Pointe Shoe FAQ: A Guide to Pointe Shoes Part 2

5. How do I break in my new pointe shoes?
It is important to listen to your teacher’s advice when breaking in new pointe shoes, but here are a few recommendations that you can follow. Do not wear your pointe shoes at home before your teacher approves them. If your teacher has any concerns the shoes can be returned in “new” condition, as long as the ribbons and elastics have not been sewn. Shoes are not yet shaped to a right or left foot. This happens gradually as you wear the shoes. It is helpful to label the shoes and keep them on the same feet all the time. Wearing a thick sock around the house will help the shoe take shape as you sweat in it. If you feel pressure from one part of the block, you can apply a small amount of water or rubbing alcohol to that area of the shoe to soften it. The best way to break in pointe shoes is to use them for barre work in class.
6. How can I make my shoes last longer?
To prolong the life of your pointe shoes place them where they can dry naturally and thoroughly as soon as you have finished wearing them. Do not leave them inside your dance bag as they will not dry properly and do not place them in plastic bags as this tends to keep the moisture inside the shoes. When dry and ” broken in” to your satisfaction, thin coats of shellac or pointe shoe hardener (Jet Glue) can be applied to the inside of the block and to the insole to resist any further absorption of moisture. Another way to extend the life of your shoes is to purchase two pairs of pointe shoes and alternate them for each class. This will ensure that each pair will dry thoroughly between wearings.
7. How do I know when it is time for a new pair?
During a prolonged period of wear the shoe will inevitably begin to crumble. While this should not occur too quickly, it is nevertheless a part of the process of wearing pointe shoes – especially those that are made of natural materials. These shoes mold to the foot quickly and break down when they are moist. Once you feel the shoe is no longer providing the necessary support (you are going too far over en pointe and you can feel the ground as though you were not wearing any shoes) then it is time to purchase a new pair. However for beginners, it is normal to grow out of a shoe before it wears out.

Brought to you by: Angie Stone, Prima Dance Academy, Studio# 905.425.2828 www.primadanceacademy.ca