Why You Should Be 100% Honest With Your Pointe Shoe Fitter

November 28, 2001

After my internship at Pointe, I wanted to keep learning about the ballet world. So I recently began working as a shoe fitter at Chacott by Freed of London’s store in Manhattan. Fitting shoes is a bit of a science. It requires anatomical knowledge of feet, an understanding of how they should be supported, and an appreciation of ballet’s particular aesthetic.

When a dancer comes in for a fitting, I look at her arch and foot type, which helps me determine what shoes to have her try on. Like a doctor and a patient, we have a back-and-forth dialogue: Is your big toe being pushed back? Are your toes flat on the ground? Then, I have her step onto pointe to see if her feet twist or sink in the shoes. The best fit creates the illusion that the dancer is standing on her toes without help.

My tips for your next fitting? Bring the padding you normally use and don’t be shy about telling your fitter exactly what you love—and hate—about the shoes they have you try. You won’t hurt our feelings by telling us we haven’t found your match. Helping you discover that perfect vamp length or shank strength is the most rewarding part of our job.