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How Long Do Pointe Shoes Last | How to Choose Pointe with the Right Size

How Long Do Pointe Shoes Last

Congratulations, you have decided to buy your first ballet pointe shoes! Knowing how long pointe shoes last, you need to understand that you should be serious about your choice. For a correct choice of pointe shoes, you should take into account several points which you will find in this article.

To buy pointe shoes that will become not only your ideal assistant in ballet choreography but also a beautiful detail of your dancing image, you should first correctly determine the size of ballet shoes for dancing. To do this, follow the instructions below.

Facts about Pointe Shoes

  • Dancing shoes are designed to move on the parquet, so the sole is thin.
  • What are pointe shoes made of? In most cases, pointe shoes are made of leather or suede. Due to this, the sole bends easily, allowing the dancer to actively work the foot in the dance, pulling the toe, and so on. Dancing shoes can be bent in half – and they will not deteriorate. If your foot feels uncomfortable in the shoes, you will not enjoy the exercise. Also, improperly chosen ballet shoes or pointe shoes lead to ankle sprains or fractures.
  • Why can’t you buy pointe shoes with a little extra ‘growing’ room? It is important to remember that you should not buy ballet shoes a size bigger, because they stretch in the process of training.
  • How long should I expect my pointe shoes to last? Usually, a ballet dancer can use the pointe from a few weeks to three-four months.
  • It is almost impossible to find a pointe for men.

Pointe Shoes Facts: How Are They Made, and What Are They Made Of?

  • ​Ballet shoes seem to be simple and not labor-intensive to make, but they are not. Modern pointe shoes consist of 54 parts, which, when assembled into a ready pointe, must fit perfectly around the heel.
  • Only natural and safe pointe shoe materials capable of absorbing moisture are used in the production of quality pointe shoes. It is often the case when a contestant runs more than 20 miles during a performance! If you use cheap shoes made of artificial fabric, it will chafe the leg, blisters and other problems will arise. To the multi-layered upper, a sole is sewn, cut out of genuine leather. Upper and lower pointe stitches are sewn with a special one-strand stitch – a thread, pre-treated with beeswax and rosin. All dimensions are verified and fit with maximum precision.
  • It is almost impossible to sew well the upper and the sole on a sewing machine. To assemble one pair of dancing shoes takes up to one hour of the master’s work, with over 50 operations.
  • Do pointe shoes have wood in them? Definitely, not. The shoemaker nails the cotton lining to the inner insole. The insole is made of hard cardboard (for support), with plastic added to increase flexibility.
  • There are a lot of different styles of pointe shoes.

Pointe Shoe Facts: How to Choose Them?

Pointe Shoe Facts

First, you need to know your foot size. To measure accurately, stand with your foot on a blank piece of paper and trace the outline of your foot with a pencil. Before fitting, put a special silicone or fabric cover on the toes. When fitting pointe shoes, push your foot to the end of the box and look at the heel part. Ideally, if you pinch the fabric on the heel, you can tack no more than 5–7 mm. If a toe fits in the gap between the heel and the fabric, then the shoe is great. But, pointe shoes are not ordinary shoes, and knowing your size is not enough.

Now we will determine the type of foot. This is necessary to choose the shape of the box of pointe shoes. To do this we look at the toes:

1) Greek foot – the big toe is shorter than the second, but longer than the third.

2) Egyptian foot – the length of the toes decreases from the thumb to the third.

3) Roman (square) foot – the first three toes are about the same length.

If you have an Egyptian foot, choose pointe shoes with a tapered box (tapered to the bottom). For the Roman foot, shoes with a square box (wide) will be comfortable. And with the Greek type of foot, choose a semi-conical box shape.

How to Choose pointe shoes

The next parameter to consider is fullness. It depends on the width of the foot and the volume of your chosen liner. Put on the pointe and look at the distance between the foot and the neck of the shoe.

So, we have considered all the basic parameters when choosing pointe shoes. If you follow all recommendations written above, you will choose ballet shoes exactly for your foot and the foot will feel comfortable (as much as it is possible in pointe shoes). Go to a professional store and buy your comfortable pointe shoes!

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