Pointe shoes....bricks on your feet, yet the one thing which defines a ballet dancer, and what all little ballerinas look forward to. Once you stop growing out of them every month, many begin looking for ways to extend the life of a shoe. Below are 5 tips to keep your pointe shoes giving their all so you can give your all!
1. Dry Em' Giving your pointe shoes time to dry is vital to their life span. We can't keep our feet from sweating but sweat or moisture of any kind breaks down your shoes. After class, dry your shoes by placing them in a mesh bag and hang them outside your dance bag. Once you get home, set them out to dry in New Mexico's wonderful weather or in front of a fan. Some dancers place cedar blocks in their pointe shoes. Cedar is known do absorb/draw out moisture and the pleasant scent is a bonus as well.
2. Try two of Em' Pointe shoes take about 36 hours to completely dry. Who has time for that?! Give your pointe shoes time to dry by using two pairs, alternating between each pair. Although it may sound pricey, giving your shoes time to dry will make them last longer.
3. Mix Em' If you don't require a designated right or left shoe, switch shoes on each foot every time you dance. You can “label” them with a symbol, or even “R” (right), and “L” (left). “R” goes on your right foot, then on your left foot. If you have a stronger foot, this will help break your shoes in evenly. This might not work for everyone, so try it out and decide based on your feet and pointe shoes.
4. Harden Em' A few simple layers of glue can make your pointe shoes last longer. Apply any type of fast drying glue (Jet Glue, Pointe Shoe Glue), inside around the box or on the inside/outside shank, depending on where your shoe is breaking down. Allow at least 12 hours for your shoes to dry before dancing in them.
5. Work Well in Em' Try another pair if your pointe shoes are still dying way faster than you would like, talk to a pointe shoe fitter or teacher. They may have some ideas about different pointe shoes for you to try. You may even need to change your dancing. Without an engaged core and pulled up body, you are bound to sink into your shoes. This places un-needed pressure on your feet and wears out the shoes much quicker. Not all these tips will work for everyone but try these tips and decide based on your body, feet, shoes, and dancing. Your teachers may have specific ideas or preferences. Ask them! They will be happy to help!
Adapted from “5 Ways to Make Your Pointe Shoes Last Longer” by Josephine Lee from ThePointeShop.