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How pointe shoes should fit

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My last blog post was about making sure you were safe going onto pointe. Now I’m going to tell you how a pointe shoe should fit! There’s a lot behind going “en pointe” isn’t there?!


There are many many different shapes, widths, lengths and strengths of pointe shoes. This is to help suit all different types of feet. Some feet are very bendy and as such, they need more support. Some feet aren’t so bendy and need some help getting onto pointe so the shoe needs to be more flexible. Some dancers use pointe shoes for hours and hours every day, some dancers use them only for an hour per week. Because of all these different requirements, fitting pointe shoes can be a bit of a Cinderella type situation.
But first, let’s do some shoe anatomy.

Every part of a pointe shoe can be altered, changed and even personalised to suit your foot. It is so important that they fit correctly because if they don’t, they can cause blisters and bunions, pain in your toes and even put you off balance!

The “vamp” of the shoe helps keep the front of your foot upright. So for those with bendy feet, you would want a higher vamp so you don’t “fall” out of the front of the shoe. The “wing” is to help support your mid foot and to help distribute your body weight through the shoe so it’s not all falling on your toes. The higher the wings, the more support the foot has. The box is where most of your foot goes in. This changes the width of the shoe, so a wider box for wider feet. It can also be tapered for a slimmer foot or square shaped for wider, square type feet.

The “shank” determines how much “bend” is in the shoe. So again, for those with strong, super bendy feet you’d want a harder shank and for those that need a little more help, you may want a softer shank or even a 3⁄4 shank to help get you up onto the platform. There’s also a drawstring that runs around the shoe for a more secure fit.

Me personally, I have pretty bendy feet, high arches and would use my pointe shoes every day for a few hours at a time. This means I needed a stronger shank with a higher vamp and

to get the most out of my shoes, I would buy 2 pairs and rotate between them which would last me maybe 2-3 weeks. Pointe shoes are mostly made from wood and paper mache. So for those of you with sweaty feet and require your pointe shoes regularly, it’s best to get 2 pairs as the sweat can break down the glue if they aren’t dried out properly. Another tip dancer to dancer, DON’T LEAVE YOUR POINTE POUCHES IN YOUR SHOES. Pointe pouches look like the toe part of a sock and are a bit of padding you can put on your toes so going en pointe doesn’t hurt as much. Naturally, these become sweaty. Leaving them in your shoes can also cause the glue
to break down which can shorten the life of your pointe shoes, and for anyone that has bought pointe shoes, you know they aren’t cheap!


Now for the fitting!

When you go to get your pointe shoes fitted, the person fitting them should be qualified. As
you can imagine, there are a lot of variables to 1 pointe shoe alone. Here are some things
you should look for when you’re being fitted:

  1. When you do a plie (knee bend), the satin on the inside part of the shoe should not have any stretch or wrinkles in it. If there is a bit of puckering in the satin, it means the shoe is too short.
  2. You shouldn’t be able to put your fingers in the box of the shoe when in plie (knee bend). This means the box is too big and your foot is going to move around a lot
    (ouch, blisters!).
  3. When your foot is on the platform, the “shank” should be dead straight. There should be no twist in it. If there is a twist, it means the box is too narrow.
  4. There should be enough material in the back of the shoe around the drawstring for a slight pinch when your foot is on the platform. If there is no pinch, the shoe is too short and is going to really hurt your toes. Conversely, if there is too much of a pinch, the shoe is too long and you’ll be jamming your toes every time you go up onto the platform.

It is important to get fitted by a professional because if the shoe doesn’t fit properly, (like Cinderella’s sisters) it’s not going to be good for your feet!

