Beginner Pointe Shoes [Top 5 Recommended]

Beginner Pointe Shoes

Dancing in Pointe shoes is a major milestone in any ballet dancer’s journey. These shoes have come a long way from their earliest days. If Pointe shoes are fitted correctly, they may look and feel like magic on the dancer’s feet. Still, not all Pointe shoes are made the same.

So, if you are searching for your first pair of Pointe shoes, here is a list of the top 5 recommended brands for Pointe shoes:

  • Russian Pointe
  • Bloch
  • Freed of London
  • Capezio
  • Grishko

Your dance teacher or instructor may have a recommendation for you, but this list will also serve you as a useful reference. It’s your dream to find the best pair for yourself, so make a wise decision.

What to Do Before Buying Pointe Shoes

Before Buying Pointe Shoes

Buying your first pair of Pointe shoes might be one of the most thrilling experiences in your life as a ballet dancer. That’s why it is essential to find the perfect pair for your feet.

Here are a few guidelines you should consider before getting Pointe shoes.

  1. The first step before buying a pair of Pointe shoes is to get permission from your dance teacher. This is important because Pointe shoes can be extremely damaging and dangerous if you are not prepared for it. Pointe work requires a lot of mental and physical strength. So, let your dance teacher assess whether you are ready or not.  
  2. Once you get your teacher’s permission, the next step is to contact any local dance shop. Ensure the shop is professional and has the experience, and they know that this is your first pair. In this way, they can get you the right shoes for your feet. Be prepared to give a handsome amount for your first Pointe shoes, but once you size your first pair, you can probably buy them online for less.  
  3. Set up an appointment or visit the shop, and try to find someone who is highly trained in fitting or see if the owner is available.  
  4. Wear ballet tights before going to the shop, so you know how the shoes will fit. 
  5. Firstly, pick out pads. Ensure that the fitter can help you choose the type that best suits your feet. Various kinds of pads are available to support and cushion your foot, but select the one that you feel the most comfortable with.  
  6. Once the salesperson determines your size, they will show you different pointe shoes to put on. Take your time and pay attention to how they feel (tight/ loose/perfect), and communicate this with the salesperson.  
  7. Use the Pointe shoes and practice some dance moves, and see how you feel standing on your toes or the box (the flat part of the pointe shoe on which you stand on). 
  8. Try several pairs, if you want to, in different styles and strengths until you find your perfect match. Don’t feel bad about it, as the fitter is paid for this job.  
  9. Choose a few pairs and try them. Pick the one that feels the best on pointe and while flat.  
  10. Buy the selected pair(s) and get them checked by your dance teacher before sewing them to make sure you have made the best choice and they have been fitted correctly. 

Top 5 Recommended Pointe Shoes

Top 5 Recommended Pointe Shoes

Several decisions are connected with buying your first Pointe shoes. One of the major decisions you would make while buying your Pointe shoes is to choose the brand and style.

Here is a list of Pointe shoe brands that I personally recommend and should serve you as a helpful reference.

  1. Russian Pointe
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03/11/2024 03:22 am GMT

One of the pointe shoe’s most popular brands is Russian Pointe, which was created in Moscow in 1998. Russian Pointe is a well-known brand of dancewear. They are mostly famous for dancers with narrow metatarsals and wider toe joints.

Russian Pointes are entirely made of natural materials and have excellent form and function. I have observed that the pre-arched construction of these shoes impersonates your foot shape to highlight your arch and exaggerate point work.

If you have tapered feet, I would suggest you buy Russian Pointe. These shoes are perfect for you as they have a medium-high crown and medium-toe platform.

I would also recommend Russian Pointe for those with fullness in the instep and toes, as these shoes have a minimal break-in. In short, Russian Pointe shoes are:

  • Great for highlighting the arch 
  • Long-lasting shank
  • Minimal break-in

  1.  Bloch 
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Another famous brand of Pointe shoes is Bloch, which was created by Mastercraftsman Jacob Bloch in 1932. Bloch Pointe shoes are hand-made, high-quality shoes available at reasonable prices.

Bloch has a wide range of Pointe shoes for beginners to professional ballet dancers. Bloch’s extensive array of Pointe shoes provides dancers with around 30 choices. One of the most popular among them is “Serenade”. As Bloch claims, their “Serenade insole” can be molded to the dancer’s feet from the very first day they are worn.

