Because they fit so precisely, pointe shoes must be replaced more frequently than street shoes.
A new pair is needed when:
- The feet grow so that the shoes are uncomfortably tight.
- The foot shape changes so that the dancer is no longer supported properly and comfortably.
- Technical development changes the dancer’s needs in the shape or shank strength of the shoes.
- The shoes begin to lose their supportive qualities.
Importance of replacing shoes
The feet and other parts of the body can be damaged when a dancer wears shoes that are too tight, no longer match the shape of her feet, or no longer provide proper support. Signs of worn-out shoes include lack of support in the toe box or platform and over-flexing in the shank.
Looks aren’t everything
Be aware that appearances can be deceiving; a shoe might look almost new but be structurally worn out, or appear dirty and worn but still be fully functional. The teacher or fitter can help determine if they are still wearable.
How often do I need new shoes?
With only a short time on pointe each week, many beginners can wear a pair of shoes until they are outgrown, and they may need only a pair or two in the first year. At the opposite extreme, many professionals wear each pair only once! Pre-professional students typically need one or two pairs per month, so parents of serious dancers should be prepared for frequent replacement.