In our fittings at Allegro, we often find dancers think that once they get their first pair of pointe shoes, they can just buy subsequent pairs of shoes online. While, that could work for some dancers, it doesn't work for most! Typically the shoe you begin in will not be your "forever" shoe. While there aren't really "beginner" or "advanced" pointe shoes, a good professional fitter will understand that each dancer's pointe journey is unique and their pointe shoe needs will evolve with their technique. Let's take a look at how a dancer's skill level is supported by in-person pointe shoe fittings.
Dancer's Skill Level
Beginner 1-3 years en pointe: These dancers will typically grow out of shoes before they break them down. Because the first 6 months-1 year en pointe is pretty low-impact and typically a lower number of hours in shoes, the good news is that if the dancer isn't growing like a weed, their shoes should last longer!
"How often do I need an in-person shoe fitting?" Answer: With each new pair, at least for the first few years.
Intermediate 3-4 years en pointe: These dancers tend to go through shoes a bit quicker at this stage of training. Typically, they've upped their number of hours en pointe, but their strength, flexibility and body awareness doesn't always develop equally, so dancers can be a bit harder on their shoes at this stage of the game. This results in the dancer going through shoes at a much quicker pace. In this case, getting an in-person fitting each and every time isn't always necessary.
"How often do I need an in-person shoe fitting?" Answer: In general, we recommend every 2-4 months or before important events: competition/audition season, summer intensive time, the beginning of the new dance season and/or Nutcracker/winter performance season.
Advanced 5+ years en pointe: These dancers have a more thorough understanding of their bodies and technique. They know how to lift up out of shoes, how to use their strength and flexibility in a smart way. They might still be going through shoes quickly, but they are usually at a more advanced skill level where they know exactly what they want or need out of a shoe. They will most likely have at least 2 brands or styles of shoes they're comfortable wearing.
"How often do I need an in-person shoe fitting?" Answer: Every 6 months to one year, or before important events: competition/audition season, summer intensive time, the beginning of the new dance season and/or Nutcracker/winter performance season.
Number of Hours En Pointe
We've mentioned it already, but it is worth calling out on its own. Dancers who are dancing very few hours en pointe will tend to not go through shoes as quickly. Some dancers dancing several hours en pointe will go through shoes so quickly that they don't need another in-person fitting because not enough time has elapsed for their needs to change.
"How often do I need an in-person shoe fitting?" Answer: Be smart! Where do you fit into the other categories above? Use them to inform your choices, but never go more than one year without an in-person fitting.
There are several other factors when determining whether or not you'll need an in-person fitting. Check out our other posts on:
We know there's a ton of information here and you might have questions! Feel free to tap that little "chat with us" icon in the corner...you'll get a real person that is excited to help you! Did we convince you that it's time for a pointe fitting? Book one here! Not able to get in-store for a fitting? Book a Telepointe™️ Fitting here!