Q: How much are Pointe Shoes?
A: It depends, pointe shoes vary in brand and style and thus are different prices. They will range between $90-$120. This is just the price range for the shoes. For your first pair you may need spacers and will need some padding. We tell customers to prepare for between $120-$150 for the total cost of your first visit.
Q: How long will the fitting take?
A: This all depends on the dancer. We schedule our fittings in 30min time slots. For beginners this is all new so we take plenty of time to explain the process. Some dancers find what they need faster and others need a little more time to choose. We never want a dancer to feel pressured in picking a shoe, so we will take the time they need. Most beginners don’t take longer than 30min.
Q: Do we need to make an appointment?
A: Yes, Please contact us to make an appointment to ensure a fitter is available and to cut down on wait times.
Q: Will we get the shoes that same day?
A: Yes! We do our best to have sizes and styles in stock. There are always exceptions and sometimes during busy times we do sell out of sizes. If we are out of your size we will order it in for you if it is not already on order.
Q: What should I bring to my first fitting?
A: Check out our post “What to know for your first fitting”. Once the teacher gives you the go ahead we ask that you bring a camera and a smile. Make sure to have your toenails trimmed.
Q: Do the shoes come right and left?
A: No. They are both made on the same last so they can start out on either foot. We will mark them that right and left because they will mold to the foot as the body warms up the glue.
Q: What determines what shoe you get?
A:Your alignment, strength, sensitivity, and flexibility are all factors. We will match the shoe with what you need.
Q: What age do you start on pointe?
A: We like to start between the ages of 10 and 12. This is after taking a pre-pointe class and getting the teachers approval to start.
Q: Do people stay in the same pointe shoes?
A: Generally no. The first year of class is full of a lot of releves. You will be fit in a pair of shoes meant to do a releves. As the dancer progresses and is away from the bar it is normal to want a stronger more supportive shoe. The goal is to match the shoe with the level of the dancer.
Q: How do you suggest to break in new shoes?
A: Not with your hands. The first pair the teacher will show you how to put them on, tie them, and how to properly break them in. After the pointe shoes are sewn we recommend that the shoes be worn at home. Take time and warm up the glue by doing releves. This will break the shoes in to your arch.
"Help, my pointe Shoes are giving me blisters!"
Q: Hi Mark, I just got a new pair of pointe shoes that I ordered online. They are really hurting my feet. I have never had blisters before but these new shoes are giving me blister on the sides of my toes. Please help!
Unfortunately, it sounds as if the shoes are either to narrow or to tapered for your feet. If it is not an issue of a pad sliding on you causing the exposed skin to blister you will need to try something to cover the affected area like blister dots.The body will tell you when something is not working. I would suggest you go somewhere and be properly fit. It is worth it in the long run. Unfortunately you can not make a bad fit feel good.
"My shoes are too small, can I stretch them out?"
Q: Hi Mark! My pointe shoes are getting to small. I am only a couple month away from recital, and don’t want to buy pointe shoes if I don’t have too. Is it possible to stretch out my pointe shoes so they will fit my feet?
A: Hi Tricia,
Not effectively. You have put so much time and energy into getting ready for the recital that I would like you to look and feel your best. The shorter shoes will curl your toes causing pain and poor alignment. Neither will look good on stage. If the shoes are not dead try loosening the draw strings. If that does not work get new ones with plenty of time to break them in. Your recital video will look better.
For many dancers, your pointe shoes are the most expensive items in your dance bag. It is important you know how to take care of your pointe shoes to make them last the longest.
Make sure you're allowing air to get to your pointe shoes! Pointe shoes are made of glue and fabric, like paper mache, if they stay damp from your sweaty feet they will not last as long. If you don’t have one already, make sure you have a mesh bag for your pointe shoes, see some options here.
Q: I have seen professional breaking in their pointe shoe YouTube... do I need to do that?
A: No! Everyone has a different method for breaking in their pointe shoes. Many professional dancers only wear their shoes for one performance. If you want your shoes to last you longer than one practice, don’t cut your shoes, put water on them, or do other things to “soften” shoes. If you are have issues with your shoes please contact us.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER! Slam your pointe shoes in doors, smash them on the floor, or pour water on them. This will damage the integrity of the shoe. If you are having to do this to your shoes they may not have been fit properly. Doing these things to your shoes will shorten their life span and certainly have you back in the store buying new.
Break them in by wearing them and warming up the glue by doing releves at home so the shoe will mold to your arch and not your hand.
Before you can start sewing your pointe shoes you have to mark where the ribbons and elastic will be placed. If you were fitted at Mark’s Dancewear the fitter should have marked your shoes for you. This is a guide of tips and technique that we have gathered from professional dancers.
The ribbon should aid you in your performance, not hinder. In order to have the most comfortable placement of your ribbon, place your foot in your pointe shoe and slide the ribbon in the shoe under the highest part of the arch. Once you find the center of your arch mark each side of the ribbon.
To mark the elastic, find the center seam of the back of the pointe shoe. Measure about an inch from that point on both sides and draw an “L” on an angle pointing towards the front of the shoe. Sew a 1" square again just below the drawstring. Once one side is sewn put your foot in the shoe and stretch the elastic over the ankle until snug. Mark the length and sew the other side. You should only be able to slip one finger under the elastic when done.
This is a quick guide to marking your pointe shoes. If you would like to know how to sew your pointe shoes click over to our post “BEGINNERS GUIDE TO SEWING POINTE SHOES”.
So, you just got your first pair of pointe shoes and you want to know how to sew them! Proper sewing of the ribbon and elastic can have an impact on how your shoes feel while they are on. Ribbon and elastic can help keep stubborn heels from falling off and keep satin sides pulled snug on the foot.
These steps and techniques have been gathered from professional dancers and teachers. Please note that not everyone will sew their shoes the same, but we have found these to be the best way to sew.
These steps are based off of marking marked during a Mark's Dancewear Pointe Shoe Fitting. If you want to learn how to mark your shoes yourself see our post "Marking your Pointe Shoes".
Take a long piece of ribbon and cut into two pieces (or four if you want more length to your ribbon). Singe the edges with a lighter to prevent any fraying. You don’t want to get to class and only have an inch of ribbon left because you forgot to singe the ends and the ribbon unraveled.
Place ribbon evenly in between the two lines. Make sure the matte sides are facing up and the shiny sides are facing the audience. Sew a one-inch box below the pointe shoe drawstring seam. (if you sew the draw string it won’t be able to pull tight).
Get one piece of elastic and cut it in two. Place one end in the outline on the heel. Sew a one-inch box below the seam of the drawstring.
Place your foot in the shoe. While flat on the floor, pull the non-sewn side of the elastic across the foot until it is tight enough. You should only be able to get about one finger underneath the elastic. Mark the elastic where it contacts the shoe, cut an inch below the mark and place it in the outline. Sew an inch box below the seam.
Step back and appreciate all your hard work :)
It might seem like sewing your point shoes is an impossible task, but with a little practice you will become a pro in no time. If you have any questions please contact us.
Click here for a printout of our tried and true pointe shoe sewing instructions.