We bring in a professional fitter all the way from who works with Russian Pointe twice a year to do fittings for dancers who are new to pointe because we firmly believe that the right fit from the start can help a dancer avoid all kinds of problems with their feet down the road. I always learn something new and today I learned a lot about spacers, why dancers may or may not need them, what to look for, and what questions to ask.
Not every dancer needs to use spacers in their pointe shoes, but in some cases, they can make the difference in both technique and foot health. They can help keep dancers from developing bunions, or alleviate the pain of bunions that are already developing.
What we look for is a gap between the toes that causes a misalignment. Toes should be a straight as possible to avoid force on the big toe joint. If toes are already straight, using spacers can cause big problems as well. This is why an expert should evaluate the naked foot carefully before jumping into a fitting.
If a dancer starts wearing spacers, it is essential that they be worn every time the pointe shoe goes on. Missing them in just a few practices and cause misalignment and shifting of the bone structure. Also, they should be worn to every fitting.