Ballet boots—not to be confused with ballet shoes—are not designed as footwear for everyone. The boot is constructed to force the foot into an extremely pointed toe and arch position. Once the foot is inside the boot and the boot is laced, the foot cannot move from this position. Learning to wear and walk in ballet boots takes dedication, determination and patience, but it can help ballet dancers stretch their feet to achieve the utmost pointe position.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Lamb’s wool
Purchase a pair of ballet boots the same size or one-half size larger than your normal shoe size.
Pad the toe of the ballet boot with lamb’s wool. Padding will cushion the toe as it hits the end of the boot.
Make sure your toenails are short to prevent injury. Ballet boots can put stress on the toenail area.
Lace the boot tightly, all the way to the top, to support the ankles.
Build endurance gradually until you can wear the boots for a few hours each day. Wear the boot without walking until your foot adjusts to the ballet boot.
Hold the back of a sturdy chair for balance the first few times you attempt to stand while wearing the ballet boot.
Walk beside someone or hold a railing for your first attempts at walking. Place the heel on the ground first and then the toe. Walk slowly and take short steps.
Limit walking in the ballet boots to one-half hour a day until the foot adjusts to the position.
Tips and warnings
- Practice pointing the foot to gain flexibility before wearing the boot.
- Stretch the foot after removing the boot.
- Wearing ballet boots can damage feet. See your doctor if you are experiencing any problems.
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