When you think of ballet, you likely picture a beautiful leotard
* Putting extra pressure on sensitive foot bones can damage the bone structure and deform the foot.
* '''Never''' buy or wear pointe shoes
until an instructor says it is time.
* Consult with the ballet instructor about what shoes would be best, if this is your first pair.
* '''Never''' buy shoes without trying them on first, and don't forget to have tights
on hand when testing out different pairs.
The Right Fit for You
Pointe shoes, like the feet you put them on, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. With so many styles to choose from, the best idea is to get yourself into a store that offers a range of different pointe shoes by different manufacturers, before making any online purchases. While you're in the store try out different forms of padding as well, such as tights
when trying these various types of padding because some have a tendency to slip and move around when paired with tights, making them uncomfortable and causing you more pain than relief.
Ultimately you won't really know what works for you until you test them out. With a barre, try some ''relevés, élevés, échappés'', and a few small jumps. See which shoes are the easiest to roll through and balance on, which ones pinch, and which ones adapt most comfortably to the length of your toes versus the length of your foot. If you are a beginner think about buying a few different types of pointe shoes and testing them at various ballet classes, to see what you like best. Additionally, if you are a novice, as your feet change and grow and your technique develops, you will want to experiment with different features.
Features to Consider
* '''Shank Strength'''
** A soft shank may feel comfortable at first, but it won't sufficiently support a beginner's arch.
** Unless you have very strong feet, a medium shank will suffice.
** For class go for a lighter shank so that you can practice rolling through your feet and feeling the floor.
** For rehearsal and performance, get a strong shank so that it holds up longer.
* '''Vamp Shape and Length'''
** Shape is usually divided into Ustyles.
** This is a matter of comfort, personal preference and aesthetics.
** People with shorter toes tend to prefer a shorter vamp.
** Wide feet are slenderized with V-shaped vamps, but they may prove to be uncomfortable.
** U-shaped vamps are comfy especially if you have bunions.
* '''Full and Split-Sole Styles'''
* Ballet Equipment
* Ballroom Dance