Purchasing Pointe Shoes

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Getting your first pair of pointe shoes can be one of the most exciting and cherished memories for a young dancer. The hard work has finally paid off and you are on your way to becoming an accomplished ballet dancer!

Having well-fitted pointe shoes is important for safety, injury prevention, proper technique and enjoyment. Pointe shoes come in many makes, models, sizes, widths, shank flexibility, and depth of vamp. Therefore, an in-person visit to a dancewear store is required for a proper fitting. We are fortunate to have two excellent dance stores in our area that are highly qualified to fit pointe shoes. Jete Dancewear in Virginia Beach, Dance Outfitters in Chesapeake, and Dancer’s Boutique in Williamsburg offer a variety of pointe shoes and sizes, and have staff who are trained to do pointe shoe fittings. Fitting appointments are necessary.

After you have been fitted for pointe shoes and purchased them, keep your receipt and do not wear them again or sew ribbons on until you have had one of your BVI teachers and/or a BVI Director check them to make sure they are a good fit for your feet. There are times when your teacher will ask you to return the shoes with clear instructions as to why, so the store can find you a better shoe. Please know we have the best interest of the dancer in mind when we ask you to do this. We know it can be a bother, but it is very important to have good fitting pointe shoes. The local stores mentioned are familiar with our fitting review and requests in this regard, and will make an exchange for a different pair if you keep your receipt. For this reason, you may want to begin with Jete or Dance Outfitters given their closer proximity to BVI.

When you purchase your pointe shoes, they may come with a standard ¾”-wide elastic, but you will need to purchase ribbons separately. Be sure to get both before you leave the store! Ribbons come in various materials. Standard ribbons are made of satin and we recommend these for your first pair.

In addition, you want to buffer the toes from hitting the tip of the box by purchasing washable gel toe pad inserts.