If you are a ballet dancer, you have probably dreamed about going on Pointe since the first ballet class. Many dancers who have yet to use Pointe shoes think it is fine to order used shoes online in order to practice or prepare. This is a bad idea, and here's why:
They Are Not Fitted to Your Feet
There is more to Pointe shoes than just walking around the studio on your toes. These shoes have to be specially fitted to your style of foot. Professional fitters will measure your foot, along with your arch and instep. Pointe shoes are not one size fits all, and having a proper fit could keep you from severely injuring yourself. The professional ballet dance apparel fitter will look at the shape of your foot first rather than how long it is. There are different shoes for long, thin feet, short and wide feet, and everything in between. Having your feet fitted is the only way to get the right Pointe shoes.
They Could be Damaged
When you are purchasing used Pointe shoes online or anywhere else, you are running the risk of the shoes being damaged or extremely worn. The pointes in the toe do eventually wear down and you will not be able to go up on them. The padding in the shoes could also be insignificant, meaning you will end up with blistered, aching feet each time you wear them. It is also a possibility that used shoes are on the verge of falling apart. It can be hard to tell just exactly what condition they are in by looking at a picture online. They could show up to your doorstep in such terrible shape that you can't even try them on.
You May Not be Ready for Pointe Shoes
Ballet teachers will be the first ones to tell you that you should not put a pair of Pointe shoes on your feet until you have been well-trained and are ready. However, many dancers simply cannot wait and want to get that first pair of shoes anyway, and order them online. If you start trying to go up on Pointe without the proper training, you could really hurt yourself and prevent the possibility of ever doing Pointe again. If your teacher doesn't think you are ready, hold off on ordering anything yourself.
While the idea of going on Pointe is exciting, it takes hard work and practice before your feet are ready for that type of exercise. If you are really excited and would like to start training for Pointe, ask your teacher about using demi-Pointe shoes. These are a precursor to full Pointe and can help prepare your feet.