Just as street shoes vary from brand to brand, dance shoes can also vary in even more challenging ways. In addition to the usual characteristics that cause shoes to fit differently; dancers need to make sure that their shoes will fit properly so, they can maximize their performance.
Many dance shoes are still European sized and pose a challenge when trying to determine the proper size to purchase. Even if two different shoes are made by the same manufacturer, one may fit with street shoe sizing and the other not. Size charts are usually geared for professional fit. That may or may not work for students and other non professional dancers. The “last” or footprint of a dance shoe is different than one for a street shoe making it difficult to determine if the shoe is properly fitted. This makes the fitting services offered by dancewear stores invaluable. In addition, the subtle differences between shoes can make a big difference when it comes to performance.
It is important to have someone advise you about the qualities of each shoe that makes it a good value for your use. Two shoes may appear to be the same in a picture online, but there are a number of factors that a dance shoe professional can point out to help you decide what shoe will work best for you. Price does not always indicate which shoe is the best performer or the best value.
New, exciting styles of shoes are usually marketed to keep interest in a brand. Often they do not offer any more of a benefit than a shoe that you have already been dancing successfully in. Why fix what isn’t broken? At Flying D Dancewear our vendors visit us with new styles before they are introduced. We are educated in the features of each new shoe before it becomes available to consumers. We are happy to share with our customers our initial impressions and help secure new offerings even if we have chosen not to stock that particular shoe.
Pointe shoes must be fitted by a fitter. There are so many size and width combinations that ordering by using a recommended size chart or guessing is not a good rule to follow. Do not buy pointe shoes by brand. You may have had a bad experience with one style in that brand, but that does not mean all styles will be bad for you. It is probably the style of shoe and not the brand that was the problem. In today’s world each manufacturer has a variety of styles for a variety of feet. A few decades ago, the brand of a pointe shoe indicated it’s shape and style. Today, since each brand has so many styles available that is no longer true. A pointe shoe with features that work for another dancer may not be the correct shoe for you. Putting on someone else’s shoe to determine the fit of yours may or may not be an accurate indicator. Since the boxes are made of organic material they can form to the owner’s foot and feel foreign to yours.
If you are shopping online because you are enticed by price, it should be helpful to know that major manufacturers have instituted mapping policies in recent year that limit the discount on shoes and other products. Add to that shipping and the cost to return and reship items, it can get expensive. At Flying D Dancewear we sell all our shoes at manufacturer’s suggested retail price. There is no restocking fee; and you will find the price on many of our shoes a surprising savings. We offer a customer loyalty card that gives you a store credit after you reach a certain purchase amount. This feature will give you a similar benefit as an initial online discount.