• Rebecca says:

    When preparing for a performance requiring pointe shoes on stage, how many pairs of pointe shoes should be purchased and held in reserve, and it what condition are they to be held in reserve? How long might a dancer rehearse in a pair of performance shoes for optimal “performance” of those shoes in the performance? Should the performance shoes be “kept” for use at dress rehearsal and performance only? Or should TWO newly equally broken-in pairs be taken to the theater and ready for use? So many questions…

    • A New Page says:

      Hello Rebecca! Thank you so much for reaching out. Hopefully, you’ll find my answers to your questions most helpful. When you are preparing for a performance en pointe, my opinion would be to have two pairs of shoes, sewn, broken in and ready. Of course, this could vary depending on how many performances you are scheduled to do and how intense the dancing is.

      The condition of your shoes should be broken in to the point in which they feel like you can easily manipulate them, i.e., points easily, roll through your demi-pointe smoothly, good shank support while up en pointe but yet allows you to get completely over on your box. They should also be free of any dirt or stains. And simply snip off any possibly frayed satin at the tip of the box. Check to make certain all of the ribbons and elastic are secure. No dancer wants a shoe malfunction mid-performance. Use and rehearse in your shoes until you have achieved the exact look and feel of your shoe that you desire for your show. This may take you a few days or a few weeks. Once again, it depends on how much pointe work and rehearsing you are scheduled for. Once you have decided on your shoes for the performance, using them for dress rehearsal is definitely a good idea. It is one last chance before curtain up to make certain your shoes are as ready as you are. Best wishes for your up and coming performances! A New Page

  • Tiffany says:


    I’ve been refitted with Russian Pointe’s. Specifically the Almaz medium shank. I’ve tried pulling up the material on the shank to try to pry the shank but it’s really tough. I even had a male friend attempt and he couldn’t do it. Do you have any experience with Russian Pointe’s and how to break them in? I’ve been told they are bit harder to work with when breaking them in.

    • A New Page says:

      Hello and thanks for contacting us with your question. Your new Russian Pointes surely seem to be giving you quite a challenge. Hopefully, this information will help you: While I do not have direct experience with the Russian Pointe brand, I’ve had experience with pesky pointe shoes. If your shank is not willing to be pulled up, I suggest just leave it be. Decide where you would like your shank to bend, be it at the 3/4 mark or halfway mark. Toss the shoes, one at a time, in the microwave oven for 10 seconds. Then using a counter top or wall corner (something hard/firm and with an edge) begin to apply pressure bending your shank back and forth until it increases its pliability. Repeat this with your other shoe.

      Much success!
      A New Page Blog

  • Liliya says:

    I recently got my pointe shoes and I was wondering how I can make the box more comfortable to dance in. My toes hurt while on them and after. Is there a way to add some cushioning? Or do I just need to break into them more?

    • A New Page says:

      Hello Liliya! Thanks for reaching out with your question. Pointe shoes can certainly be uncomfortable when they are new and especially when you receive your very first pair. Let me start by asking this — are you currently using any sort of padding in your pointe shoes? Ouch! I sure hope so!

      There are many options and ways for you to add padding in your pointe shoes, therefore making them more comfortable. My two recommendations would be to either use lamb’s wool or toe pads, and both can be purchased at any local dance shop or most online dance shopping sites. Lamb’s wool is loose wool that you pull out how much you need, wrap it over your toes, and slide on your pointe shoe. Over time that piece of lamb’s wool will lose its amount of padding, so just start your process over again with fresh wool. Toe pads, I will admit, are a tad easier to use. Toe pads come in a few varieties. There are foam rubber, gel and lamb’s wool options. Toe pads can also vary in size. You can purchase ones that cover all 5 of your toes, similar to the toes of a sock. But you can also purchase smaller toe pads that are sized for an individual toe. Spritzing the box of your pointe shoes around the vamp area with warm water will help to soften the box.

      Congratulations on getting your pointe shoes, and I hope ths information will help you. Remember, too, that your feet will get accustomed to pointe shoes the more you practice with them and the more you break them in. Lastly, if you have tried some of my ideas already, keep trying. There are several brands and options out there as I mentioned before. Sooner or later you will find what works for your feet. Keep dancing and enjoy!

      A New Page

    • Anthien says:

      Is it ok if your pointe shoes pop while breaking them in.

  • Violet says:

    Hi! I got my first pair of point shoes (Bloch) in November and all I did was sow the ribbon and elastic but I didn’t brake them in at all and now I am having trouble getting over my box if I brake them in will it help me get over my box?

    • CPYB says:

      Congratulations on receiving your very first pair of pointe shoes – that is quite an exciting accomplishment! Breaking in your pointe shoes will indeed allow you to get over your box better. When reviewing the blog post and the pictures, pay special close attention on the how to manipulate the shank area of the shoe and where to do it based on where your foot arches the most. As your feet continue to strengthen, you will need to manipulate the shank less and less, but with your first pair you will want to make the shank pretty bendy and flexible. This will help make your pointe work more technically correct and you’ll have better success. Best of luck and congratulations again!

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