Pointe ballet shoes are an integral part of a ballerina’s wardrobe, and many aspiring dancers dream of the day that they can wear them. But what is actually inside them?
Pointe shoes are designed to give the dancer control and stability when performing en pointe (on their toes). They are made up of several components, including a hard-soled box, stiffened shank, toe pad and ribbons. The box is the base of the shoe and is made from layers of thick cardboard or paperboard.
It supports the dancer’s foot when on pointe and is stiffened with paste or glue to provide extra strength. The shank is the curved piece of material placed under the box that gives it its supportive shape. This can either be made from paperboard or fiberglass depending on how much support is needed.
The toe pad provides comfort and cushioning for the dancer’s toes. It is usually fitted to each individual shoe and may include gel inserts, foam, leather or another material. Ribbons are then attached to hold the shoe in place, criss-crossing over the arch of the foot and tying around the ankle.
Pointe ballet shoes have several components that work together to give dancers stability and control when performing on their toes. These components include a hard-soled box, stiffened shank, toe pad and ribbons. With these elements combined, dancers can achieve beautiful lines in their movements while staying secure in their pointe shoes.