This is going to be the short article I promised. Everyone will eventually have their own way of breaking in pointe shoes. However, here is a general tip.
When you have brand new pointe shoes you will have one of two problems: the shoe will not give enough so that you can get all the way up onto pointe, or if you have high arches, the mid-arch will take the pressure and break immediately in the place where you need it to be strong.
The way to create give in the shoe so that the mid-arch will not break, and so that the shoe will give enough to be worked in is this:
Put on one shoe, don't tie it – and go onto a pointe position, but without weight on the foot. Fold the satin fabric back at the heel, and see where the foot curves along your heel toward the mid-arch of the shoe. It will be about an inch (different for everyone) from the back of the sole, which will be a close-to-horizontal angle, to where the arch begins to angle down to a more upright position. Slide your finger into the heel area and measure the length of that almost-horizontal angle, and take hold of the sole of the shoe there. Pull your foot out.
Now work that inch or so length of the sole till it softens enough to bend, so that when your foot is in the shoe, it's like the heel has a little platform to bear your weight. Then the mid arch does NOT bear the weight, and quickly break. You have a curve in the shoe, so you can get up onto pointe. If you have very high arches, the curve you have created will take the pressure, preventing the shank from snapping.
Last update : Friday, 13 July 2007