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Foot & Pointe Shoe Care:
As Dancer's, we are very hard on our shoes & our feet.  Give them both a little TLC - here are some ways how:

 

 

Shoe Care:

 

Did you know that professional ballet dancers can wear out a pair of pointe shoes during a single ballet performance? Due to the nature of the shoe, pointe shoes die a lot faster than any other dance shoe. Several factors affect how long your pointe shoes will last including the types of steps you are performing, the humidity level in your dance studio, the amount of perspiration your feet produce, and how you take care of your shoes between classes. They wear out because a pointe shoe softens under the heat, pressure, and sweat produced by your feet. To ensure you get the most time out of your pointe shoes, here are a few tips.

 

Extending the life of your Pointe shoes:

 

  • Drying: Pointe shoes need approx 24hrs to fully dry. After wearing your pointe shoes, never throw them into your dance bag (use a mesh bag going to-and-from classes). Instead, take them off, remove all padding, keep them separate (not tucked inside one another) and hang them out to dry for 24hrs.

  • Rotating:  Make sure to rotate at least two pairs of pointe shoes, especially if you have back-to-back classes/days. This will allow each pair the time they need to dry and this single strategy could easily extend the lifetime of your pointe shoes by 50%.

  • Bags:  Never keep your shoes in your dance bag but instead use a mesh bag going to-and-from class for more breath-ability. *Remember to hang them to dry when you get home*

 

 

Foot Care:

 

Some dancers find that after wearing their pointe shoes for an extended period of time their toes become sore and are in need of some extra cushioning and/or protection. There are various types of foot pads available, remember the aim is to relieve pressure, not to fill up the block of the shoe, you do want to be able to feel the floor. For this reason, try to avoid padding that is too thick or bulky. Toe tape, lambs wool and toe pads are recommended to protect individual toes.

For dancers with bunions or a predisposition to bunions, a gel toe spacer or separator is recommended to keep the alignment of the toe straight. This treatment addresses the symptoms of the bunion and aids in prevention but does not correct the actual deformity. A bunion is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe metatarsophalangeal joint.  We have many solutions to help make your experience en-pointe a little more comfortable. If you aren't sure about what you need, do not hesitate to call/email and our specialist would be happy to help!

 

Nail Care

 

  • Be sure to trim your toenails regularly. Use a proper nail file rather than scissors or clippers to avoid cutting them too short. A file allows you to gently and gradually reach the desired length. File short enough that you are able to press on the end of your toes with your finger and not feel the nails. The length of the nail should be *just* where the white part begins. Be careful not to file them so short that it causes soreness or inflammation.

  • Avoid nail polish if you can. Polish prevents you from being able to see under the nail, so you can’t see if you’re developing a problem such as a bruised or ingrown nail.  That doesn’t mean you can NEVER wear polish… go ahead and wear it for that special event and then take it off before your next class, or, wear a clear polish that allows you to see the nail.

 

Skin Care

  • When cleaning your feet remove only the top layer of hard, callused rough skin. A certain amount of hard skin is necessary because it helps protect against blisters and abrasions, so avoid the urge to file them off completely. Nature's Bandaid 

  • Seek professional help to remove excessive callus and corns.

  • Moisturize regularly to avoid dry and cracking skin.

  • Soak in Epsom salts to soften skin, relax muscles and reduce swelling.

  • Keep feet clean and dry to avoid bacteria and/or fungus.

  • Blisters and pointe go hand in hand, especially as you break in new shoes. Immediate care for blisters includes covering them with a Band-Aid. If a blister bursts, apply an antibacterial ointment. You should never completely un-roof a blister, and non-painful blisters should not be punctured. If a blister is painful, then puncturing should relieve the pain. If you are unsure, ask your foot-care professional to show you how this is done.

DM