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Street shoes


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Well BT helped so much in finding jeans for dd, I hope you Moms and Dads can help with finding shoes for her. Here's the problem wide metatarsal with narrow a narrow heel. Her bunions are starting, and this week she got bursitis in her little toes at the bunionette point. She hasn't danced (class) all week so I'm pretty sure it's the snow boots we bought in October. Eek, will this kid ever stop growing?! I found a thread "Non-pointy shoes" there were some ideas there, but with how fast her foot is growing I don't want to spend a fortune on street shoes; I'll save that for pointe shoes. She's already using spacers with her pointe shoes and I'm going to get some more for her street shoes.

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I see that you live in New England, so for climate reasons, this might not help. My dd's wear flip flops, clogs and on occasion, sneakers full time. Flip flops are perfect for the narrow heel - bunion thing (and the thong between the big toe and second provides a natural spacer). Clogs with socks work well in the cooler weather. Hope this helps (clogs and flip flops accomadate growing feet as well) :thumbsup: .

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AsleepAtTheWheel, I'm definitely not going to say that clogs and flip-flops aren't a great solution for growing feet, but I do feel compelled to weigh in with a cautionary note about these for dancers' feet. Our DD seems to be inclined to roll/pronate inward on one foot, so we've had to bite the bullet and make sure she's usually wearing shoes with good arch support (she'd wear sandals all summer and start rolling her feet like a tumbleweed! :) ). So, yeah, that does mean we're replacing street shoes more often, but it seems like a small price to pay in the long run for healthy feet. We've found Stride-Rite to be a good brand for kids. Hush Puppies can also be a good brand, and we often add arch supports to them (sold at any good shoe store and some drug stores). And sneakers these days are way more supportive than they used to be. Good luck, vicarious!

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You might want to check out New Balance sneakers.


My dd also is very wide in the metatarsal area and has bunions. She wears New Balance sneakers - they come in wide width, are very supportive and are comfortable. She wears toe spacers in her sneakers as well as Spenco arch supports (suggested by her pointe shoe fitter and which made her podiatrist very happy).


I'm already wondering what dd can wear for summer sandals. She loves flip flops but they are not the best for supporting the arches and she really needs that support.

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Guest balletmom1

It is nice to have some hot weather options that are not shoes. You can get pricey "flip flops" that have an arch in them. Check out TEVA brand (you can probably find them in a sporting goods store like Sports Chalet or Sportmart) and also check out Merrell's Bellaluna sandals - I live in them in the summer. They may be to decidedly uncool for a teenager :yes:

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Please dont take this in a bad way, but I am curious, do many ballet students need special street shoes? I was never aware of this. DD and all her friends and all the kids I have seen going to and from class (and school) mostly wear flip flops and clogs (and slippers) and all the trendy sneakers. Should I be doing something different for her? :pinch:

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Merrell's Bellaluna sandals - I live in them in the summer. They may be to decidedly uncool for a teenager


You can tell your teens that lots of dancers in ABT wear Merrell shoes. Might make it more "cool". I discovered them after seeing the same exact shoes on several dancers and asking a (teen) friend what brand they are. Very comfy.

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do many ballet students need special street shoes?


Should I be doing something different for her?  :)


I don't know how old your DD is, but I'd say chances are, if you or her teachers haven't noticed any problems with pronation by this point, then, no, there's nothing to panic about. We just know that our DD starts rolling if she stays out of shoes with good arch supports for too long. She'd live in sandals if she could!

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To add to DD's bunions & bunionettes, she occasionally goes back to pronating. Bunions can be caused by pronating. We have to be careful about which shoes and for how long. Flipflops are o.k. if she alternates with wearing supportive tennis shoes. I'm also a rolling hound. I've had lots of trouble as a result of my pronating, so I nag all my kids about it. :D Tie your shoe laces tighter, change shoes, concentrate on not rolling and on and on. Burkenstock makes a plastic flipflop, but its $35. DD really would like a pair, but thats a lot for flipflops. I suppose it's worth it. She'd probably wear them all the time. Has anybody here tried these? The sales clerk said they really weren't like the regular Burkenstocks and she talked us out of getting them. Of course they were also the cheapest shoe in store. I did get some new snow boots and tennis shoes for dd last night. The snowboots didn't say wide, but they look huge from the outside. DD assures me she has plenty of room. None of the ladies wide sneakers fit so I convinced her to try the men's. She had to get the men's wide. I hope those wide metetarsals are beneficial to her ballet.

