October 26

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How to Break in Pointe Shoes

By Teddy

October 26, 2022


You’ve seen those pictures of ballerinas en pointe, standing on their toes with their legs extended in perfect lines. And you’ve probably wondered how they manage to do it without toppling over. The answer, my curious friend, is pointe shoes. Most ballerinas start training in them around the age of 11 or 12, after they’ve spent several years strengthening their feet and ankles. But if you’re not a professional ballerina, don’t despair—you can still wear pointe shoes! Here’s how to break into them.

First things first: what are pointe shoes? They’re ballet shoes designed specifically for dancing en pointe, which means balanced on the tips of the toes. They have a box at the end of the shoe that allows the dancer to keep her balance while supported on just her toes. The box is usually made of stiff paper or cardboard and is reinforced with glue or resin. The inside of the shoe is lined with soft fabric to protect the dancer’s foot.

Breaking into your first pair of pointes can be daunting, but with a little perseverance (and maybe a few blisters), you’ll get there eventually. Here’s what you need to do:

How pointe shoes should fit

Before you even think about breaking in your pointe shoes, you need to make sure they fit properly. ill-fitting shoes will be uncomfortable and can cause injury, so it’s important to get this right.

Your pointe shoes should be snug but not too tight. They should feel comfortable when you first put them on, but you should expect them to feel a bit tighter after you’ve broken them in.

The width of the shoe should match the width of your foot—you don’t want it to be too loose or too tight. The toes of the shoe should sit squarely on your own toes—if they’re too long, they’ll bunch up and make it difficult to balance; if they’re too short, your toes will hang over the edge and you’ll be in danger of stubbing them.

The heel of the shoe should cup your heel snugly but not pinch. It shouldn’t slip off when you point your foot, but it also shouldn’t be so tight that it cuts into your skin.

Once you’ve found a pair of shoes that fit well, it’s time to start breaking them in.

The process of breaking in pointe shoes

The process of breaking in pointe shoes is not for the faint of heart. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of determination. But we’re here to help you through it. Here are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit easier:  

  • Wear socks: Wearing socks will help protect your feet from the harsh materials used in pointe shoes. And if you’re going to be wearing them for an extended period of time, socks will also help keep your feet from getting too sweaty. 
  • Trim your toenails: This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to make sure your toenails are trimmed before you start breaking in your shoes. Nothing is worse than having your toenails catch on the material and rip off! 
  • Stretch your shoes: Before you even think about putting your feet into those pointe shoes, you need to stretch them out. The best way to do this is by stuffing them with newspaper and letting them sit overnight. This will help soften up the material and make it more pliable. 
  • Break them in slowly: Once your shoes are stretched out and ready to go, it’s time to start breaking them in. The key here is to go slowly and be gentle with your shoes. Remember, they’re new and they need time to adjust. Start by wearing them around the house for short periods of time and gradually increase the amount of time you’re spending in them each day. 
  • Take care of your feet: Breaking in pointe shoes can be tough on your feet, so it’s important to take care of them during the process. Make sure you’re regularly applying moisturizer and giving yourself foot massages (with lotion or oil) to keep your skin from drying out. And once you’re done breaking in your shoes, be sure to give your feet a well-deserved break!

Conclusion: 

Breaking in pointe shoes is not for the faint of heart. It takes time, patience, and determination. But with these tips, we hope that you’ll be able to find success (and maybe even enjoy the process a little bit). Just remember to take care of yourself during the process and give yourself breaks when you need them!

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