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Is it That Important to Have Your Child Properly Fit for Dance Shoes?
Target, Walmart, Amazon & any other online retailers all have dance shoes options that can be picked up while purchasing groceries, or arrive on your doorstep within days. With crazy work, school, and extra curricular schedules sometimes this option fits in better with everyone’s busy lives; along with being able to save an extra couple dollars! The question is, what are the risks of purchasing shoes online or somewhere that doesn’t provide a shoe fitting service?
Here are 3 questions you might ask yourself when
purchasing shoes without being fit-
1. What Size?
Many brands have different sizing, they can simply run small/large or have European sizing. Though reviews can help, depending on how your dancer’s foot is shaped you still run the risk of the shoe not fitting. We see this happen so many times to dance parents that order online, but end up needing to come in because of the odd sizing with a specific brand. Some places also have shoes that just fit one size, but don’t provide widths making it difficult to find a shoe that will properly support YOUR dancer's foot.
What though if the dance store you visit is out of the size you need? No worries! The store can usually order the size/style/color you need. Dance teachers know how important it is that a dancer have a proper fitting shoe, so even if the order takes a week or two, they’re happy your dancer will be in proper fitting shoes! This can also help you rest easy knowing your dancer's shoes will fit when they arrive for you to take home!
2. Does Fit Affect the Dancer’s Ability?
If the dancer’s shoes do not fit properly, it can affect their technique and understanding of the movement they’re learning. A dance studio in Kansas called “Sunflower State Dance”, posted on their website a very detailed reason as to how this happens:
"ONE COMMON QUESTION PARENTS HAVE IS THAT THEIR CHILD IS STILL GROWING, CAN'T THEY UPSIZE SO THEY WILL LAST LONGER? WHAT HARM CAN BE DONE?
Well there are many things that can happen as a result of poorly fit shoes. For instance, to large of tap shoes can cause blistering from the shoe rubbing back and fourth throughout class. Dancers will actually begin overcompensating by modifying the step to stop the rubbing or some younger dancers will stop dancing altogether because it hurts. Improper fitting ballet slippers means that the student may not be learning to point their toes correctly or learn incorrect standing due to sagging of the shoe or not standing proper on the sole of the shoe."
They also address the way shoes from Target & Walmart fit dancers:
"WALMART AND TARGET SELL BALLET SHOES- WHAT'S WRONG WITH THOSE?
We all love Walmart and Target because these stores are convenient. They are often my one stop shop for food, makeup, clothes, and movies. But they should never be a stop for ballet or tap shoes. Walmart's and Target's goals are to provide a products at the lowest possible cost regardless of quality, especially items in children's sizes. These convenient stores carry inadequate dance shoes, none of them are actual leather or fit properly. Many of these cheap alternatives don't even have soles in ballet shoes or arch support in tap shoes."
Of course, if your dancer is taking one class just to see if they even will like the environment and class itself, these shoes are perfect option if the studio/school your child is going to doesn’t allow them to wear socks for their first class.
3. Are You Going to Receive the Product You Paid For?
If your dancer is no longer growing, you may decide to go online to Amazon and type in the style number, the color, and size you need. You see what looks to be the right shoe, you order, it comes in, and that is NOT the shoe your dancer wears.
We know that reviews can help prevent ordering one thing and then receiving something different, but this is a risk when ordering from a non verified seller. Some dance brands do not actually sell their shoes through Amazon, or if they do, they might not have the exact size, width, or color you really need. Most dance brands have more than one shade of pink, and more than one shade of tan (or nude). How will you know you're going to receive the correct one?
Ordering online can make your life much easier, or much harder. Visit your local dance store, they’ll make sure the first pair of shoes you buy are the right fit, color, and brand for where you dance. This way, you won’t have to worry about making time to return an item that isn’t what you need!