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Most stores don't sell women's sizes in extra wide but they can be ordered. Also, independent shoe stores often have them. New Balance, for example, offers women's sneakers in EEE but they're hard to come by in a national chain shoe store or in dept. stores. I have a narrow heel but because of arthritic swelling in the metatarsal area, I must wear the wider shoes.


For the most part, my daughter has worn fairly normal inexpensive shoes but during her early to midteen years, I bought her sneakers with really good padding. They were usually New Balance, a brand preferred by the podiatrists I know.

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Knock knock.


As I take a size 3 (35 European) in EEE fitting, I have difficulty finding shoes to fit. As a result, I tend to wear jazz shoes with jeans, and character shoes with skirts/dresses. In fact, someone at work asked where I got my shoes as they looked so comfortable and un-fussy.



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Dear vicarious and others,


DO NOT scrimp on your child's street shoes. I am a former ballet dancer who has halux rigidus and Morton's neuromas on both feet. The neuromas are frequently caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow. I have wide metatarsals and narrow heels. It was a marvelous foot for standing on pointe, but buying street shoes that fit properly was very difficult. Halux rigidus can come on very slowly as it did for me - while I was still dancing. One foot had the neuroma for about 30 years while the other foot has had it for maybe 10 years. I have had surgery on one foot (obviously something you want to avoid while dancing, if possible) last year. The bone spur was scraped down, the joint cleaned up, and the neuroma removed as much as possible. My neuroma was strange because the doctors could not make it hurt, but when they opened up my foot, they said it was huge. I was hoping to get a little more motion in the big toe joint so I could demonstrate a bit more - I teach presently. But that was not to be. My halux rigidus had progressed to the state where I had bone spurs on top of the metatarsals. This causes a lot of pain aside from the fact that I cannot bend my big toes which is very painful. I take arthritis medicines so that I am able to WALK. Merrels are the most comfortable shoes for me, especially the open backed ones. While I should wear tie shoes, they hurt the top of my feet. My poor son has inherited my horrible feet. He is 13 and does not dance, but is very athletic - but he has a lot of foot pain when doing sports. That said, I am thankful that I did ballet because it has strengthened the rest of my foot so that I don't pronate (which I tend towards). I saw two dance podiatrists and one very well known dance orthopedic surgeon in New York City and they all concurred that my problems with my feet were exacerbated by the fact that I had spent the majority of my life wearing street shoes that did not fit properly. I spend a fortune on my son's shoes - he only has one pair at a time - it is worth every penny! I spend a fortune on my own shoes, but alas dress shoes are completely out of my life. Formal wear and sneakers just don't get it!!!! Good luck. Please - do not scrimp on street shoes.

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Wow! :blink: Point well taken.


But, I have always wondered tho, isn't the state of being barefoot most beneficial to foot health? I think that is why I have always tended to flip flops etc for my kids and even myself. Wearing shoes are so constrictive and after pointe shoes, dd feels so much better in flip flops. No one has ever made the comment that she pronates or rolls in so I think we will just maintain our most likely faulty footwear plan.

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Dear AsleepAtTheWheel,


I don't think your plan is faulty. If you have naturally great feet, celebrate. My mother-in-law has the most phenomenal feet I have ever seen. High instep, high arch, no pronation, and super strong. She pretty much goes barefoot all the time - at least as much as she can. She's been thrown out of a few clubs because she wasn't wearing shoes! A couple of years ago I picked her up at JFK and walking to the car she kind of tripped off a curb. She walked (sort of) on it for five days, even wore heels one day. When she went back home she found that she had broken her foot and made it worse by walking on it. But she's back to normal, walks alot, almost all of it barefoot. Just got great feet!

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Oh, sorry. A bit more.


I grew up in Florida and went barefoot most of the time, but now it's no way. I have very little padding on my feet - which is why as a kid and young adult most people didn't think my feet were wide. I spent a couple of years in extreme pain because my pointe shoes were way too narrow, but I didn't know that until I moved to NYC. I almost never go barefoot now because I need arch support and the bones in my feet kind of grind into the floor. However the one thing I do barefoot is a ballet barre (because I can't get flat shoes wide enough). But then I can't releve at all due to the halux rigidus, and grand plie is pretty much out of the picture. Needless to say, I can't do centre at all.

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