How to Break in Your Pointe Shoes

When You Get Your Shoes

It’s soooo important each time you get fitted for a new pair of pointe shoes you will need to break them in. But before you break them in or sew your ribbons on, make sure you’re dance teacher is happy with your shoes. If your teacher has a fitter they recommend this may not be necessary but it is best to ask first.

Pointe Shoes

How to Break in Your Pointe Shoes

There are several ways to break in pointe shoes, some people just keep working them with their feet and hands, while some people bang them on the floor and shut them in doors to break them in. However, many pointe shoe makers advise against hammering shoes and shutting them in doors as this can damage the shoe.

Softening the Shank

  • Place any padding on your foot before putting the shoe on
  • Fold the back of your shoe down and place the shoe on your foot, keeping the back folded downFold back heel
  • Mark with your fingers where your heel ends, keeping your fingers in place remove the shoeWhere the heel ends
  • Carefully massage and push the shoe from where your fingers are. You may hear some cracking noises but this is normalBreak in pointe shoe
  • Keep gently pushing and massaging the shoe until it loosens

(apologies for the terrible nail varnish, forgot to take it off)


Breaking in Pointe Shoes at the Barre

This exercise really helps work your feet in your pointe shoes which will help break them in. It’s also a brilliant warm up exercise before pointe work.

  • Start facing the barre with your feet in parallel
  • Rise up onto demi pointe, trying and rise up as high as you can before you start to go up onto pointe
  • Rise up onto pointe
  • Bend both knees pushing right up and over the box
  • Stretch your knees and recover back to pointe
  • lower your feet making sure you go through the demi pointe position
  • repeat this several times before repeating in 1st position

Eventually the demi pointe position will become easier to go through as the shoe becomes broken in.