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Long Toes: Finding Your Perfect Pointe AND Street Shoes
You may wonder why in our blog there is an article for long feet and another one for long toes. This is because they are two completely different issues! When referring to long toes, we mean that the toes length is that long, that there is no balance between them and the rest of the foot. That is to say, the foot might not be that long, but the toes are so!
If your toes are that long, we think you suffer even when you are trying to buy regular shoes. This is because regular shoes are designed and manufactured for the average toe length. In the picture, both feet are the same length, but the ball of the foot hits a very different place in a shoe. With pointe shoes, it is even more important to find a place to fit them in the box (so they won't be in pain) and to place the shank in the right place so it supports your arch sufficiently.
If someone has very long toes and is a 38 (EU) street shoe size, he/she will may bend his/her toes inside the shoe. This happens because a 39 size is bigger than needed, while this person needs a 38 size with special customization for his/her long toes. Exactly thε same happens with the pointe shoes! Dancers with long toes need a pointe shoe in their size with a customization in the vamp of the shoe and not a widest or bigger size. Of course there are pointe shoe models more helpful for this case than others. Let's take a look at them:
1. "Sapfir" by Russian Pointe. Maybe the best choice for long toes, as this model has a very thick vamp, ideal for this occasion.
2. "Vaganova" by Grishko. One of the oldest Grishko models, which is no longer on the market right now. However, we mention it because of emotional reasons and if you find it somewhere definately try it out!
3. "Maya II" by Grishko. After the discontinuation of "Vaganova", "Maya II" s the next Grishko's best suggested model for long toes. In the case of "Vaganova" the sole was glued, while in "Maya II" it's machine-stitched. The model is very pretty, durable and also comes in its PRO ("quiet") modification. Its suede upper sole is less slippery than the glued lather one of the "Vaganova's". Don't forget: There are two Maya models, Maya I is a substitute for the Fouette model while Maya II for Vaganova.
4. "Pavlova" by Siberian Swan. One great choice is also a custom-made "Pavlova". It's elegant, narrow shape will show off your arches and the longer custom-made vamp will be the perfect match for your long toes. It comes in PRO ("quite") modification, as all the Siberian Swan models, and you could try out its perfect matte version!
5. "Sylphide" by Casimiro. This model has been designed as a narrow fitting shoe. Its box is a large and soft vamp, straight, with the same size at the upper and the lower side! The parametre of the same width makes it a perfect choice for your long toes!
At this point, we will refer to two different fitting cases concerning long toes, to help you understand better the fitting procedure depending on this issue. Let's see the first one:
Dana, mom of 4, software analyst and a stunning dancer and ballet teacher with elegant feet and long toes, was a Grishko's Vaganova lover for many years - as this model is an excellent choice for her feet shape and especially her toes (also fittedbybestpointe, a few years ago). When Vaganovas were discontiniued by the manufacturer, she was so disapponted...
Regarding her measurements (Right foot: 9,5'' length, 3,5'' width, 5,5'' arch, 8,5'' girth & Left foot: 9'' length, 3,5'' width, 5,5'' arch, 8,5'' girth) we went for a Grishko's Maya II or a Sapfir by Russian Pointe, but Dana's toes are too long even for the above models so we started looking for a custom solution for her. So we gave her measurements to the manufacturers of SiberianSwan - and they decided to make a Pavlova of length 7 with a higher vamp, but to keep the rest of the shoe's anatomy (curves, heel placement etc) like it were a size 6.
This way the Pavlova was based exactly on her needs.
"Thank you Best Pointe Team for my new Siberian Swan’s! I will greatly miss the only pointe shoe my foot ever loved, Grishko Vaganova’s (since I was 16), best shoe ever made! But these fit like a glove after my initial break-in and I look forward to running these through the mud!".
And the second one:
Adriana used to enjoy her Grishko' s Nova (8, XX, M) pointe shoes, when she started wondering about something that suits her even better - althought this model by this brand is an interesting choice for such a situation.
Adriana's european street shoe size is 41-42, so you understand the difficulty of finding shoes generally. She also mentioned that her left foot is a slightly shorter than the right and a tiny bit less flexible, so that make her feel that this foot is less sickled in the pointe shoe. She also wore pads but haven't tried toe seperators. In the photos we can see her quite strong feet, in tapered shape, greek, very narrow but elegant, with long toes and space between them. This foot type tends to be compressible and to have all kinds of other issues, knuckles, bunions etc. Still, we thought that the only thing she has to do to prevent bunion development is to use separators - they also add stability and volume to the compressible structure.
A possible suggestion would be a Grishko2007 (size 8.5, X, M) - more clasic than the Novas, but still a very good choice for this situation. With long toes like hers, a high vamp is kind of necessary for the support. But, to help herself roll-through, she could v-cut the throat.
Another possible solution (that is now her current pointe shoes!) would be a Russian's Pointe Sapfir, which has space for long toes (size for her 43, W2, V2, V-Cut, FH). The good thing about Russian Pointe is that someone can also order them higher or lower than the default vamp (V1, V2, V3) and choose its cut (U or V). In her case, we suggested the medium or the longest vamp and the V-cut, also to start with a FlexibleHard shank.
TIP : For more protection and support for your long toes you can also use our Silicone Pads Prestige and the Big Toe Spreader.
Feel also free to fill out our questionnaire if you need our opinion about your own pointe shoe sizing and models and let’s get fitted!