Getting into pointe shoes may not be a dream you feel you can fulfill if you have hammer, claw, or mallet toes. Misshapen toes may or may not hurt. They may be related to arthritis, or not. These kinds of toes indicate that the toe muscles have somehow become unbalanced. A common reason is from you wearing shoes that are too tight. However, home care and stretching and exercises can be performed, gradually alleviating these conditions, to some degree if not altogether. If you are ready to dance on pointe, improving your toes’ shapes and functions can be done while you take pointe classes.
In both your toe shoes and your everyday shoes, proper sizing is crucial. There absolutely must be room for your toes. If your second toe is longer, it is the toe that you choose shoe length for.
Especially pointe shoes, which must fit snuggly, and yet accommodate a long second toe. You are going to become very particular with toe spacers, toe caps and any other padding that will help your toes stay long in the shoes, and be protected from developing blisters and corns due to their bent joints.
A podiatrist may recommend orthotic insoles – made to fit your feet – and can also teach you ways to splint or strap toes to help straighten out the joints.
Learning ballet foot stretches and ways to relax all the foot and toe muscles will help you work with misshapen toes. Specific exercises for articulation and strength in the toes will help you straighten these toes to whatever degree possible, and develop the strength you need to dance in toe shoes, at the same time.
All dancers should pamper their feet with warm soaks and massage, and this will help you too, with your special project.
Don’t forget nutrition. Eating fresh foods, good lean proteins, and getting enough of the right vitamins that convert proteins to muscle in your body is important. The Vitamins B12, B6, and Folic Acid are needed for this. Add Vitamin D3, and plenty of dark green vegetables and salads count too.