If your foot is very wide and you have short toes, you may need to build up the inside of the shoes to get a good fit. As the shoe is fitted to the width of your foot, your toes will not actually touch the top of the shoe even at the depth of your plié. In order to avoid a very blunt-looking pointe shoe, you can pick a shoe that is slightly longer. Then pad up the inside of the shoe by placing some padding (such as a carefully cut block of firm foam) inside the tip of the shoe, so that you can actually have some contact on the tips of your toes to gain some feedback.
The actual width of your feet will not hinder your ability to perform on pointe; it is purely an aesthetic issue. However, you may have problems if your feet are very wide and very flexible. If your foot looks narrow when off the ground but on the ground, it spreads out wide, you may have what we call a “compressible” foot. Sometimes this can change the fitting of your shoe. You must make sure that when your foot is actually in the pointe shoe and placed en pointe that it does not slide down too far. The shoe may feel slightly tight when standing flat, but when on pointe, the foot will be in a supported position.
Often girls with wide but compressible feet are fitted too wide and end up sliding down into their shoe. This often results in bruised toenails and painful blisters. If you have this kind of foot, it is necessary that you build up more strength to gain control of your arches and the position of your foot, before you start on pointe. Make sure you check out all of the videos on this site and also all of the previous articles about strengthening for pointe work.
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