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Helen Shang
Helen Shang
08:07 11 Mar 21
After Oscar left the company, the staff there not really care patient, so disappoint
Howard Pink
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Dr Louis is the best! He fixed me so many times. Highly recommend!
B A
B A
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Hopefully I'm never injured again, but if I am, Jay at BodyFocus will be my first point of contact. He helped immensely... with a nagging & long term Shoulder & Lower Back injury.I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a quality Physio.read more
NICHOLAS ABI ESBER
NICHOLAS ABI ESBER
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I would highly recommend this Physio clinic as they prove to give results to their clients especially Jay!
rupsikha baruah
rupsikha baruah
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Friendly staff. Lvl 8 in Rhodes Shopping Centre..accessible via lift. You have to pay..check for discounts.
Fahad Alotaibi
Fahad Alotaibi
00:10 28 Nov 19
Excellent service with dr Louis. Have really back pain due to having a bad massage previously. So he really... helped.Thanksread more
Mellissa Admin
Mellissa Admin
01:01 11 Sep 19
I work in the local area and have found Bodyfocus to be amazing and would highly recommend. I had the pleasure of... having Sarah as my physio and she was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. She explained my injuries to me in easy to understand language and was able to get me back on my feet quickly. Every interaction with staff at Bodyfocus has been extremely positive and helpful. Would not go anywhere else now for physio.read more
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Vanessa reinmuth
06:48 07 Sep 19
Would recommend this place in a heartbeat! The service and care provided is second to none. In particular, I'd like to... call out Lauren who has been nothing but amazing, supportive and genuinely interested in how I'm progressing. I injured my hip and initially went to a physiotherapist closer to where I live, but my condition didn't get any better, so I decided to come over to Rhodes and give Bodyfocus a try - right after the first session I felt an instant relief. That was a few weeks ago and my mobility has been steadily increasing, while the pain has become so much better. Lauren also motivated me to exercise and I actually enjoy it. Overall, it's just been a fantastic experience.read more
Yuyan Cai
Yuyan Cai
00:43 04 Sep 19
Highly recommend Sarah. Her attitude and knowledge has made my recovery a quick and easy process. She has a great... understanding of how the body works and teaches you the process to live life to the fullest.Do not hesitate to reach out and connect with this amazing physio!read more
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Lucy-May Pitt
Physiotherapist

Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Charles Sturt University)

Lucy is a passionate physiotherapist who graduated from Charles Sturt University Albury- Wodonga

With a background as a professional ballerina in both Australia and the UK, Lucy has gained an in-depth understanding of the demands that sport can put on the body and the physical and mental requirements to become a successful athlete. Unfortunately Lucy’s career was cut short due to injury, which is what inspired her to become a Physiotherapist. She is passionate about injury recovery and prevention and works with her patients to keep them as active as possible while they heal. 

With an interest in sports, Lucy was the Head Sports Trainer with an O&M league AFL team in Albury for 

2 seasons where she worked with the team on injury prevention and attended to the players injuries on

 the field. She also has experience in Women’s Health and Vestibular conditions as well as inpatient

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Lucy uses a combination of hands on therapy, taping, mobilisations and dry needling techniques to

 accompany her exercise based approach. She also has experience teaching both mat based and 

reformer pilates and believes it is an excellent way to aid in injury prevention. 


Having recently moved to Sydney, Lucy is on the hunt for the best hiking locations! In her spare time, 

you can find her at the gym exploring Sydney with friends of getting stuck in a good book

 

Lucy has completed advanced training in: 

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Sabina Bireroglu

BHlthSc/ MPodMed Podiatrist

Sabina has completed a Bachelor of Health Science/Mastering in Podiatric Medicine at University of Western Sydney. She has experienced working in different treatment settings including private practice, hospitals and mobile care. One experience in which takes forefront in her experiences is working in Ireland at Merlin Park Hospital.

She incorporates evidence based treatment plans in all scopes of podiatry including the general and chronic foot, injuries and pain, nail surgery, biomechanics and paediatrics. Outside of the clinic environment Sabina enjoys running, playing netball and playing the violin.

Dr Louis Darmizin

Chiropractor

From early childhood, Louis was exposed to Chiropractic due to his scoliosis and constant back pain. Being only 10 years of age, he was unable to participate in social and sports activities in fear of being in pain. Upon seeing the benefits of Chiropractic for his back, Louis focused his life on helping others achieving a pain free and healthy lifestyle.

