5 Foot Care Tips for Ballerinas

As a ballet dancer, foot pain and injuries can be incredibly detrimental, since without healthy, well-functioning feet you will be unable to dance properly. Unfortunately, the rigors of ballet, especially when dancing en pointe, can make dancers especially prone to foot issues. Here are five great ways for you to take good care of your feet as a ballet dancer and hopefully prevent any major podiatry issues.

Wear Sensible Shoes When Not Dancing

What you wear on your feet when you're off-stage and out of rehearsals is very important to your overall foot health. Try to avoid wearing high heels more than necessary as they can be quite damaging to feet. Aim to wear comfortable, nicely cushioned shoes that fit you properly and offer decent arch support.

It's better to have a few pairs of more expensive, comfortable, high quality shoes, than twenty pairs of cheap shoes that are bad for your feet. If you are attached to a pair of shoes that don't offer much in the way of support or cushioning, pick up a pair of gel insoles at a shoe store or online and place them inside your shoes.

Cushion Your Pointe Shoes

Spending hours at a time in your pointe shoes can easily lead to painful blisters. If you are prone to blisters on a specific toe or area of your foot, add a thin layer of moleskin, which can be purchased online or at your local drugstore, to that area before putting on your pointe shoes. This adds a bit of cushion and a barrier between your foot and your ballet shoes, but is thin enough that it won't affect your dancing. If you have an existing blister, applying moleskin to it can help protect it while it heals so it won't become worse.

Avoid Ingrown Toe Nails

Painful ingrown toe nails are common experiences for ballet dancers, but should be avoided whenever possible. Ingrown toe nails can make dancing extremely painful, especially en pointe since you will essentially be putting all your body weight on your toes, which are the exact site of the pain.

Ingrown toenails can usually be prevented by clipping your toenails properly. Always aim to keep your toenails neat and trimmed, but don't cut them too short. Cut them straight across instead of at an angle. In addition, avoid wearing too-tight shoes, of both the ballet and the street shoe variety, since this can also contribute to ingrown toenails.

Welcome Calluses

You may think of calluses as something unsightly that you should try to have removed with pedicures, but for ballet dancers calluses are actually beneficial and should be left alone. Calluses toughen up your feet and help protect them from pain while dancing ballet. To keep them manageable and somewhat soft, simply moisturize your feet with a decent foot cream every night before bed, before slipping your hard-working feet into a comfy pair of socks.

See a Podiatrist as Needed

As a ballet dancer, regular visits to a podiatrist can be very helpful. Seeing a podiatrist whenever you experience lingering foot pain, or suspect you have a foot condition like hammertoes or bunions, is very important. Your podiatrist will accurately diagnose and then treat any foot problems you may have, preventing them from becoming more severe. The care provided by your podiatrist will help prevent long-term foot issues and injuries, and will ensure your feet are protected for many years of dancing. Learn more about podiatrists by visiting clinics like Advanced Foot Clinic.

As a dancer, your feet are one of your most important assets. Be sure to take care of them using these tips, and see your podiatrist if you have questions or concerns.