Every dancer has different feet. Whether it’s different types of toes or the arches on your feet. We’re all unique.

We’ve done some great posts on the different toe/feet types here:

But now it’s time to help out our flat-footed sisters.

Best Pointe Shoes for Flat Feet

I’ve known many dancers with flat feet. They always complained about pointe shoes not fitting quite right, ankle problems, difficulty rising onto the platform, etc.

When it comes to choosing pointe shoes for flat feet, professional fitters have two different schools of thought: using a softer shank and low vamp or a harder shoe with a pre-arched shank.

Why a Softer Shank and Lower Vamp for Flat Feet?

Shoes with a softer shank and a lower vamp allow dancers to get over the platform as easily as dancers with arched feet.

Why Pointe shoes with pre-arched shanks for flat feet?

Using a pre-arched shank helps dancers get a little boost over the box. Think of a pole-vaulter and how they’re able to rise into the air. This is similar to the science behind using a pre-arched shank for flat feet.

As always, we do recommend going to a professional fitter for some final advice, and definitely try both of these options to see which feels better for you.

As a general last piece of advice, for flatter feet, always look for pointe shoes that have a shorter vamp and softer side wings.

Using a hard box or high vamp pointe shoe will pull you back off the platform, making it more difficult to get on pointe.


Pointe Shoe Brands that are Better for Flat Feet

Most pointe shoe brands will have options for softer shanks. Some of our favorites include:

Again, there are several different makes and models that you can look at. Above are just a few starting points, but each brand will have several models that can accommodate your feet. Make sure to see a fitting specialist to get their feedback and advice prior to buying any pointe shoes.

Pointe Shoe Trick for Ballet Dancers Flat Feet

For the adventurous dancers, there are some really cool DIY options that exist.

  1. To improve the line of your arch and weight distribution, try using a three-quarter or half-shank in your pointe shoes. I recommend trying this out on an old pair first, as it might take a bit of trial and error to get it right and master it.
  2. After you’ve three-quartered or halved your shank, stick one long ribbon in a U-shaped pattern. While you do this, you’re going to want to secure under the drawstring casing on one side, and continue under the arch and up the other side.

Doing your ribbons in this way will help pull and keep your pointe shoe closer towards your arch so that it’s more flattering.

Additional Tips for Ballet Dancers with Flat Feet

If you’re a flat-footed dancer with poor ankle mobility, then you’ll want to spend additional time cross-training. Different cross-training exercises can help develop better footwork and range of motion. These exercises will include thera-band work, slow élevés, and significant stretching. If you have pain or discomfort in your pointe shoes, there are several tips for making your pointe shoes more comfortable, including using various forms of toe pads.

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