Breaking in Pointe Shoes

Hi everyone!  Today’s post is all about how to break in your pointe shoes and prepare them for use.  In addition to breaking them in, I’ll include how to prepare them in every other way besides sewing (I just did a separate blog post and video on that), including labeling, hammering, bending, gluing, and more.  Let’s get right into it.


Pointe shoe basics

Getting started:

The first thing you must do when you get a new pair of shoes is, after sewing them, label them.  I like to use a system that includes a label for each shoe as the following:


Here’s an example: 6R (6th pair of pointe shoes, right shoe)

I do this for each shoe to insure that I can label them and categorize them correctly.  I also put the brand and model above that so I can reference them later.

Some people also like to shellac the inside of their pointe shoes after a first class.  This helps maintain their shape and promotes correct alignment.

Breaking in

  1. Bend the shank.  I use my hands, starting by disconnecting the shank from the sole and then bending it backwards.
  2. Step on the box.  I like to use my heel to get out any hard glue and flatten the box of the shoe slightly.
  3. Water and hammer the bunions.  This helps soften up the sides of the box and prevents blisters in this sensitive area.
  4. Break in the demi-pointe.  I do this by bending the shoe backwards and then doing exercises in the demi-pointe position.
  5. Do some basic rolling through exercises to help mold the shoe to your foot.  See video.

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