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dance010

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, DD has a bad arch in her feet and a bad point in her feet. Does anyone have any experience with using a foot stretcher and can offer some advice for which is the best one to purchase? We are looking into the Superior Arch, The Original foot Stretcher, and the Arch Genie. Any other products you've tried and recommend?

These are the 3 we are looking at so far:

https://www.archgenie.com/products/foot-stretcher/category-arch-genie-2.php


https://www.superiorstretch.com/product-category/superiorarch/


https://www.footstretch.com/products/original-ballet-foot-stretch
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #2 
I bought this for DD11.

https://stretchstrength.com/collections/foot-stretchers/products/dancer-feet-stretcher-arch-foot-stretcher-for-dancers-ballerinas-gymnasts

Here's a link to a video that got me to purchase it. The second half discusses the foot stretcher.



It seems like it's working, but it is more likely that her four ballet classes per week (up from two classes per week when she started the year, plus now pointe) are having more of an effect.
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #3 
Honestly, I think a theraband is more beneficial. Not only is it safer but its very easy to store and travel with. Also, a theraband can be used in many different ways, you can stretch and strengthen so many different parts of your body with one of those, while you're probably paying more for a foot stretcher that can only be used in one, possibly unsafe, way. Not to mention, depending on your DD's bone structure, may not actually help her feet. At least a theraband if some reason doesn't help to improve her feet, it will at least strengthen them.

ETA: Here's a link to a 6 foot theraband with medium resistance for $6.75.: https://www.amazon.com/Theraband-Red-Medium-6-ft-length/dp/B000GBOMNE/ref=sr_1_14?s=sports-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1499647479&sr=1-14&keywords=theraband&th=1

In comparison, it would be much more logical to buy a theraband at that price than pay $50-$150 for a foot stretcher.
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momcrew

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Reply with quote  #4 
I second a theraband. My daughter's teacher also told her to pick up marbles with her toes to help strength her feet. 
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PasDeChatMom

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Reply with quote  #5 
Theraband + exercises.  A foot stretcher may improve the arch but in the process it is going to weaken the foot. A theraband + appropriate exercises will help to both improve the arch and strengthen the foot/toes/arch/ankle. 

Source: Mom of daughter with weak banana feet that has both one of the wooden foot arch stretchers and a theraband. She wants an even archier foot so still works on flexibility in her foot and finds the most success with the theraband/exercise combination.
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frogerella

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Reply with quote  #6 
My daughter is 10 and has a good arch, but she really wants to go en pointe in 2 years so she's focused on strengthening her foot and ankles in preparation.  She's also asked for an the arch stretcher thinking it will help her.  However, researching the various stretchers makes me concerned about them doing more harm than good.  Most boards create a forced stretch that might increase the foot flexibility, but not strength so like pp said, creates weakness in the foot.  Also because it isn't controlled by the user it can lead to various types of foot damage like muscle tears, especially if they get overzealous thinking more is better.  It's like letting a kid do an aerial before she can do a cartwheel.  So for now my daughter has been doing theraband exercises we found on youtube.  She has seen a difference in both her arch flexibility and strength pretty quickly.  

The Accidental Artist is one of the youtube videos she uses and she recommended the one posted by Phx115.  This is her post about it https://theaccidentalartist.me/foot-stretchers-good-bad/.  There's another one similar to the stretch strength one that our local dancewear store carries and said if used properly is safe.  They both have rods that allow the user to control the stretch.  
http://improvedance.com/
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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #7 
Honestly, do exercises with a theraband.  Ask her teacher to review exercises with her. The theraband is easy to stick in a dance bag, so she can use it anywhere. The best way to prepare to go on pointe is to do at least three 90 minute ballet classes a week. By the time my daughter was ready to go on pointe she had four 90 minute classes with an extra 30 minutes tacked on twice a week to specific foot/ankle work at the barre. She then moved to 2 hour classes 6x a week (plus). A huge part of pointe work is also having a strong core. You may want to focus on that, too.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #8 
Foot stretchers are not necessary. Period. Buy a theraband, as others have mentioned.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #9 
Therabands are excellent for strengthening feet which improves the appearance of the foot significantly. However, I will add that if the dancer has inflexible ankles, she should talk to the instructors about safe ways to stretch the ankles. We were not able to improve this aspect of my daughter's foot with therabands.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #10 
I vote therabands and stretching without the hard board stretchers that are not custom formed to the dancer's foot.
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