Even if dancers aren’t pointe novices, often there are still things to learn about caring for dance shoes, pointe shoes in particular. If you are new to pointe work for the new year, start as you mean to go on and ensure your shoes are cared for in the best possible way.
When you buy new dance shoes it is very tempting to put them away in the small plastic bag they were purchased in, to eke out the time that they are still ‘new’. This, however, means the shoes cannot dry out sufficiently after use and may begin to prematurely decompose. Plus, you may come to put them on for your next class and they may still be damp and clammy, which means your feet aren’t receiving the best treatment either. Keep your shoes cool and dry, after having aired them after use.
As one of dancers’ main essentials, dance shoes require proper care to provide maximum support and protection for your feet, as well as meaning you can perform to the best of your ability. Make sure you are wearing your shoes correctly too: pointe shoes should be worn with tights and possibly toe pads, rather than socks, and socks should be worn with tap and jazz shoes to help prevent the growth of bacteria. Be careful too when you’re putting on your shoes, as for more delicate shoes in particular, their life span is affected by how you put them on and take them off. Don’t dance in broken shoes, as this can have serious consequences in the form of injuries.
If you need to clean your shoes, make sure you do so depending on the shoe that needs the care. Canvas shoes can be washed in the washing machine, but not tumble dried as they may shrink. A shoe brush on suede-bottom shoes will keep them clean and help maintain their texture, but don’t wear your dance shoes outside. Not only will they get dirty, but it can damage the soles too.