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Methods for Customizing Your Shoes
Methods To Enhance The Fit Of Your Pointe Shoes

This page will introduce and discuss the methods to further enhance the "fit" of your pointe shoes. However, I cannot stress enough the importance of finding the shoes that fit the shape of your feet the most in the first place. If your shoes are the wrong type for your feet, no amount of adjustment will solve the problem completely. The following methods should only be used as a means to adjust the fit slightly when you cannot find the "perfect fit" shoes.

Stitching the Vamp

StitchingI believe this method is used by many professionals. Generally, this is done when the shoes are just slightly loose or to help prevent flexible feet from popping out (or knuckling over). This method helps improve the feel of your shoe being a part of your foot. I also recommend this to people without conditions above as well.

Recommended for:

* The width of the shoes is just slightly too wide. (There is a limit to how much adjustment you can achieve with this method. If the shoe is not a close fit to begin with, do not try this or any other method.)

*The shoe is not too loose, but you want the fit to be a little more snug and secure.

* To prevent flexible arches from popping out or knuckling over.

* To help prevent hallux valgus.

*One toe is notably longer than the rest. (Your foot will be more evenly supported and it will ease the weight bearing on the long toe.)

How to:

Use thread (such as embroidery threads) and stitch up the opening of the shoe at the vamp. I always make sure to pierce the needle through from above and stitch along in a figure 8. This prevents the threads from bunching up in a ring. But there is no set way of doing this. (The photo is a close up of the shoe opening.)

Wetting With Water Mothod

This is a method where we wet the box area of the shoe with water and make it shrink as it dries to achieve a better fit. By wetting the box area of the shoe, the fabric shrinks and makes the shoe narrower overall. You can reduce the width of the shoe by approximately 1 number or letter.

How to:

1. If you need to lower your crown, do what you need to do (stepping on it, etc.) to achieve it before you proceed to wet your shoe.

2. To prevent the platform of the shoe from getting wet, stuff newspaper or other material to protect it. (Once wet, platforms can change size in terms of length and width.)

3. With a spray bottle, spray a fine mist of water to wet the box area from outside and from inside.

4. To make the shoe conform to your foot shape, wear the shoe and dry it a little with a hair dryer.

5. When it is half way dry, take the shoe off from your foot and let it air dry the rest of the way.

* This method sometimes creates watermarks on the satin of your shoes, depending on the brands. Also, it sometimes dull the sheen of the satin. Take care not to over wet the shoe and over shrink it. The degree of shrinkage also varies depending on brands. Take your time and proceed with caution. Wet and shrink gradually by repeating the process as necessary. Satin material usually hardens after wetting and drying, so you may want to soften the fabric by massaging with your fingers. This method works with not only new shoes but old shoes that have been worn, but once you have varnished your shoes, there can be no shrinkage.

Recommended for:

* Dancers with narrow feet who have a hard time finding shoes that fit well. (It is possible to reduce the width of the shoe from D to C, or C to B and so on. However, reducing the width by two letters such as from D to B, cannot be done. When the shoes are simply too loose, this or no other method will work. There is a limit to how much adjustment can be made.)

* When you mistakenly ordered the wrong width of shoes .

* When the shoes don't quite conform to your foot shape.

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