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compressible foot question


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Whenever I pique or step onto pointe, my foot will bend and look like it squishes down a bit. I suspect that this has to do with the very compressible nature of the bones in my feet. At Capezio, they used this device which squishes the bones together and the fitter said that my foot is *very* compressible. My foot REALLY spreads out when I put weight on it and I can move the bones around really easily with my hands.


I have never had any type of injury to my feet, and I feel solid en pointe. I don't wobble and my ankles "hold" very well, but I still always look like I'm sitting. The moment when my body weight bears down (when a weight transfer happens) my foot bends more.


3/4 shanks seem to make my arch look higher on my foot (it's lower down--closer to my toes than would be "ideal"). But I still always have this "squishing down" when I go onto pointe, no matter what shoes I wear and no matter how strong I get. I don't particularly like working in a rock hard shoe, and the soft ones seem to function perfectly fine...


I feel like it's an aesthetic problem that makes me look weak, like I'm not solidly pulled up in my shoes. No teacher has ever commented on it yet, but its something I notice that my feet do...and other people's don't. I don't really like the look of this when I pique.


Has anyone ever encountered this problem? Will the foot eventually "solidify" with more muscle development? Is there more I can do with my shoes?


did this make any sense?

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I think I know what you mean - although our feet are different, mine is also really compressible. It's interesting that you bring this up because lately I've been obsessed with my feet and how unpretty I think the are.


I also have a low instep (actually, an overall shallow foot in general), but a decent arch. My arch is higher up than yours, and if I pointe my foot without having weight on it the line is nice. The line is different when I put weight on my foot en pointe. I think part of that is the instep - I have to hold back the arch a bit or I'd go over, but in can look like my ankle isn't fully stretched (at least to my eyes) when I'm fully and securely en pointe.


I feel like my foot looks like it's sinking/sitting and like it's bent in a funny place - and I've especially noticed this with the shank in the Maya II's - you used to use the Maya I, right? Have you noticed any difference with different types of shoes or shanks? I don't seem to see it as much when I'm in the full-shanked Vaganovas, but the shank on the Maya II's looks so much better because it molds to my foot more, and I can work in them fairly comfortably from the beginning.


I don't know if I'm making sense either.

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I dont have an answer to this question, but a question about it..


Why is it better to have the arch on your foot be higher up? Wouldnt it be better if it was closer to your toes (wouldnt the foot looked more curvy and better arched than if the arch was closer to the heel?)

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Well, the lower breaking arch has always been functionally good for me. I have good balance, fairly strong feet, and a nice looking tendu. The higher arch is just considered more aesthetically pleasing for ballet. My feet can tend to have a slight "knuckled" look when they bear weight, which is just not as pretty.


The higher arch usually has a more pronounced instep, which is actually where the "look" comes from.


I 3/4rd some of my shoes and am going to try that. I'm going to have someone show me how to stitch the sides of the shoe down too, to show the foot more. It may help the overall look, though the sinking's something that may just be my foot. Perhaps it will SLOWLY improve the stronger I get.


I've "caught" myself in the mirror letting the foot relax slightly before I pique. It's a bad habit, and one that I'll be working on. Keeping a very strongly pointed foot whenever it's off the ground should help, as well. :D

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You probably know this but I think you can special order pointe shoes to have the sides cut down/lower. If you're still buying your own shoes it may not be feasible but if your company is buying them then maybe you could order them that way!


If you want an arch enhancer, check out the one at Discount Dance. The pictures look pretty convincing!


I have a slightly compressible foot, and my arch looks best in a Freed Studio as compared to a Capezio Nicolini, Grishko Ulanova II, a Sansha Lyrica and a Fuzi. I imagine the shoe that lets your foot move the best, as Freed does for me, will show off your arch the best. Grishkos make my feet work hard, because they are hard shoes as we all know, and I think that made my feet stronger, but give your feet time, they should get stronger as much as you dance! I was looking at a book of children who dance in Ukraine, sorry i don't know the title, and they had the most muscular feet that I've ever seen! A muscular foot definitely has a prettier, more defined arch than a less muscular foot.

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I think my foot needs a 3/4 shank. I had been wearing the classics in a full shank because I made the switch from Grishko and thought I'd need the extra support. I just 3/4rd a pair and they look much better and actualy seem to "sink" less. They almost seem stronger, if that makes any sense.


Yes, I get reimbursed for shoes, but the waiting time is so long, and I'm still not 100% sure that Freeds are the right shoe for me. Still experimenting.

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I've got a pretty compressible and highly arched foot (instep especially), and the arch is a little closer to the floor. I've found that I absolutely murder the shanks unless I 3/4 (or really 7/8th, just take off like an inch) them. Once I do that the shoes last forever, but they still look very nice (plus it seems to get the "archy" part higher up.)

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