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The Perfect Fit: Why having the right shoe fit is important!

How impossible can it be to find the right shoes! Varying sizes, different brands and styles, which should you choose? No two feet are ever the same – not even when they are attached to the same body.

Shoes that are too small, as well as, shoes that are too big can cause serious issues and damage to your feet and body. Luckily, the friendly staff here at Dance Zone will happily help ensure you find the correct fit. There are many reasons as to why the perfect fit is very important for a dancer.

We are born with only twenty-two partially developed, recognizable bones in our feet. When we are growing, they are continuously a work-in progress. By the time a child starts school, this number has more than doubled to forty-five individual bones. Over the next fifteen years they continue to change, growing longer and fusing, until about the age of eighteen, when the bones reach a final count of twenty-six. Accommodating little feet as they grow ensures proper development. Additionally, it helps by making sure the muscles and tendons that support the feet develop well, so that no chronic problems will carry into adulthood.

In addition to the obvious whining and discomfort, shoes that are too small are the most common cause of foot problems. They can cause pain of the feet and toes, and/or blisters, calluses, bunions, ingrown toenails or hammer toes. Wearing shoes that are too small can distort bone growth in the foot. This can result in chronic pain and permanent shortening of the bones. Cramped toes can alter movement increasing potential for injury, as well as, resulting in poor posture which can impact the development of muscles in the feet, legs, hips and back.

Shoes that are too big can also contribute to potential injury. In the simplest terms, dance teachers develop the necessary bio-mechanical functions needed to move around and land safely on the ground while dancing. Dancers can get a false feeling if shoes are too big. By misjudging the feel of the floor, they become more at risk of falling incorrectly and potentially causing injury.

The perfect shoe is one that is specifically selected based on genre of dance, shape of foot, age of the child and experience of the dancer. We fit them for length and width, always making sure your “tuckles” (toe knuckles), don’t show. A properly fitted shoe should be comfortable and have enough room for your toes to wiggle around. There are too many important bones and tendons in the feet for a dancer to have poorly fitted shoes.

How do I prepare for new shoes…

Know what you need. Although we know some school requirements, we can not always be sure of what each class needs for every school. It is best to ask your dance teacher in advance about the shoe style, colour and brand required. We want to make sure you get the exact shoe you need.

Know your size. What size are you in street shoes? What size was your previous pair? Can't remember?

If you are a Rewardle member and purchased them with us, we can easily search the previous size in our system.

Ask questions. Our staff are professionally trained and highly experienced. They have been well educated and informed with the stock. If you have any questions in regards to how they should fit, different products, anything at all, they will be happy to answer them.

Make sure you feel comfortable and happy. To be able to dance, you must feel relaxed and comfortable in your shoes. Take advantage of the space we have by walking and jumping around. Feel free to tell out staff if the shoes are uncomfortable before you purchase them. Although we love to see your friendly faces, it saves yourself, or your parents another trip back too soon.

Sewing ribbons and elastic.

Some shoes require minimal sewing of elastics and/or ribbons. If you are not much of needlewoman or man, it is okay because we are here to help. At Dance Zone we offer a service just for this. Ask one of our lovely staff when you're in store next!

Things to remember:

  • After you purchase your new shoes, always check with your dance teacher and/or physio first to make sure they are the right style and fit. If you do this before wearing them, we will be happy to make a swap (in accordance to our exchange policy).

  • The life of a pair of shoes can last from six months to possibly years. All of this is dependent on many factors including growth rate of the child, how often they use them, and what floors they are used on, just to name a few. An easy tip to help them last longer is making sure you keep your shoes reasonably clean and never wear them to and from class outside. Airing them out after wear will keep them from deteriorating too quickly and keep smells at bay.

  • If you are after pointe shoes, you must book an appointment. Pointe shoes are unlike fitting other dance shoes and we have particular staff members with the adequate training to be able to fit these. We like to take the quality time to ensure they are the perfect fit, especially for a customer’s first pair. Also, try to make sure you are physiotherapist approved before your fitting.

If you have any questions regarding shoes, our products or would like to book a pointe shoe fitting appointment, we would love to hear from you by email at dance.zone@bigpond.com or give us a call on 83376737.

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