For many of us, watching a dancer on pointe is a thing of beauty. We become enraptured with a ballerinas grace and agility on stage. We cant help but focus on her feet as she performs. We admire the curvature and flexibility of her feet and consider the dancer with a higher arch as the ideal standard.
As beautiful as they are to look at, dancers with high arches have as many pointe shoe challenges as those with lower arches.
Finding a pointe shoe with the correct vamp length is often very frustrating. The vamp must be long enough to prevent the highly arched foot from “spilling over” the top of the vamp. On the other hand, if the vamp is too long demi-pointe work is almost impossible.
Vamp elastic was created as an insert to be sewn across the vamp to hold the arch in and let the dancer have a short enough vamp for comfortable demi-pointe.
Shanks are another challenge. A strong, highly arched foot needs a very strong pointe shoe. The higher arch puts greater pressure on the shanks causing the shoes to wear out much faster.
Unlike the dancer with a lower arch who tends to wear out the box of the pointe shoe first, the higher arched dancer usually wears out the shanks of her shoes first.
Some of the following pointe shoe models were created to support the higher arched foot:
Capezio Glisse ES
Russian Pointe Sapfir
Bloch Signature Performance