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Pointing your foot v pointing your toes?

Guest milky

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Guest milky

Hi - I did a little searching on this and found some information, but not quite enough to understand...please feel free to redirect me if there's an old thread I should see.


I did my first floor barre class this morning (it was great!) and was alarmed at how strange my bare feet look pointed. Basically, the 3 middle toes curl a little, the pinky toe doesn't seem to do anything, and big toe, well, if anything it curled in the wrong direction - towards me.


I saw a podiatrist recently for achilles tendonitis, and he mentioned that I have arthritis in my toes, which surprised me (I'm 28!). I'm guessing that this is related. How much should I be concerned about it? I've gotten some corrections in class about "shaping" my foot, which I haven't managed to fully process yet.


So, I guess I have two questions - what would the toes be doing ideally, and is there anything in particular to be done for my toes? (When I asked the podiatrist if I should do anything re: the arthritis, he said, "well, the ballet is pretty good!")


Any insights/advice welcomed!

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Hi Milky,

sorry i am not here with advice, just glad you asked this question as i seem to have the same problem! :P

it will be intresting to find out and come to think of it, i have not seen how the feet should look as everyone has either ballet slipper or pointe shoes on?!


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Toes are strange. The pinky toe is useless (except as a frequent cause of pain in pointe shoes)--so I wouldn't worry that it does nothing. The others all have a mind of thier own and everyone's look different.


To address the title of your post (which is a good question)...I think more in terms of pointing my foot at the instep. I feel like I'm pushing out the top of my foot. The same type of action at the metatarsal zone. Same pushing out--my toes feel lengthened. There's a slight bit more effort toward the inside/side so that the foot doesn't overpoint and sickle. That may be what your teacher means by "shaping".

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I was taught that the "carrying toes" must be lengthened/straight (as opposed to curled from the toe joints) while pointing the foot, and that the rest of the toes do not need worrying about. :)


Carrying toes are those toes that would "take your weight" if you were on pointe. (They actually don't, of course - the shoe takes your weight if correctly fitted - but they are the ones that would touch the inside of the platform) This means the big toe, possibly also the second toe, and very rarely additionally the third toe. Depends on each person's invidual foot.


I was told learning this way of pointing the toes is important for females, as bent toe in pointe shoe causes shoe burn (=blisters) unless there is a lot of padding to keep the bent part of the toe from continuously rubbing against the inside vamp of the shoe.


Males are also supposed to point this way, but I don't know if there is a functional reason for them to do so? :wink: And, as lampwick noted, the foot of course should be pointed too.



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Guest milky

Thanks, guys! That helps me understand a bit, especially the "carrying toes" part. I'm now going to stop worrying about my toes and get back to worrying about my turnout, my arms, my head...well, everything else! :D

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some people just have crroked toes and it causes them to curl. i used to be very worried that my curled looking toes were a sign of weakness but it turns out thats just the way my toes are shaped, even when im not pointing them. knuckling is something different but looks quite similar. also when pointing the foot i like to think of starting the point at the ankle. it helps the line to look nicer without putting alot of though on "toe" which may make you knuckle. hope this helped!

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I too was taught to think about feeling a little pinch on the outside of my ankle, which implies you have to point the whole foot. If I try to point even further, it means curling all my toes. It looks different barefoot, but not in any kind of shoes.....

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