How to know when you need a new pair of pointe shoes
3 signs you have outgrown your pointe shoes
As you grow, your feet and their needs, change. It’s important to get professionally re-fitted throughout your pointe shoe journey to ensure you continue to wear a style that supports and facilitates the development of your strength and technique. Here are three signs to look out for that you’ve outgrown your pointe shoes.
1. Your toes are curled
If, when standing flat in your pointe shoes, you cannot straighten your toes and feet, this is a sign your shoes should be replaced.
2. The heel digs in
A digging, uncomfortable heel is a sign you’ve outgrown your pointe shoe. If you notice the heel or binding of the shoe applying pressure to your heel, the shoe is now too short for your foot.
3. The heel is slipping off
If you’ve outgrown your pointe shoes, you may begin to feel the heel slipping. As your foot grows, the heel of your shoe will sit lower, causing it to slip off easily.
3 signs of worn out pointe shoes
Every pair of pointe shoes is hand crafted using the traditional method with natural materials, and are intentionally designed to break down as you wear them. While there are steps you can take to Care For and Maintain Your Pointe Shoes, there comes a time when the shoes become unsafe to wear and you’ll need to buy a new pair. Look out for these three signs of dead pointe shoes to know when your pointe shoes are worn out – or "dead", as it's also known.
1. You can feel the floor
When your pointe shoe is worn out, the platform loses its integrity and you’ll be able to feel the floor through the shoe more intensely. This can cause bruised toenails and joint pain due to the shock absorption being reduced.
2. The shank is no longer supporting your foot
A broken shank in pointe shoes is a clear sign the shoe is ‘dead’. When en pointe, if your shank is too soft, or broken, it’s time to replace your pointe shoes. This can cause stress on the ligaments and tendons of your feet and lower legs as the instep and arch are no longer supported.
3. The box and wings no longer lift you
When the box becomes too soft, you may notice your feet sinking further into the shoe when en pointe. This means the pointe shoe is dead, as the box and wings have lost their support. This will affect the alignment of your foot and ankle causing stress in the intrinsic muscles of the foot and inhibiting your ability to control the shoe.
How often should pointe shoes be replaced?
Pointe shoes tend to have a certain number of hours wear to them, so how often they need to be replaced depends a lot on individual use. Factors such as climate, environment, skill level, intensity and maintenance can all affect how long pointe shoes last before they’re ‘dead. So, if you’re dancing regularly, they’ll need replacing more often. 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.
Generally speaking, the best way to know how often to replace pointe shoes is with the guidance above. If they’re feeling too small or worn out, it’s time for a new pair!
When to get new pointe shoes
If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, that means you’ve either outgrown or worn out your pointe shoes and should replace them. Getting fitted professionally is the best way to make sure your pointe shoes fit correctly and are safe and comfortable for use. Once you’ve been fitted, you can explore a great collection of pointe shoes at BLOCH, with styles to suit all levels.
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