Jump to content

Pointe shoes what do I need to know?


Lemongirl
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have bought a first pair of pointe shoes for my very excited dd. They were properly fitted in the shop and checked by the teacher and they're fine.

 

I've yet to sew on the ribbons, I think someone showed a link to a video how to do this a while ago?

 

We were told to ask for suede toe caps to be glued on and I bought these, however now her teacher says she doesn't need them even though everyone else seems to have them. I'm a bit confused!

 

Also I've seen some pointe shoes that elastics on as well as ribbons. Is there only certain makes and is the elastic of use?

 

I also got her gel pads for her toes.

 

Is there anything else I need to know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats on your dd's first pointe shoes, how lovely. :-)

 

In no particular order:

 

Get your dd to wear her shoes around the house with one thick or two thin pairs of socks over the top. The socks will help keep the shoes clean and wearing them just to walk around the house in will soften the shoes ad help start the breaking in process.

 

BUT: be careful going up and down stairs; you don't want her to trip or slip in them and injure herself.

 

ALSO: it will be horribly tempting for her to go up on pointe in them; you will have to guard against this on pain of death!!!

 

Depending on the make and model of shoe, the break in process can be very different. Check with your dd's teacher what, if anything, you should do to break the shoes in.

 

We were always advised against elastic, despite the fact that to start off with, the shoe may slip down off the heel when rising. If the ribbons are sewn on correctly and at the right angle, once the shoe is broken in you will probably find that you don't need elastic.

 

We do use suede pads as they are less slippery en pointe than bare satin. The best anti-slip deterrent is darning, but to be honest your dd will probably outgrow this first pair of shoes way before she's doing pointe on one foot on in centre. From a personal point of view, I don't think it's worth the time and effort of darning the first few pairs of pointes. Suede pads work fine to start with but make sure you stick them on with fabric glue.

 

I can't think of anything else at the moment except prepare for your dd's feet to change as she progresses en pointe - you may have to change to a different model and even a different manufacturer.

 

But most importantly, if you think your dd may be tempted to go up en pointe supervised, keep an eye on her and keep hold of the shoes when she's not wearing them!

 

Oh, and keep this precious first pair once she outgrows them. :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re elastics - quite a few of the professionals use elastic as a back-up in case the ribbon breaks during a performance. It shouldn't really be necessary when you are starting out.

 

Ribbons - you sew them in much the same place as the elastics normally go. There are several quite good videos on youtube, and it's a good idea to pin or tack the ribbons on first, to check that they are in the right place. We use clear nail varnish to stop the ends of the ribbons fraying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must admit I do not like the stick on suede things they can become unstuck and cause problems ,I usually ask the children to darn their shoes,its a bit of a right of passage lol , If you use a lighter and run it over the end of the ribbons this makes them melt and stops them fraying also , Personally I would advise against the all gel toe pads as the feet sweat the moisture does not escape and toes become very soft (a bit like being in a bath for too long ) The one thing you don't want on pointe is very soft feet .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always darned my shoes and used to have get-togethers with my students to show them how - it was a lot of fun and gave us some out of the classroom time together.

 

We used elastics as needed.

 

Always used lamb's wool as it was a natural product and could be shaped by each dancer according to need.

 

The teacher shoudl guide you as to where to sew on the ribbons as this depends on each individual dancer's foot.

 

Then sew the ribbons VERY securely - its quite nasty when a ribbon suddenly let's loose. And don't sew into the draw string casing as that will keep the draw string from pulling up.

 

Never did the burning trick on the ribbons - I just cut them on the slant and that worked for me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are thinking of changing the padding inside the pointe shoes - gel pads / cotton wool / sheepskin or whatever, the best time to do this is in the shop when buying a new pair.

 

Depending on the padding you are going to use, you may need a different size/width of shoe.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, don't change the padding now as the shoes will have been fitted with that padding.

 

My dd hasn't found ouch pouches too sweaty as long as she dries them and the pointe shoes out afterwards. They are all kept in a mesh pointe shoe bag which helps.

 

She has now progressed to "Ouch Pouch Pro" which are only gel on top, but thin fabric underneath. They help her feel the floor better. :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd's feet have never grown very much and through lack of experience we made the dreadful mistake of not getting new pointe shoes when we should have done. Her first pair almost fell apart. Got quite a ticking off from the assistant in Bloch. Never done it since!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always used fray check on the ends of the ribbons (non slip from dance direct) which seemed to work well. I spent hours darning the ends but when my daughter took over the task, she used to cut the satin off the ends saying that it had the same effect!. I found the suede pads too fiddly and they never seemed to stay put but this was probably due to never mastering the art of attaching them properly.

Daughter always used the Ouch Pouch Pro pads but cut the underneath part off leaving just the gel pad covering her toes.

I used to machine wash the gel pads periodically and they lasted quite a few years.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't dare do the lighter trick with my ex DD's ribbons, but the principal's mother did and said she'd she'd be rich if she had a pound for every pair she'd done it to!

Maybe I'm a bit weird but I love burning the ends of pointe shoe ribbons! :-D

 

Hehe this is my daughters reward for sewing her own ribbons on - she loves it!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the smell! :-))

 

So do I - think it's the association with matches, candles and cake!

 

DD uses the suede patches - we stick them on with superglue - haven't had any come loose yet.

 

Millie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used a blow torch once, did the trick but frightened the life out of me (hubby did it). I now treat all ribbons like this for example on hand made on cards, hanging decorations on Christmas tree etc - as long as they are the same kind of material!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, very helpful advice. I am used to doing the ribbons with a flame as dd has a festival pair that need ribbons but everything else is new to me!

 

Not sure about the darning, I've never done it before. I haven't stuck the suede toe caps on just yet so will see what her teacher says at her lesson next week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you can get the Bloch pointe shoes which have an integral suede toecap in the UK, they are available in our local dance shop although I can't remember which Bloch model they are. Not sure if they have the gel inside the toe. DD wears Bloch Sonatas which have a small cushioned section inside the toes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At my dds dance school the older girls buy bloch pointes from Germany which have swade bits on the end already built in and on the inside there is also gel built in.Can you get them in the UK?

 

Yes they are bloch 'triomphe'. My dd started in these when she first went on pointe.

 

 

 

Edited to add: we brought these shoes from London Dancia but it was about 8 years ago.

Edited by spooky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...