Looking after your shoes

Preparing your shoes for wear

Everyone has their own way of sewing on ribbons but the method in this video (we believe) is one of the most secure, and really helps the shoe and foot work together, with the heel piece securely attached.

We have some in the shop with the ribbons sewn this way that you can look at and take photos of.

Each pair of Pointe shoes requires about 2.5m of Pointe shoe ribbon. You may need a little more or a little less though we sell ribbon either by the metre from the reel or pre-cut.

You may also want to sew in some invisible elastic.

Before you sew on your ribbons and elastic you may want to take your new shoes to show your teacher (if they did not come to your fitting with you)

It’s a good idea to either darn your shoes or use stick on suede tips to protect the platform of your shoes. Ballet Pro has an excellent video showing you how to stick on your suede tips.

Pointe shoes DO NOT need bashing or hammering to break them in. By mistreating them this way all you will do is damage your shoes, and in the worst case make them unwearable by breaking the shank or damaging the box and/or wings.

RClass shoes have been designed with a roll through feature in the sole allowing easy roll up through demi-pointe. 

Please wear your new shoes around the house (with old socks over too keep them clean) and practice roll-up rises onto demi pointe. The shoes will quickly take on the form of your feet. You can sleep in them too – it’s helps them soften and take the shape of your foot. DO NOT WALK UP AND DOWN STAIRS IN THEM.

Your teacher will have lots of suggestions to help you prepare your shoes for wear

Caring for your shoes

After your have worn your shoes for the first time, mark them Left and Right

Pointe shoes do not like excessive moisture! So, after you have worn them, take out your padding (if you use any), pop your shoes in a mesh or cotton bag (so they can breathe!) and take them home (lots of dancers hang the breathable bag off their dance bag rather than putting it inside their dance bag)

When you get home hang your shoes up to dry (if you have some tissue paper you can stuff it loosely in the ends to absorb moisture from the inside as well.)

If you do a lot of pointe work you may want to have two pairs of pointe shoes which you alternate – letting your shoes dry out thoroughly after each class will help your shoes last much longer.

Get into the habit of washing your toe pads, silicone tubes, toes caps and anything else you use in your shoes regularly. Make sure to dry them thoroughly. If the box is danced on when wet, it will break down and more stress will be put on the shank causing it to break early.

Please do give us a call if have any questions at all.

When is a shoe dead?

The average life span of a pair of shoes is actually anything from 4-20 hours of work (of course that does depends on the type of classes you are taking and your level of pointe work . When Pointe shoes have reached the end of their life, injuries can occur. An experienced dancer will know when a shoe is worn out, but if you are new to Pointe work, then please ask your teacher for advice.

Pointe shoes usually need to be replaced when

  • either the platform is no longer stiff,
  • the toe box has become too soft, or
  • the shank no longer offers you the support you are used to.

You need to be aware enough to notice these things. You may:

  • start feeling pain in areas you never felt before,
  • find you are no longer able to push right over the box,
  • be falling off pointe when you try to balance, or
  • find yourself falling forwards out of turns.

If the toe box or shank becomes mushy, soft, cracked or damaged in any way, it is definitely time for a new pair of shoes. A lot of dancers only use the shank as a guide to when a pair of shoes needs to be replaced, but the box is essential too for support of all those toe joints.

Never dance in shoes that have become too soft as the shoe could collapse

With thanks to Amanda Hill at Ballet Pro.

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