Maintenance of Pointe Shoes
Bloch pointe shoes have been made with skill and craftsmanship. As pointe shoes are a dancer’s tool, careful maintenance and preparation will extend their life expectancy. Bloch pointe shoes are made in the traditional method, using natural fibres and pastes so the foot absorbs less strain through the intentional breaking down of the shoe, helping to prevent injury and minimize discomfort. Before wearing pointe shoes for the first time some preparation is essential and recommended.
Pointe Shoe Preparation
Correct placement and sewing of ribbons.
Darning underneath and over the Platform using a non-shiny darning cotton will also buffer some sound and give additional shock absorption as well a helping resin to adhere to the Platform.
Suede toecaps can be glued with a suitable adhesive onto and under the Platform, making sure the suede is level with the Platform of the shoe.
Humidity and dampness are a pointe shoe’s worst enemies so a dancer should always remove any protection or padding from inside their pointe shoes after wear. To restore the Box shape, gently stuff this area with absorbent paper for a short period of time and place the shoes in a dry, warm and well ventilated area, remembering to change the absorbent paper frequently. This will prevent moisture remaining in the Box of the shoe which can lead to the premature softening of the Paste and the shoe drying out in a distorted manner. If a dancer has a tendency to roll or if one foot is more flexible or stronger than the other, rotating the pair of shoes from one foot to the other can help them to wear more evenly. It is advisable for a more advanced student or professional dancer to use multiple pairs of shoes enabling one pair to dry out completely between wears.
Bloch Do Not Advise the Following
Bending shoes manually - if you are not precise with where the shoe is bent in the Shank, the shoe may no longer retain the integrity of their design and could become dangerous to wear.
The use of sticking plaster over the Platform - this can cause moisture to be retained in the Box and therefore cause the Platform to soften.
The use of calomine lotion to take the sheen from the satin - this can cause the Block/Box to collapse prematurely due to the moisture of the lotion.
Pointe Shoe Hardening Suggestions
Special Pale French Polish can be purchased from Bloch or hardware stores.
Instructions for use:
- Air and dry pointe shoes thoroughly.
- Do not attempt to paint the hardener into the blocked area of the pointe shoe if the shoes are damp from perspiration. Thinly load the brush with the hardener and carefully paint inside the shoe from the Platform and up under the Vamp.
- Do not paint the hardener on any area which has not already been stiffened as the hardener will seep through the satin and stain the fabric. Repeat process after 24 hours. We recommend 2 or 3 thin layers to strengthen the blocking of the shoe, rather than one thick layer which will take an extended time to dry and harden. This process of hardening the Block may be used at any stage to prolong the life of the shoe.
- Ensure the hardener is completely dry before wearing the pointe shoes.
- The brush, after use, should be thoroughly immersed in methylated spirits and cleaned with a soft cloth.
- Do not allow any hardener to remain in the bristles as this will stiffen the brush.
Note: French Polish and Shellac are highly flammable substances and should be kept away from heat and out of reach of children.