Best Foot Stretchers for Dancers Reviews and Comparison

ballet-foot-stretch-footstretcher-entrenando_grandeWhen training to become a ballet dancer, having strong and flexible feet is vital to a long, successful career. Students begin to stretch and mold their feet from day one, and flexibility training is part of their everyday routine. As students grow, their instructors will look closely at things like arch formation and range of flexibility to determine if a dancer can advance or improve. Careers have been ruined by bad feet!

Dancers will do anything to be the best, but sometimes those things can be harmful or dangerous. It isn’t uncommon for dancers to end up injured as a result of weak or misshapen feet. However, many dancers still use outdated or harsh stretching methods that damage feet more than they help. Young dancers are at an even greater risk of injury because their feet are still developing, and they may not know what they are doing is hurting them.

One solution to safely strengthen and stretch the feet is to use a foot stretcher for dancers. They are designed specifically to help dancers properly stretch their muscles and ligaments in a way that encourages good form. Whether they are a beginner or professional, dancers of all levels can benefit from using a foot stretcher.

While there are not many options for foot stretchers on the market, I found a few that I think anyone could use and benefit from. There are some safety issues to consider before buying a stretcher, especially for a child, that I included as well. So here are the 3 best foot stretchers for dancers on the market today!

Reviews and Comparison of Best Foot Stretchers for Dancers

Ballet Foot Stretch

Arch Genie

Superior Arch

Images

Ballet Foot Stretch The Original
Arch Genie
Superior Arch Foot Stretcher

Materials

Wood

Wood/Foam/Fabric

Wood/Foam/Canvas

Size Options

2 sizes; each come with 2 sizes of bands

One size fits all for stretcher and foot band

One size stretcher; Velcro strap adjusts to foot size

Color Options

Plain wood only

12 color/patterns

3 colors

Warranty

2 years

1 years

30 days

Unique Features

Heel dip for comfort and safety; durable and professional grade

Padded for comfort; safe to use for 8+ year olds

Padded for comfort; Velcro strap for perfect foot fit

Check Price

#1 Ballet Foot Stretch: The Original

The Ballet Foot Stretch is the gold standard for foot stretchers, and is used by both amateur and professional dancers all over the world.

It is a wooden stretcher that’s specifically molded to help dancers and gymnasts improve their flexibility and strength. The way it is shaped also makes it safe to use because it supports the foot and ankle properly, preventing excess pressure or stretch to the Achilles tendon. It can also be used to help break in new pointe shoes, which is an added benefit!

While this is a bit of a financial investment, it’s a product that will last for years. Since it doesn’t have any padding or fabric, it won’t wear out, and replacement bands or pads are easy to order if needed.

Things We Liked

  • Comes in 2 sizes
  • Wood design is sleek and easy to keep clean
  • 2 sizes of foot bands and pad adapters to customize fit
  • Great for breaking in pointe shoes
  • 2-year warranty

Things We Didn't Like

    • Seems large/bulky for younger dancers to carry around
    • Expensive

    #2 Arch Genie

    If you are looking for a more affordable option than the Ballet Foot Stretch, this is a great option! It works similarly to the Ballet Foot Stretch, but at less than half the cost. It’s also a more flat design, which is easier to store and carry around with you while traveling. They also recommend using this stretcher if you are recovering from surgery, or into other activities like yoga, gymnastics, and all types of dance!

    They also come in several colors and patterns, which is fun for younger dancers! The only thing I would warn you about is to monitor younger dancers using this for the first time. Since it doesn’t support the heel/foot as well as the Ballet Foot Stretch, beginners need to take their time with this device to prevent injury. It’s a great tool if used wisely

    Things We Liked

    • Comes in several colors/patterns; fun for younger dancers
    • Flat design is easy to carry and store
    • Affordable

    Things We Didn't Like

      • One size fits all
      • Too stiff for beginners
      • Flat design could cause overstretching/injury in beginners
      • Cannot return if wrong color
      • Fabric may need cleaned/replaced over time

      #3 Superior Arch Foot Stretcher

      Superior Arch Foot StretcherAnother more affordable option is the Superior Arch Foot Stretcher. This one is very similar to the Arch Genie in design, but offers some extra padding to ensure a comfortable and safe stretch.

