Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Toe nails and pointe work


Recommended Posts

A dance classmate and I were talking and we think that pointe might be making our toe nails a bit thicker, as in they just seem thicker even when cut very short. Has anyone noticed this? Is there anything you can do about it? :wink:


Also I have been doing a LOT of pointe work lately as we are getting ready for a performance (!) (a lot for me is 4 days a week), and have been thinking about buying one of those foot baths to soak my feet in; if you have one please reply whether you find it helpful or not. Tonight I improvised with a really big bowl and hot water with bubble bath, which made my feet feel a little bit better, but not as good as I had hoped. :wub:

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Tiffany, dancers usually would not want to do anything that softens their feet, as they need those calluses if took years to build up! :wink:

Link to comment

I second Ms. Leigh's opinion. If you have callusus by all means protect them. It might not be pretty, and it might cost you a lot when wearing ladies panty-hose (callusus always ruined mine after 1 wearing) but it will save you many, many blisters in the long run. If you want to soak your feet, try epsom salt. But I always prefered ice baths than hot ones for my feet. It might sound like torcher, but it really reduced the swelling and rejuvinated my feet. I know how Mr. Danton's and Yvonne's workouts can be. Best of luck :wink:

Link to comment

I have soaked my feet when they have been really exhausted, just in a normal bowl big enough for them and not any fancy foot-bath, though. I find that cool water without anything added to it feels better than warm water and bubbles, but it's probably an individual thing.

Link to comment

I don't normally soak my feet (more than necessary or just by bathing/showering) but what I do is apply from time to time (maybe once a fortnight) an hydrating cream on them (anything made for foot, that is a bit greasy to the touch works well I find).


That way, it just soften the calluses for a few days afterwards (and so, won't ruin your tights and you can almost show your feet in sandals :wink: ) and at the same time, keep the calluses 'alive'... Gross but worth it! :)

Link to comment

I wasn't trying to soften my feet, they were just very achy from spending a lot of time on pointe and because I'm breaking in a new pair of shoes as well. I have thick calluses, and I don't want to get rid of them, I just wanted some relief for feet that have been in pointe shoes too much lately! I'm not a professional dancer, just a student, before you all tell me that four days a week in pointe shoes is not a lot!!!! I'll try an ice bath next time.

Link to comment

I am a big fan of Epsom salts for soaking sore feet... when they're really sore, I soak them in hot waters with Epsom salts for about 15 minutes, and then very cold water for about 15 minutes.

Link to comment

My toenails have definitely gotten thicker since doing poointe work - my podiatrist said it was from jamming them in the shoes. My two big toenails have caused me quite a lot of pain because of that( I think) and the corners of them where I have either some sort of ingrown toenail stuff going on. I got an electric manicure/ pedicure kit and have used it to file down the toenails, but it hasn't helped all that much. ARe yours causing you any extra pain? There are other attachments for cuticle trimming that I haven't used yet -I am really ignorant about thises things- can you use a cuticle trimmer for the side of your nails?

Link to comment

To relieve pain, I find that a good spray for 'tired legs' works fine... Or indeed the epsom salt and ice water.


Nails should be cut short, but not too short... Obviously it's also a trial thing, and you'll have to find what works best for you. In the first place, the shoes should be well fitted, which means there is minimal 'rubbing' and at the same time, the side of the toe is not so contrived that it would push the nail too hard. :clapping:


In my experience, I find that students don't cut their nails enough. I personally don't recommend the 'square nail' even though it is what most podiotrist recommend in normal 'street shoes'. I find that a rounded nail will work better, as there are no 'corners' in the way.


Cuticles and the thickening of skin around the toe can be filed down, but the more 'padding' the better, so it would just be esthetic to remove them, not really a problem if it's still there...

Link to comment

I do cut my toenails very short, and I round the corners as well. My toe nails are not painful in pointe shoes, so I think they are short enough. The extra thickness is just something unusual that I've noticed lately.


Well, the next day after my feet were literally throbbing from rehearsal and class, I made it through another rehearsal and my feet felt normal afterwards. :thumbsup: By normal, I mean a little sore but not abnormally painful.


Thanks for the recommendation about the tired legs spray!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...