A Morton's Foot may present problems when sizing pointe ballet shoes. This type of foot is commonly described as having a long second toe, although that is a misconception. The Morton's Foot has a long second metatarsal bone, which is the long forefoot bone before the toe bone.
An individual with a longer second toe does not necessarily therefore, have a Morton's Foot. And, a Morton's Foot may not show a longer second toe.
The normal condition for a foot is that the first metatarsal bone is the longest. This allows the "tripod" weight distribution, of your body weight. The tripod points are your heel, the head of your first metatarsal bone, near the big toe joint, and the head of your fifth metatarsal bone, near the little toe joint.
In ballet, the weight distribution is a little different, as the dancer stands "poised to move". The weight is slightly more shifted to the front of the foot. The heel carries weight, but can release it easily. When the second metatarsal bone is the longest, the weight of the body presses down at the head of that bone.
It is believed that this condition contributes to pronation of the feet, or rolling ankles. If a person does not exercise or do anything to correct this pronation and build strong foot muscles, the ankle muscle functions are compromised and this condition will worsen over time.
The lower leg muscles will also begin to feel the strain of this anomaly and the misalignment will simply travel up the body to affect the hips, low back, and so forth and so forth.
Having this condition in a dancer's body presents an advantage for an individual, but only if she/he understands their foot type. A dancer will work hard in each and every class to develop foot muscles correctly. Their ballet teacher will be observing and reminding them when the ankles are rolling and the arches are dropping.
A dancer with flat feet learns to activate the arch muscles, hold the turnout, and this will help compensate for their feet tending to roll in. If the feet roll, strain will eventually cause a knee injury.
Pointe Ballet Shoes
Sizing for pointe shoes, or toe shoes, has to accommodate the longest toe. A pointe ballet shoe must fit snugly enough to support the toes when the dancer is en pointe, yet must have room for the foot to spread out when you do a demi plie. A professional toe shoe fitter is a great help. She or he may even ask you to stand on a piece of paper, and draw an outline of your feet with your weight on them.
Each of your feet may be a little different in shape - length, width, heel width, and the toe lengths. I always wished that pointe shoes sold just as one, not a pair. I could easily have bought a separate size for each foot. Maybe one day Freeds or Capezio or some other leading pointe ballet shoe manufacturer will get radical and do that. Dream on.
Once you start dancing in pointe shoes, any technical weakness resulting from having this foot type that you may not have completely corrected, may become a problem. To prevent this complication, learning pre pointe exercises and doing them for a few months will help you greatly.
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