Pointe Shoe Guide

Since our founder Jacob Bloch made his first Pointe shoe in 1932, Bloch has been the innovation leader for these shoes, which epitomise the art of ballet. You will find our Pointe shoes on the feet of leading professionals in dance companies around the world, as well as thousands of training ballet students. Recent Bloch Pointe shoe innovations include the Eurostretch, our first split sole pointe shoe; the Axis with our exclusive TMT paste; the Heritage with it's unique shaped outsole and the Jetstream featuring an EVA cushion in the box for extra comfort and shock absorption.

Our handmade satin ballet Pointe shoes balance superior construction with a dancer’s comfort. A correctly fitted Bloch Pointe shoe considers all aspects of the shoe’s anatomy to ensure correct foot positions and the perfect leg line. We strongly recommend that dancers visit one of our Bloch Stores for a professional fitting from one of our highly trained staff. This is to avoid potential injury caused by an ill-fitting shoe. Browse our Foot Essentials for additional comfort when wearing Pointe shoes and check out our Foot Accessories for ribbons, elastic and toe caps. Read our guide for Sewing Ribbon onto Ballet Shoes, tips on Pointe Shoe Care and FAQs. Bloch, professional dance shoes since 1932.

Anatomy of a Pointe Shoe

Glossary of terms

The tape that finishes the top edge of the upper which also encases the drawstring.

The hardened surface area of a pointe shoe which includes the vamp, wings and platform, surrounds the front section of the foot. The Block/Box is made from the application of numerous layers of special fabrics, all with different shapes, bound together by the paste in between each layer. This process is very similar to the process of papier maché.

A length of either cotton cord or elastic cord encased within the binding that allows the upper to form a snug fit around the foot.

Heel Strap
A satin tab which is sewn over the joining seams of the back uppers.

The foot shaped mold which the pointe shoe is manufactured around.

The outer most sole of pointe shoes is made from leather.

A specially formulated glue type substance, which is used in both the process of hardening the toe Block/Box and attaching the insole to the inside of the pointe shoe.

The flattened surface at the toe end of the pointe shoe which allows the dancer to balance ‘en pointe’. 

The measured pleating which draws the satin over the Box which meets the Outsole.

Shank / Insole
A combination of layers of special materials into a unique profile which forms the structural anchor similar to the way a spine supports the human body. Shanks/insoles are developed in different profiles creating various levels of flexibility. 

Side Seam
The stitching on the side seam is a double French stitch which ensures strength and sews front Upper to the back Upper.

A thin suede or cotton fabric covering the inner shank.

All the parts above the shoe’s sole that are joined together to become a single unit which is then attached to the Outsole.

The lower forward part of the shoe’s upper, covering the forepart of the foot and includes the Block/Box and Platform.

Vamp (Modified)
The measurement from the centre middle of the drawstring to the edge of the Platform.

Vamp Shape / Throat Line
The shape of the entrance area for the front of the foot. In Bloch pointe shoes the Vamp shape is either ‘U’ shaped or ‘V’ shaped.

Each of the two symmetrical sides of the vamp directed toward the heel. The outer edge of the hardened toe Block/Box  that contain  a lesser amount of material and paste. The Wings can vary in shape and hardness depending on the style of pointe shoe or the dancers preference.

Pointe Shoe Overview

The following styles of pointe shoes are available at Bloch.

Foot Shapes

Pointe Shoe Width

Bloch pointe shoes are available in up to four different widths.

Bloch pointe shoe widths can be identified in three different ways depending on the style. Some of the earlier developed styles denote widths with the A, B, C, D, E format and the later styles with either X or Y formats. With the different styles, widths and sizes available, Bloch offers over 1000 variations of pointe shoes.

Pointe Shoe Conversion Guide

This is a guide only to the fitting sizes since Lasts vary in shape, length and the width of foot needs to be taken into consideration.

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