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Pointe shoes for narrow feet


Lemongirl
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Dd is 13 and has been doing pointe for a couple of years.  Her most recent pair of shoes were Bloch European Balance pre-arched which she liked.  However they started to hurt a bit at the toes and thought they were getting small.

 

We went to Bloch at the weekend and she tried the same shoes in a half size bigger but the assistant said they were too big!  She said if she was fitting dd from scratch she wouldn't recommend those shoes as they weren't a good fit for her narrow feet.  So dd tried a different style - Amelie, which we eventually bought.  Dd thought they felt a bit tight around the foot but thought it was because she wasn't used to them and they needed breaking in.

 

Is Amelie a good shoe for narrow feet?  Also are pointe shoes supposed to be comfortable from the start or not till they've broken in?

Edited by Lemongirl
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I don't have narrow feet so I can't personally recommend whether Amelie is any good for your DD's feet. But if your DD would like to try different brands, I know of a girl having narrow feet who found Grishkos Vaganovas suited her very well. Maybe they are worth a try later on?

 

Unfortunately with pointe shoes, you might find you're having to try/buy several brands before your find the shoes that suit you, so you could end up rejecting shoes when they're still pretty new.

 

Personally, pointe shoes are never what I would call 'comfortable' but if you try different brands, you get to compare which shoes are more comfortable than others for your feet. Generally, the shoes are at their most uncomfortable when they are new because they haven't moulded to your feet yet.

 

You mentioned in your post that your DD thought the shoes 'felt a bit tight around the foot'. Your DD might be right that it was because she wasn't used to them, however, it's worth checking that her foot is not spilling out over the tops of the shoes when she is standing flat.

 

You also mentioned that your DD liked her recent Bloch European Balance, but the half size bigger was too big. If you are - or need to - go back to the shop, it might be worth trying several pairs of the Bloch European Balance in the same size as her current ones. Each pointe shoe has slight variations, and your DD may find she would still need her current size, rather than go up a half size if she was to go for the Bloch European Balance again.

 

I hope this helps.

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Are they actually *tight* around the feet, or could they be feeling tight because the box is hugging the foot correctly - i.e. tightly enough so the foot doesn't slip down into the box?

 

I'm just wondering - if the European Balances were actually too big or wide in the fitter's opinion, whether the foot was slipping down in the box. In which case, correctly fitting shoes could feel slightly tight in comparison.

 

I did a search for "narrow feet" and found this thread. It may be of some help: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/5825-pointe-shoe-recommendation-for-narrow-feetlack-of-natural-arch/

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As well as the width of the block, you need to be aware of the depth.  If a narrow foot is also shallow it will need a low profile shoe, or else the foot can still slide down when standing on pointe.  The shoes with lowest profiles as well as narrow fittings are Grishko (both 2007 and Vaganova) and Suffolk Ensemble.

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Thank you for all the helpful advice.

 

Sugar plum - it LOOKED like they fit her properly, her feet weren't spilling out etc.

 

It's a costly business as I suppose they don't really know for sure if the shoes are right until they dance in them!  I just wanted to make sure the shoes are ok as she is starting EYB next week so will be spending a lot of time doing pointe work!

 

Maybe she can try Grishkos next time, where do they stock them?

 

Thanks for that link spanner, will have a read.

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As well as the width of the block, you need to be aware of the depth.  If a narrow foot is also shallow it will need a low profile shoe, or else the foot can still slide down when standing on pointe.  The shoes with lowest profiles as well as narrow fittings are Grishko (both 2007 and Vaganova) and Suffolk Ensemble.

Russian Pointe do shoes with a low profile in narrow fittings too, and are quite similar to Grishko. The UK stockist is Just Ballet in Southend.

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Go and see 'Just Ballet' in Southend as mentioned by Taxi above. It was the most thorough fitting dd has ever had and the happiest she has been with a pair of pointe shoes. We're travelling about 300 miles to go back in half term.

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Thanks everyone :)

 

I would say it's hard to single out one particular make for narrow feet as each brand seems to have an increasing number of styles to suit different foot shapes. So saying you don't like Bloch or Grishko etc may actually mean you don't like the styles you've tried within that brand.

 

Do shop around and ask to try on as many styles and brands that are available in your size. You think you've found the perfect shoe, then you try the next one and it's more perfect...

