Dancers are always trying to extend the life of their pointe shoes. It’s especially important for students who are buying their own shoes to get the most out of them, because we all know they aren’t cheap! There are several things you can do to extend the life of your pointe shoes. I would say the ideal way to go if you can afford it, would be to always have at least two pair on hand that you can switch between. The longer your shoes can rest between wearings the better they are able to air out and harden back up.
Another important thing to do is to keep them in a net bag or something where air can get to the shoes, rather than dumping them into your dance bag with sweaty ballet slippers and leotards. These bags are available at dancewear stores and online. The Ballet Boutique sells them online here. If you can wear tights I think that helps, too, although I remember liking to sometimes dance in my pointe shoes with bare feet—but if you’re trying to make them last longer that probably isn’t the smartest thing to do.
We always cut the satin off the tips of our shoes before wearing them as well. The satin tends to rip up anyway. I’m not sure it’s a good practice, but we also used shellac or floor cleaner like Mop & Glo floor cleaner and put a capful into the box of the shoe. Set them up on the toes to dry overnight, first getting any excess out of the tip of the shoe with a paper towel.
Some of my friends used to put their shoes in the oven, but I never did this and am not sure how it made them last any longer. Any other dancers have tips on extending the life of pointe shoes to share? Please leave a comment!