  1. Freed of London
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Freed of London was founded in London, England, in 1992 by Frederick Freed. Since then, they have been in the business and are top-rated designers of professional dance shoes.

Their Pointe shoes are handcrafted in England. Even though these shoes are hand-made, there is still uniformity and consistency in each pair.

Freed is one of the few brands that possess hand-made Pointe shoes and supply them to several leading ballet companies worldwide. Freed Pointe shoes come in six varieties, but their “Classics” are the most popular and recognizable.

  1. Capezio 
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If you have square and wide feet, I would suggest you buy Capezio Pointe shoes since they are made of high-quality materials, satin binding with soft cotton outer.

Dancers having even-length toes and a wide forefoot usually love these Pointe shoes and find them a great fit. In my opinion, one of the main features of these shoes is the broad, leather-toe box, which makes them perfect for square feet.

Some of the key features of Capezio Pointe shoes are:

  • Medium vamp 
  • Quality materials used
  • Very low noise
  • U-shaped throat

Capezio’s best-selling Pointe shoes are “Glisse”. It features a rounded sole, a high U-shaped vamp, a shaved shank, an extended platform, and an attractive elastic drawstring.

  1. Grishko
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03/11/2024 04:12 pm GMT

Last but not least, on my list is Grishko, a popular brand for pointe shoes. Their ballet shoes are also handcrafted using natural materials. These shoes are made with the finest satin and cotton. Satin provides beauty to their Pointe shoes, while cotton drawstrings are used to protect your feet from tendonitis.

In my opinion, Grishko Pointe shoes are excellent to give you balance on and off Pointe as their platforms and soles are stable and flat. Besides Capezio, Grishko is my other favorite brand for square and wide feet with shorter toes. They are also recommended for those of you who have a longer second toe than the first.

Grishko Pointe shoes have hard shank strength to provide you flexibility and support. They come in with a wide square box and can be broken in fairly easily.

Some of the key features of Grishko Pointe shoes are:

  • Amazing quality 
  • Low profile
  • Excellent finish to the fabric
  • Durable
  • Average vamp
  • Available in several sizes

What to Do When Getting Fit For Pointe Shoes

Getting Fit For Pointe Shoes

You need to consider several things when fitting the first pair of your Pointe shoes. Therefore, I suggest an appointment with the podiatrist before beginning Pointe work.

The podiatrist may guide you on trimming your toenails accurately because long toenails will be tough to manage in pointe shoes. You may need assistance to treat bleb, slight and hard corns, impacted toenails, and remove peeling skin.

Wrongly sized pointe shoes may cause rankles, corns, aching feet, and wounds. 

In my opinion, Demi-Pointe shoes should be used as groundwork for Pointe work. They are considered transitional shoes from flat pumps to Pointe shoes. They have a full leather outsole, making them more resistant than flats. 

As the footwork becomes more challenging due to more resistance, the feet are getting prepared for pointe work. Hence, I strongly suggest demi-pointe shoes because they will make the transition to pointe work relatively easy.

I think pointe work’s development process needs to be gradual because it will harden your toes and toughen your feet and ankles.

Over time, you will recognize the points of friction between your pointe shoes and toes. You may try different types of padding until you discover the most suitable setting for you.

You may also need to make changes to your padding if you have shorter toes because it is challenging to find pointe shoes for shorter toes. The padding will ensure that your toes have the necessary support. 

I found it easy to recognize square feet because, in that scenario, the length of all toes is equal. If your feet are square and wide, you will be required to have a square box and a high crown.

In case you have peasant feet, which means the first two toes are equal to the big toe, and afterward, they taper off. I will recommend a rounded rectangular box with a high wing in that case.

In case you have tapered feet, which means the big toe is larger and the size of the other toes gradually decreases. In that case, a triangular tapered box will be appropriate for you. A high wing and solid shank would be helpful if you have bunions.

What to Do After Buying Pointe Shoes

After Buying Pointe Shoes

Now that you have got your hands on your first pair of Pointe shoes, it’s time to prepare them to wear.