      The other thing I like about this is the Velcro foot strap. Unlike the other two stretchers, you can adjust the strap to any size foot, or adjust it as your feet become more flexible. I highly recommend this to younger dancers who will need a stretcher they can adjust as their feet grow!

      Things We Liked

      • Comes in 3 color options (black, purple, red)
      • Velcro toe strap ensures perfect fit
      • Well padded for comfort/safety

      Things We Didn't Like

        • No heel groove; some dancers found painful
        • Adjustable straps are tough to get used to
        • Fabric may need cleaned/replaced over time

        Foot Stretchers: An Overview

        What is a foot stretcher, and how does it work?

        A foot stretcher for dancers is a device that allows dancers to slowly stretch out their feet and improve their arches. They are a rigid bar, usually made of wood, which a dancer places their foot into to stretch out the muscles and ligaments.

        They are considered much safer to use than other methods, like exercise bands and traditional stretching. Since they support the foot properly, dancers won’t have to worry about overstretching or developing improper form. This is especially important to consider if you are a young dancer whose feet are still growing!

        It’s also a great tool for pre-rehearsal stretching, and they can also be used to properly break in new pointe shoes. Many of them are customizable to fit your feet properly, and come with padding (or not) as needed. They are also made in fun colors and patterns to encourage younger dancers to use them regularly.

        What are the different types of foot stretchers available?

        There are several different ways that dancers stretch out and strengthen their feet. Using a foot stretcher is the most expensive method, but is also considered one of the safest. It allows the dancer to stretch their feet using proper form, and supports the heel to prevent injury to the Achilles tendon.

        Some dancers use exercise bands rather than a foot stretcher. While this is a much cheaper option (many bands are under $20), they do take a bit more training to use properly. Since you aren’t supporting the foot while stretching, this can lead to injury or improper development over time. I think this is a good option for a more advanced dancer, but for a beginner it could be too difficult to use properly.

        The cheapest option to stretch the feet is to use no tools at all. Using your own body weight to help stretch your feet is an option, but again, not very safe for beginners. A common stretching method is to curl the feet under the buttocks and sit on them, using your body weight to stretch them out. This can be useful if you are an advanced dancer who knows how to do it properly. Your body weight is too much weight to force a stretch, and is incredibly dangerous if not done correctly. A foot stretcher doesn’t use weight to stretch, which is much safer and easier to control.

        Are there safety concerns I should consider before buying a foot stretcher?

        As with any stretching device, there are definitely some things to consider before purchasing a foot stretcher. If you are dealing with a beginning dancer, or a child whose feet are still growing, it’s important to take the following into consideration:

        •  Does the foot stretcher properly fit the foot? Can I adjust the size of the device or strap to get the perfect fit?
        • If your child’s feet are still growing, will this stretcher grow with them, or will I have to replace it as his or her feet grow?
        • What materials is it made of? Are they durable enough for my needs?
        • Does the stretcher properly support the foot during stretches? It shouldn’t be easy to use, but it shouldn’t be painful either!
        • Does the stretcher come with a return policy or warranty in the even it doesn’t work for me?
        • If you have flatter arches, talk to a doctor before using! Apparently foot stretchers are known to make problems worse for those with flat arches.
        • While some foot stretchers are considered safe to use after 8 years old, ask a doctor before giving your child a foot stretcher before their feet are fully grown. It’s also not a good idea (or even necessary) to get a foot stretcher for a very young child, as they are not designed for such small and undeveloped feet.

        If you are unsure whether a foot stretcher will work for you, ask your doctor before purchasing one – especially if you are purchasing one for a child.

        Conclusion

        Buying a foot stretcher made for dancers is a safe and effective way to properly stretch and strengthen the foot. There are a few options out there that are safer than others, and we talked in detail about those today. Instead of using traditional body weight stretches, or devices that could cause potential harm, a foot stretcher is the safest way to go!

        Once you find one that works for you, it will be a part of your daily routine for years to come!

        Related Posts
        No related posts for this content
        Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

        Leave a Reply: