

I did. ☺️ Do you have any specific questions we can help with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just entered into this new territory recently. I searched and read up on here, watched a lot of you tube videos (some of which were a bit scary re the breaking in of shoes that experienced dancers do) and did some googling which helped a bit but also in some ways added to the confusion - different feet shape and names for feet shapes and all sorts! It is indeed a whole new world out there with terminology for the parts of the shoes, different brands etc. And that's just before the breaking in issues and finding out how the shoes then perform in class!

 

We found most fitters really helpful, although they really differed from shop to shop in terms of advice especially re padding suggestions, which was confusing given we had absolutely no clue. 

 

Do allow a fair amount of time to be fitted and to go away and think about things if needed - if there are alternative shops nearby to the main shop you want to try, it might be an idea to try them too and see if they have any different thoughts. We found it took a few pairs to get the idea for my DD of what it's like to stand en pointe as it is a whole new experience, and them come to terms of what would be good or not and what felt wrong and what felt right as they need to fit on the flat but also en pointe, both of which are quite different positions. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What an exciting time.  Here are a few thoughts.

  • If possible use a shop which comes recommended - or be guided by your teacher
  • Phone ahead and make an appointment
  • Allow plenty of time (it can take a couple of hours, especially the first fitting)
  • Tell the fitter it is her first pair of pointe shoes and that you don't know anything about it.  The fitter should be able to guide you through.
  • Don't be embarrassed if DD tries on every show in the shop - it is important to be happy.
  • Different brands and different styles suit different people.  eg. It doesn't matter if everyone else in her class has Bloche.  If Freed suits her feet better, go with Freed.
  • Ask if you can return the shoes if your DD's teacher doesn't approve the fit.  I don't know if this is common practice, but the shops around us were happy to do this. BUT that means don't sew ribbons on until the teacher has seen them.
  • Don't be afraid to go away empty handed if you are not sure.
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above post  by glowlight. DDs teachers said she had to approve the shoes before we did any sewing of any sort. Her teacher also said NOT to do any type of 'breaking in' as until DD had started to dance on pointe, she wouldn't know what or how she wanted her shoes to feel like, and that also, properly fitted pointe shoes shouldn't need breaking in per se! 

 

DDs first fitting took just under 2 hours, and she tried on about 10/12 pairs of shoes. i couldn't see the difference between any of them myself, but DD said they felt different!

 

Have fun! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/07/2019 at 21:54, glowlight said:

What an exciting time.  Here are a few thoughts.

  • If possible use a shop which comes recommended - or be guided by your teacher
  • Phone ahead and make an appointment
  • Allow plenty of time (it can take a couple of hours, especially the first fitting)
  • Tell the fitter it is her first pair of pointe shoes and that you don't know anything about it.  The fitter should be able to guide you through.
  • Don't be embarrassed if DD tries on every show in the shop - it is important to be happy.
  • Different brands and different styles suit different people.  eg. It doesn't matter if everyone else in her class has Bloche.  If Freed suits her feet better, go with Freed.
  • Ask if you can return the shoes if your DD's teacher doesn't approve the fit.  I don't know if this is common practice, but the shops around us were happy to do this. BUT that means don't sew ribbons on until the teacher has seen them.
  • Don't be afraid to go away empty handed if you are not sure.

Thank you, this is fabulous advice. I know DD will want to get a pair during our visit as we are making the trip especially as don't live anywhere near. I am now wondering if I should make several appointments at different fitters? Would this work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 08/07/2019 at 08:04, Pixiewoo said:

I agree with the above post  by glowlight. DDs teachers said she had to approve the shoes before we did any sewing of any sort. Her teacher also said NOT to do any type of 'breaking in' as until DD had started to dance on pointe, she wouldn't know what or how she wanted her shoes to feel like, and that also, properly fitted pointe shoes shouldn't need breaking in per se! 

 

DDs first fitting took just under 2 hours, and she tried on about 10/12 pairs of shoes. i couldn't see the difference between any of them myself, but DD said they felt different!

 

Have fun! 

Thank you, I think holding back with sewing is a brilliant idea (I have no idea how this is done) and will show DD this post to reassure that this is what others do. Your advice is much appreciated 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/07/2019 at 19:53, Paleblueleotard said:

We just entered into this new territory recently. I searched and read up on here, watched a lot of you tube videos (some of which were a bit scary re the breaking in of shoes that experienced dancers do) and did some googling which helped a bit but also in some ways added to the confusion - different feet shape and names for feet shapes and all sorts! It is indeed a whole new world out there with terminology for the parts of the shoes, different brands etc. And that's just before the breaking in issues and finding out how the shoes then perform in class!

 

We found most fitters really helpful, although they really differed from shop to shop in terms of advice especially re padding suggestions, which was confusing given we had absolutely no clue. 

