Pointe shoe myths & facts

Every dancers experience with pointe shoes is completely unique, a style or strength may work for one dancer however this does not mean it will work for another. 

The individuality of a dancers pointe shoes can cause some confusion between what is a pointe shoe myth and what is a pointe shoe fact… 

Pointe Shoe Myths

There’s only one style of pointe shoe.

Pointe shoes are made of wood.

Anna Pavlova was the first ballerina to dance on pointe.

Pointe shoes are excruciatingly painful.

Feet and toes are always damaged.

Men don’t do pointe work.

Dancers with strong feet need strong / hard shoes.

Pointe Shoe Facts

Pointe shoes are made up of densely packed layers of paper and fabric hardened by paste, to form the block or box of the shoe. Other materials used include satin, suede leather. Gaynor Minden Mindens are different in make to the traditional pointe shoes and use thermoplastic. 

If fitted correctly, pain should be minimal (well most of the time..)

A large percent of pointe shoes brands are made by hand.

The price of a pair of pointe shoes ranges from $112 to $210.

There is no right or left shoe in a new pair of pointe shoes. The left and right sides are molded with wear, although some dancers prefer to alternate their shoes on both feet. However Gaynor Minden pointe shoes do have a recommended right and left shoe.

Ribbons and elastics never come pre-sewn. 

Pointe Shoe FAQ's

How long should I expect my pointe shoes to last?

The dancers’ experience and skill really determines the lifespan of a pair of pointe shoes. A student’s first pair of shoes can last them anywhere between 3 and 9 months, while a full time or professional dancers shoes will last far less time. A Professional Ballerina can go through 100 and 120 pairs of shoes in a year.  Some pointe shoes will only last a single performance, where a ballerina is dancing a principal role. The type of choreography and climate also have a huge part in the lifespan of a pair of pointe shoes.

Why can’t you buy pointe shoes with a little extra ‘growing’ room?

A pointe shoe with growing room will not support the foot while ‘en pointe’. The foot must be encased in the shoe so there is no room for any kind of movement. Movement in the shoe can cause friction, resulting in pain and often blisters.

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