28 Feb 5 Ways To Make Your Pointe Shoes Last Longer
It’s a true fact, pointe shoes are EXPENSIVE. Whether you/your dancer goes through pointe shoes in 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 years we all feel the pinch of the price.
But… there are tricks of the trade that you can use to prolong the ‘dead shoe dread’. They won’t make them last forever but it might get you to the end of the month, or maybe more.
Firstly, it’s so important to remind you that getting a pointe shoe fitting at your local pointe shoe retailer is VITAL to the life of your shoe. Not only are poorly fitted shoes detrimental to you/your dancers journey but ill-fitting shoes may breakdown faster. Either way, it is important to bring your shoes with you to your pointe shoe fitting so that your pointe shoe fitter can assess how and where the shoe is breaking down.
Dance Desire has a number of pointe shoe fitting specialists who can assist with your next pointe shoe fitting.
For now though, lets talk about ways in which you can extend the life of your pointe shoes.
- Jet Glue
Super Glue for dancers. Watch your fingers because it’s strong. In shoes which may have a fabric coating over the shank peel this back so that the natural fibres are exposed. CAREFULLY run the nozzle of the Jetglue over the shank and let the glue sink into the shank. You can target just one area that breaks down the quickest or do the whole shank. Just make sure you allow it to FULLY dry before placing your foot back into the shoe.
If you have a dancer whos box breaks down faster than the shank you can also try Jetgluing the inside of the box. Be SURE to remove any toe cushions or other accessories that might be inside as these can harden and turn into nails (and nobody wants that). Run the nozzle around the inside of the shoe to strengthen the box of the shoe.
2. Air Out Your Shoes
Imagine after a 1hr class how much heat and sweat has gone into your pointe shoe. It’s amazing how many dancers we speak to who DON’T get their shoes out of their bag at the end of the day to air them out. Not only is the smell deathly but the heat and moisture could be the cause of your shoes breaking down. When you get home take all your accessories out of the shoes (and the bag) and hang your shoes somewhere that they can freely air out without having to worry about the elements and close enough that you won’t forget them next time.
Tip: The bedroom door or wardrobe door is a great place.
3. Double Shank
If you find that nothing is working, that your dancer has an extrememly strong foot or tends to breakdown shoes quicker than others who are doing the same amount of hours etc, then perhaps it’s time to take a trip back to your local dance store (Dance Desire of course) and ask about a harder shanked shoe. Bloch for example do a range of shoes with a double shank (Sonata Strong, Sylphide Strong, Suprima strong) or Energetiks do a few of their shoes with a Medium shank or harder shank option (Sapphire as an example has a FM & FH). Maybe it’s time to try something newer and stronger.
4. PIPS (Portable Inserts For Pointe Shoes)
A genius invention that adds an additional layered shank in your shoe. Complete with a flexible plastic and metal reinforcement these can be moulded to fit inside the shoe and flattened around the edge so your dancer doesn’t even know they are wearing them. Dancers with extremely tight shoes might need extra room for PIPS but the thinness of the shank means that you won’t even know you’re wearing them.
Tip: Shape them over the barre to give extra comfort.
5. Alternate between pairs
Our final and possible most popular option would be to have multiple pairs of shoes on the go at one time. You wear one pair one day and the other pair the next. This allows time in between wears for your shoes to dry out and stiffen up again. This option often becomes the most cost effective in the long run as although you are buying two pairs you end up getting longer out of each pair. Another great tip when alternating pairs is to not let either of your shoes go dead at all. Always purchase a new pair before your old pair completely breakdown as you may get another couple of wears out of them while you’re breaking in your new shoes.
Fun Fact: Professional dancers may have up to 10 pairs of shoes on the go at one time. All at different stages of breakdown for different uses (class, performance, warmup, grande allegro etc)
Give it a try, even if you get 1 day, 1 week or 1 month longer out of your shoes it’s worth a try. But, remember once they are dead dead there is no going back, it’s straight to the store (or online) you go.
Dance Desire x