You’ve probably heard your dance teacher talk about foot stretchers! But what are they? Do they really work? Where can I get one? Why can’t I just stretch my feet myself? Woah-woah! So many questions! But fear not, the foot stretcher is about to be de-mystified.

A foot stretcher is simply a device used to stretch the arch of your foot. Sure, you could use just a TheraBand and stretch your feet with a myriad of exercises, and you should! But a foot stretcher just makes your life as a dancer much easier. You could chill out in front of the TV after class with your feet stretching all with the help of a handy dandy foot stretcher.

Here’s everything you need to know about foot stretchers:

So, what is a foot stretcher and why do I need one?

A foot stretcher is a device that essentially molds to your foot, but applies pressure that helps dancers gain mobility by stretching the soft tissue in the foot. It’s used by dancers, but also by cheerleaders, gymnasts and all other kinds of athletes! Its main purpose is to give you more leverage in your arch and mid-foot area, if you’re using it correctly. Simply put, getting a foot stretcher will help strengthen your arch and give you a prettier point by expanding your point range!

The most important thing is to make sure you’re using the foot stretcher correctly, and that it’s not overstretching your foot, because too much pressure can end up weakening your feet or cause dancers to more frequently roll their feet in.  

Best thing to do is bring your foot stretcher to ballet class and have your teacher demonstrate how far you should stretch your feet! Every dancer’s mobility is different, so your teacher will know best. 

How to use a foot stretcher properly

It’s a good idea to consult your ballet teacher when it comes to using a foot stretcher. You can also find really helpful guides, like this one on YouTube! Each foot stretcher looks a little different, but the important thing to focus on is not letting your foot roll in mid-stretch.

To keep the foot in place a TheraBand helps a lot! But be sure to show your dance teacher so you know for sure you’re doing it right.

How to stretch your arch in general

There are other ways, in addition to a foot stretcher, that you can work your arch! According to wikiHow, these are some great techniques.

First, simply point your foot towards the outer part of your ankle, you can also wiggle your toes to wake them up, like this:                                

stretch your arches by pointing your toes to improve foot and arch flexibility                          

Then, you can increase your arch with a wall exercise by kneeling with one knee to the ground and your other leg leaning up against the wall vertically. Do this on a low surface, make sure your foot feels comfortable and you’re not in pain. If you feel a stretch, great! If you feel pain, stop! You should feel a stretch, but nothing that’s too uncomfortable.

 Try doing it for a short period if it’s too much at first, work your way up to it with practice! It should look like this

stretch your hips and quads to improve foot flexibility

Next, try rolling your feet! You can get a foot roller, but you could also use a tennis ball or any object that feels comfortable enough to roll, like this:        

foot stretching using a foam roller for plantar areasLastly, try using a TheraBand to stretch your foot by placing it on the ball of your foot and pulling it towards you to create resistance. Remember you want to keep your foot turned out and want to prevent any rolling in! Pigeon toed ballet dancers aren’t really pretty to watch, and rolling your feet in can lead to injury!

It should look like this:                          

using a theraband foot stretcher to stretch feet and calves 

If you get bored of these exercises ask an expert, a.k.a. your Ballet teacher!

Best foot stretchers on the market

There are loads of different options when it comes to foot stretchers. So many that it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you really want to get one quickly.

While it’s hard to know for sure, “The Arch Genie” claims to be the O.G. foot stretcher and is the most popular option for ballet dancers across the globe.

But if you don’t want to follow the status quo you can always get a recommendation from other dancers at your studio and your ballet teacher! You can find foot stretchers of all kinds at multiple outlets like, Amazon,,, and your local dance store.

So, check out any of these places, and check out Ballet Box for your essential items you need regularly!

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