Learning to go en pointe is a milestone in any ballet dancers journey, but finding the right pointe shoes for wide feet, can be difficult.
No matter the shape of your feet, chances are you’ll have to try a few before you find your perfect pair.
But it can be especially hard to find pointe shoes for wide feet. In this article we will be discussing what to expect when buying pointe shoes, as well as reviewing the best pointe shoes for wide feet.
Does Your Foot Shape, Dictate What Type of Pointe Shoe you Need?
Yes, there are many different foot shapes and it is important that you buy pointe shoes to fit your needs.
Each function of the pointe shoe has been produced at a certain size, to fit the uniqueness of dancers feet. From the width of your toes or heel, to the height of your arch – there is a pointe shoe style suitable for you.
Take for example flat feet, typically you’ll require a softer shank and lower vamp to assist in getting over the platform.
Pointe shoes are generally made in narrow, medium and wide widths. Most people’s feet will fall into one of these categories. However, some people will fall outside of these sizes, either in between them or wider than ‘wide’.
Why is it Harder to Find Pointe Shoes for Wide Feet?
There are many reasons why it’s difficult to find pointe shoes for wide feet.
Firstly, for girls with wide feet, it is common to find a pair that fits at the ball of your foot. But, when it comes to the heel this is then too wide. So what we will be looking for in this article, are shoes that are especially made with a tighter heel.
If you’re having problems finding pointe shoes because you have shorter toes, you will most likely have to make changes to the padding. It may feel odd when you’re standing flat, but this will ensure your toes have some support.
Here is a great video to give you some guidance on fitting pointe shoes, if you have short feet/ toes.
Finding the Right Pointe Shoes for Wide Feet, Using Your Foot Shape
Tapered and Wide Feet
If your big toe is the longest and your toes taper off downwards in size, you have tapered feet. If they are tapered and wide, you will need a mildly triangular, tapered box. If you have bunions, a higher wing and harder shank will be beneficial.
Square and Wide Feet
Square feet are easy to recognise, your toes will be of equal length (or thereabouts). If they’re also wide you’ll be needed a square box and high crown. You can’t always tell how square or tapered the box is by looking at it, someties they have the appearance of being square but the space for the toes is actually tapered. Be careful of this, and ensure you do your research.
Inverted/ Peasant and Wide Feet
If your first 2 toes are similar in size to the big toe, and then they taper off, this is peasant feet. You’ll want a rounded square box with high profile and high wing.
Dance Nikiya (large square box with high profile, softer shank) Bloch Dramatica (similar with split outer sole for more defined arch).
We’ll go into this in more depth under each heading, so find you foot shape below.
What are the Best Brands of Pointe Shoe for Wide Feet?
Russian Pointe was created in 1998, in Moscow. They are fast becoming one of the most popular brands of dancing shoes.
The pointe shoes are especially good for people with wide set toes (and narrow from metatarsal to heel), because they’re created with a narrower heel. This means that the wider you go in size on the pointe shoe, the back of your foot will not slip from the heel grip and risk injury.
Freed of London are well renowned designers and manufacturers, of professional dance shoes. They have been in the business since 1929 and their pointe shoes are hand-crafted in the UK
Despite being handmade, each pointe shoe is made with such precision that there is consistency and uniformity in every pair.
Another popular brand for pointe shoes is Grishko; they also hand-craft their ballet shoes using natural materials. They’re made with the finest satin that gives a beautiful appearance, and cotton drawstrings to protect your feet against tendonitis.
The platforms and soles are flat and stable to give you excellent balance on and off pointe.
Bloch are another popular brand of pointe shoes, they’re hand-made, professional quality at a more reasonable price. Bloch have a wide array of pointe shoes, designed to help ballet dancers progress from beginner to professional.
Right, after looking at all the factors needed before purchasing a pair of pointe shoes. We’ll now start looking through the best pointe shoes for wide feet, starting with wide and square.
Best Pointe Shoes for Square and wide feet
If you struggle with finding pointe shoes being too tapered, these may be your saving grace.
They’re amazing for those of you with square and wide feet, usually with shorter toes. They’re also suitable if you have a longer second toe than first, but the general shape is square.
They’re made with the usual Grishko, high standard. Utilising cotton drawstrings to protect against tendonitis rather than elastic.
These can have a medium or hard shank strength, depending on your preference, so you have flexibility as well as support.
They break in really nicely and come with a wide, square box.
Short to average vamp.
Grishko Elite are availble in sizes X,XX,XXX,XXXX
Capezio Plie II
Second on our review of best pointe shoes for square and wide feet are the Capezio Plie II. They’re made using quality materials; a soft cotton outer and satin binding, for an elegant appearance.
Dancers will find these a great fit if you’ve got toes of an even length and medium/ wide forefoot. The important features of these shoes, that make them perfect for square feet is a broad, feathered toe box. The box is short and they have a soft shank, for an easy roll.
They come with medium vamp.
These shoes run small, so it’s recommended that you buy half a size bigger than your normal dance shoe size.
What are the best pointe shoes for Tapered and wide feet?
Russian Pointe Entrada
Russian Pointe are a popular, well-renowned brand of dancewear. They’re particularly great for dancers with wide toe joints and narrower metatarsals.
They have excellent form and function, made entirely of natural materials. The pre-arched construction mimics the shape of your foot, to highlight your arch whilst exaggerating point work.
These are perfect for tapered feet as they have a medium toe platform, medium-high crown. They’re also recommended for those with fullness in the instep and toes. Russian Pointe Entradas have minimal break-in.
The pre-arched construction follows your foot shape, to highlight the arch while facilitating pointework and minimizing break-in. Pliable, long-lasting shanks follow your every move
The hand-crafted Entrada is available in six widths and six shank options, so you can find the right pair for you.
Best Pointe Shoes for ‘Peasant’ and Wide Feet
These Grishko 2007 pointe shoes are a popular choice for various types of feet and skill levels. They’ve got a U-shaped vamp with medium platform and profile. They come with a durable, suede sole that is stitched in.
When the 2007’s were originally released, they had a new anatomical feature of a ¾ shank. This provides easy transition from demi-pointe to the pointe, and back.
The reasons for 2007’s popularity is because they provide excellent balance and placement, great durability and comfort.
They’re recommended for inverted style feet because they’re tapered in the front and long in the wing. They’re especially good pointe shoes for strong feet and they have a variety of shank sizes, to suit different needs. These are also suitable shoes for ‘Tapered and wide’ feet.
If you don’t think these are the best pointe shoes for you, check some other Grishko styles; 2007 Pro Flex, 2007 Nova Pro M, 2007 Novice
How to Know That You’ve Got the Right Fit?
It is important that your toes are not curled up and you should not be able to feel pinching.
Make sure you try them on with your ballet tights underneath as well, this adds a different dimension to how they’ll feel when you’re dancing.
They should feel stiff but secure like a cast. Notice how much pressure is being put on your big toe, too much pressure will sink you into the box. In this case, you will need a more tapered shoe.
If you’re not happy with your shoes and are thinking of going in-store, here is a great article about what to expect in your first fitting for pointe shoes.
Thank you for reading our review of the best pointe shoes for wide feet. Hopefully there was something in there for you.
Please leave us a comment if you have any advice for our readers.