Ballet Pointe Shoes - Shank Breaking

by Julia

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Shank Breaking

Hello Odette,

I have been in pointe shoes for almost two years now and I have noticed that my shank is prone to, in time, breaking at about two inches from the bottom end of it toward my toes. I am on my third pair of shoes now and I was wondering how I could keep it from happening again, as it has proven to be an issue when I dance. Am I dancing incorrectly on pointe? What can I do to correct it?

Your help will be greatly appreciated,



Reply by Odette
To: Ballet Pointe Shoes - Shank Breaking

Hi Julia,
Thank you for your message, it's great to hear from you. I know exactly how you feel, as it can be very frustrating when your pointe shoe breaks down in exactly the same places making them unable to dance in again. For me, my left shoe tends to breaks to be less supportive and not last as longer as my right. I've come to the conclusion this is my weaker foot, so it doesn't always stand as strongly on pointe and therefore it breaks in the shoe in stranger ways compared to my right foot.

It could be a similar case for you, or purely just your foot shape if it is happening to both pointe shoes. You might want to try a different brand of shoe with a stronger shank to see if it still breaks in the same. If you were able to send me a picture of your pointe shoes it would help me greatly to see where exactly they break in. A picture of both the pointe shoes, and your foot in the shoe on pointe would be excellent for me to give you more practical advice.

Otherwise, you could try using shellac which is used by professional ballet dancers all the time to make the shoes last longer. If you were to put the shellac onto the place where it breaks in, it would strengthen the shank and give it a few more times to wear. Shellac is a liquid which you can find online on most dance websites, as it is a key product for ballet dancers.

I hope this advice helps you!

Best wishes,

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