 

Do allow a fair amount of time to be fitted and to go away and think about things if needed - if there are alternative shops nearby to the main shop you want to try, it might be an idea to try them too and see if they have any different thoughts. We found it took a few pairs to get the idea for my DD of what it's like to stand en pointe as it is a whole new experience, and them come to terms of what would be good or not and what felt wrong and what felt right as they need to fit on the flat but also en pointe, both of which are quite different positions. 

Thanks for your reply. I think looking online has also added to my confusion. I'm now thinking it may take more than one fitting in one shop 😏 I am now going to try and find shops around Glasgow and Edinburgh that we can visit during our stay. Your advice has been really helpful. Thank you 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/07/2019 at 18:17, Anna C said:

 

I did. ☺️ Do you have any specific questions we can help with?

Thank you. I still feel really lost but can now explain to DD that it might not be as simple as going to one fitting and getting the perfect shoe. DD is desperate to get shoes before classes restart after summer 😔

If DD goes to a fitting can I take a note of their recommendations and order later? Or is it better to take the shoe she tried during the fitting? Are the measurements pretty specific to that make, shape and size of shoe and ordering later will still get DD the same shoe?

Does the fitting cost extra?

I've also seen different advice about what to wear: should DD wear ballet tights or not?, should DD have padding or toe protectors before fitting?

😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can indeed ask the fitter to write down the make, model and size (plus any variations) for later.  I would be wary of doing this for the purpose of ordering online or over the phone though because feet and shoes can be very slightly different from day to day.  For example if you have your fitting after class when the feet are warmed up, or if you’ve walked a long way that day, the feet might be slightly bigger.  If the shoe is handmade like Freed Classics, every maker will have a different shape shoe with a wider or narrower fit.

 

If however you’re doing the rounds of several shops and want to make a note of a particular shoe in case you go back and buy them, that’s fine and a sensible idea.  Of course once your dd’s feet stop growing and changing and she settles on one or two particular shoes, you can then order online or instore.

 

Fitting doesn’t cost extra in shops, it’s all part of the service. ☺️

 

Yes, dd should wear convertible ballet tights to her fitting.  If she wears any toe spacers then she should wear them too.  You don’t need to get padding or toe protectors before going because some shoes don’t need padding.  A good fitter should recommend the level of padding and fit the shoes with the padding needed, so if you buy that shoe then buy the padding it was fitted with.  

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a long time since my DD had her first pointe shoe fitting but I remember it well. We live in a rural area with no suitable shops nearby so we drove a couple of hundred miles, spent an hour or two whilst she tried dozens of shoes on and came home empty handed. The fitter said she could have sold us a pair of shoes that "would do" for DD's feet but she wasnt satisfied with that. She knew she could get a better fit if she ordered in some different brands and styles and encouraged us to wait and try again rather than "make do". DD was disappointed, my husband was infuriated and I was impressed with the fitter who prioritised doing the right thing over getting a sale. She knew we had come a long way and that there was no guarantee we would return. But we did, and even though she had of course never been on pointe before DD said she could instantly tell the difference between the ok shoes and the right shoes.

So my advice is to find a shop that sells a lot of brands and be patient.

Try shoes on with whatever padding she will be using - probably whatever her teacher recommends in the first instance as she wont know what she likes until she has tried different things.

Also you need to understand that choosing pointe shoes is not a one off thing. As your DD grows and progresses her feet will change and her preferred brand or style of shoe may change, as may her choice of padding. I didnt realise that at first - I thought once you had found "THE shoes" that was it, so I got a shock when the lengthy process had to be repeated multiple times, though fortunately my DD did settle on one type eventually. Once her fittings had been consistent over several visits and I was sure her feet had stopped growing I was happy to order on line, but i wouldn't advise that early on.

Good luck with your hunt!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Anna C re fitters fee definitely worth checking with the shop, our local shop charges £20 for the privilege of being fitted into whatever shoe they can pad out and make fit 🙄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

Its a long time since my DD had her first pointe shoe fitting but I remember it well. We live in a rural area with no suitable shops nearby so we drove a couple of hundred miles, spent an hour or two whilst she tried dozens of shoes on and came home empty handed. The fitter said she could have sold us a pair of shoes that "would do" for DD's feet but she wasnt satisfied with that. She knew she could get a better fit if she ordered in some different brands and styles and encouraged us to wait and try again rather than "make do". DD was disappointed, my husband was infuriated and I was impressed with the fitter who prioritised doing the right thing over getting a sale. She knew we had come a long way and that there was no guarantee we would return. But we did, and even though she had of course never been on pointe before DD said she could instantly tell the difference between the ok shoes and the right shoes.

So my advice is to find a shop that sells a lot of brands and be patient.

Try shoes on with whatever padding she will be using - probably whatever her teacher recommends in the first instance as she wont know what she likes until she has tried different things.

