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Pointe Shoes for the High Arched Foot

Arches, Pointe Shoes

Ballet dancers with flat feet often envy those with high arches and with good reason: it is a lot easier to get over the box of your pointe shoes if you have a high arch. But while a high arched foot can be a good thing for ballet dancers, it can pose problems of its own. Excessive placement of weight in the ball and toes of the foot lead to foot pain and weakened ankles, both of which can be extremely dangerous for dancers.



One of the best ways to prevent arch pain is to wear pointe shoes that fit well. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many ballet dancers wear ill-fitting pointe shoes. A good first step is to have a professional fitting. The fitter can determine the shape and size of your foot and provide suggest shoes that will fit well. Ultimately, the choice lies in your hands, which is why it is good to know a little about high arch shoes before you head to the dance store.


In general, the best high arched shoes are those with a higher vamp and ¾ shank. A soft ¾ shank tucks into the arch and gives it much needed support. A hard box is also important, as it prevents the feet from giving way. Russian shoes tend to have harder boxes than American ones. As such, Russian models are often better suited to the high arched foot.



With high arch shoes, there is no such thing as one size fits all. Each foot has a differently shaped arch. When fitting pointe shoes, try on a variety of different models and sizes. I’d suggest starting with the following high arch shoes:

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Gaynor Minden


The great thing about Gaynor Minden shoes is that they can be customized to fit any pair of feet. You can use the special Gaynor Minden fitting guide to determine the size and shape of your feet. After fitting, just specify the length, width, shank, vamp, box and heel. The box of Gaynor Minden shoes is made from elastomeric resin. This makes for a stronger box that is less apt to break down. If you live near a Gaynor Minden store, I’d recommend visiting in person for a professional pointe shoe fitting.


Russian Pointe Entrada


I hesitate to recommend pre-arched shoes to dancers with high arches. But with the Entrada, the pre-arched shape minimizes pressure on the front of the foot. The Entrada also features a deep vamp, a high crown and a variety of shank options. Many dancers with high arches prefer to combine the model with a ¾ shank.


Grishko Vaganova


With its strong v-shape and long vamp, the Grishko Vaganova is suited to narrow feet with high arches and long toes. Grishko Vaganova shoes provide ample support in the metatarsal area. This helps to prevent the foot from collapsing into the shoe. The pointe shoes also have an elegant appearance, making them perfect for dance performances.


Bloch Suprima


Like the Grishko Vaganova, the Bloch Suprima is made for narrow feet and high arches. The Suprima has a tapered box and a shorter vamp. The shank is flexible but provides more than enough support for the high arched foot. And like the Grishko Vaganova, these shoes have a streamlined shape that is visually appealing on stage.

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For more information on fitting pointe shoes, read Six Great Pairs of Russian Pointe Shoes and Grishko Pointe Shoes For Narrow Feet.