Here is a list of things you should do after buying Pointe shoes:

  1. Things You Need

This is a time-consuming process, so make sure you have gathered everything you need, such as:

  • Pointe shoes 
  • Ribbon
  • Elastic
  • Lighter
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pen or marker
  • Scissors 

  1.  Ribbon Cutting 

You are most probably provided with a long ribbon along with your Pointe shoes; fold that ribbon in half and cut it. So you will get two ribbons for your pair of Pointe shoes. Again, fold each ribbon in half and cut them. Now you will have 4 ribbons of equal length, two for each. Then, slightly burn one end of all four ribbons with a lighter’s help; this will avoid the fraying of the ribbons. I would suggest following this step carefully to look professional.

  1. Measuring For Ribbons 

Now, you will need to measure out where to sew the ribbons on your pointe shoes. Make sure to correctly wrap up your ankles with ribbons to get maximum support. To accomplish this, make an arch with your foot, take a pen, and mark the spot on your foot where the arch forms. Now, put your shoe on, mark the shoe inside at the spot where your foot is marked, and sew the ribbon at that spot.

  1. Sewing Ribbons 

You may begin with sewing your shoe once it is marked on the inside. The shoe’s shiny side must be facing outward, and fold the unburned end of the ribbon twice. The folded part should be less than three-quarters of an inch. Attach the folded piece over the mark in the shoe. With the help of the needle and thread, start sewing the ribbon carefully into place.

  1. Sewing Elastic 

Elastic bands go behind the ribbon. Flatten the backside of your shoe and measure two fingers width from the backside. Mark a spot where your finger is inside the shoe, put your shoe on, and wrap the elastic so that it comfortably fits on the top of your foot. Now, make a spot on the elastic of how long you need. Start sewing the elastic at that spot.

  1. Break In The Arch

Now that you are done with all sewing, it’s time to break in your shoes. There are several ways to do it, but I would suggest doing it in two steps.

First, you may want to break in the toe box by standing on it with your heel so it flexes and is not so rigid. Then, start bending your shoe by pushing it with your hands where the arch of your foot normally is. You can use a lot of force, but don’t break the shank. Bending it so it will create the natural curve of your foot, which can help with your dancing.

  1. Break In The Shoe  

I would advise you to practice slowly going on pointe to bend the new shoe a little more. You may find it tedious but it will help you break in the shoe.

How Do I Take Care Of My Pointe Shoes?

So if you have purchased a new pair of Pointe shoes or you already have them, your shoes will need some care from you. Taking care of your Pointe shoes will make them last longer. So here are a few tips for you can follow:

  1. Dirty Pointe Shoes 

If the satin of your Pointe shoes is becoming tatty or dirty, pick a small nail brush and use it to brush away the dirt. If the spots are persistent, I would recommend using a small amount of baking soda and water to help. Rub it on stained areas with a cloth. Let it sit if needed. Then wipe off with a wet cloth.  

Another good idea is to wash your pointe shoes. You can remove old ribbons and elastic, wash your shoes and re-stitch them, or wash them with ribbons and elastic ones but with proper care.

I usually prefer using a small pair of manicure scissors for neatening the platforms of pointe shoes.

  1. To Make Pointe Shoes Last Longer

There are a few ways to make your Pointe shoes last longer.

One way is to have a few pairs so that you can rotate them; I know it’s not so practical for students. But rotation among multiple pairs of shoes allows each shoe to dry out completely in between.

Don’t worry if you have a single pair of Pointe shoes; there are still other ways. Make sure to remove the padding from the inside of the box to allow airflow and hang them through the ribbons to dry out completely.

This is much needed because the shoe box absorbs a lot of moisture from your feet during the course of class. If this moisture is allowed to remain in, it will soften the paste.

You can also try to stuff the box with tissue or absorbent paper to draw the moisture and keep the box’s shape.

I also recommend using jet glue or shellac to use on the inside of the box and platform to prolong your Pointe shoes’ life a little more.

  1. To Stop Ribbons From Fraying

As I have mentioned earlier, to stop your ribbons from fraying, all you need is a lighter. Slightly heat the ribbon’s ends; this heat will gently melt the ends, and they won’t fray ever. You can also try cutting the ribbons’ ends in a sharp diagonal, which may stop them from fraying.

So this concludes all the details and information you might need for your pointe shoes. I hope this article helped you in some way.



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