Pointe Shoes with (1) and without Gel Pads, which do you think looks a better fit?
I am not in favour of using a full gel padding, they do lift the foot out of the protective area of the box of the pointe shoe, and I find that I have to fit a larger shoe to accommodate them.
1. I start by strapping the dancer’s toes and metatarsal heads with a hypo allergenic tape, this also encourages the dancer to keep her toes long, straight and extended.The metatarsal support provided by the tape allows the foot to grow out of the shoe instead of slipping down into the bottom of the box. The foot sitting in the pointe shoe box can cause cramping of the Achilles tendon.
2. I always use silicone toe socks for the big toe
3. If there is a gap between the Big toe and second toe I will use toe spacers, it is important to fill in this gap so as to stop the big toe moving towards the second toe when standing on pointe
It is only when you stand on pointe will we discover if there are any little problem areas that need some protection, hypo allergenic tape can be placed on any area that you feel is being rubbed, if thats not enough then there are many little gel products available to help you cushion your problem areas.
The way one of my dancers has protected her feet allows for the perfect fitting of a pointe shoe (picture copyright Drew Tommons)