 

Never settle for a shoe, you shouldn't be "sold" pointe shoes, you should be fitted with them :)

 

If you come to JB, please bear in mind we only have a small shop with two qualified fitters, so please phone ahead to book an appointment :)

Sx

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I would also suggest downloading a tracing form from Gaynor Mindens website. GM's have never failed me and you can email or post them your tracings and they give you your exact fit. GM's also work out cheaper in the long run even though they are costly. I've tried every possible pointe shoe there is, Grishko Elites were my first ever pointe shoe and I have really wide feet but very tapered toes. GM's were a last resort because of how pricey they are. JB does GM's as well but you may find Russian Pointe maybe your DD's shoe :)

 

Good luck. 

Edited by CharlieChuck
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Ahhhh the amount of pointe shoes we tried!! My DD has very narrow feet and high arches, suited for her were grishko vaganova, but they don't come with a drawstring as they have a very long vamp. Hence no fingers left after threading drawstring through (one hour each shoe). We haven't found another one yet that suits my DD's feet, but just ballet are correct when they say you shouldn't be sold a shoe, you should be fitted. Good luck! X

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  • 3 months later...

My DD's Grishko Novas are breaking down on the shank behind the box. The last 3 pairs have done this. She has two pairs which she alternates, but is at vocation and school and doing a lot en pointe so realise her shoes won't last as long, but haven't experienced this previously. The the amount of pointe work has risen considerably. When this happens she loses support in the box, toes curl and bruised big toe nails result, any insights welcomed, though probably need to budget for more shoes. She is going to have a session with her fitter to look at alternatives. NL

 

 

Ahhhh the amount of pointe shoes we tried!! My DD has very narrow feet and high arches, suited for her were grishko vaganova, but they don't come with a drawstring as they have a very long vamp. Hence no fingers left after threading drawstring through (one hour each shoe). We haven't found another one yet that suits my DD's feet, but just ballet are correct when they say you shouldn't be sold a shoe, you should be fitted. Good luck! X

Hello all the lovely girls with narrow feet- these are indeed a problem, although most makes of pointe shoe should do a narrow width in each style, as some people have narrow feet with long toes ( grishko Vaganova is good here ) but others have narrow with short  toes/ tapered toes- Grishko 2007 may work here) . Grishko's are available in 5 widths, and it is unusual that our narrowest X fitting in one of our styles would not work. But I wanted to address the issue of a drawstring mentioned here- the reason all the original Grishko models were made without drawstrings is because if the shoe fits you properly, you should never need a drawstring. if you need to pull a drawstring up, chances are it's not the right shoe for you. However, say you found a Grishko vaganvoa that you loved, you could get your stockist to special order it with a drawstring! we sully recommend after a fitting though, that dancers simply pull their drawstring out, as the shoe fits so perfectly! And if you do ever pull your drawstring, make sure you catch it through with some stitches when you sew on your ribbon, so that the drawstring cannot pull on your achilles! 

Edited by info@grishko.co.uk
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Ahhhh the amount of pointe shoes we tried!! My DD has very narrow feet and high arches, suited for her were grishko vaganova, but they don't come with a drawstring as they have a very long vamp. Hence no fingers left after threading drawstring through (one hour each shoe). We haven't found another one yet that suits my DD's feet, but just ballet are correct when they say you shouldn't be sold a shoe, you should be fitted. Good luck! X

 

Ahhhh the amount of pointe shoes we tried!! My DD has very narrow feet and high arches, suited for her were grishko vaganova, but they don't come with a drawstring as they have a very long vamp. Hence no fingers left after threading drawstring through (one hour each shoe). We haven't found another one yet that suits my DD's feet, but just ballet are correct when they say you shouldn't be sold a shoe, you should be fitted. Good luck! X

Hello all the lovely girls with narrow feet- these are indeed a problem, although most makes of pointe shoe should do a narrow width in each style, as some people have narrow feet with long toes ( grishko Vaganova is good here ) but others have narrow with short  toes/ tapered toes- Grishko 2007 may work here) . Grishko's are available in 5 widths, and it is unusual that our narrowest X fitting in one of our styles would not work. But I wanted to address the issue of a drawstring mentioned here- the reason all the original Grishko models were made without drawstrings is because if the shoe fits you properly, you should never need a drawstring. if you need to pull a drawstring up, chances are it's not the right shoe for you. However, say you found a Grishko vaganvoa that you loved, you could get your stockist to special order it with a drawstring! we sully recommend after a fitting though, that dancers simply pull their drawstring out, as the shoe fits so perfectly! And if you do ever pull your drawstring, make sure you catch is through with some stitches when you sew on your ribbon, so that the drawstring cannot pull on your achilles! 

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