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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Large toe knuckle vs. bunion?


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Hoping to get some input from those more knowledgeable about feet, ballet slippers, etc.


Is there a way I can tell whether my daughter (about to turn 11) is developing a bunion on her big toe, or whether that particular toe/joint is growing on its own? Her ballet flats are *very* snug, and hoping this isn't contributing to her developing a bunion... :-(


Thank you for your help in advance!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, emz. :wub:


If the growth is ON the toe, then it is probably a callus. Bunions usually develop below the toe, on the side of the foot at the metatarsal. Bunions are often genetic, so if they run in the family, you might be starting to see it. But if it is a callus, that's okay. She needs those. :thumbsup:

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Thanks so much for your quick reply.


It doesn't appear to be a growth (definitely not a callus) on the knuckle, and on the side, it looks like the knuckle is sticking out just a wee bit- but doesn't look 'abnormal' to me yet. I more notice it protruding above the knuckle than on the side - which makes me think it's just her regular knuckle, but it seems bigger on one foot than the other. That's when I started to worry about it being a bunion (hubby and I don't have them yet) and hoped that I wasn't causing it by having her wear her snug flats until the end of her ballet camp today.


Thanks again!

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Sounds like she could be re-fit for ballet flats just in case. Those feet can grow overnight can't they???!!!

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My 11 year old dd also developed a large bump on her big toe joint after starting pointe work. We asked the pediatrician about

it at her "well child" appointment and the doctor said it was a "fatty tumor" growing to protect

the tendons/ligaments... She said it wasn't a problem. (She's seen a lot of dancers in the past

couple decades from the school so she is aware of dancer's feet, nutrition issues etc...) I was relieved.


While I would opt for toe spacers and/or a wider pointe shoe for dd, she loves her shoes and so

far experiences no discomfort. Knock on wood


Dancers have pretty feet in their shoes...but when they take the shoes off....that's another story!

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Sounds like she could be re-fit for ballet flats just in case. Those feet can grow overnight can't they???!!!


Yes, you're certainly right about that! I went in to try and get her some new slippers and she currently has what appears to be a 3.5 (can't tell if B or C though I *though* it was C) in Bloch full sole. She tried on a full sole Bloch 4C, but thought the length seemed good (big toe seemed to come to end, and rest of toe had some room above them), the sides seemed a bit baggy for my liking even though the ties were pulled tight. They unfortunately didn't have a 4B to try on - assuming that would solve the problem? She then tried on a Capezio in a 5.5, and though the baggy issue looked better to me and the length seemed similar to the Bloch, she said the tips/length bothered her (but she had just finished 3-4 hrs of dancing in her old (current) shoes, so not sure if they were tired/sore, though she didn't complain about it being painful in the Blochs. Do you have any thoughts on this?


Also, are there any other leather full sole slipper company out there besides Bloch and Capezio? I called around to all our ballet shops, and they only seem to carry Bloch.


Thank your for your thoughts + input!


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From what you describe it sounds like a 4B in that same style will work. Will the store order it for you? Balera makes a leather full sole shoeBalera ballet shoes as does Freed of London Freed USA

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So true about a dancer's feet. I can remember our first ballet teacher when my oldest DD was very young. She was older, but very beautiful. The teacher had her ballet slippers and tights off one day in class. (I can't remember the reason.) All the little girls were sitting in a circle with her. One yelled out, "Ewww! Your feet are so gross!" The teacher, a little embarrassed, explained to the girls, and the parent audience, that no matter how many pedicures a former dancer pays for, your feet always look horrible!

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