How To Tape Your Feet in Pointe Shoes
How to tape your feet in pointe shoes is a topic that many people have differing opinions on. Over the past few years I have noticed a few dancers coming into the clinic with interesting taping techniques of their feet, that may actually be doing more harm than good. So today I wanted to look at the important things to consider when preparing your feet for pointe.
There are many ways and methods when it comes to getting the best look of your feet when wearing pointe shoes and everyone will have their own personal preferences. Every foot is unique, whether being long and narrow, or wider etc. There is no one size fits all taping technique. So while there are many options there are a few key points that need to be remembered when deciding your preferred option.
>Watch the following video for things to look out for!
The most important thing to remember is to ensure that normal motion through the foot is not compromised. Your foot has three arches a medial longitudinal arch, a lateral longitudinal arch and a transverse arch. These arches are extremely important in absorbing the forces placed through our body. When we walk our arches lengthen out to absorb shock when we are weight bearing and as we push off our arches recoil to propel us forward. Similar prinicpals apply when we land a jump. Our foot lengthens as we plie and recoils as we push back up into the air. This action will also give us the height that we are after in our jumps.
I have seen one technique in particular which uses rigid tape to strap around the ball of the foot to ‘squeeze’ the metatarsals together. It was explained to me that the idea was that it would allow the foot to be held up into the shoes and not let it sink down. While that may be the case, it will also prevent the foot from expanding and allowing shock to be absorbed when jumping or going en fondu. If the foot is unable to expand you the forces are not dissipated correctly and will be focus into one area. Commonly into mid foot or shin which places are at greater risk of injuries such as stress fractures and shin pain
If you are doing this to create more of a lift out of your shoes, there are other options to allow you to do this, such as techniques to control where the shank bends that won’t compromise your natural foot biomechanics. Check out some links below for more info on this.
- Dynamic tape of the arch of the foot,
- Anterior taping to maintain alignment of the foot,
- Breaking in pointe shoes
In the clinic, we do a lot of taping techniques to assist the alignment and control of the dancers feet en pointe. We can also assess your strength and control and develop a specific program to get the most out of your feet. If you’re not sure about what techniques is best for your feet feel free to pop in and have a session with one of us for some more prescriptive taping techniques, and a specialised strengthening program and check out some of the information available on the website.