How Long Do Pointe Shoes Last?
As the world’s leading provider of technical dance footwear and apparel, BLOCH understands that knowing how long pointe shoes last is crucial information for any dancer. By being aware of the causes and signs of pointe shoe deterioration, you’ll be able to determine when it’s time to replace a pair that is no longer safe to dance in.
Pointe shoes tend to have a certain number of hours of wear to them, so how often they need to be replaced largely depends on individual use. So, if you’re dancing regularly, they’ll need replacing more often.
However, additional factors such as climate, age, skill level, intensity, and maintenance can also affect how long pointe shoes last, so it’s essential for dancers to consider all of these factors.
From signs that it’s time to replace your pointe shoes to expert advice on extending the life of a pair, here’s our guide to how long pointe shoes last.
How long do pointe shoes last for beginners?
Because the lifespan of a pointe shoe is primarily dependent on the number of hours they are worn, pointe shoes generally last longer for beginner dancers when compared to professional dancers. For example, a beginner dancer who attends a couple of lessons a week will not need to replace their pointe shoes as often as a professional student dancer who attends classes daily.
Generally speaking, beginners’ pointe shoes can last anywhere from four months to one year.
Younger dancers who are still growing may also need to replace pointe shoes more regularly, as they’re more likely to outgrow their current pair. Some signs that you’ve outgrown your pointe shoes include curled toes, a digging, uncomfortable heel, or if the heel is slipping.
It’s important to get a professional pointe shoe fitting throughout your or your child’s pointe shoe journey to ensure the shoes properly fit and support the development of strength and technique.
How long do pointe shoes last for professionals?
As previously stated, the lifespan of a professional dancer’s pointe shoes depends on the time they spend dancing and the level of dance intensity. The question is really more about how many hours a pointe shoe lasts. For example, a student in full-time training can require two to three pairs of pointe shoes per term, while it’s possible for the pointe shoes of a professional dancer to only last a few performances!
Common signs of worn-out pointe shoes—or “dead” pointe shoes—include the ability to feel the floor, a soft or broken shank, and if the box and wings have lost their support, causing your feet to sink further into the shoe when en pointe.
Why do pointe shoes not last long?
Pointe shoes, which are made from natural materials, are intentionally designed to break down as dancers wear them. While there are steps you can take to maintain your pointe shoes, there comes a time when the shoes become unsafe to wear, and you’ll need to buy a new pair.
If you suspect that your pointe shoes are not lasting as long as they should, consider if common pointe shoe enemies are impacting the lifespan of your shoes.
Humidity, dampness, and moisture—whether from the air or your foot sweating—break down pointe shoes and decrease a pointe shoe’s lifespan.
To prevent moisture inside your pointe shoes, you should always remove any protection or padding from inside the pointe shoes immediately after wear. Store your shoes in a breathable mesh pointe shoe bag to dry out properly when travelling to and from classes, and use odour eliminator products to absorb moisture inside the shoe. At home, lay the shoes out on a flat surface (in a room with low humidity) to allow them to dry completely.
Using calamine lotion to take the sheen from satin can also cause the block/box to collapse prematurely due to the lotion’s moisture.
For more information on maintaining your pointe shoes and increasing their lifespan, visit our guide on How to Care for Pointe Shoes.
Find pointe shoes that last a long time
Pointe shoes are a dancer's tool, so choosing high-quality, premium pair of pointe shoes with exceptional construction is essential if you want your shoes to last as long as possible safely.
As the innovation leader in dance shoes for nearly a century, BLOCH pointe shoes can be found on the feet of professionals in the industry across the globe.
For a pointe shoe with premium materials and hand-made, artisanal construction— choose BLOCH. Visit our complete pointe shoe collection, where we offer pointe shoes in a range of styles to suit all levels, from beginner pointe shoes to professional pointe shoes, so that you can feel comfortable and confident in the studio.