It is our goal at Allegro to help dancers get the most out of their shoes, while keeping them safe at the same time. We understand that all dancers want more time in their shoes, however, there are many considerations when looking to get longevity from a pointe shoe, while still maintaining proper support.
When it comes to proper support, never underestimate the power of using the appropriate tools and sewing techniques for attaching ribbons and elastics. Allegro offers many sewing kits including: the Suffolk Sewing Tube
, the Stitch Kit
, and the Stitch Kit Pro
, each offering durable thread, proper sized needles, and other sewing supplies to ensure you're using only the best when sewing pointe shoes. If you're uncertain about proper sewing placement, you can watch our Standard Sewing Tutorial Video
to learn more!
How long your pointe shoes last will depend upon your foot strength, mobility, and shoe care. Stronger and/or flexible feet and more mobile ankles will breakdown shoes quicker. This is especially true earlier on in training when dancers are still learning how to harness that flexibility and use the right amount of their strength in the appropriate times in their training. Proper training, as well as equal work on strength and flexibility, will ensure that the dancer is getting the most out of their shoe.
To best understand what kind of support you need from a pointe shoe, we recommend scheduling a fitting with one of Allegro's professional pointe shoe fitters.
In general, pointe shoes are designed to last 14-16 hours of wear time. This is important to know! If a dancer has class one hour a week, it is possible for the shoes to last 15 weeks. However, if a dancer is dancing one hour of pointe work per day for five days a week, their shoes may only last three weeks. Sometimes, even though a dancer may think they should be getting more time out of their shoes, they do not understand the intended lifespan might make that impossible.
As pointe shoes "die," the glue becomes soft and no longer properly supports the foot. For the health and safety of the dancer, as well as the longevity of their dance career, it is imperative to pay attention to the softness of the whole box, including the platform, vamp, and wings. Because the shoe should support the bones of the foot like a cast, this softening means that the foot is not held in proper placement.
After wearing, always air out your pointe shoes. This helps the glue dry and re-harden to ensure continued support. Using a mesh bag
will ensure your shoes get ventilation. We recommend either tying this bag to the outside of the dancer's bag, or removing the mesh bag from the dancer's bag after each class. Allegro also offers amazing pointe shoe dryers
that can be inserted into the box of the pointe shoe to help hold shape and remove moisture.
Along with drying out pointe shoes, always be sure to remove any accessories used while wearing. Storing toe pads or used lambswool inside of the shoe locks in moisture and does not allow for dry time. This will drastically reduce the lifespan of the shoe and will affect the support the shoe can offer almost immediately.
In addition to drying out shoes and removing accessories, Allegro recommends that dancers who are wearing their shoes for multiple days in a row have at least two pairs to alternate between wearing. This allows each pair of shoes an adequate amount of dry time and will significantly improve the lifespan of each shoe. Although there is a higher upfront cost to this solution, the dancer will receive longer wear time in each shoe with the most support possible. Allegro offers a bulk promotion for any dancer purchasing 5 or more pairs of pointe shoes. Use this link to receive 20% off your purchase of 5+ pairs of pointe shoes!
There are other tips and tricks to help extend the life of your shoes. Three-quarter shanking and shank reinforcement are effective techniques for certain kinds of feet, while glueing shoes is a great option for almost any dancer. Learn more about manually manipulating your shoes here.
As always, Allegro loves being a resource to dancers, parents/caregivers, teachers and other dance professionals working with pointe dancers. Any specific questions regarding pointe shoe support or longevity may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to check out our other blog posts
for more information!