Breaking in Pointe Shoes and Sewing on Ribbons

This video is brought to you by Malabar Limited, your source for dance shoes, dancewear and accessories. Visit us online at malabar.net. Now that you’ve got a new pair of Pointe shoes, it’s time to break them in and sew on the ribbons and elastics. Breaking in your shoes: When you get your new shoes, try each one on both feet and decide which way feels most comfortable. You’ll want to wear them around the house a little bit at first, just to warm them up and get them ready to break in. On a new shoe, the shank will pull away from the arch and heel of the foot, giving little support. You can roll the heel of the shank on the floor so that some of the paste breaks away and allows the shank to form to the heel, ideally creating a kind of shelf for the heel. Don’t worry about that crackling sound you hear — that’s the paste breaking, not your shoe! This method was developed by Australian dance physiotherapist, Lisa Howell. It’s also important to soft the Demi Pointe position a bit before you wear your shoes to class. Sewing on your ribbons: Cut both ribbons in half so you end up with four of equal length. Use a lighter to carefully melt the ends of the ribbons to prevent them from fraying. If you’re a kid, you want to ask an adult to do this part for you. The placement of the ribbon on the shoe is really a matter of personal preference, but a good place to start is to fold the heel
of the shoe down and use that fold as your starting point. Position the ribbon about inch down into the heel, to help support the foot, and angle it slightly forward. Sew all around the edge of the ribbon. You only want to sew through the outer cotton lining of the shoe and not into the satin. Also, be careful not to sew through the drawstring casing around the edge of the shoe. Once both ribbons are attached, put on the shoe and wrap the ribbon on the inside of your foot around your ankle one and half times, stopping just to the back of the ankle bone. The wrap the ribbon on the outside of your foot around the ankle once and tie a knot just behind the ankle bone. Trim your ribbon about an inch and a half away from the knot. You’ll want to use the lighter again to melt the new edges. Don’t worry that the ribbons aren’t the
same length anymore — they are how they’re supposed to be. Sewing on your elastics: The elastics should be sewn to the back on the shoe, right against the sides of the back vertical seam. It’s up to you with you want to sew the elastics on the inside or the outside of your shoe – inside looks a little prettier, but some people find they rub up against the back of the heel and can cause bursitis. Once you sew one side of the elastic, it’s a good idea to try on the shoe and wrap the elastic around your ankle so you know how big the finished loop should be. You want it to be firm, but not so firm it digs into
the skin. There, now ready for your next dance class! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and look forward to seeing you at your next Pointe shoe fitting.