DECATHLON's dance brand offers useful suggestions for your practice.
There are four main criteria to consider when choosing pointes: the rigidity of the sole, the width of the shoe, the length of the vamp and, of course, comfort.
1. SOLE RIGIDITY
The reinforced sole that helps you stay on pointe is called the shank and it can be quite different depending on the brand, which is why you should always try out a couple of models. To find the right amount of rigidity for your foot, slip on the shoe and go on pointe. Ideally, the sole should have a slight curve. If it is too rigid, your foot isn’t strong enough for it and you need a less rigid shoe. If it bends too much, you have a very strong instep and should opt for a more rigid shoe.
2. POINTE WIDTH
Pointe models are generally available in different widths with narrow, medium and wide boxes. When moving from demi-pointes to pointes, if you feel too constricted at the demi-pointe joint, this means the width is too narrow; if you have too much movement in the shoe, this means it is too wide.
3. VAMP LENGTH
The vamp is the upper part of the shoe (from the platform to the drawstring). It should cover the toes up to the demi-pointe joint. If it’s too long, it will prevent you from rising properly onto the pointe platform and hinder moving to the demi-pointe position.
To prevent having to add pads in the pointe, certain models have a special built-in shell. It’s as small as possible and will help relieve pain when working on pointe.
To find the right pointe size, stand up, feet parallel and flat on the floor. If your toes are pushing against the tip of the shoe and can't stretch out properly, the shoe is too small. If your toes can move around freely and your heel slips out, the shoe is too big. You run a major risk of injuring yourself when wearing pointe shoes that aren’t the right size for you. To be sure, remember that your toes should just touch the end of the shoe. With pointe shoes, you don't want to leave space between the toes and the tip.