(From left to right) Philip Martin Nielson as Siegfriend and Raffaele Morra as Odette in Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo's Swan Lake (Chiara Rainier, courtesy Les Ballets Trockadero)

Pointe Shoe Fitting 101—for Men

Josephine Lee, resident pointe shoe expert at The Pointe Shop in California, has found perfect pairs for quite a few men. Are you a male dancer hoping to try pointework? Here are Lee's tips for your first pointe shoe fitting appointment.


Make sure the shank is hard enough. "Men typically weigh more than women, which means the shoe has to stand up to more force."

You might have trouble getting up and over your box… "Men's ankles are often shaped rigidly to hold more weight, so you might have less flexibility in a pointed position."

…but strength is on your side. "You need a mix of flexibility and strength for pointework. If you're a guy getting good training, chances are you're strong."

Don't worry, they'll have your size! "Most pointe-shoe brands now offer a very wide variety of sizes. I still haven't had to order a custom pair, and I've probably fitted more men than most."

Speak up if you're uncomfortable. "If something is pinching or doesn't feel right, say something. Also, as a fitter, I never want you to feel like you don't belong."

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