Am I Ready For Pointe Shoes?
Buying Pointe Shoes
3558 N University Ave.
Remember, there are as many different styles of shoes as there are types of feet. It is essential to try on as many pairs of shoes as possible, then choose the best pair for your type of feet. The people at Dance Works usually do a good job of helping you find the right shoe.
· Shoes need to be snug without room to grow in.
· Choose wide ribbon and elastic for your pointe shoes.
· Choose a type of toe pad which works well with your foot and shoe type. Avoid too much cushioning.
· Bring shoes to the studio for teacher approval before wearing shoes around or sewing them. If the fit isn’t right, you may need to return the shoes!
DO NOT SEW ON RIBBONS AND ELASTIC OR WEAR SHOES UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED TEACHER APPROVAL OF THE SHOES!
Sewing the Ribbons and Elastic
*If sewing by hand, use a sturdy needle and heavy thread which matches your shoes. Sew stitches in “X”s, reinforcing many times, just below the casing, through the satin and lining.
*If sewing with a machine, use a sturdy needle and heavy thread which matches your shoes. Sew just below the casing (along the seamline), reinforcing several times.
Sewing the Ribbon
1) If ribbon is in one long piece, cut ribbon in half (one for each shoe). Each half will be three feet long or so.
2) Place ribbon in shoe with shiny side facing in. Ribbon will be one long piece which will loop under the dancer’s foot and, when in place, can be pulled straight up at a right angle from the floor. Pin ribbon to shoe positioned close to the front of the ankle, so that when you pull the ribbon across foot, it will lay flat and not buckle (see Diagram below). Stitch the ribbon to both sides of the shoe.
Sewing the Elastic
Because the elastic is what will keep your shoes on, it needs to be positioned correctly and tightly.
1) Cut elastic into four even sections. Sew two pieces to the back part of the shoe. Do not place elastic directly on the center back because this may cause tendonitis or other pain (see Diagram below).
2) With your shoe on, pull the outside piece of elastic across foot and find the placement which, when sewn, will pull the shoe against your arch (about mid-arch). This is usually close to the same location of your ribbon. Pull the elastic tight and pin in place (see Diagram below). Sew.
3) Do the same with the inside piece of elastic.
Tying your Shoes
Breaking in your new Pointe Shoes
2) Bring shoes to class and have your teacher bend shoes in the proper place. Not bending the shoes or bending the shoes in the wrong place may cause the shoes to break in too low. This may cause lack of support, pain, and a not so pretty foot. Plus, your shoe may not last as long.
3) After shoes have been bent by your teacher… Practice! Practice! Practice!
Maintaining your Shoes
* Let shoes air out in between wearing. Do not place in unbreathable bag.
* Do not switch feet. Once you’ve worn the shoes, always wear them on the same foot
Written by Allison T. Wolsey
All rights reserved. 2008