Louis graduated with a Bachelor and Masters of Chiropractic Science from Macquarie University. After practicing in the best clinics in Sydney, he is now the founder of Dynamic Spine Clinic. He is a very passionate and motivated practitioner that makes your problems his own.

Louis has a extensive knowledge in posture and back related injuries. He combines his treatment with soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, rehabilitation and lifestyle advice. His treatments are individualized to suit each patient in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

Louis has a passion for soccer, tennis and rugby. He also earned local, regional and state level competition titles as a squad swimmer.

His goal is to inspire, educate and encourage his patients to reach a happy and enjoyable lifestyle. He believes that Chiropractic care is an essential tool to maintain wellness, improve posture, eliminate pain and stress.

Sarah D’arcy

Physiotherapist - General & Women's Health Physiotherapy

Sarah is a passionate physiotherapist who graduated with distinction from Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW. Sarah has worked within the public health system and has experience in orthopaedic, fracture clinic, medical, respiratory, musculoskeletal, rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, emergency department, intensive care and women’s health physiotherapy.

Sarah has an interest in all areas of musculoskeletal physiotherapy and is always looking for opportunities to expand her knowledge to grow as a clinician. Sarah is highly ambitious and applies herself in all areas of work and life. She is driven by her desire to become a go-to physiotherapist by providing the best evidenced-based care to all of her clients to achieve positive outcomes. Sarah enjoys staying active, being outdoors, and socialising. Sarah enjoys new experiences and is always willing to try new things. Sarah believes you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and are willing to put in the effort.

Sarah has completed training in comprehensive assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor. This includes complete subjective and objective (including internal examinations) of pelvic floor problems, such as:

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Sarah consults from our Rhodes clinic.

WILSON HUI

APA TITLED MUSCULOSKELETAL PHYSIOTHERAPIST

Wilson graduated from University of Sydney as a physiotherapist and he has always been keen on learning new things so that he can do what is best for patients. On top of ongoing professional development, he completed a Master in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy from University of Melbourne to gain further knowledge.

Wilson has worked in various private practices in the past and managed a variety of clienteles, from acute musculoskeletal and sports injuries to pre/post-op rehabilitation, and from injury prevention to performance enhancement. He has also done a range of sports coverage as a physiotherapist, such as City2Surf and Sydney Half Marathon etc.

Wilson has done extensive training and obtained certifications in multiple techniques and areas, below are some examples but not limited to:

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When Wilson is not working and not injured (if injured, rest and doing own rehab), he plays competitive table tennis. He is also a recreational road and trail runner.

Wilson can speak Cantonese and Mandarin.

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APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist
Masters of Sports Physiotherapy (La Trobe)

Jay is a relaxed yet attentive and thorough physiotherapist whose passion lies in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He has worked in private practices in North Sydney and Richmond, as well as doing sports coverage work over a variety of sports including Gridiron, Football (Soccer), Rugby Union, Rugby League, AFL and is currently the lead physiotherapist of the West Tigers Under 21’s (Jersey Flegg). This opportunity has allowed him to spend time with the NRL squad, assisting with the rehab of their injured 1st grade players. He was also recently part of the medical team working at the GoldCoast Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

Jay has recently completed his postgraduate qualifications in Sports Physiotherapy at La Trobe University. This course allowed him to learn of senior physiotherapists at the GWS Giants, and Rugby Australia, learning their rehab techniques and long term injury prevention strategies. Jay is extremely knowledgeable and skillful with the ability to lead you to excellent results. He will find out why you cannot perform at your peak and develop a treatment plan that addresses your goals.

Jay also has had experience playing cricket, having played 1st grade cricket for the North-West Sydney Hurricanes in the Sydney Shires Competition and understands the frustration that “weekend warrior” athletes have with missing out on playing sports due to an injury.

He has completed advanced training in:

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