Nothing made me more excited than getting a fresh new pair of pointe shoes. They were so new, clean and shiny I just couldn’t wait to wear them in class. But after I started dancing in those new pointe shoes for the first time….I loved them a little less. When you wear new pointe shoes for the first time, you can count on getting so many blisters and will have to take them off before the class ends.
The first time I got my pointe shoes, I was so excited to start using them. So, I wanted to break them in fast. Because I had never done this before, I watched several youtube videos before bringing them to class for the first time. This way, my shoes would already feel less stiff when I put them on for class.
The video below was the one that I found to be most helpful.
Over the years I have picked up quite a few of my own tips and tricks from my teachers and peers on how to break in pointe shoes. So, I will share them with you and hopefully they are helpful.
Tip 1: Get new pointe shoes
You cannot break in new pointe shoes without buying them first! these are a pair of Russians that I got early on in my dance career. Russians are some of the hardest pointe shoes you can buy so they really need to be broken in well.
Tip 2: Start to bend them by hand
Before you put them on your feet, try to loosen them up by bending the shank a bit. The shank is the hard, long piece in the inside that is used to stiffen the sole of the shoe. Be careful though, do not bend them too much or they will break. Also, make sure you bend them in the correct location of where your arch is in the shoe.
Tip 3: Start to wear them down
After you have loosened them up a bit by hand, you need to put them on so they can start to mold to your foot. Once you are properly wearing them, start to go through some basic warmup comninations.
These combinations consist of: several reps of releve in each position, same thing but add in in plies, rolling over your boxes, and walking on demi-pointe.
My final tip is to ask a teacher or watch some youtube videos on how to break in pointe shoes. Everyone has their own tricks to breaking in their shoes you just have to find what works for you.