Also you need to understand that choosing pointe shoes is not a one off thing. As your DD grows and progresses her feet will change and her preferred brand or style of shoe may change, as may her choice of padding. I didnt realise that at first - I thought once you had found "THE shoes" that was it, so I got a shock when the lengthy process had to be repeated multiple times, though fortunately my DD did settle on one type eventually. Once her fittings had been consistent over several visits and I was sure her feet had stopped growing I was happy to order on line, but i wouldn't advise that early on.

Good luck with your hunt!

It's nice to hear fitter was genuine and wanted to fit the best shoe not just make a sale. I've had a chat with DD and she is more aware that it might take several attempts. Thank you for your advice 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Anna C said:

You can indeed ask the fitter to write down the make, model and size (plus any variations) for later.  I would be wary of doing this for the purpose of ordering online or over the phone though because feet and shoes can be very slightly different from day to day.  For example if you have your fitting after class when the feet are warmed up, or if you’ve walked a long way that day, the feet might be slightly bigger.  If the shoe is handmade like Freed Classics, every maker will have a different shape shoe with a wider or narrower fit.

 

If however you’re doing the rounds of several shops and want to make a note of a particular shoe in case you go back and buy them, that’s fine and a sensible idea.  Of course once your dd’s feet stop growing and changing and she settles on one or two particular shoes, you can then order online or instore.

 

Fitting doesn’t cost extra in shops, it’s all part of the service. ☺️

 

Yes, dd should wear convertible ballet tights to her fitting.  If she wears any toe spacers then she should wear them too.  You don’t need to get padding or toe protectors before going because some shoes don’t need padding.  A good fitter should recommend the level of padding and fit the shoes with the padding needed, so if you buy that shoe then buy the padding it was fitted with.  

 

 

Thank you, I'm starting to feel a bit more confident. I didn't know about toe spacers either 😆 (complete novice)!!!

I think making a note and going back to the shop was what I was thinking, I don't think I'd be confident to order online, I want to get a good fit for DD.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem! You don’t need to worry about toe spacers unless they’re recommended.  My dd has a small bunion on one foot and toe spacers really help prevent it from hurting or getting worse, so she wears them in pointe shoes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bluebird22 said:

@Anna C re fitters fee definitely worth checking with the shop, our local shop charges £20 for the privilege of being fitted into whatever shoe they can pad out and make fit 🙄

 

No! That’s shocking! I’ve never experienced that at any of the London stores. 😱

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bluebird22 said:

@Anna C re fitters fee definitely worth checking with the shop, our local shop charges £20 for the privilege of being fitted into whatever shoe they can pad out and make fit 🙄

That is awful. Over the years DD has been fitted at various different shops and we have never been charged. We have also had fitters refuse to sell shoes because they weren’t happy ( DD also wasn’t happy ) DD has been through various makes and styles as her feet have changed ( not in size ) but in strength and what she wanted out of a pair of shoes. It’s a very personal thing and patience is really important. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd wait until a couple of weeks before term starts rather than buying them right now, just in case she grows. They are supposed to be a snug fit so you don't want her to grow out of them too quickly.

 

Also, as tempting as it is, don't let her wear them at home until the teacher has seen them.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any possibility that your DD’s teacher could go with you for her first pointe shoe fitting? We were lucky that this was available and it meant that although DD obviously didn’t know how pointe shoes were supposed to feel, she had the expertise of her teacher as well as that of the fitter so we felt much more confident that those were the correct shoes for her first pair. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisa Howell has a great section on Pre-Pointe, pointe work and fitting and parents’ manual! Drop me a message and I can share what I have with you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely be cautious about trying out many different shops in the Glasgow/ Edinburgh area unless you have had a recommendation. From experience, there are some less than desirable fitters around. Best to stick with ones recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that going to several shops could just confuse you, as the advice may well vary. If it helps, our only local shop fitted DD's entire class in either Bloch Sylphide or Heritage at age 11 when they were starting pointe in Inter F. They have to start somewhere, and as their feet are still growing you just have to resign yourself to them trying different styles until they decide what works for them. It's much easier once they have been en pointe for a few months and have more of an idea of what they and their feet need from a pointe shoe. (In 4 years we went through Bloch Sylphide, Heritage, Aspiration,  and Russian Pointe/Energetiks – which she was happy with... THEN her teacher said "I'd like to see you in Freeds". I could have cheerfully strangled her as I'd stocked up on the Russian Pointes!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main purpose of trying different shops is that a single shop won't necessarily stock all brands, and they may not have a full range of sizes in stock.

 

So I wouldn't recommend going to loads of different fitters, but if you are making a special trip it might be worth trying a couple - especially if they stock different brands. You can check this when you make the appointment.

 

Going with shops which have come recommended is an excellent idea.

 

And rest assured it isn't as scary as it feels at the moment!  Enjoy a lovely day or two out with your DD.  And maybe fit in afternoon tea while your are out!

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...