Properly Breaking In Your New Pointe Shoes: Tips and Techniques

Properly Breaking In Your New Pointe Shoes: Tips and Techniques

So, you've got a fresh pair of pointe shoes, and the excitement to wear them is palpable. However, it's crucial to resist the urge to hastily break them in. This is especially true if these are your first pair of pointe shoes. Here's what you should do and what you should avoid:

What Not to Do:

  • Don't Rush It: Avoid following extreme techniques you may have seen professionals use, such as slamming shoes against a wall, crushing the block in a door, or bending the arch in half. 😉 These methods are employed by dancers who need their shoes to last only for a single performance and can significantly shorten the life of your shoes while potentially causing injuries.


Proper Techniques for Breaking In Pointe Shoes:

  • Label Your Shoes: New pointe shoes are initially symmetrical and not shaped for a specific foot. After your first class, label them as right and left and consistently wear them on the same feet. Over time, they will gradually mold to your feet's unique shape. Grishko pointe shoes do not need to be hammered, slammed in doors or any other extreme methods of ‘breaking-in’. These methods will only damage your shoes. 
  • Arch "Break" Identification: Determine where your natural arch "breaks" within the shoe by doing tendus to the side while leaning into the foot en pointe. After repeating this several times, gently bend the shoe along the shape your arch has formed using your hands. Repeat for both sides.
  • Softening the Block: Soften the shoe's block by doing rises through the foot onto demi-pointe and progressing to full pointe while holding onto the barre. Repeat this exercise multiple times.
  • Natural Molding: Understand that the heat and perspiration generated during your dance practices will continue to mold the shoe to your feet over time.  Grishko shoes are made with special materials that will react to the heat and moisture of your feet and quickly form to them.
  • Pressure Relief: If you feel pressure from a specific part of the block, you can apply small amounts of water or rubbing alcohol to that area to help soften it. Find out more about foot care tips here. 


A Friendly Reminder: Before showcasing your new pointe shoes to friends and family, it's essential not to wear them before your dance teacher has had a chance to assess them. If any concerns arise during this evaluation, the shoes can only be returned in "mint" condition. This means no scuffs, marks inside or outside the shoe, no attempts to "break them in," and no sewing of ribbons and elastic. Your teacher's guidance ensures a safe and comfortable dance experience.😘

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