Can you believe it, they now make orthotics for pointe shoes! When I saw how they are constructed, it made a lot of sense to me. It doesn’t relieve the pain and discomfort of actually being en pointe, but it definitely helps with mechanics of the foot and longevity for dancing and hopefully injury prevention from being en pointe, in the years to come.
It was quite a fascinating process. Kyah has always worn “spacers” that fit between her great toe and her second toe. This is to help keep the great toe straight and prevent bunions, poor mechanics and injury in the foot. She has also worn an “ouch pouch”, which essentially is a fabric-type cap that fits over the toes. This is supposed to absorb pressure and make it more comfortable for dancers when they are on the very end of their feet. I’ve tried it and it really doesn’t help! Really, I don’t think anything can help relieve the pain and discomfort of being en pointe. Dancers are just simply tough humans.
These orthotics are made to replace both the spacer and the ouch pouch. It is also specifically made to keep the dancers’ great toe straight, so the spacer may be quite thick, rather than a generic size spacer. Then the ouch pouch is made to attach to the spacer, the whole thing is then moulded into the pointe shoes the dancer is wearing. The intention is that the feet don’t move in the pointe shoes and they are in an ideal mechanical position.
At this stage, we need to do whatever we can to help give Kyah the confidence to go back en pointe and feel as secure as she possibly can. This seems to have boosted her confidence and morale a bit, so here’s hoping she will be able to dance en pointe.